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Posted: April 20, 2009  : Add to Mixx!

Athletics: Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge raises $87,000 for five local charities

MONTREAL, April 19 /CNW/ - Over 2,800 runners took Parc Jean-Drapeau by storm today for the annual Banque Scotia 21K de Montréal et 5K and helped raise a record amount of $87,000 in the Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge, with all proceeds going to five local charities. Top male runner Asamenew Yeshanew of Ethiopia finished in 1:03:55 while Canadian Tara Quinn Smith set a new Canadian record as well as a new course record for women, with a time of 1:12:08. This event also serves as the official selection trials for the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.

This is the second year in a row that the Banque Scotia 21K de Montréal is the venue for the official selection trials for the 2009 IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships, to be held in Birmingham, UK this October. The Canadian athletes who finished in the top three positions at the 2009 Canadian Half Marathon Championships are eligible for selection.

"Once again, Montreal sets the bar high with solid performances from top athletes from the running world. Not only did we see the course record broken, but the top female runner also broke the Canadian record! With over 2,800 participants in both 21K and 5K races, this event is an outstanding success," said François Lecot, Race Director for Canada Running Series.

In the men's 21K race, it was a tight race between Ethiopian Asamenew Yeshanew and Canadian Matt Loiselle almost until the end, where Yeshanew took the lead to win. Loiselle finished the race in 1:04:09, winning the Canadian Championship, followed by Josephat Ongeri of United States in 1:05:04. In addition to Matt Loiselle, Andrew Smith (1:05:07) and Steve Osaduik (1:05:52) finished the top three for the Canadian Championship.

Canadian top winner in last year's event, Tara Quinn Smith of Toronto dominated throughout the entire race and took the title by setting a new course record as well as breaking the Canadian record of 1995. Respectively in second and third positions overall, female runners Lioudmila Kortchaguina (Canada) registered a time of 1:15:49 and Firehiwot Gebreyesus of Ethiopia finished in 1:16:16. Paula Wiltse joined Quinn Smith and Kortchaguina as the third best Canadian time at 1:19:46.

	    Half-Marathon Male

	    1. Asamenew Yeshanew 1:03:55
	    2. Matt Loiselle 1:04:09
	    3. Josephat Ongeri 1:05:04

	    Half-Marathon Female

	    1. Tara Quinn Smith 1:12:08
	    2. Lioudmila Kortchaguina 1:15:49
	    3. Firehiwot Gebreyesus 1:16:16

The Banque Scotia 21K de Montréal & 5K is part of the prestigious Canada Running Series. Growing in popularity every year, this world-class race is also a successful fundraising event. This year it helped raise a significant amount of money, $87,000, for five local charities that have a huge impact on their local community: Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation, The Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors, La Maison de la famille Pierre Bienvenu Noailles, Share the Warmth and West Island Women's Shelter.

"What a great way to combine business and fun: running on a wonderful course on such a great day, and helping local organizations that truly make a difference. At Banque Scotia, we are committed to being a contributor in our community, and today acting as a catalyst in helping to raise money for local charities is very rewarding," said Pierre Michaud, District Vice-President, Montreal, Scotiabank.

For complete race results, please visit CanadaRunningSeries.com.

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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