By Mike Anderson
Despite gusting northwest winds, intermittent rain and temperatures hovering around 11 degrees Celsius, 636 runners took part in the inaugural Georgina Marathon and Half-Marathon held on Sunday, October 17.
The race course stretched along the westbound lane of Lake Drive from De La Salle Park past North Gwillimbury Park and back again for the 21.1 km half marathon. Those running the full marathon, 42.195 km, were required to run a double loop, with the start and finish line at De La Salle Park.
Sponsored by Dynamic Funds and sanctioned by Athletics Canada, the Georgina Marathon was one of the few in-person races in Ontario this year. It was also a qualifier for next year’s Boston Marathon, which will take place on April 18.
The race supported Soles4Souls Canada, a non-profit that redistributes donated shoes and clothing to kids in need, and the Georgina Community Food Pantry.
While a car parked along the course delayed the start of the race for half an hour, the runners, many of whom jogged on the spot to stay warm, left the starting area, beginning at 8.30 a.m., in multiple waves of 50 runners each.
Jason Faber, 33, from Toronto, won the full marathon with a time of 2:30:38. Sarah Donaldson, 27, also from Toronto, was the female winner, finishing with a time of 2:57:54.
Adam Flekser, 37, from Toronto, had the best time in the half marathon (1:16:05). Michelle Krezonoski, 28, from Kingston, had the top female result (1:19:58). Michelle’s identical twin sister, Kim, also placed second (1:20:19).
Isaiah Christophe, 27, from Brampton, placed first in the wheelchair full marathon with a time of 2:16:32. Brett Babcock, 27, from Kingston, was first in the wheelchair half marathon with a time of 1:31:50. For a complete list of results, visit www.EnfieldTiming.ca.
Race co-director Cindy Lewis-Caballero was delighted with the turnout for the race.
“We have been working with the Town of Georgina for the past three months to put this together quickly,” she said.
“After more than 18 months of keeping our athletes trained for races that weren’t happening, my co-director Sandie Orlando and I decided to just take matters into our own hands and create our own race.”
“People are happy to be in a race again. Many of us continued running throughout the past year and a half, but it’s just not the same without a specific event goal. It keeps you motivated. It gets you out of bed on those days when you don’t want to.”
While they admit it was a challenge pulling it together, Lewis-Caballero and her co-director Sandie Orlando say they plan to make the Georgian Marathon an annual event.
“We were so grateful for the support we got from the Town of Georgina. They were on side with us immediately. They were going to work with us through whatever happened with COVID-19 and different gathering restrictions. We were going to find a way to make it happen, and they were on board with us with that goal,” said Lewis-Caballero.
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