Walk, Jog, Run
Join Maccabi Canada’s race to the finish line
By Lester Glantz
While breaking the tape at the finish line is the goal for every Maccabi Canada athlete competing in the Maccabiah Games, anyone with a dream and a pair of runners can be a part of the team.
Even if the track and field venue in Israel in 2013 is not your destination, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is an opportunity for runners of all ages to contribute to the success of the Canadian team bound for the 19th Maccabiah.
Maccabi Canada has become an official registered charity for the October 14, 2012 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and is looking for grassroots support from walkers, weekend joggers and runners.
“Our goal is not only fundraising but also to encourage as many people as possible to become physically active,” said John De Finney, chairman of Maccabi Canada’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon committee.
De Finney, a chiropractor with a long history in running and a practice in sports medicine, said he would like nothing more than to see individuals of any ability out running and pushing themselves to improve, especially in support of Maccabi Canada athletes.
“We have expanded our participant focus groups and will hopefully have a program in place in the fall conducting training sessions at Jewish schools to help students prepare and train for the event,” said De Finney. “In so doing we also want to raise awareness of the Maccabi Canada organization to encourage young Jewish Canadians to participate in Maccabi events.”
The level of participation is the key to this fundraising event. The 22nd running of the marathon, which started back in 1990 as a half-marathon and 5k distances with 1,500 runners, has grown to include a full distance waterfront marathon and attracts more than 18,000 participants.
De Finney ran in the 5 km race last year and supported 27 others who ran under the Maccabi Canada banner. “People of all abilities participate,” he said. “Some individuals in the 5K walk most of the way. It`s not about how fast you complete the distance, it`s all about participating at whatever level you can.”
“As a runner I had a lot of fun participating,” said De Finney, whose fellow committee members are runners and club members as well. “What struck me most though was the number of individuals who were clearly not runners who were willing to complete the distance.”
“It was very motivating and emotional to see individuals of all ages and abilities wearing T-shirts, costumes and carrying signs promoting their cause. I think that this kind of team work helped to create strong bonds between team members and gave people more resolve to help their particular cause.”
Dave Tepper, another committee member, ran the 5 km in 2011 and has run the Boston Marathon and participated in the 2001 Maccabiah.
“As for anyone participating at the Scotiabank, one of the highlights for me last year was lining up with my friend, Ian, a non-runner, and cheering him on as he completed the 5km race,” said Tepper, who will be involved with the Maccabi Canada Track and Field team for the 2013 Maccabiah.
“To the casual runners, as my friend Ian will attest based on his experience last year, anyone can run at this race. No need to feel intimidated. To the high achievers - set a goal, follow your training program, and I am sure you will be successful.”
“The atmosphere is inspiring as runners from Canadian Olympians such as Reid Coolsaat and Eric Gillis (who both qualified for the 2012 Olympics at last year's marathon) are racing alongside 20,000 runners, all united with a love for running including hundreds of children in the 5km .
The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon sets out to achieve many goals which parallel some of those of Maccabi Canada - encourage a healthy lifestyle, participation in the race as an individual or as part of a group, and raise money for various designated groups including Maccabi.
The Marathon itself, however, is much more than just the run... it's a festive, full weekend that starts with a free 2-day Expo, Friday and Saturday (Oct. 12-13). There's a Saturday morning (free) short International Friendship Run, a fun carbo-load pasta dinner on Saturday night, and a post-race victory party in Nathan Phillips Square on Sunday. It's all part of an unforgettable experience!
To register to race and support Maccabi Canada for the charity event click here and follow the instructions.
“We definitely want to improve on last year both in the number of participants and the money raised,” said De Finney. “Anyone who is interested in participating should start early to get in shape.”
For novice runners or walkers, there is a training programs. Click here to download the program.
In the meantime lace up your runners and walk, jog or run. Get ready to become a Maccabi Canada athlete by participating and supporting Maccabi Canada in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.