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Articles tagged #Reid Coolsaet
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JP Flavin and Erin Mawhinney Victorious at 2024 Under Armour Toronto 10K

JP Flavin rang up Under Armour Toronto 10K organizers last week and asked if there was a place in the event for him. His eleventh-hour plea came just before the race limit of 7,500 was reached. Lucky for him.

The 25 year old New Jersey native showed his gratitude by front running his way to a victory in 29:20 and in the process pulling top Canadian Andrew Davies to a new personal best of 29:25. Third place overall went to Lee Wesselius in 29:49 and the third Canadian was Rob Kanko in 30 minutes flat.

“I am very thankful they let me in the race,” said Flavin, a member of the Brooks Hanson Project based in Rochester Hills, Michigan. “I did really well. I kept 4:40 miles throughout, which was my plan.  It was fun.”

Midway through the race - the lead pack of seven runners reached 5K in 14:32 - he went to the front with the objective of breaking pre-race favorite Andrew Davies. 

The Sarnia native has been training in Vancouver, where he is a law student at the University of British Columbia. Earlier this year, he ran a personal best 10,000m on the track (28:34.63) and also finished 2nd in the NAIA (collegiate) national championships in that event, which caught the attention of his peers.

“I knew if I stayed with Andrew to the last two kilometres, odds are he would outkick me,” Flavin added. “So a little before 5K, I started picking it up. I wanted to use that long hill [at the Canadian Legion] to come hard off it.”

"When I made my move and started feeling bad at mile five, I could hear from the crowd; they were screaming his name a little bit.  So I knew I had to pay attention, stay on it, and not let up too much. I was able to grind and finish off strong.”

Davies was satisfied with his personal best. When Flavin made his move, he made an effort to maintain contact but could never close the gap.

"I was trying to cover it as best I could without risking blowing up at the end,” he revealed. “I couldn’t quite cover it. I stayed pretty close. I couldn’t catch him over the last two kilometres. He held that gap the whole way.”

Despite his earlier 10,000m success in the spring, Davies admitted he has lately been focusing on the 5,000m, the event he will race at the Canadian Olympic trials June 26-30 in Montreal. 

While the men’s race had its drama, the women’s race saw the same podium finishers as in 2023, although Erin Mawhinney’s title defence was emphatic. The 28-year-old Hamilton, Ontario, nursing consultant won by 25 seconds over Salome Nyirarukundo. 

Mahwinney’s 33:40 time was a pleasant surprise after she learned earlier in the year she was iron deficient.  

“This was the first race since February that I haven’t felt dizzy, so this is the first one in a while that has felt like that,” says Mawhinney, who was greeted at the finish by her coach, two time Canadian Olympic marathoner, Reid Coolsaet.

Respect for her competitors was evident in her further comments.

“At no point was I confident of winning,” she declared. “Salome is so talented, and I knew there was a good chance she would come flying by but someone yelled at me with a kilometre to go that I had a good gap. 

To run in the 33s, especially today, it's hotter and windier than last year, to run the same time as last year off much less training is great.”

Mawhinney also credited Toronto running coach Paddy Birch for helping her through the windy stretches along Lake Shore Boulevard. 

“I owe my life to Paddy Birch. He was sort of breaking some of the wind and pacing up to about 8K, so I didn’t have to think quite as hard about it,” she added. “He is much faster than me, but I think he was going for an easy run. He was (pacing me) on purpose when he was talking to me.”

Nyirarukundo, who competed for Rwanda at the 2016 Olympics, now lives in Ottawa. She complained about having an upset stomach last night and into the race morning.

“I was a little bit tired. This morning I had a problemwith stomach. Even now, I have it,” she said with a smile, “so I was struggling even to finish, but because I am a fighter, I just tried to finish. It was not bad.”

“I appreciate the organisers; they are very, very good to the elites. It is really good and I enjoy the people (on the course) who are cheering.”

Rachel Hannah, now recovered from her 3rd place finish in the Ottawa Marathon, was 3rd in today’s race. Her time of 34:10, almost a minute faster than her 2023 finish, pleased her.

Once again, the Under Armour Toronto 10K served as the Canadian Masters’ championships, with  Toronto’s Allison Drynan crossing the line first in the 45-49 age bracket, recording a time of 38:46. She finished just 8 seconds ahead of Miriam Zittel (40-44).

In the men’s master’s race, Bryan Rusche earned top honours with his 33:37 performance, and Brian Byrne of London, Ontario, finished next in 33:51.

Race director Alan Brookes was delighted with the sold-out event and pointed out that runners from nine provinces, two territories (the Yukon and the Northwest Territories), eighteen American states, and twenty countries enjoyed the day.

(06/15/2024) Views: 246 ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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MAHWINNEY AND DAVIES LEAD ELITES AT UNDER ARMOUR TORONTO 10K

Erin Mawhinney will defend her Under Armour Toronto 10K title Saturday June 15th the next stop on the 2024 Canada Running Series.

