Thousands of people from around the world competed in two GTA marathons despite rain, wind, and generally miserable conditions on Sunday.
The annual Toronto Marathon started at Mel Lastman Square at 9 a.m. and shut down roads for hours as runners headed south on Yonge Street into the downtown core. The route then snaked along Rosedale Valley Road and Lake Shore Boulevard, ending at Queen’s Park.
The first man across the finish line was Brendan Kenny, a 25-year-old teacher from Dundas, Ont., with a time of 2:27:20.
“This is my second marathon, so I’m happy to take the win today,” Kenny said. “I couldn’t be more happy to be honest.”
Melissa Begin, a 34-year-old respiratory therapist from Nashville, Tenn., won the women’s title in 2:54:51.
Organizers estimate the race raised more than $1 million for charities including Japan earthquake relief efforts and the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation.
This year was the first the marathon has been held in spring in 34 years. It was moved from October after drivers complained it was too close to the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, previously held on the last Sunday in September.
The Mississauga Marathon also happened Sunday, with the men’s champion, Josphat Nzinga, finishing in 2:27:50 and Tracy Wollschlager winning for the women with a time of 3:01:15.