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Thousands of runners took part in downtown Toronto’s first in-person 10-kilometre run in two years on Sunday morning.
COVID restrictions permitted a maximum of 5,000 participants to run in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 10K, the first in-person race since the global pandemic changed everything in Canada in March 2020.
The event sold out in eight days.
Sunday’s race began at 8 a.m. and went to 11:30 a.m., with 100 people running at a time, four minutes apart.
“We’re just so thrilled to be back to in-person racing,” said Charlotte Brookes, national event director for the run.
“It’s been a real positive experience working with the City of Toronto, Toronto Public Health, and the Ministry of Health to be able to put the safety measures in here today to have this in-person race.”
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Another 5,000 participants chose to run “virtually” in the organization’s other events – the marathon, half-marathon, and five-kilometre runs. Participants in all three races have until Oct. 31 to complete their run.
But there’s nothing like running with all the noise and people — even during a pandemic.
“It’s so good to see everyone cheering again and to be with everyone running the race,” said participant Natasha Dhingra, whose last in-person race was the Run for the Cure in October 2019.
“The signs, the cheering, everyone around, rooting for each other, wonderful weather, wonderful people,” she added. “It makes you go faster and feel better.”
Runners taking part in the 10-kilometre event included Olympians who competed in Tokyo’s recent Summer Games such as Natasha Wodak, who finished 13th in the women’s marathon at the summer Olympics, and Luc Bruchet, a competitor in the men’s 5,000-metre race.
The Toronto Sun ‘s former political columnist, Sue-Ann Levy, also got in on the action.
But it was Scottish star and part-time teacher Sarah Inglis who won the 10-kilometre race.