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Inspirational Steps

20 May 2018

01On Sunday May 20th, the sixth annual Inspirational Steps event involving runners/walkers was held. Unlike last year, the weather was perfect and reflected in a bigger turnout than ever before. Marathon participants started out at Gursikh Sabha Canada in Scarborough in two waves – 4:30am for first timers and walkers, and 6am for runner/joggers. Half marathon participants started out at Ramgarhia Gurdwara on Rivalda Road at 8am. The 12km participants started at Sikh Spiritual Center at Rexdale at 8:47am and joined the marathon/half marathon participants along Finch Avenue. The last and largest group started at 9:30am from Malton Singh Sabha Gurdwara and, because of the numbers, was started in two waves. The challenge this year was along Airport Road and, in particular, Derry Road where it was hard for all the participants to manage on the sidewalk and boulevard but volunteers helped them along the way and through the main intersections. The water station volunteers this year were there in greater numbers and this helped as the weather was warm although not hot.

In total there were 604 participants that finished, although there were more who started and some did not have their race bib with them so we were unable to acknowledge their participation. The fastest marathon runner was Surat Chahal who completed the distance in 4h18m9s. The fastest woman was Talwinderjit Gill who completed the marathon distance in 5h14m42s. Both were presented the Ajmer Cup of Inspiration which they will hold for one year and on which their names will be added. The half marathon’s fastest man was Harjot Bains, who completed the distance in 1h49m49s, and fastest woman was Keerit Dhaliwal, who completed the distance in 2h24m41s. All these winners will receive a free entry into the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon to be held in October. Full results are now available, including the 12km and 5km winners and all those who participated. This year there were 15 children under the 6 year age category who completed 1km, with the youngest being Gursehj and Nyra, both one year old. The event also had the first ever four person relay marathon team (two men and two women) who completed the distance 5h36m13s. This year also saw the participation of students from Guru Tegh Bahadur International School as well as members of the school staff and principal who actively supported community engagement.

Awards were presented in different age categories so that participants were competing with those in the same age group. This made it a challenge for the timers since the turnout was the biggest ever, but the volunteers’ time, effort, teamwork and patience helped to pick out the winners. As this took some time, some winners had left but hopefully the lessons learned from this will help to plan future events better.