Canada's top half marathoner's set to defend title the 12th Annual Scotiabank
Vancouver Half-Marathon

Race participants aim to raise $400,000 for 29 charities in the Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge

VANCOUVER, June 23 /CNW/ - Lethbridge's star and native Kenyan, Kip Kangogo and Toronto's Lioudmila Kortchaguina - both champions in 2009 - are confirmed to toe the start line this Sunday June 27th for the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5K. A field of more than 4,300 runners will follow one of the world's most scenic routes from UBC Thunderbird Arena, along Marine Drive past Spanish Banks, Kits Beach, over the Burrard Bridge and down into Stanley Park. The event is the 5th in this year's prestigious Canada Running Series.

Another 1,000 participants, many of whom are running for their favourite charity, are expected in the accompanying 5K, which starts and finishes by The Fish House in Stanley Park. Combined, both events are hoping to set a fundraising record of $400,000 for 29 local charities participating in the Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge. Cumulatively, the Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge has raised $1.2 million in its twelve year history.

Kip Kangogo is clearly the man to beat on Sunday. Kangogo is looking to better his 2009 performance by running under 63:10 to break a new course record and take the $1,500 first place earnings.

A strong selection of the best Eastern and Western Canada has to offer will do their best to give Kangogo a run for his money. Kip's training partner, Willy Kimosop led his mentor through the first half of the 2009 Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon before fading to a third place finish. Toronto's Matt Loiselle is the current Canadian Half Marathon champion and will also press hard for the win on Sunday.

The women's race also promises a gripping East-West challenge, with Canadian Olympian Lisa Harvey of Calgary battling it out with Toronto's Lioudmila Kortchaguina. Harvey, who has finished 2nd overall for three consecutive years will look for redemption in 2010 and go for the win, while defending champion and course record holder Kortchaguina will run a fierce race to uphold her title.

There is still time to book your place on the start line for the 12th Annual Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5K "fun run" and do some last-minute fundraising for one of the 29 participating charities in the Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge. Details, including the course map showing entertainment centres and the best locations for spectators, are at www.vancouverhalf.com.

About the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5K:

Launched in 1999, the event features one of the most scenic half marathon routes, starting at UBC Thunderbird Arena to Stanley Park, a 5K "fun run" and the Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge, which offers a unique opportunity for runners and walkers to raise funds for 29 local community charities. Growing in popularity year by year, event swelled to more than 5,000 runners, attracting elite runners and participants from across Canada, as well as points in the U.S. and internationally.

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 2009 the Bank provided about $39 million in sponsorships and donations to a variety of projects and initiatives, primarily in the areas of sports, healthcare, education, social services and arts and culture. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.

SOURCE Scotiabank - Sponsorships & Donations

For further information: For further information: Michelle Cobb, Scotiabank Public Affairs at (778) 327-5451, cell (778) 668-2995 or michelle.cobb@scotiabank.com; Clifton Cunningham, Race Director, Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5K at (778) 786-3116, cell (604) 839-7889 or clifton@canadarunningseries.com


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