Road racing returns as runners compete in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Toronto took another step toward a return to normal Sunday when around 4,800 participants gathered for the city’s annual Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon, planned as a 10 kilometre run this year.Road racing was back on the streets of Toronto for the first time in 18 months, as professional and recreational athletes aimed to beat their personal best performances and demonstrate the results of the hard work and training they committed to during various lock downs. The Athletics Canada Canadian 10K Championships, which typically takes place in Ottawa, was held concurrently.Asia Dwyer, one of the elite female runners participating in the run, geared up to start her warm-ups at 7:20 a.m., about 40 minutes before the race began. “I feel so grateful. It’s been a long couple years,” said Dwyer, who lives in Toronto. “I’m really excited.”The last time she participated in a road race was the 2020 Chilly Half Marathon in Burlington, which took place on March 1, two weeks before the province declared a state of emergency. She was working in catering at the time, but when the pandemic hit, Dwyer, 28, was laid off. “I ended up giving my everything to running. I was releasing everything through it,” Dwyer said. She took it as an opportunity to build up her mileage, experiment with training and become stronger.“I was lucky to get to be healthy through the whole thing.”Her advice for people looking to improve their fitness and become better runners is to start with a small goal, and never lose sight of what motivates them. Dwyer finished the race in 12th place, with a time of 35 minutes and 13 seconds.Runners sprinted west on Lake Shore Boulevard, facing breezy headwind for the first half of the run, then taking a hair pin turn at the 5K mark and making their way back to the finish line near Coronation Park. Elite female runners began their race at 8 a.m., followed by elite male athletes at 8:13 a.m. The remaining participants were released in 50 groups of 100 people each, to ensure physical distancing on the course.Proof of full vaccination was required for the race, and all participants were asked to stand by a cone in both the staging area and start line area to maintain a distance of six feet apart until they started their race. Masks were obligatory in the pre-race, staging, start line and finish line areas. Samuel Kinahan, 23, said running was one of the few enjoyable things he could do safely during lock downs. He ran in the male elite category, finishing the race in 39th place with a time of 31:38. “It’s something you can do individually ... I was consistent with it in hopes that races would come back soon enough.”Friends Barton Dong and Oliver Chen ran the race together. “I think I gave everything in my tank this time,” Dong, 24, said. We’re happy to see everyone back on the track.”He added that training during lock downs in the cold winter months was tough, but as the weather began to warm, he started preparing for the race at a community park near his home. Chen, 24, said he performed worse in this race than others, but he still feels satisfied. “I don’t like to run in the park because it’s too cold,” he said, adding that he trained for past marathons indoors at a gym. Scottish-born runner Sarah Inglis, a physical education teacher in the Township and City of Langley, B.C., crossed the finish line first, recording a personal best of 31:59. Because she isn’t a Canadian citizen, she was not eligible for the national title. Just six seconds behind her was Leslie Sexton, of Markham Ont., who took over one minute off her personal best, recording a time of 32:04 Speaking to the Star minutes after she earned the gold medal, and $5,500 in prize money, Sexton said she knew she was in good shape and ready to “come out here and show everyone what I can do.”At the start of the pandemic, Sexton, 34, took some time off to recover from two injuries. She said she remembers trying to focus on what she enjoyed about the sport and not comparing herself to others. “I got used to running while stressed or anxious,” Sexton added. “Coming out of it, I’m in a very good place physically and mentally, and I’m glad I was able to show it today.”The last time she participated in a road race was almost two years ago, at the 2019 waterfront marathon, Sexton said. The run didn’t go as planned; she dropped out at the 16K mark.“It was an awful day ... So this is redemption, a bit of coming out of the fog.”Kingston, Ont.’s Cleo Boyd took the silver medal, with a time of 33 minutes and 21 seconds. Natasha Wodak, of Surrey, B.C., followed Boyd and Sexton across the line, completing the race in 33:33. She won the national 10K in 2019, with a time of 32:31. Last year, when the race was held virtually, she also took first place, in 32:41. “I’m satisfied,” Wodak said, adding she didn’t have enough time to recover after running the women’s Olympic marathon in Tokyo in August, where she placed 13th. “I’m happy to be back on the road.”Ben Flanagan, of Kitche

Road racing returns as runners compete in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Toronto took another step toward a return to normal Sunday when around 4,800 participants gathered for the city’s annual Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon, planned as a 10 kilometre run this year.

Road racing was back on the streets of Toronto for the first time in 18 months, as professional and recreational athletes aimed to beat their personal best performances and demonstrate the results of the hard work and training they committed to during various lock downs. The Athletics Canada Canadian 10K Championships, which typically takes place in Ottawa, was held concurrently.

