Manitoba Marathon joins hundreds of  Race Organizers to Mark the Endurance Season that Never Was 

100 Start Lines and no Participants 

Media Advisory  

For Immediate Release 

 (Manitoba, Winnipeg) Normally on October 31,2020, local race organizer, Manitoba Marathon, would be closing out the season after seeing some 12,000 participants cross their finish lines but not this year. “COVID-19 hit just as we were ramping up registrations and getting ready for race season“ says Executive Director, Rachel Munday. Instead, the Foundation reduced expenses, took advantage of all available government programming, and did its best to keep participants engaged through virtual races. “We had about 25% of the people that we normally have take part in our virtual event in October, but that is a far cry from the number of participants that would normally toe the line on race weekend. As an industry, we know from recent numbers and survey results that virtual interest is waning. It doesn’t provide the same excitement and satisfaction of experience to train for and complete a virtual race,” says Munday, adding “we don’t expect people to be as willing to complete these experiences twice.” Without increased support from partners many races will be in a dire situation moving into 2021.  

Manitoba Marathon is one of 160 endurance race organizers that make up the Canadian Endurance Sports Alliance. The new national not-for-profit is made up of organizers and vendors from the running, triathlon, mountain biking and experience races that collectively helped 2 million participants achieve their goals in 2019. “The industry has never faced a challenge like this,” says INTERIM board president and owner of Sinister Sports, Brian Gallant. Gallant owns and operates a small business based in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta that puts on ultra-endurance events and contributes millions back into its communities. “Our members are taking advantage of everything available to them from all levels of government but our recent survey data shows 65% of our members won’t make it to 2021 without further support or a clear return to racing plan” added Gallant. 

As part of a grassroots member-driven campaign, race organizers across the country have asked participants to share their favourite race memories on social media using the #StartLineImpact and will be erecting start lines with no participants on Wednesday December 2nd as a way to mark the season that was overwhelmingly cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

  ***Due to Manitoba Health orders, the Manitoba Marathon will not be able to set up the start line but will be posting start line photos to their social media platforms and asking participants to share what the Start Line means to them.*** 

Wednesday December 2nd  


For interviews please contact 

Rachel Munday 

Manitoba Marathon 

Executive Director 


(204807 4049 


Steve Fleck 

Canadian Endurance Sports Alliance 



(416) 888 7324 



Founded in 1979, the Manitoba Marathon Foundation was created to support Manitobans living with intellectual disabilities. After supporting the community for over 40 years, the Manitoba Marathon is the largest mass participation sporting event in the province, and a year-round resource for running and healthy living in Manitoba. In partnership with United Way Winnipeg, the Foundation continues to support our community through its’ various programs as well as raising much needed funds to support inclusion throughout the province .  


The Canadian Endurance Sports Alliance consists of a growing roster of member organizations who have come together as one collective voice to advocate on behalf of the industry. Forged by organizers, the alliance represents events and 2 million Canadians who rely on mass participation events to run, bike, swim, conquer obstacle courses, and better their bodies and their lives. The $1 billion dollar industry drives critical economic impact to major cities and small municipalities, employs thousands of people, and raises $250 million for charitable causes. Click HERE to learn more and join the coalition’s efforts. 



United Way Winnipeg