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Thousands of runners lace up for 12th annual Honda Waterfront Half-Marathon in Barrie

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Runners of all ages participated in the 12th edition of the Honda Waterfront Half-Marathon in Barrie Sunday morning.

The event raised more than $10,000 for eight local charities.

The overcast and rainy skies didn't stop the 2,221 runners, a record number for the annual event hosted by Honda and MultiSport Canada.

"It's overwhelming," said Carolynne Simons, MultiSport's communications director. "Today has been all about not just the participation finishing times, but about all the community coming together. We really do take this event as a focus for participation and community."

The event offered 5-kilometre and 10-kilometre runs, a 21.1-kilometre half-marathon, and a kids' Fun Run.

Among the eight charities being supported was Soles-4-Souls, who, along with BioPed, donates shoes to under-developed countries.

"I actually had the privilege of travelling to Honduras in 2020," said Jasmine Basner, a pedorthist from BioPed. "And seeing firsthand [the impact] the shoes that we have can make a difference in people's lives." 

As for the top runners of the day, Alliston's Atsushi Shimada was the first to cross the finish line, finishing the 5-kilometre run in 16 minutes and 51 seconds.

"Thank you for the support," said Shimada. "It was very good today."

Toronto's Sophia Lau was the first woman to cross the finish line. She finished the 5-kilometre run in 21 minutes and 13 seconds.

"The crowd support was pretty cool," said Lau. "People were letting me know I was the in the lead for females. So knowing that was cool."

Fernando Carvalho from Bradford was the fastest male for the half-marathon, finishing in one hour and 13 minutes. 

"I was trying to set a personal best. I went out hard, but I was able to hold on and keep going," said Carvalho.

Jenna Clayworth from Uxbridge was the fastest female, finishing in under one hour and 29 minutes.

"I just wanted to have fun," admitted Clayworth. "I didn't have any expectations coming in, but I just wanted to give it my all, and that's what I did."

The Barrie triathlon will take place in August, where the top finishers, by age and gender, will automatically qualify for Canada at the 2025 Sprint Triathlon World Championship.

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