Last week the Sporting Life 10K announced Cory Freedman, race director of the Toronto Women’s Run Series and a well-known figure in the Toronto running community, will be taking over at the helm of one of this country’s biggest races. Canadian Running caught up with Freedman to ask her how she is going to improve the race after a tough 2013 edition.
Canadian Running: Last year there were organizational issues with the race. How are you going to make sure those don’t happen again?
Cory Freedman: The first step will be to identify the challenges, which includes the finish line and some gaps in the presences of marshals along the route. Looking at the volunteer component and increasing the communications to runners is also a priority. So we will look at and highlight the top three priorities, the top issues to runners, and address those.
CR: Do you have any ideas you’ve found worked well in other races that you might like to change?
CF: The event is wonderful. We can see that by the support from people across the city. People are committed to the cause of being involved in a run down Yonge Street and being able to raise over $2 million for kids with cancer. It’s a great event. We see the support but what we need to do now is focus on some of the challenges of last year, such as logistics. We need to enhance the things that work well while continuing to improve the things which have been a challenge in the past.
CR: Do you have any plans to grow the race from 27,000 participants?
CF: Right now the plan is to continue to keep it capped at 27,000. Our priority is to make sure we can maximize our fundraising dollars, maximize our efficiency and organization behind the scenes and maximize the participants’ racing experience.
What we want to do is look at what we have and how can we enhance that. We want to encourage more people to fundraise. That is our goal. We are about raising money for Camp Oochigeas. Our priority will be to enable and support our participants to get out and raise money and make a difference in kids’ lives. And we want to do that by delivering a top quality event with people who are committed to it.
CR: Do you have any fundraising goal in mind?
CF: Last year we raised $2.2 million so were striving for that again and hopefully we can raise more.
CR: Do you have any exciting other news that runners might like to hear about?
CF: We are working on a great new medal. We are working on a really cool race shirt. We are working on enhancing the finish line and our post-race site. We want to make the race day experience a win-win for the kids who are living with cancer, the participants, the volunteers, and everyone else in Toronto. We want to be able to enable people to get up and be fit and active, and come out to support a great cause.
CR: Any final comments?
It’s a really wonderful opportunity to be able to be a part of [the Sporting Life 10K] and take the event to the level that we think it can get to, which I feel very confident we are able to do
I was born and raised in Toronto. I’m a runner. Running down Yonge Street is iconic and this 10K has always been a part of the running scene, along with other great events. We do great running events in this city and Sporting Life is definitely part of that equation. I, and other race directors here in the city, all want the same thing, and that to bring great races to the people of Toronto and the GTA.