So I guess its time to weigh in on this two marathon in one city nonsense.
As most of you in and around Toronto know there are two fall marathon in this city. For those readers outside of Toronto yes its true we have 2 marathons the Scotia Waterfront Marathon and the Toronto Marathon. Not only are these marathons both in the fall but they are only three weeks apart.
Well this situation is now “solved” by the morons that run this fine city. Yes I said it MORONS. The solution was to threaten to kill one of the marathons if one of them didn't move to the fall. In the end the Toronto Marathon agreed to move. Really they didn't have much of a choice.
Now before I continue I should say this. I have no problem having one marathon in the spring and one in the fall. It makes sense and will allow anyone that wants to to run both to do so, that is good (I guess). That's not what really pisses me off about this whole “discussion”. Both races are well run and decent races. I have run the full SWM and the Toronto HM and I don't really have anything negative to say about either race. I liked both.
However to the city of Toronto (those that run socialist city hall) I have a great deal to say about this because this whole thing as been a steaming pile of crap. It has been political opportunism at its absolute worst in the guise of making the city better. Something that these jackasses have become very good at.
So what precipitated the city forcing one of the races to move. Well a couple of things. Lets take a look at them shall we (insert my cynical sarcastic voice here).
The city claims that because of the marathons being so close together they received may angry calls about all the street closures from motorists. This is unacceptable so they had to do something. Hmmmm ...... I would be laughing out loud right now if not for the urge to scream.
If this is the case and the city is so concerned about road closures and traffic complaints then I am sure that I will at least see some of the following things take place.
An end to the labour day parade. I mean it closes down main streets, brings in no money and the only ones watching are people waiting to cross the street.
An end to Taste of the Danforth. I mean come on the once great event has become nothing more then a corporate sell fest. Not only that it closes down the busiest street in Toronto and it lasts 3 days.
While were at it lets get rid of the Molson Indy. What an inconvenience closing down the Lakeshore for 3 days just so race cars can go around and around.
Funny this is the same bunch of dolts at City Hall that were not concerned at all about motorist complaints (or residents for that matter) when they decided to tear up St. Clair Ave in order to create a dedicated streetcar lane. This 30 million 1.5 year project that once complete would save riders an entire 90 seconds on the 8 km trip soon became a 90 million 5 year project that cost many St. Clair merchants their businesses. Add to that the creation of speed bumps on any residential street that isn't a dirt road and you can see just how important keeping motorist happy is.
The reality is that they manufactured this issue to make it look like they were doing something. It helps take the focus of all the real problems of the city which are massive and it gets easy votes. Since there is little to no support of the running community in Toronto there will be little backlash and the city can claim that its working with and listening to the citizens of the city. Talk about a farce.
The second thing I keep hearing is that this will create a more recognizable International Event. This is the same argument that was being used to call for only one marathon. In fact this morning I heard Mayor Miller claim that this would begin to elevate SWM to the level of New York and Chicago. What utter nonsense. I mean are you serious?
New York and Chicago (also London, Boston, Berlin etc.) have something Toronto doesn't have and never will have. Its called fan, spectator and city support. In these cities marathons are seen as all encompassing events. In Toronto they are a traffic hassles. In fact the only news reports you hear in the days leading up to the marathons are about road closures. NICE! Last year the actual race was hardly even mentioned in major papers including the sports sections. Who won... who cares!! For either marathon to grow to NYC proportions it would have to be loved like the Toronto Maple Leafs and that aint going to happen.
This is not going to change. I mean really lets say you are going to run a fall marathon. You live in the mid west and are going to travel to the race. Will it be Chicago, Philadelphia, New York or Toronto. Can you say one of these things is not like the other. I think you can. But hey I am sure that Toronto will become a huge destination race. Maybe we can bus the 20 spectators to different parts of the course to cheer.
By the way last fall I had to do a local race as I had run Paris in the spring and I chose .... wait for it.... neither. I ran Hamilton instead.
I am glad that both races survive and are now in different seasons but I also feel bad for the Toronto Marathon as it will have to compete with Ottawa and Mississauga. Good luck with that.
And what Toronto fall marathon will I be running this year (before the switch)? Well again this year it will be neither as the plan right now is to do Chicago.