About 4,800 people took part in a 10 kilometre run along the waterfront under sunny skies in Toronto early Saturday.
In the Toronto Waterfront 10K event, organized by Canada Running Series, participants ran and walked along Lake Shore Boulevard West. Some pushed babies in strollers. Hundreds lined the route to watch and cheer. Another 200 people took part virtually.
The theme this year was community.
"And you're off!" the announcer said at the start line, as music blared in the background and a horn sounded. "Have an awesome time, everybody! Enjoy this beautiful day!"
Cleo Boyd, a Kingston, Ont. runner who placed first for women, said at the finish line that she think she ran her personal best. Her time was 33 minutes and 11 seconds. She said she was trying to catch up to the men in front of her at the end.
"Pretty good," Boyd said when asked how she was. "A little tired now. But I feel pretty good. Happy about it."
Boyd said it was good to be able to do the run.
"I'm glad we had this event. It's good to be back after a long hiatus with COVID. It's nice to be back on the streets," she said.
Lee Wesselius, of Mountain, Ont., placed first for men, running the event in 29 minutes, 52 seconds.
The start line was west of Ontario Drive, while the finish line was west of Newfoundland Road.
Rachel Hannah, another runner, said it's been hard not to be able to run with other people because she thinks runners push themselves harder when they are running in the midst of a crowd. She said she appreciates being able to run with others.
"it's feel good. It's awesome to be back racing in Toronto. The Toronto running community is amazing. Just the energy of running in Toronto. You can't beat it," she said.
Participants received a souvenir shirt and "unique finisher" medal featuring a design of the Toronto waterfront.
The Canada Running Series says it organizes big city races with eight events in Canada: four in Toronto, two in Vancouver, one in Montreal and one in Edmonton. The organization says events raise money primarily for local charities.
Spokesperson Sam O'Neill said Saturday's event raised $20,000 for charity, including $18,000 for Good Foot Delivery, a courier company in Toronto. The company provides employment opportunities for the neuro-diverse community, according to its website.
Lake Shore Boulevard West was closed from Bathurst Street to Windermere Avenue from 4 a.m. to 11 a.m. for the event, but the road has since been reopened.