Toronto Island Run Recap

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    The “flying feather” is one of the most instantly recognizable symbols in the Toronto running scene and one that you’re almost guaranteed to spot at the start line of any race in the city and beyond as well. The emblem of one of Toronto’s longest standing run clubs, the Longboat Roadrunners, the only race where you won’t spot it on any singlet among those racing is the Toronto Island Run, which celebrated its 36th running this past Sunday.

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    Rather than racing, Longboat Roadrunners comprise the race crew for the day and work behind the scenes to make the event happen, taking on duties like arranging first aid to passing out medals at the finish line. It’s part of fulfilling one of the club’s pillar principles of giving back to and helping build the running community.

    The 5K took off at 11am with winner Dancan Kasia crossing the finish line in 15:38. Hammering all the way at a 3:08/km pace, Kasia was almost two minutes ahead of the second place male finisher Henry Gage, who crossed the line in 17:34. Jane Murage, the top female at 16:41, was also nearly two minutes ahead of the women’s second place finisher Rebecca Verlaan (18:38).

    Eric Bang was the overall winner of the 10K race, running a 32:09. Pan-Am medalist Rachel Hannah was the top female with a time of 34:18.
    Rachel Hannah (left) and Eric Bang (right) were the top finishers at the Longboat 10K, held this past Sunday on Toronto's Centre Island.
    Rachel Hannah (left) and Eric Bang (right) were the top finishers at the Longboat 10K, held this past Sunday on Toronto’s Centre Island 
    For both Bang and Hannah, the race was part of a “bigger picture.” Hannah was in fact scheduled to race in the Canadian 5K Championships on the same day, but made a last minute switch in order to have a bit more distance under her belt in preparation for the Canada Army Run next weekend in Ottawa. From there, she’ll make her return to the marathon at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October. Bang says his purpose was to get himself used to running on tired legs, which will also serve him at the longer distances.
    Ed Whitlock, owner of more than 20 masters world records, added another at Sunday's race.
    Ed Whitlock, owner of more than 20 masters world records, added another at Sunday’s race.

    Another unmistakable symbol of Canadian running was present on race day in the form of Mr. Ed Whitlock. At the finish line, I asked Ed how his race was, to which he responded, completely understated, “Ah, it was good. That’s a new world record.” Ed’s time of 49:47 in the 10k is the new record for the distance in the M85 division, easily besting the previous record of 52:50 run by German Max Raschke in 1993.

    Ed is now the owner of nearly 20 masters running world records ranging from the 1500m to the marathon. Having turned 85 in March, Mr. Whitlock now has a brand new division to dominate. Ed says that if recovery goes well following this race, he will likely be at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon to chase another record.

    Finally, for the second year in a row, the 10K served as a time trial for the Ryerson Rams Cross Country team, headed up by Coach Timo Uuksulainen. Timo’s initial impressions were positive. He noted that the field was much deeper than the previous year and that the second timers showed improvement, with both the men and women running anywhere from thirty seconds to two minutes faster at both the 5 and 10K.
    -Ravi Singh (@ravimatsingh)