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Georgina Marathon returns for second annual event and there is still room

Marathon, half-marathon and new 5K scheduled for Sept. 11

After having held just one event, the Georgina Marathon and Half Marathon has already become some of a fan favourite in the Southern Ontario running scene for good reason, and it’s not just the roaming alligator — although we kinda love that. And, although numbers continue to increase, there is still space in the Sept. 11 race.

The course begins and ends at De La Salle Park in Jacksons Point and runs along scenic Lake Simcoe through quiet lakeside communities in Georgina. It is a flat and fast Boston Qualifier Marathon course. So fast, that the 2021 edition had more Boston qualifiers per capita than any other race in the GTA. It’s also quiet, with little traffic, and no need to worry about traffic and intersections. There’s a community feel, and people are digging it.

Not to rest on their running laurels, the team behind the event, Sandie Orlando and Cindy Lewis-Caballero are working at making it even better by bringing back some popular unique features and adding even more including a new 5K distance to encourage new runners to take part in the competition.

“We did that so that we can encourage more people to participate and come out,” Orlando says. “The half marathon and full marathon are pretty daunting distances for a new runner.”

But the innovations don’t end there.

Again this year, there will be a self-serve aid station available for runners so athletes can bring along their own nutrition in a well-marked bottle or bag with their bib number on it.

“You know, we kind of want to treat everyone like elite runners, right?” says Orlando, who, along with Lewis-Caballero, have athletic backgrounds, especially as coaches in the multi-sport world.  “People like to stay with their own nutrition that they've trained with. And we recognize that.”

In addition, this year the event will introduce body marking.

“It’s kind of nice to know if you're chasing someone down the road if they're in your age category or not if you're going for a placing right,” Orlando says. “Or maybe it's inspiring for you because the person ahead of you is younger or whatever the case may be. But we're making it optional and we will see if people like that.”

In addition, running clubs and teams can put up a tent in the finishing area of the park.

“We've got a whole area designated so teams can come out and support each other and have their own space,” explains Orlando.

Aid stations will be located every 2.5 to 3 kilometres throughout the course.

The Georgina area is popular with cyclists and is nice and flat, which should present an opportunity for some great times for those hoping to qualify for Boston. For others, it is a fantastic first half-marathon experience, with a gorgeous and fast course.

Even at the end of the race, the organizers are proving a very creative lot. Instead of the standard mealy bagels and mushy bananas post-race, every runner will receive a delicious breakfast sandwich. For real. It’s all part of the plan to create a quality post-race experience for participants along with friends and family who cheer them on.

“We want people to stick around afterwards and enjoy and celebrate and that sort of thing,” Orlando says. “So we have The Briars (a local resort and host hotel of the event) will be in the park doing a barbecue for us as well. But for the runners, we've got a breakfast sandwich that they will get after they cross the finish line. And then we will have the barbecue and the breakfast items and coffee and that sort of thing for sale for the spectators.”

All finishers will receive a custom Georgina Marathon T-Shirt and finishers medal as well as a swag bag from race sponsors.

For more information or to register check out the event website at the link.

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