I feel grateful to have seen Ed in person on several occasions. The first was over a year ago when I saw him easily looping the indoor track at the Toronto Track and Field Centre. This is before I joined the Ontario Masters Athletics, and needless to say, he was definitely an inspiration to do so.
Last fall I attended the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon press conference and watched as Ed was presented with his #85 bib and snapped some photos with Eric Gillis. Later during the press conference, Ed (dressed prim-and-proper in his suit) was interviewed by a member of the media. I stood nearby listening in and then watched as he signed the large backdrop wall along with the other elite runners. The words he wrote said so much about who he was.
My last in-person memory happened a couple days later when I stood at the STWM finish line watching for friends. The crowd began cheering wildly and the suddenly, there was Ed, crossing the finish, breaking another record--and smiling the whole way.
At 9:00 am on Saturday, April 1st, Melly and I walked towards the Beltline trail meeting spot. As we crested the stairs, we saw a very large number of runners mingling about. We whispered to each other, "Are they here for our run?" And, alas, they were! In the end I'd say there were about 60 runners in attendance.
We waited for a few more people to arrive and then the groups started off along the trail. At the turn around point the first part of the group paused to cheer for Ed and snap a few photos before returning to the cemetery. I managed to stop and snap a few photos of some of the runners on their return.