The Canada Running Series (CRS) got the 2023 racing season started on Saturday in Toronto’s High Park with the 46th edition of the Spring Run-Off. A massive crowd of 3,500 showed up to run the various events, including the always-competitive 8K race. Jeremy Coughler and Sasha Gollish took the wins in the 8K, running 23:49 and 26:56, respectively. As always, the CRS race doubled as a fundraiser for several charities, with the current total sitting at an amazing sum of $33,870. Fundraising for the race remains open until April 30).
two straight wins
Just a week ago, Gollish won the Around the Bay 30K, but she clearly recovered in time for Saturday’s run, as she won the race by a comfortable margin of 22 seconds. She ran a fast 3:21 per kilometre over the hilly 8 km course, beating Erin Teschukwho finished in second place in 27:18. Third place went to Laura Desjardins (who also finished in third at the 2022 Spring Run-Off) in 28:09. With two wins in as many weekends, Gollish is rolling to start her 2023 road racing season.
While Coughler didn’t win a race last weekend, he did secure a second straight win at the Spring Run-Off, as he was the defending champion going into Saturday’s run. He won the 2022 race in 23:37, and although he wasn’t able to beat that time, his 23:51 at this year’s event is still seriously impressive. Coughler’s overall pace for the 8 km run works out to 2:58 per kilometre, and it helped him stay in front of second-place finisher Rob Kankowho stopped the clock in 24:19. Alex Neuffer rounded out the podium in 24:30.
a fundraising run
There was much more to the Spring Run-Off than just fast racing. The main charity for this year’s run is Parkdale Community Food Bank, which services more than 6,000 Toronto families in need every month. So far, CRS and the Spring Run-Off participants have raised $28,500 for the food bank, and with the fundraising window not closing until the end of April, organizers expect that total to surpass $30,000.
On top of the fundraising for Parkdale Community Food Bank, the race supported the Trans Canada Trail, Trees for Life and the Canada Running Series Foundation. Fundraising for those organizations currently sits at just over $3,000, bringing the total fundraising efforts for the Spring Run-Off to nearly $34,000.
To find out more about the CRS fundraising efforts, visit the organization’s website. For full results from the Spring Run-Off, click here.