Rachel Hannah and Reid Coolsaet are Canadian headliners for Ottawa Marathon this weekend

Last year’s Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon saw a new female Canadian All-Comers record set at 2:22:17 and the field for the 2019 event could rival that of 2018.

Shuko Gemeno, Abeba-Tekula Gebremeskel and Tigist Girma all have personal bests under 2:27:00 and all have recent wins under their belts. The three Ethiopian women could work together to being each other to new personal bests and challenge the Canadian All-Comers and course record.

The Canadian women’s contingent includes 2:32 marathoner Rachel Hannah, Dayna Pidhoresky and Anne-Marie Comeau. Hannah and Pidhoresky are no strangers to the distance, but Sunday will be Comeau’s debut. The 22-year-old winter Olympian has been dominant on the roads for several years and we’re excited to see what she can do over 42.2K.

In the men’s field, Abera Kuma of Ethiopia has run under 2:06 twice, most recently 2:05:50 at the 2018 Rotterdam Marathon. Joining Kuma is Adugna Takele who was third in Ottawa a year ago, and ran a huge personal best in February at 2:06:32. The fastest man in the field is Getu Feleke at 2:04:50. Kenyan Martin Kosgey is also racing with an incoming time of 2:06:41.

The dark horse in the field is 23-year-old Ayana Tsede who comes in with a recent win at the 2019 Seville Marathon and a new personal best of 2:06:36.

Reid Coolsaet leads the Canadian men on his 10 year anniversary since his debut marathon. “I’m going to try to run as fast as I can on the Ottawa course, which will hopefully give me a solid placing and some points to help with my world ranking.

I’m realistically aiming for a 2:13 on the weekend.” The world championships in Doha this fall are also on Coolsaet’s radar. “Worlds would actually be a great setup for the Olympics. If you finish well at worlds the points could qualify you for Tokyo. It will be very hot in Doha, which will be good training for Tokyo as well.”

Coolsaet is coming off his longest altitude stint yet. “Boulder was really great. I got good training in and I had great people to train with. My son liked it too–any time we did some technical mountain climbing he got really into it.”

posted Saturday May 25th