Canada Running Series transformed its Yonge St. 10K, which struggled to find an identity during a busy season of Toronto races, into Canada’s most exciting new summer race.
The aptly named Waterfront 10K pulls double-duty. It provides runners with a way to kick off the summer with a big city race, and it serves as a preview for Canada’s big fall extravaganza, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. The 10K surveys a chunk of the first half of the fall marathon course, but has a special character of its own.
CRS teamed up with Lululemon, injecting a lighter, fun and highly creative atmosphere. Case in point: after sprinting across the finish line, runners were treated to a doughnut shop in the chute. Over the Moon Bake Shop provided hundreds of the glazed, dipped and frosted freebies for post-race carb replenishment. It was just one of the many clever little touches at the Waterfront 10K that aren’t seen at the typical Canadian road race.
Unsurprisingly, the race sold out well in advance to its late-June date. Lululemon also provided a simple tech T-shirt and had a hand in the elegant finisher’s medal design. In total, more than 7,000 runners lined up to experience the first edition of the Waterfront 10K, including some of Canada’s best runners, on a warm, sunny day, just as the heat of summer was about to take over Toronto. And, of course, because it’s a Lululemon event, there was a massive festival-like experience offered after the race, which included a group yoga session.
The Toronto Waterfront 10K is our pick for race of the year because it did something that’s incredibly hard to achieve: in its inaugural year it surprised the running community with new ideas. We’re excited to see what’s in store for year two of this summer running party. Be sure to sign up early, as our guess is that it will sell out as fast as those doughnuts disappeared into runners’ tummies.
The Golden Shoe Awards are CR‘s annual year-end recap and the 2017 edition originally appeared in the January-February 2018 print issue.