Nike celebrates the 13,000 athletes who participated in the Nike Women Toronto weekend June 11-14 who came together to run and train their way to a personal best.
Some 10,000 runners pushed themselves to go farther and faster while running the Nike Women 15K on the Toronto Islands, through neighborhoods, parklands and along the runways of Billy Bishop airport, all set against the backdrop of downtown Toronto.
"As a boxer, running is an important part of my training," said Marlen Esparza, who finished 14th alongside Joan Benoit Samuelson in a time of 1:01:44, "I've been ramping up my mileage and speed for the last 10 years. I've also been watching Joanie for as long as I can remember. She's been my hero, and to be able to have her support on the course to pace me through some tough miles, and finish strong in the top 20, was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me. She made my run."
"At the world level in triathlon, everything comes down to the run, and it's imperative that I can run with the best runners" said Paula Findlay, the Canadian triathlete who finished first today in a time of 53:40. "Winning today's Nike Women Toronto 15K gives me confidence that I can run a fast 10K at the end of a triathlon, after a hard swim and bike. Running with pure runners is the best way to test myself, and I'm really pleased with how I executed the race."
"There's so much power in the women's running community," said Joan Benoit Samuelson, who has been competing for over five decades. "I see more women than ever before embracing the sport — whether it's the new runner finishing their first race or the more experienced runner improving her time so she can set a new goal. It was fantastic to bring a Nike Women's run to Canada for the first time and reflect the passion of Toronto's women's running community."
Over the Nike Women’s Weekend, over 3,000 athletes were hosted in the Crystal Coliseum, where they worked out with 10 Nike Master Trainers who led athlete-inspired studio, HIT and gym workouts every 90 minutes, for four days.
Nike Women Toronto is part of the Nike Women Race Series – the largest women's race series in the world, with distances ranging from 5K to 15K to Half Marathon. The goal is to drive the women’s sport movement to grow and evolve, both as women bond with one another and as Nike expands the sport and fitness lifestyle in new places. Connecting to a global community of female athletes, #BETTERFORIT stands out as Nike’s largest initiative to support and motivate women’s athletic journeys. If you’re brave enough to try, you’re strong enough to finish.