Dave Emilio describes himself as “a very avid runner from Toronto who is not only looking to improve his own running and running experience, but that of everyone in Toronto.” When Dave took up running in 2006, the goal was simply to get healthier. Gradually, he moved to half marathons and full marathons and it became an addiction that’s included nine trips to Boston.
Dave wants to spread the gospel of running and has done so as a run crew leader and coach with Toronto’s Beaches Run Club (BRC) and as Race Director for the BRC Running Series.
The Beaches Running Series is a collection community oriented races in Toronto’s East End. It started with the Tanenbaum 10K, which served as the goal race for the Beaches Running Room’s clinic and has grown from there.
“My job is to make the races happen,” Dave says. “There’s a lot of pre-planning, sponsorship, promotion, location, insurance, etc. I don’t do it all myself. We have a good team and we each have our responsibilities. It’s all a matter of a start to finish checklist of what needs to happen.”
BRC races are marked by smaller participation numbers, a scenic route along Toronto’s Waterfront, and strong volunteer and crowd support. Dave feels that he’s hit the sweet spot in terms of a great race experience. “People have asked if we want to expand but that requires moving. This is the size we like and we’re able to manage it on our own.” As a result, there’s a stronger community feel and sense of familiarity at each race as well as less crowding on the course.
Dave’s greatest asset is the team of volunteers the BRC assembles every year, many of whom are runners as well. Dave says, “It’s impossible to put on a race without volunteers. It’s also impossible to put on a good race without good volunteers. 80% of marshals are club members so they’re not just standing there. They know that it’s time for them to give back after they’ve run their own races.” Dave comments that for participants, they can always count on enthusiastic cheering and clear direction on course.
Runners obviously agree, as races in the series have consistently sold out year after year. Right now, Dave and his team are heading into the crunch for two of BRC’s biggest events, the Jazz Run and Shakespeare Runs the Night. In terms of what’s in store for this year, Dave made several references to the term “beer garden.” Stay tuned.
Visit toronotbeachesrunnersclub.com to register for upcoming BRC races.