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Posted: March 30, 2009  : Add to Mixx!

Athletics: Making a difference one kilometre at a time - 7th edition of Banque Scotia 21K de Montréal et 5K to support local charities

Montrealers invited to lace up their running shoes and run, pledge or cheer for an excellent cause on April 19th

MONTREAL, March 30 /CNW/ - The countdown is on! Thousands of recreational and elite runners are limbering up for the seventh edition of the Banque Scotia 21K de Montréal et 5K, which will take place on Sunday, April 19th at Parc Jean Drapeau. In addition to supporting five local charities this year, the Banque Scotia 21K de Montréal et 5K will host, for a second consecutive year, the prestigious 2009 Canadian Half Marathon Championships, where Canada's best distance runners will challenge to bring home the Canadian Championship title.

"Banque Scotia is committed to giving back to the community and this race is more than a sporting event. This year, the Banque Scotia 21K de Montréal will help raise funds for five local organizations that have a huge impact on our local community and make a difference in people's everyday lives," said Diane Giard, Senior Vice-President, Quebec and Eastern Ontario Region, Scotiabank. "What a great way to celebrate sportsmanship, enjoy Montreal's fantastic scenery and give back to our community!"

This year's race expects to attract more than 3,000 runners and will serve - for the second year in a row - as the official selection trials for the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships to be held in Birmingham, UK later this October. Canadian athletes finishing in the top three positions at the 2009 Canadian Half Marathon Championships will be eligible for selection. Last year, husband and wife team of Andrew Smith and Tara Quinn-Smith captured the Canadian Half-Marathon Championships titles with times of 1:05:19 and 1:13:40, respectively.

"The Fédération québécoise d'athlétisme is proud to be associated with the Banque Scotia 21K de Montréal featuring the 2009 Canadian Half-Marathon Championships," said Jean-Paul Baert, Executive Director of the Federation. "With a solid management team, a breathtaking route and the confirmed comeback of last year's champions, it is obvious that we'll be witnessing a very exciting championship. This race is one of the most anticipated events of the season for Quebec road runners."

"The Banque Scotia 21K de Montréal is a world class event bringing together recreational and elite runners from all over the world for a race in one of Montreal's most beautiful areas," said Race Director Francois Lecot. "Whether it's running, pledging or cheering, there are many ways to get involved and be part of this exciting and unique race!"

Not a runner? There are several ways to get involved with this year's Banque Scotia 21K de Montréal et 5K.

Run, Pledge or Cheer

Run - Join runners from around the country by taking part in either the half marathon (21K) or 5K. Start times: 9 am for 5K and 10 am for half marathon - from the Complexe aquatique, Parc Jean-Drapeau. To register: CanadaRunningSeries.com.

Pledge - The Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge - A great way to get involved this year is to participate in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. Make your Banque Scotia 21k de Montréal or 5k more meaningful by going the distance for one of our five official charities. Run or walk in honour of a loved one or simply to give something back to your community. No matter which distance you participate in, your fundraising makes a difference! For more info: CanadaRunningSeries.com.

Five official local charities:

	    -  Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation
	    -  The Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors
	    -  La Maison de la famille Pierre Bienvenu Noailles
	    -  Share the Warmth
	    -  West Island Women's Shelter
Cheer - Come out and cheer on the competitors or pledge a runner taking part in the race -- someone like Daniel Wolff, who is raising money for the Dylan & Riley Wolff Foundation, so his sons Dylan and Riley, who just celebrated their 3rd birthdays, can become the "youngest founders" of the new Children's Hospital.

About Scotiabank
Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad. Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for its charitable donations and philanthropic activities, in 2007 the Bank provided about $43 million in sponsorships and donations to a variety of projects and initiatives, primarily in the areas of healthcare, education, social services and arts and culture. Visit us at ScotiaBank.com.


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