Asia Dwyer, one of the elite female runners participating in the run, geared up to start her warm-ups at 7:20 a.m., about 40 minutes before the race began.

“I feel so grateful. It’s been a long couple years,” said Dwyer, who lives in Toronto. “I’m really excited.”

The last time she participated in a road race was the 2020 Chilly Half Marathon in Burlington, which took place on March 1, two weeks before the province declared a state of emergency.

She was working in catering at the time, but when the pandemic hit, Dwyer, 28, was laid off.

“I ended up giving my everything to running. I was releasing everything through it,” Dwyer said. She took it as an opportunity to build up her mileage, experiment with training and become stronger.

“I was lucky to get to be healthy through the whole thing.”

Her advice for people looking to improve their fitness and become better runners is to start with a small goal, and never lose sight of what motivates them.

Dwyer finished the race in 12th place, with a time of 35 minutes and 13 seconds.

Runners sprinted west on Lake Shore Boulevard, facing breezy headwind for the first half of the run, then taking a hair pin turn at the 5K mark and making their way back to the finish line near Coronation Park.

Elite female runners began their race at 8 a.m., followed by elite male athletes at 8:13 a.m. The remaining participants were released in 50 groups of 100 people each, to ensure physical distancing on the course.

Proof of full vaccination was required for the race, and all participants were asked to stand by a cone in both the staging area and start line area to maintain a distance of six feet apart until they started their race. Masks were obligatory in the pre-race, staging, start line and finish line areas.

Samuel Kinahan, 23, said running was one of the few enjoyable things he could do safely during lock downs. He ran in the male elite category, finishing the race in 39th place with a time of 31:38.

“It’s something you can do individually ... I was consistent with it in hopes that races would come back soon enough.”

Friends Barton Dong and Oliver Chen ran the race together.

“I think I gave everything in my tank this time,” Dong, 24, said. We’re happy to see everyone back on the track.”

He added that training during lock downs in the cold winter months was tough, but as the weather began to warm, he started preparing for the race at a community park near his home.

Chen, 24, said he performed worse in this race than others, but he still feels satisfied.

“I don’t like to run in the park because it’s too cold,” he said, adding that he trained for past marathons indoors at a gym.

Scottish-born runner Sarah Inglis, a physical education teacher in the Township and City of Langley, B.C., crossed the finish line first, recording a personal best of 31:59. Because she isn’t a Canadian citizen, she was not eligible for the national title. Just six seconds behind her was Leslie Sexton, of Markham Ont., who took over one minute off her personal best, recording a time of 32:04

Speaking to the Star minutes after she earned the gold medal, and $5,500 in prize money, Sexton said she knew she was in good shape and ready to “come out here and show everyone what I can do.”

At the start of the pandemic, Sexton, 34, took some time off to recover from two injuries. She said she remembers trying to focus on what she enjoyed about the sport and not comparing herself to others.

“I got used to running while stressed or anxious,” Sexton added. “Coming out of it, I’m in a very good place physically and mentally, and I’m glad I was able to show it today.”

The last time she participated in a road race was almost two years ago, at the 2019 waterfront marathon, Sexton said. The run didn’t go as planned; she dropped out at the 16K mark.

“It was an awful day ... So this is redemption, a bit of coming out of the fog.”

Kingston, Ont.’s Cleo Boyd took the silver medal, with a time of 33 minutes and 21 seconds.

Natasha Wodak, of Surrey, B.C., followed Boyd and Sexton across the line, completing the race in 33:33. She won the national 10K in 2019, with a time of 32:31. Last year, when the race was held virtually, she also took first place, in 32:41.

“I’m satisfied,” Wodak said, adding she didn’t have enough time to recover after running the women’s Olympic marathon in Tokyo in August, where she placed 13th. “I’m happy to be back on the road.”

Ben Flanagan, of Kitchener, Ont., took the win in the national men’s race, completing the course in 28:41. He said the pandemic “shook things up a little bit” when it came to his training regime.

“It became a matter of controlling the controllable,” said Flanagan, 26. He added racing opportunities were limited over the pandemic. “I took the time to really focus on building a strong base and getting myself ready for when races returned.”

Eight seconds after him was Lucas Bruchet, 30, of Vancouver, who finished in second place. He said running was one of the sports not hugely impacted by the pandemic, particularly in Canada, where runners were able to exercise outdoors.

“The races disappeared and we had to shift focus and find ways to stay motivated. There was a bit of an adjustment.”

Benjamin Preisner earned the copper medal, with a time of 28:53. Like Bruchet, he found the motivation aspect to be the biggest challenge.

“Not really knowing what you’re training for is sometimes tough, when you’re putting it out there in a workout and you don’t really know how far you can go and don’t have anything on the calendar.”

