The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation | UHN

Hope Springs Eternal for Simmons

Race Roster Spring Run-Off a special start to local runner Lauren Simmons’ season
 
For the past 10 years Toronto runner Lauren Simmons has begun her mornings with a coffee, her evenings with a book, and her race season with the Spring Run-Off. Despite a change in title sponsor, the newly dubbed Race Roster Spring Run-Off (formerly known as Harry’s Spring Run-Off) continues to benefit The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation and its vision to conquer cancer in our lifetime, as its charity of choice. For Ms. Simmons, whose father lost his battle with cancer, the race holds special meaning.
 
“In 2006 my dad was diagnosed with bladder and prostate cancer,” said Ms. Simmons. “I’ll never forget him coming to see me run just after he was diagnosed. The strength and courage he showed to come cheer me on right after receiving such devastating news was just incredible. At that point supporting the fight against cancer became my number one cause.”
 
From that point on Lauren’s commitment to the fight against cancer made taking part in the Spring Run-Off a must. Established in 1978, the Spring Run-Off is Toronto’s oldest continuously held road race and the yearly kick-off event for the Canada Running Series in the East. The event features strong traditions — a bagpiper leading runners to the start line, a pancake breakfast for participants, and apt maple syrup themed prizing. For the past 10 years The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation has been the charity of choice for the Spring Run-Off — coinciding with Lauren’s 10 years of running the race.

Though certainly family-friendly, the race features an infamously challenging course through paved traffic-free roads in High Park. Add a consistently strong elite presence, beautiful medals, souvenir race shirts, live entertainment, plus a great cause, and it is easy to see why the Spring Run-Off is seen as the first big running event of the season for the GTA – Lauren included.
 
“I just love the race. It’s the beginning of spring, there’s a special feel to the morning, and of course with it supporting The Princess Margaret the cause is front and centre for me.”
 
This year’s Race Roster Spring Run-Off will be held at 10 a.m. on April 9 at High Park. The event features the option to run/walk either 8k or 5k, in addition to options for 5k with a baby stroller and a children’s run. You can sponsor Lauren’s race at Lauren's sponsorship page or donate in general here. For all additional registration/donation information visit www.canadarunningseries.com/springrunoff. Registration is open until April 3.

Written by Chris Sarpong, PR & Communications Intern, Special Events Team The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation