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Guelph runners train under Dave Scott-Thomas

As the sprawling city an hour's drive west of Toronto wrestles with familiar questions of urban identity and economic uncertainty, running has emerged as an unexpected source of civic betterment

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A group of runners from a program overseen by coach Dave Scott-Thomas make their way to a training session in Guelph April 11, 2012.

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A group of runners from a program overseen by coach Dave Scott-Thomas make their way to a training session in Guelph April 11, 2012.

Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail/Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

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Coach Dave Scott-Thomas (C) at a training session in Guelph on April 11, 2012.

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Runners in Dave Scott-Thomas's program train in Guelph on April 11, 2012.

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Runners in Dave Scott-Thomas's program train in Guelph on April 11, 2012.

Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail/Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

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Building on the success of a dynamic local track club recognized as the best in Canada, one of the club's goals is to foster a sense of community.

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The club's goals are to foster a sense of community, create some useful economic spin-offs and build an urban brand based on competitive success and physical well-being.

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Runners from a program overseen by coach Dave Scott-Thomas train in Guelph on April 11, 2012.

Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail/Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

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Runners from a program overseen by coach Dave Scott-Thomas train in Guelph on April 11, 2012.

Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail/Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

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Runners from a program overseen by coach Dave Scott-Thomas train in Guelph on April 11, 2012.

Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail/Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

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