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History

20 Years of great times...!

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1990 course map 1990 poster

1990 — October 14th.

Inaugural Coors Light Toronto Half-Marathon & 5k. Some 1,500 participants took off from College Park. Legend Joan Benoit Samuelson, victorious in 72:37; Steve Taylor of Virginia takes Men's title in 62:29. Peter Fonseca, 4th in 63:49. See Results page.

Running Tide: Joan Benoit Samuelson's autobiography inscription inside Running Tide book
by Joan Samuelson, to Alan Brookes letter to Alan Brookes from Joan Samuelson, 1990 Joanie signing autographs at 1990 event
1) Joanie's autobiography, Running Tide. Gift copy to Alan Brookes in 1990 with 2) inscription inside.
3) Thank-you letter from Joanie, October 17, 1990; 4) Joanie in Runners' Choice store signing autographs in 1990 [current STWM Race Director Alan Brookes on right].

1991 and 1992 winner Ed Eyestone

1991 & '92

US Olympian Ed Eyestone — the Men's Champion. (Ottawa Race Director John Halvorsen, 2nd in '92 in 63:15).

1994

Becomes GMC Toronto Half-Marathon & 5k Jimmy Jog for Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital. 4,500 participants. Won by Mexico's Alejandro Cruz (63:42) and Toronto's May Allison (72:45). May went on to run for Canada in the 1996 Olympic Marathon in Atlanta.

1994 winner Alejandro Cruz 1994 women's winner May Allison 1994 poster 1994 poster 1994 start

1995 women's winner Danuta Bartoszek

1995

Danuta Bartoszek runs 72:27 to eclipse Joanie's 1990 time, and set a new course and Canadian Half-Marathon record. Danuta's mark still stands as the STW Half record. Her Canadian record lasted until April 19th 2009, when Tara Quinn-Smith ran 72:09 at Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal.

1997

Race name changes to Scotiabank Toronto Half-Marathon & 5k for Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre.

1999

Owing to continued strong growth, the City asks the event to move from the traditional course that ran up Yonge St. and across Eglinton, down to Lakeshore Boulevard. "Flat, fast and traffic-free" was the slogan as Toronto runners got a course completely closed to traffic for the first time. They screamed for more and wanted a full marathon on the Lakeshore route.

2000 start 2000 course map 2000 poster

2000 — September 24th.

Scotiabank Toronto Half-Marathon & 5k and NEW WATERFRONT MARATHON is born. Just 473 finished the 1st Waterfront Marathon, that started and finished by the Flatiron Building in St. Lawrence Market. Won by Joseph Ndiritu (2:19:42) and Sue Grise (3:08:39).

2003

2003: Fauja Singh age 92 2003: Ed Whitlock runs sub-3:00

Canadian Ed Whitlock becomes the first person on the planet over 70 years to run under the magic 3-hour mark (2:59:10); 92-year old British Sikh Fauja Singh runs 5:40:04 for new 90+ mark. "The Marathon's Greatest Day: New World Records in Berlin and Toronto," screamed the front-page headlines of Runner's World. The magic of Waterfront's fast course was born and the rush was on. Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge established, and raises $198,000 for 20 local charities.

2004

"Ed & Fauja Fever" take Waterfront Marathon from 935 entries in '03 to 1,983. The whole event grows from 5,863 to 9,001. Ed astounds the world by taking his record down to 2:54:49; Fauja sets a 90+ Half-Marathon World Record of 2:30:02. Danny Kassap, a new refugee to Canada, wins Marathon in new course record of 2:14:50. Lioudmila Kortchaguina, the Women's winner (2:36:32). The Neighbourhood Challenge is created to make STWM "Flat, fast and FESTIVE!". 10 Neighbourhood Cheering and Entertainment Centres bring Waterfront course alive.

2007: John Kelai

2007

Kenya's John Kelai runs the fastest marathon ever on Canadian soil (2:09:30) — the only sub-2:10 marathon run in Canada outside a Championship. Participants 12,311. Charity Challenge raises $925,000.

2008

Mayor invites event to move Start/Finish to Nathan Phillips Square. STWM awarded prestigious IAAF Silver Label. Ethiopia's Mulu Seboka sets new Women's course record of 2:29:06. Records for participation (15,118) and Charity Challenge ($1.42 million).

2009

A banner, "20th Anniversary" year for the event, and a terrific 10th year for the full marathon. Legends Joan Benoit Samuelsion, Ed Whitlock and Fauja Singh were all on hand for the celebrations — Joanie and Ed running the Half where Ed set a 78-year olds world-age-group best. And at a spritely 98 years, Fauja cruised around the 5K.

The Waterfront Marathon saw stunning new records for both men and women, as Kenneth Mungara surprised even himself as he ran 2:08:32 to not only defend his title, but take another minute off the All-comers record for the fastest marathon ever run on Canadian soil.

Amane Gobena then followed him home in style, lowering our STWM Women's Course Record to 2:28:31.

"Flat, fast and festive" said it all!

Do YOU have any good stories or photos from past editions of STWM, especially the early years? Please send them to us at , with "STWM History" in the Subject line.

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