Canada's top marathoners get ready and set at the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon

Race participants aim to raise funds for 19 charities in the Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge

CALGARY, May 28 /CNW/ - Victoria's Nancy Baxendale and Jason Loutitt hope to be first across the finish line Sunday at the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon. Baxendale, now 48 years of age, plans to be the oldest and fastest female marathoner in the event with a goal time under three hours. Loutitt, a highly decorated marathon and mountain runner in his own right, will have to take the early lead if he wants to leave the quick-footed Kenyan, Philip Samoei in his wake by the 42nd kilometer.

In the half marathon, Lethbridge's Ed Kangogo is expected to challenge for the win, continuing on from his successful college season. On the women's side, Vancouver's Stephanie Hamilton is gearing up to take the lead and cross the line in front of her competitors.

The 10 kilometre race also promises to be a hotly contested east-west battle with Lethbridge's Kip Kangogo and Toronto's Derek Nakluski at the helm, each looking for the win. Kip, coming off a win at the 2010 Vancouver Sun Run will be hard to beat, however Nakluski has plans to redeem himself after an eighth place finish at the same race. On the women's side, Calgary's Lisa Harvey and Edmonton's Chantell Widney are sure to duke it out in the battle for Alberta. Harvey, now 40 years of age is still considered one of Canada's top long distance runners but will have to have a great race to beat the younger Widney. Widney did beat Harvey by over 12 seconds at the Vancouver Sun Run in May.

In addition to the elite athletes, another 9,000 participants, many of whom are running for their favourite charity, are expected in the full marathon, half marathon, 10 kilometre, 4x10 kilometre team corporate challenge, the family 5 kilometre run/walk and the kid's marathon, which start and finish in Bridgeland. Combined, all events are hoping to set a fundraising record of $130,000 for 19 local charities participating in the Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge inaugural year.

There is still time to book your place on the start line for the 46th Annual Scotiabank Calgary Marathon and do some last-minute fundraising for one of the 19 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.calgarymarathon.com.

About the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon

Voted the 2009 Best Road Race in Alberta, the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon is a challenging, competitive and fun event with a race designed for everyone at any level. There is a full marathon, half marathon, 10K, 4X10K team corporate challenge, 5K family walk/run and kids' marathon. The Scotiabank Calgary Marathon course is certified by AIMS (Association of International Marathon Society) and by Athletics Alberta and can be used as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon. This year, participants in the weekend event are invited to pledge and raise much needed funding for one of 19 local charities as part of the Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge.

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.

Media Access Information:

    
    -   The Start and Finish area for all Scotiabank Calgary Marathon events
        will take place in Bridgeland at Murdoch Park, located at Centre
        Avenue & 9th Street N.E.
    -   A VIP and Media Tent will be set up near the Finish Line on Centre
        Avenue and 8A Street N.E.
    -   Parking will be available for media on the South side of 9th Avenue
        N.E. on the corner of Centre Ave.
    -   Please visit www.calgarymarathon.com for important road closure
        information and allow ample time to arrive on site.
    

SOURCE Scotiabank - Sponsorships & Donations

For further information: For further information: Michelle Cobb, Scotiabank Public Affairs, (778) 327-5451, cell (778) 668-2995, michelle.cobb@hotmail.com; Lynn Cox, Marketing Director, Scotiabank Calgary Marathon, (403) 264-2996, or cell (403) 863-8927, lynn@calgarymarathon.com


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