17 years of the Toronto Waterfront Marathon

17 years of the Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Entering its 18th year, the 2017 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon will take place on Sunday, Oct. 22. In 2015, the marathon became an elite level race when it was designated an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Gold Label. Now that the race is one of the most important in North America, we thought it would be interesting to look at the growth of the marathon using the historical marathon results. 

Total marathon runners

Recorded full marathon runs (2000 - 2016)

The event has steadily increased in numbers

Note: Disqualified runners were excluded

Source: Canada Running Series and Sportstats

Between 2000 and 2016 the marathon has seen its numbers increase by more than 600%. Over 3,000 people have run the full course since 2011 and that number peaked in 2014 with 3,967 runners (excluding those disqualified).

Results from each edition of the marathon can be found here. Information related to where each runner originates, their unique race number, full name, and official race time is available. You can also search through the Canada Running Series website, which contains results for the half-marathon and 5K.

When do they finish?

Finishing times of 39,506 marathon runners (2000 - 2016)

Most common finishing time

449 runners at 3:58

Note: Disqualified runners were excluded

Source: Canada Running Series and Sportstats

It's incredible how closely 39,506 finishing times follow a normal distribution. It appears there is a positive skew towards faster run times. I'd guess that the growth of the competition and the different skill levels now competing has contributed to this imbalance. The difference in finishing times between first and last place has increased 33% between 2000 and 2016. The average time for all marathon results is 4 hours and 14 minutes. The best time was recorded in 2013 at 2:07:04.8.

Best running times by year

1st place running times (2000 - 2016)

The 9/11 attacks occured just 12 days before this race, which meant there were less elite international runners.

Best time (2001): 2:45:20.8

The fastest recorded run was made in 2013 by Deressa Chimsa of Ethiopia

Best time (2013): 2:07:04.8

Note: Disqualified runners were excluded

Source: Canada Running Series and Sportstats

While the race is becoming more competitive, there are notable payouts for the fastest runners. Here is what is up for grabs this year. Good luck!

1st$25,000


2nd$15,000


3rd$8,000


4th$6,000


5th$4,000


6th$3,000


7th$2,500


8th$2,000


Running animation gif sourced from here

A breakdown of the running numbers

17 years of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

By MapTO

Click anywhere on the map to follow the path

The Trent-Severn Subway Map

The Trent-Severn Subway Map