Malindi Elmore told the papers that, running along the streets of Toronto, she could hear the cheers of the crowd. Elmore, two-time Olympian, Canada’s second all-time fastest female marathon runner, won the Canadian Championships on Sunday at the TCS Waterfront Marathon and gracefully completed her goal, afterwards watching the hockey game with her kids.
How many of you did the same thing this weekend?
How many of you raced on your city’s streets and heard the roar of the fans and completed a race and then celebrated with family and friends?
Racing, for most of us, isn’t about Championships or the Olympics. It’s about pushing boundaries and trying something hard and intentionally putting ourselves in discomfort, only to find new finish lines and achieve something that, for most people, is out of reach. Racing is the one day the average back-of-the-pack runner becomes a star—when we’re all Auston Matthews, Caster Semenya, and Bianca Andreescu.
In-person racing is back in full force and with it comes corrals packed with new runners. Talking to the team from the Running Room, from ASICS, from New Balance, they were all so excited by the new people they met. Here was a chance for someone, someone who perhaps started running during COVID, to get to feel like Malindi Elmore.
In Toronto, Trevor Hofbauer won the Canadian Championships for the men. Hofbauer is tall and strong and young and fiercely independent, he’s trained in part by Malindi Elmore, and when my 9-year-old approached his 5K finish line, his heart skipped a beat and he smiled widely, just like my friend Trev.
When the Stampeders play, it’s at McMahon Stadium in Calgary. When the Senators play, it’s at Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre. The Canucks play at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver. Trevor and Malindi run on the same course as my 9-year-old, the same course as you.
Racing is a celebration of running. It’s a chance to take your fancy sneakers out for a spin on a race course. It’s the Autobahn, the Grand Prix. For people who will never play professional sports, it’s a day when we can all be Eliud Kipchoge. And here’s the thing, like the TCS Waterfront Marathon, the Running Room, New Balance and ASICS, our community is always open, and welcomes everyone.
This weekend, there’s the Niagara Falls International Marathon. And next month, there’s the Road2Hope Marathon in Hamilton. Also in November, there’s the rescheduled Army Run, the Boundary Bay Marathon in Delta, British Columbia and the Foolish Fox Trail in London, Ontario. In December, there’s the 24-hour challenge in Tremblant, Quebec, the Boxing Day run in Hamilton, and the Big Elf Run around Vancouver’s Stanley Park. Racing never quits. There’s always another chance to chase a dream.
Always a new goal in sight.
How many of you already know what you’re racing this spring?
Racing is back in our sport and running’s popularity is once again peaking—from Malindi Elmore’s crossover appeal to Eliud Kipchoge’s decency while rewriting history to all of you, welcoming new runners and returning to racing across Canada, in droves, and around the world.
This past weekend was a triumph for Malindi and Trevor and my 9-year-old.
Let’s keep it going, because a triumph for running is a triumph for you.