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Posted: May 28, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: Mayor Miller officially kicks-off 20th anniversary Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon training season

Over 70 local charities join Mayor and Members of Council in 'warm-up' and 'opening lap' in Nathan Phillips Square

TORONTO, May 27 /CNW/ - On your marks, get training, start pledging ... go! Today, Mayor David Miller, Members of Council and Scotiabank welcomed representatives from over 70 local charities to mark the official four-month training countdown to the 20th anniversary Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM). A ceremonial warm-up and opening lap was led in Nathan Phillips Square by Mayor Miller, who will be the city's first mayor to run in the event when he runs the Half Marathon on September 27th.

"The City of Toronto recognizes the importance of supporting important community initiatives like the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and we are pleased to host the launch in Nathan Phillips Square today," said The Honorable Mayor David Miller. "The Marathon brings runners from all over the world to our beautiful waterfront and I am proud to mark the 20th Anniversary as the first Toronto Mayor to run in the event."

The STWM (42km, 21km, 5km) takes place on September 27, 2009 and is one of only five officially recognized IAAF Label marathons across North America, alongside New York, Boston, Chicago and Ottawa. In 2009, the internationally recognized sporting event will mark its 20th Anniversary as one of the city's oldest running events and will attract more than 18,000 runners from over 40 countries.

"In addition to being an internationally recognized sporting event, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is an incredibly successful fundraising program," said Robin Hibberd, Executive Vice-President of Scotiabank and participant in the 2009 Half Marathon. "Over the past 20 years, the STWM has raised millions for many deserving charities and Scotiabank is extremely proud to continue supporting an event that will enrich the lives of many Canadian families."

Hoping to celebrate its biggest year yet, the event aims to raise $1.5 million for the Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge, benefiting over 70 charities across the city. These charities include this year's national charity partner, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada's 'Team in Training' and featured charities The Aspergers Society of Ontario, Children's Aid Foundation and Humewood House. Torontonians not running in the event can still get involved by pledging individual runners and their chosen charity.

"On par with other top marathons around the world, our race has a newly improved running route, as well as exciting new bonuses for our 20th Anniversary year," said Race Director, Alan Brookes. "Whether it's running, pledging or cheering, this is the year to get involved in Toronto's premier running event and biggest street party."

In 2009, the STWM features an improved race route, now taking runners through The Beach, Leslieville and St. Lawrence Market neighbourhoods instead of the Leslie Street 'Spit'. There are also increased prize money incentives for time bonuses including the introduction of $25,000 each for new Canadian Men's or Women's marathon record.

How to get involved:
- Run - Join runners from around the world by taking part in either the full marathon (42.195km), half marathon or 5K, all starting in Nathan Phillips Square on Sunday, September 27th 2009.
- Pledge - The Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge - Participate in the Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge and pledge a runner in support of one of 70 different local charities.
- Cheer - The Neighbourhood Challenge - Support your 'hood! Eleven official Neighbourhood Cheering & Entertainment Centres will be stationed along the race route. The most spirited neighbourhood will be awarded $6000 towards their cause, courtesy of Scotiabank.

About Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon
In 2009, The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon celebrates its 20th Anniversary, making it one of Toronto's oldest running events. For the second consecutive year, the marathon has been given Silver label status by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) making it one of only five internationally recognized marathons in North America, putting Toronto on the map in the international athletic community. The event attracts participants from over 40 countries and aims to raise $1.5 million for more than 70 charities.

For more information, please visit www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.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 2008 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 www.scotiabank.com


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