Toronto’s first major road race of the year is annually the Race Roster Spring Run-Off, the first event of the Canada Running Series, a circuit of some of the top road races in the nation.
High Park is the site of the April 7 race, which is contested both over 5K and 8K, the latter a relatively rare distance on the road running scene.
The defending Canada Running Series champions – the runners with the best overall performances in 2017 across all CRS-organized races – are Tristan Woodfine and Leslie Sexton. They’ll test their spring fitness along with thousands of others. The course records are rather mind-blowing including 22:35 by Daniel Komen (a solid time for any 5K runner, no less, let alone 8K) and 25:56 for women, held by Olympian Jill Hunter.
A popular (or unpopular, depending on your love for hills) race feature is the ‘Kill The Hill’ competition, which is a standalone challenge within the greater race. The fastest times from the base of the hill to the summit are awarded King and Queen of the Hill prizes.
“The Race Roster Spring Run-Off is a rust buster early in the season to give you confidence going into races later in the season,” Woodfine says. “It’s a hilly course so you just throw time out the window and just race the competitors.”
Sexton will be doubling back shortly after the Race Roster Spring Run-Off to race the Scotiabank Montreal Half-Marathon, in part held on the Formula One race track. The Montreal Half is the second Canada Running Series event of the year with other races held in B.C. and Alberta in addition to Ontario and Quebec.
Rachel Hannah, Trevor Hofbauer, Ross Proudfoot and Blair Morgan too headline the men’s and women’s fields.
With files from Paul Gains/Canada Running Series.