Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon holds city's coolest warm-up party



    Torontonians invited to run, pledge and cheer on September 28th

    TORONTO, Sept. 24 /CNW/ - City of Toronto Mayor David Miller, Michael
"Pinball" Clemons and Scotiabank Executive Vice-President Robin Hibberd were
joined today by representatives from Toronto charities, neighbourhoods and
schools and the Toronto Argo Cheerleaders in kicking off Marathon Mania in
Toronto.
    "This world-class sporting event features elite athletes at the top of
their sport and has evolved into a wonderful annual event for Toronto," said
Mayor David Miller. "The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is one of the
many events we're proud to host that make Toronto a liveable city. The
marathon supports important charities, brings out the best in our
neighbourhoods and is a race of choice for some of the world's best marathon
runners."
    This year there are more reasons than ever to participate in marathon
'mania' at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM). In its biggest
race yet, the marathon will attract world class athletes from all corners of
the globe and will support over 60 charities making a difference in our
community. 11 neighbourhoods along the race route will put on unique and fun
community cheering teams to inspire and motivate the runners. For more than
1,000 school children, this event will be the culmination of the Scotiabank
Marathon Kids program, under which they run a full marathon over the course of
several weeks, completing the last five kilometers at the official race.
    "We're very proud of our long history with the Scotiabank Toronto
Waterfront Marathon," said Robin Hibberd, Executive Vice-President, Personal
Lending & Insurance, Scotiabank. "Sunday's event will see many personal bests
for runners of all ages and stages and we hope to achieve race history by
building on the $920,000 raised for charity at last year's event. It's a fun,
family event with many reasons to cheer."
    Michael "Pinball" Clemons and the Toronto Argo Cheerleaders led a warm-up
exercise at today's event to get the crowd ready for the main event on Sunday.
    "We lead by example," said Michael Clemons. "This event, the runners who
have chosen to run on behalf of a charity and the people who have sponsored
them have all shown leadership by choosing to get involved and by giving back
to our community. I'm pleased to be here today to help launch the Scotiabank
Toronto Waterfront Marathon."
    This year's STWM expects to draw more than 13,000 runners - double the
size of the event five years ago. For the first time, the race was awarded an
IAAF Silver Label, making it one of only five marathons in North America with
this recognition, and putting it in an exclusive class with New York, Boston
and Chicago. "Our race is now on par with other top-flight marathons around
the world and we're inviting the whole city to take part," said Race Director
Alan Brookes. "Whether it's running, pledging or cheering, this is the year to
get involved, to be part of Toronto's biggest street party, and to help make
the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Toronto's best marathon ever. This
is a festival that just happens to be a run!"

    Among those running this year are Torontonians such as Toronto Argonaut
Andre Talbot, GTA MPP and Minister of Labour Peter Fonseca and City Councilor
Karen Stintz, who will each be running for different causes close to their
hearts. Andre Talbot is running for Teresa's Group - an organization that
supports children affected by HIV and AIDS in Toronto. "I'm running to help
erase the stigma associated with this disease," said Talbot. "I'm running for
the hundreds of families that have needed The Teresa Groups' compassion. I'm
running for their future."
    For Torontonians who don't consider themselves runners - there are still
several ways to get involved with this year's 'marathon mania'.

    How to take part in 'Marathon Mania': Run, Pledge or Cheer

    Run - Join runners from around the world by taking part in either the
full marathon (42.195km), half marathon or 5K. Start times: Marathon/Half
Marathon 7:30am; 5K 8.15am from Nathan Phillips Square

    Pledge - The Scotiabank Charity Challenge - A great way to get involved
this year is to participate in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge and pledge a
runner in support of one of 60 different local charities. Scan the website and
pledge a runner like 60 year old Alfred Carr, running the half marathon for
the Alzheimer Toronto team in honour of his 55 year-old wife Anne, diagnosed
with Alzheimer's in 2005. And why stop at pledging? Come on out, shout
yourself hoarse and support the runners going the distance.

    Cheer - The Neighbourhood Challenge - Support your 'hood ! From the
Humber Bay to the Beaches, eleven official Neighbourhood Cheering &
Entertainment Centres will be stationed along the race route. Be thoroughly
entertained as each neighbourhood welcomes spectators with an amazing show -
from Little India's pulsating Bhangra beats to the energy-infusion of St.
Lawrence's Samba Squad. Come out and cheer on the competitors or pledge a
neighbourhood champion taking part in the race - someone like Beaches
Champion, Keith Begley, who is raising money for the Beaches' own local hero -
11-year-old Justin Murphy who needs two new cochlear implants to help him hear
once again. The most spirited Neighbourhood Cheering & Entertainment centre on
the day will be awarded $6000 towards their cause, courtesy of Scotiabank.

    About The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

    For the first time ever, this year's marathon was given Silver label
status by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) making
it only one of only five internationally recognized marathons in North
America, putting Toronto on the map in the international athletic community.
While the race is certainly gaining international profile - it has also gained
profile within the city. Earlier this year Toronto Mayor David Miller invited
the race - for the first time ever - to move its Start/Finish line to City
Hall at Nathan Phillips Square. The marathon attracts participants from more
than 35 countries and aims to raise $1 million for more than 60 local
community charities. Visit www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com for further event
information.

    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 more than $43 million in sponsorships
and donations to a variety of projects and initiatives, primarily in the areas
of healthcare, education and social services and arts and culture. Please
visit us at www.scotiabank.com.





For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview please contact:
Julia Wall-Clarke, Narrative Advocacy Media, Office: (416) 922-2211 ext 3281
or email Julia.clarke@narrativeadvocacy.com; Livy Feldgajer, Scotiabank Public
Affairs, Office: (416) 866-6203 or email livy_feldgajer@scotiacapital.com


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