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Runners taking part in the 20th Annual Waterloo Marathon and Ed Whitlock Half Marathon

Last Updated Apr 29, 2018 at 11:11 am EST

Ed Whitlock does his daily training in a cemetery in Milton, Ont., on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. Decorated marathon runner Whitlock, who famously smashed several senior records, has died just days after his 86th birthday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Athletes are taking part in the 20th running of the Waterloo Marathon and the Ed Whitlock Half Marathon.

The Half Marathon race which was renamed the Ed Whitlock Half Marathon last year after the passing of the British runner who called Toronto home.

Race Director Tony Lea says Whitlock was a “delightful human being and a humble man.”

Whitlock holds 36 world records despite the fact he didn’t start running until his middle ages.

Lea expects close to 500 participants this year and says this event wouldn’t be possible without the many volunteers.

“It’s a team and group effort. We also rely a great deal on the [Waterloo] community providing further volunteers than we already have.”

He urges members of the community who are thinking about getting into running to do so because it’s a “truly rewarding experience.”

The race is affiliated with St. John’s Ambulance with proceeds helping out their efforts which benefit the community.