The streets of Toronto will see some epic battles waged this weekend. Superman vs. the Flash. A runner in lederhosen against chafing. And, most importantly, the battle against the clock.
It's that time of the year, the return of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM), and the race's fourth annual partnership with Guinness World Records. Much like GWR's relationship with the Virgin London Marathon, an official adjudicator will be on-site at the race to verify on the spot whether or not the seven pre-registered record applicants were successful in their attempts at glory.
This year's race features seven total competitors across both the full and half marathon events, and the attempts are wide-ranging. Here's a quick look at all those participating on Sunday, many of whom are racing for a cause.
Michal Kapral: fastest half marathon juggling three objects
Already the owner of the fastest marathon ( 2 hr 50 min 12 sec) and fastest 10K ( 36 min 27 sec) "joggling" with three objects, the 42-year-old Toronto father of two is looking for a career triple crown with a half marathon record this year.
Time to beat: 1 hr 15 min
In his own words: "As a kid, I used to flip through the Guinness Book of World Records trying to find records that I could break. When I was about 11, I read that there was a record for joggling, a combination of jogging and juggling. The guy in the book had run an entire marathon while joggling, which I thought was the most amazing feat. "
Charity: People to People
Stéphane Hetherington: fastest half marathon as a superhero
Well isn't this fitting. Already having broken the record for the fastest full marathon dressed as a superhero (2 hr 33 min 58 sec at the SWTM in 2012), Stéphane is bringing his trademark costume of The Flash to the half marathon portion of the race, hoping for a repeat of his success from two years ago.
Time to beat: 1 hr 30 min
In his own words: "I’ve run five marathons, two in costume. This will be my first half marathon. I prepare by running about 100 km (62 mi) per week, plus some other fun stuff!"
Charity: Hands Across the Nations
John Scott Clarke: fastest half marathon as a superhero
And who more appropriate for The Flash to try and beat for a record than the Man of Steel. John will be dressed as Superman as he and Stéphane battle out for superhero half marathon supremacy. At age 6, John suffered from such debilitating pain in his legs that he couldn't walk. Now, he's racing to raise money for the hospital that treated him as a child and allowed him to run marathons today.
Time to beat: 1 hr 30 min
In his own words: "My family called me their little Superman - 30 years later, I am now 36 years old and want to pay it forward for the hospital that did so much for me then, that I am now able to run a record-setting half marathon, when 30 years ago I couldn't even walk."
Charity: Toronto Sick Kids Hospital
Lindsay Santagato: fastest marathon in firefighter's uniform
In this, her third marathon, Lindsay has upped the stakes by going for her first career record. A graduate of the Ontario Fire Academy and current volunteer firefighter, the 21-year-old will don full gear while running for the Canadian Liver Foundation.
Time to beat: 6 hr 30 min
In her own words: "I chose CLF because my brother passed away from liver and kidney failure. I am running this marathon for him."
Charity: Canadian Liver Foundation
Jeremiah Sacay: fastest marathon in a baseball uniform
This 26-year-old registered nurse from Toronto is running in his third STWM, attempting his first record, and has endured training six days a week while still working a part-time job at nearby Mt. Sinai Hospital.
Time to beat: 4 hours
In his own words: "I am attempting a [record] because I found out regular people like me can go through with setting a record in their home city or country."
Günther Go: fastest marathon wearing lederhosen
Günther Go is the preferred pseudonym of the man hoping to bring a little national pride to the STWM. Originally from Austria, Günther will certainly be one of the more unique looking and easily to spot competitors on race day.
Time to beat: 4 hours
In his own words: I do not mind if you laugh, stare or point at me but please give generously for The Children's Aid Foundation. I want to help individuals who cannot help themselves.
Charity: Children's Aid Foundation
Bridget Burns: fastest marathon dressed as a zookeeper
This is Bridget's sixth marathon, but would be her second record. She ran the GoodLife Fitness Toronto Marathon earlier this year in 3 hr 52 min 27 in full boxing gear. For this record, she'll need to be dressed in khaki zookeeper shirt and trousers/shorts, a brown belt, safari hat, and carrying at least one stuffed animal for the whole race.
Time to beat: 4 hr 30 min
In her own words: "I enjoy challenging myself to tests and not allowing fear or pain to conquer me. There are many runners surrounding you, but you are racing against yourself, your own fears, your own battles and self doubt."
Charity: Friends of High Park Zoo
Make sure to follow Guinness World Records on Twitter @gwr on race day to keep up with all the results and to see if your favourite runner broke their record!
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