Charities lose in Toronto’s “marathon wars”

publication date: Oct 27, 2011
Pressure to ease traffic stresses caused by the city's road race events has once again caused conflict among local race directors.  The clash of egos and flurry of City Hall lobbying could be considered funny except that the millions of charity dollars raised by these events  is at stake.

Two high profile runs are at the centre of the controversy: Toronto's Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon with a goal of raising $3 million for charity, and the annual Sporting Life run that raises money for Camp Oochigeas.

In renegotiating run dates, Sporting Life co-owner David Russell was unhappy with the 2012 May date assigned to them - a move that put their race one week after yet another marathon sponsored by  Goodlife.  

Stressing that the move would put the Sporting Life race in jeopardy, he worried that "donor fatigue" would harm the race's fundraising abilities.

For now, all parties including recipient charities are waiting on city officials to respond to new race date applications.

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