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Thousands take to Toronto’s High Park for annual Spring Run Off

The Race Roster Spring Run Off ran this morning in Toronto’s High Park and saw several thousand finishers participate in the classic 8K and 5K road races. The event is the first in the highly acclaimed Canada Running Series and is also a historic event, running today for the 41st time.

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Despite its name (and the date on the calendar), runners were met with cool temps and blustery conditions. However, that didn’t seem to prevent participants and their families from flocking to High Park.


Last year’s defending champion Tristan Woodfine of Cobden, Ont., who represents the Speed River Track Club was again the first finisher in a time of 24:34– a pace of 3:04 per kilometre. Woodfine was a full ten seconds clear of fellow teammate and Guelph-resident Trevor Hofbauer who ran 24:44. Kyle Grieve, also of Guelph, was third in a time of 24:50.

On the women’s side, Leslie Sexton of London, Ont. was the winner in a time of 27:51 (3:28/K). Laura Desjardins (28:49) of Toronto and Rachel Hannah (29:18) of Guelph were second and third, respectively.

Race director Alan Brookes (left) with top male and female finishers from the 2018 Race Roster Spring Run Off. Photo: Canada Running Series

In the 5K, Jack Djondric-Powell and Olivia Roussel, both of Toronto, were the top male and female finishers in times of 17:03 and 18:42.

The course, which runs entirely within and on the outskirts of the park, is infamously hilly and concludes with a steep 300m ascent of Spring Rd. So grueling, the race now includes a “kill the hill” challenge whereby participants are timed for how quickly they cover the race’s final hill. Fortunately, all are rewarded soon after with the reprieve of the finish line where a spectacular medal awaits.

The event also raises money for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.

In total, there were an estimated 4,000 finishers in both races. The next Canada Running Series event is the Banque Scotia 21K de Montreal, which includes half-marathon, 10K and 5K races. It will take place April 21st and 22nd from Parc Jean-Drapeau.