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More than 15,000 new-route runners saw East Village as the neighbourhood made its debut appearance at the Scotiabank Marathon on May 27. The route took runners past the East Village Spirit Hub in front of the Sales and Experience Centre on Riverfront Avenue early in the race – at kilometre 7 – and later, at grueling km. 39, just before the finish line in Stampede Park.
Marathon officials declared the East Village Spirit Hub the winner of the race to create the best hub, and awarded $2,000 to our favourite charity, our Drop In Centre neighbours. Frankly, our Spirit Hub was hard to beat. It was created by more than 60 volunteers from East Village Master Developer CMLC, The Drop-In Centre and Lululemon. Runners were buoyed by the bright orange balloons that festooned the site, the expert water cup handoffs, and the signs prepared by Lululemonites, which included motivating messages like ‘Ryan Gosling is at the finish line. Get there first.’ Also ‘Chafe now. Brag Forever.’ ‘Your feet hurt so much because you’re kicking butt.’ And the excellent ‘I got up super early to make this sign.’ Volunteers used every trick in the book to keep runners moving, from the posters to noise makers and non-stop music. CMLC laid on breakfast and lunch for the cheerleaders.
No runners saw Ryan Gosling. But no one came back to complain.