COOLSAET AND BROWN TAKE HOME TITLE OF HALF-MARATHON CHAMPIONS AT THE BANQUE SCOTIA 21 K DE MONTRÉAL

MORE THAN $355,000 RAISED FOR 24 COMMUNITY CAUSES

MONTREAL, April 17 /CNW/ - At the Canadian Half-Marathon Championship and the Banque Scotia 21k et 5k de Montreal this morning, Reid Coolsaet and Meghan Brown raced against the wind and took home the title of Canadian Half-Marathon Champions. In its ninth year and despite the wind and cold weather, the event brought more than 3,500 runners to Parc Jean-Drapeau where spectators cheered on their favourite runner and collectively raised more than $355,000 for local charities.

Coolsaet, Canada's top ranked marathon runner who has already achieved the qualifying standard for 2012, broke away from defending champion Matt Loiselle at the 13k mark and never looked back.  In the women's race, Toronto's Megan Brown managed to break away halfway through the race from Windsor's Dayna Pidhoresky.

"Today's race is an inspiring one for Canadians, for runners, and for Montreal's community," said race director François Lecot.  "We had the very best of our half-marathon championship contenders at Parc Jean-Drapeau, one of Montreal's most scenic landmarks."

"Once again, the Banque Scotia 21k et 5k de Montréal proved to be a fantastic success, thanks to the amazing support from the entire community," said François Camirand, Area Vice-President Commercial at Scotiabank. "Scotiabank is very proud of the runners, volunteers, and spectators who came together in celebration of community and athleticism."

In what proved to be a highly anticipated half-marathon field, Reid Coolsaet of Guelph was crowned top male runner, finishing in 1:04:54. Megan Brown of Toronto finished in 1:14:08 in the women's competition.

Results:
Half-Marathon Male

  1. Reid Coolsaet  (Guelph)            1:04:54
  2. Matt Loiselle  (Toronto)             1:05:28
  3. Said Ali-Hadji  (Montreal)           1:06:48

Half-Marathon Female

  1. Megan Brown (Toronto)             1:14:08
  2. Dayna Pidhoresky (Tecumseh)  1:15:03
  3. Emily Kroshus  (Boston)             1:17:42

Now in its fourth year, the Banque Scotia 21 k de Montréal serves as the Canadian Half-Marathon Championships and helps kick off the 2011 Canadian Championship Series.

"The top Canadian runners competed today which shows that Montreal is the place to be to see some of the best runners in the world today," added Canada Running Series Race Director Alan Brookes. "It was an unforgettable day, as both a run and a great cause."

Finishing ahead of strong competition, Reid Coolsaet and Megan Brown also took the 21k Canadian Championship title, in the men and women categories.

"The windy conditions were very challenging, but it was a fun race," said Reid Coolsaet. "Matt Loiselle really helped me push the pace."

Results:
Canadian Championship Male

  1. Reid Coolsaet  (Guelph)            1:04:54
  2. Matt Loiselle  (Toronto)             1:05:28
  3. Rejean Chiasson (Toronto)       1:06:57

Canadian Championship Female

  1. Megan Brown (Toronto)             1:14:08
  2. Dayna Pidhoresky (Tecumseh)  1:15:03
  3. Emily Kroshus  (Boston)             1:17:42

The Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge successfully raised more than $355,000 and counting for 24 local charities, exceeding last year's total of $280,000 raised for community causes. As part of the Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge, the charity with the most runners, the charity with the largest amount of pledges raised per runner, and the charity with the most money raised in overall pledges received an additional $5,000 each, towards their cause.

For more highlights and complete race results, please visit www.canadarunningseries.com/monthalf

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, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $44 million annually to community causes around the world over the last five years. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.

SOURCE Scotiabank - Sponsorships

For further information:

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Katherine Vanda, High Road Communications
Office: 514 908-0110, ext. 315 or email katherine.vanda@highroad.com

Livy Feldgajer, Scotiabank Media Communications
Office:  416-866-6203 or email livy_feldgajer@scotiacapital.com


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