The Toronto Marathon, celebrating its 41 anniversary on Sunday, May 6, 2018, is pleased to team up with iRun magazine to present their daylong speaker’s series on Saturday, May 5, the day before the big race. Expect titillating conversations, tips you can use for race day and all the race history and lore you’ve come to expect from one of the country’s best race expos.
“It’s just part of my calendar every year,” says Kathrine Switzer, one of racing’s most legendary figures, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon in 1967 (a race in which she was tackled by the organizer, Jock Semple). “I can’t wait to come back to Toronto for the Toronto Marathon. By now, I feel like I’ve made so many good friends.”
Switzer, who galvanized race fans last year with an in-person chat with Canadian record holder Lanni Marchant, will be joined at the race expo by her husband, legendary race historian Roger Robinson; plus nutrition expert Ashley Leone, psych team lead Peter Papadogiannis and Eliud Lagat, a Kenyan coach and racer. Currently experiencing a 30% increase in race attendance against 2017, race organizer Jay Glassman believes the speaker series, moderated by iRun editor Ben Kaplan, is an exciting new addition to share with runners, and race fans.
“We listened to our racers last year and while everyone enjoyed the impromptu discussions taking place all over our Expo, we thought it would be best to set up a stage and organize a series of talks,” says Glassman, offering a marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K and a relay event. “We’re proud of the talent we attract to our race every year, and this year we’re pleased to put them all up on a pedestal to answer your questions.”
Expect conversations about proper fuelling techniques, how to dress for your race (and shop at the Expo), and learn about running strategies from some of the best minds in the sport. Robinson, for his part, mentions that the Toronto Marathon is one of the best races in North America for reaching a Boston Marathon-qualifying time. He’s been bringing runners to the race for years.
“I coach a New York runner, who was chasing his age 70-74 Boston qualifier. He missed three times, so I recommended the 2017 Toronto Marathon. As a frequent guest there, I knew the conditions are almost certain to be cool, and the course is absolutely certain to be BQ-friendly,” Robinson says. “Toronto has mostly flat terrain, overall elevation drop, smooth surfaces, varied scenery, good atmosphere, perfect race operations (marshalling, volunteers and water), and a field the right size to give you stimulating company without getting blocked or jostled. Dennis ran 4:19, a six-minute PR. He will be running his first Boston this year, at age 71. He’s ecstatic. Thanks, Toronto.”
The conversations begin Saturday morning at 11 a.m. at the Enercare Centre, 100 Princes Blvd., Heritage Court. Expo hours are Friday, May 4 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 5, 9 a.m. -5 p.m. See you there.