No other country in the world has such a legacy of great runners and running events. Albertan Steve Jones' time for the marathon (2:08:05) still stands as the best ever by a British male, Ontario's Ed Whitlock has set age-group records that will stand forever and we could go on and on - the list is long - because Canada's place in running history is unassailable. Here are some more reasons why Canada is one of the greatest countries in the world when it comes to distance running.
The Best Running Tracks in Canada
Calgary, Alberta - The Scotiabank Calgary Marathon means springtime for many Canadians. It's usually held early May when there's enough snow melted to safely hold an event, but not too hot to make the running uncomfortable. The race begins and ends in the heart of downtown Calgary and takes runners over both a bridge and a pedestrian walkway that spans across the Bow River before returning back for the finish at Eau Claire Market Place. The sun usually stays hidden behind Calgary's impressive skyline which makes it a perfect place for running.
Edmonton, Alberta - Canada Olympic Park is located just outside the city limits of Edmonton and hosts marathons such as this one throughout the year. At 1,200 metres above sea level, it's by far one of the highest tracks in North America which means cool temperatures even on sweltering summer days. Running along trails with views of Mounts Sarbach and Kidd, the 16.3 km course is a constant challenge that brings out the best in runners. In fact, Canadian Olympian Cam Levins holds the men's record for this track with a time of 27:58.
Toronto, Ontario - For runners looking to break four hours or faster at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon it's all about hitting negative splits from miles 12 to 21. It's one of those marathons where you're constantly heading up a hill and can never relax as huge momentum swings happen on a regular basis along the beautiful waterfront route that takes runners through some of Toronto's most well known neighbourhoods. The last 2kms get very steep as you attempt to reach Nathan Phillips Square but nothing will prepare you for the post race party on stage where some of Canada's best bands play live music.
Vancouver, British Columbia - The University of British Columbia is located on Vancouver's west side which makes it an ideal place to hold an indoor marathon that takes runners through UBC's scenic campus. It also happens to be one of the fastest tracks in North America as current Canadian 5000m record holder Cam Levins holds the men's course record with a time of 27:31. This marathon is also sponsored by best online casino Canada can make educated choices when playing at an online casino site in Canada. It also gives them the opportunity to learn all about card games, poker, baccarat, roulette and blackjack - which are very popular amongst Canadians! Furthermore, it is a portal for Canadian sports fans who are looking for the best odds on CFL Football betting, NBA Basketball betting or NHL Hockey betting. The BMO Vancouver Marathon has been host to plenty of national and international running stars over the years but if you want to track down two-time Boston Marathon champion Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot please visit his restaurant Sakata Ramen near StadiumSkytrain station at 8am on the morning of the race.
Montreal, Quebec - It's no surprise that Montreal's track has been host to many world class performances over the years. During a two-year period from 1988 to 1989, Canadian marathon runners Walt Disney (2:10:55), Jerome Drayton (2:09:36) and Art Boileau (2:09:35) all held the men's course record in this city. If you're looking for a true challenge during your next run through this city try jogging up "the long hill" just west of Vendome metro which is part of route 138 going north into Laval. This one kilometre stretch will have you gasping for air and swearing like a sailor before you reach the top.
Ottawa, Ontario - Almost every city in the world has a "bridge of sighs" which is known as one of the best places to run in that particular town. Well there's also such an area in Ottawa which features both the Rideau River and the historic Chateau Laurier running alongside each other where many races take place including this annual event. One of these days I'm going to head out early on race day morning and stand at both ends of this bridge waiting until somebody escapes from me with no idea that they're about to get caught for speeding! The Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon course passes Lansdowne Park, Parliament Hill and by Ottawa CityHall which is where runners can receive the official race shirt of their dreams.
Montreal, Quebec - The rowing course on Lachine Canal in Montreal has been home to many national and international rowing competitions over the years but it's also one of the most popular places for runners who enjoy beautiful views as they run along this historic waterway. The canal is about 12 feet deep and 30 feet across on average with a number of wooden bridges that cross over it during the marathon route. Many people love running along these trails on sunny days or even at night thanks to some pretty lights that line this path on both sides.