All three men said they hadn’t participated in a road race in Canada since 2019. Preisner, 25, was the top Canadian at the Tokyo Olympics men’s marathon, where he finished in 46th place.

Maria Sarrouh is a Toronto-based staff reporter for the Star. Reach her via email: msarrouh@thestar.ca

Source : Toronto Star More   

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Oakville Town Hall turns away unvaccinated brides and grooms

Need to get a marriage license in Oakville, Georgina, Newmarket or Stouffville? Get your proof of vaccination ready. Since vaccine passports became mandatory in Ontario on Sept. 22, anyone who enters municipal facilities in Oakville, Georgina, Newmarket or Stouffville must show proof of full vaccination — including people who need to grab their marriage licenses. “The vast majority of Oakville has chosen to get vaccinated to prevent another lockdown. The town is not going to let the unvaccinated jeopardize the health and activity opportunities of the community,” Oakville mayor Rob Burton said in a Sept. 21 press release. People are required to show proof of vaccination for new marriage license appointments booked in Oakville Town Hall after Sept. 22. Those who booked before Sept. 22, however, won’t need to do so. For Vicky Nicholas, founder of Perfect Planners, an Oakville-based wedding planning company that handles weddings across the GTA, Oakville’s vaccine requirements for marriage license is yet another COVID-19 protocol she has to learn and plan around. “That’s been such a challenge because every single [municipality] interprets restrictions differently,” Nicholas said. “We’ve relied heavily on venues that we’ve been going to in order to get the information from them. It’s been a struggle because there’s no consistency whatsoever.” So far, Oakville’s vaccine requirement hasn’t affected any of the weddings Nicholas is currently handling, but she feels sympathy for unvaccinated people trying to plan weddings and face obstacles because of COVID-19 protocols. “They just don’t have a choice at the moment,” Nicholas said. “They can’t get married in a wedding venue, so their choices are outdoors at the moment or a religious venue. And they can’t have the reception anywhere indoors, which, coming into winter, means that they lose everything if they haven’t been vaccinated.” In other GTA municipalities, including Toronto, people attending appointments for their marriage licenses are only required to wear a mask, maintain social distancing and stay home if they’re experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. Some municipalities, like Ajax, require people to answer a safety screening questionnaire before their appointments. The City of Vaughan gives people the option to get their marriage licenses via curbside pickup. All GTA municipalities except Pickering offer marriage licenses by appointment only. Celina Gallardo is a Toronto-based staff reporter for the Star. Reach her via email: cgallardo@thestar.ca

Oakville Town Hall turns away unvaccinated brides and grooms

Need to get a marriage license in Oakville, Georgina, Newmarket or Stouffville? Get your proof of vaccination ready.

Since vaccine passports became mandatory in Ontario on Sept. 22, anyone who enters municipal facilities in Oakville, Georgina, Newmarket or Stouffville must show proof of full vaccination — including people who need to grab their marriage licenses.

“The vast majority of Oakville has chosen to get vaccinated to prevent another lockdown. The town is not going to let the unvaccinated jeopardize the health and activity opportunities of the community,” Oakville mayor Rob Burton said in a Sept. 21 press release.

People are required to show proof of vaccination for new marriage license appointments booked in Oakville Town Hall after Sept. 22. Those who booked before Sept. 22, however, won’t need to do so.

For Vicky Nicholas, founder of Perfect Planners, an Oakville-based wedding planning company that handles weddings across the GTA, Oakville’s vaccine requirements for marriage license is yet another COVID-19 protocol she has to learn and plan around.

“That’s been such a challenge because every single [municipality] interprets restrictions differently,” Nicholas said. “We’ve relied heavily on venues that we’ve been going to in order to get the information from them. It’s been a struggle because there’s no consistency whatsoever.”

So far, Oakville’s vaccine requirement hasn’t affected any of the weddings Nicholas is currently handling, but she feels sympathy for unvaccinated people trying to plan weddings and face obstacles because of COVID-19 protocols.

“They just don’t have a choice at the moment,” Nicholas said. “They can’t get married in a wedding venue, so their choices are outdoors at the moment or a religious venue. And they can’t have the reception anywhere indoors, which, coming into winter, means that they lose everything if they haven’t been vaccinated.”

In other GTA municipalities, including Toronto, people attending appointments for their marriage licenses are only required to wear a mask, maintain social distancing and stay home if they’re experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.

Some municipalities, like Ajax, require people to answer a safety screening questionnaire before their appointments. The City of Vaughan gives people the option to get their marriage licenses via curbside pickup. All GTA municipalities except Pickering offer marriage licenses by appointment only.

Celina Gallardo is a Toronto-based staff reporter for the Star. Reach her via email: cgallardo@thestar.ca

Source : Toronto Star More   

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