Ethiopia’s Sahle Warga finishes first at the Scotiabank Toronto

By IndepthAfrica
In Ethiopia
Oct 14th, 2012
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Ethiopia’s Sahle Warga (centre) finishes first at the Scotiabank Toronto

Runners of all ages and skill levels raced through Toronto’s streets Sunday to compete in the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon.

More than 24,000 runners participated in the run, which organizers said raised $3.7 million for 167 charities.

Ethiopian runner Sahle Warga finished first, completing the marathon in just two hours, 10 minutes and 35 seconds.

Kenyan runners Kiplimo Kimutai and John Kiprotich finished in second and third, with times of 2:11:20 and 2:11:29, respectively.

“It was very cold and it was raining so I’m very happy to win,” Warga told The Canadian Press. “I didn’t run my personal best, it was a little windy but with this result I am happy.”

New Zealand runner Mary Davies, who resides in Ottawa, and Kenya’s Agnes Kiprop, finished in first and second place, respectively, in the women’s race.

Davies, who completed the race with a time of 2:28:56, passed Kiprop in the final two kilometres.

“At about 39 kilometres I could see the girl and I thought maybe I could catch her. I didn’t have much energy left,” Davies said. “I felt strong at 40 kilometres when I passed her but kept looking around for her.”

Toronto’s Matt Loisell finished in seventh place overall, making him the top Canadian on the men’s side. And Krista Duchene of Brantford, Ont., was the top Canadian woman racer, finishing in fourth place.

While all competing runners were committed to finishing their respective runs, each had a different reason for racing.

Runner Gayla Todd completed the half marathon. She told CTV Toronto she was racing to help find a cure for ocular melanoma.

“It’s a disease that there are no effective drugs. You can’t take a chemo for it. Nothing to help stop the spread of it. So we’re trying to raise awareness and money for research,” she said. “I think we’re really making a difference.”

Milton resident Ed Whitlock set a new record for the fastest time for his age group.

The 81-year-old said he’s already looking forward to next year’s race.

“Try and set another record next year I guess. Come back again,” said a beaming Whitlock after the race. “Try and do better.”

Runner Pat Statchuk also set a record during Sunday’s race: fastest marathon runner dressed in a hockey suit.

Statchuk told CTV Toronto he was running in memory of his uncle.

“We raised money for the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada,” said Statchuk. “One of my uncles passed away earlier this year from the disease so we were able to raise money in his name.”

Also among the runners was a 101-year-old man who completed the five-kilometre run.

CBC

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