On Thursday, Athletics Canada and the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon announced they will be holding a marathon relay challenge this fall, on what would have been the STWM race weekend and the national marathon championship on October 17 and 18. Teams consisting of four elite athletes (consisting of male, female and mixed categories, which will include two runners of each gender) will compete for prizes.
Within those teams, runners can split up the distances however they choose, as long as everyone covers a minimum of 5K and the total equals a marathon. Runners have all weekend to complete their distances and can upload via Garmin Connect or Strava. The virtual aspect will also make teams extra competitive, as runners don’t need to be in the same city to participate in the same team.
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While these results won’t count toward Olympic qualification or world rankings, it will give runners the opportunity to be competitive and use the fitness they’ve been building over the summer.
“There are still athletes putting the time in, not knowing when they get to race or compete,” says Matt Gentes, Athletics Canada’s Chief Operating Officer. “As opposed to outright canceling and having nothing, which we could have easily done, we thought we would put something together that is fun and that is something that can put their training to use.”
Athletics Canada is set to announced their World Half-Marathon team this coming Monday. The championship is the first that the running world has seen since March. It will take place in Gdynia, Poland on October 17.
For recreational runners looking to take part in a similar event, STWM is also running a marathon relay. Runners can sign up here.