A year ago, the Hamilton resident won the race, which traces Toronto’s scenic Lake Shore Boulevard, in a personal best of 33 minutes 34 seconds. The result was a pleasant surprise and confirmed her arrival as one of Canada’s elite road racers.

“I would like to take a stab at defending my title I know there are some fast girls running,” the 27 year old says before adding, ”Truthfully I have struggled with some low iron the past couple of weeks. But being able to defend the win would be great. Running close to 33 minutes flat would also be great at this time.

Despite the medical hiccup - which is now behind her - Mawhinney has followed coach Reid Coolsaet’s training program closely and has gradually increased her training volume. Indeed, she has had weeks where she has run as much as 160km while working full-time as a nursing consultant.

Mawhinney completed her Master of Nursing degree last year after spending six years nursing in the intensive care unit at Hamilton’s St Joseph’s Hospital. Combining long, demanding shifts with her training program was challenging but she credits Coolsaet, a two-time Canadian Olympian, with providing a flexible plan.

“I did straight night shifts and I found that sticking on straight nights was a little bit easier for running,” she remembers. “I found the flipping back and forth between days and night was sort of chaotic.

“I would let Reid know and he was great with being flexible. I worked a lot of overtime during Covid because we were overwhelmed in the ICU during that time. There would be some days where I was too tired to double. There were even times when I had to sleep at the hospital between shifts because there was a risk of exposure in my apartment building.”

In addition to winning the 2023 Under Armour Toronto 10KMawhinney captured first place in the 2023 TCS Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon last October (1:13:50). Now she and Coolsaet are targeting a possible marathon debut this coming fall.

“We are thinking TCS Toronto Waterfront in the fall will be my marathon debut so that is the main focus for the rest of the year,” she reveals.

Recently Mawhinney’s concerns for the homeless crisis in the Hamilton neighbourhood she has called home the past seven years resulted in her penning an essay on her observations. Her advocacy is paying off.

“A big win recently was having City Housing Hamilton approve a new public health nurse role I proposed to them,” she adds. “(It is) to help those in higher social-need subsidized housing keep their tenancy and avoid needing to use the emergency room.”

Among those lining up against her Saturday are 2015 Pan Am Games marathon bronze medalist, Rachel Hannah, who was 3rd in the 2024 Ottawa Marathon last month and, most significantly, was 3rd in the Under Armour Toronto 10K last year and last year’s runner-up, Salome Nyirarukundo the 26 year-old Rwandan who has made Ottawa her home.

The men’s field is led by Andrew Davies, a second-year law student at the University of British Columbia. Although his 10k best is 29:32 last month he ran a superb 10,000m on the track recording 28:34.63.

“If you get one of the really fast road courses I definitely feel you can be just as fast, maybe even faster, on the roads (than on the track) with the new shoes,” he declares.

The 23-year-old Davies claims, however, he will focus more on the competition than on recording a fast time.

“I am not really going to focus on the time too much,” Davies, who hails from Sarnia, Ontario, says. “I have been transitioning now to focus on the 5,000m leading to the track Nationals at the end of the month. I will focus on racing whoever else is (at the Toronto 10k). I am not going in with a time goal.

“My 5,000m PB (13:37.39) is three years old and I would like to lower that into the (low) 13:30’s and run Nationals and then in the fall I’d like to run as well as I can in the Canadian cross countrychampionships. I was 4th there this past year. If I could medal there that would be awesome."

The fastest performer in the men’s field is Lee Wesselius whose personal best 29:13 earned him 7th in the 2021 Canadian 10k Championships held on a slightly modified Toronto Waterfront course. Also racing is Rob Kanko who was 3rd in the 2023 Under Armour Toronto 10K in a personal best of 30:02.

The race will once again serve as the Canadian Masters 10k championships. Baghdad Rachem will defend the title he won a year ago on this same course. The Verdun, Quebec resident won that day in 32:05 beating 44-year-old Reid Coolsaet by 13 seconds.

Edmonton’s Jay Smith finished 3rd in 2023 in 39:23 and leads the female master’s division entries.

(06/11/2024) Views: 174 ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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Canadian ultrarunner Reid Coolsaet weighs in on Awesome Sauce controversy

Carbs, calories and conflicting labels have been the focus of ultra-trail talk on social media over the last few weeks, all circling around Spring Energy’s Awesome Sauce gel. In an Instagram post, Olympic marathoner and ultra-trail runner Reid Coolsaet weighed in on his less-than-ideal experience with the race fuel during the 2023 edition of Pike’s Peak Ascent 21K, in Manitou Springs, Colo.–his last competitive race.

“If I had been consuming Awesome Sauce in the peak of my career or in a race I was gunning for the podium, I’d be super pissed,” he said.

Coolsaet’s post comes on the tail of a controversy about Awesome Sauce that has been steadily gaining steam. In April, an ultrarunner on Reddit shared their doubts about Awesome Sauce’s energy content. The original poster, who stated that they worked as an environmental chemist, noticed that they experienced a “hollowed-out stomach” feeling after consuming an Awesome Sauce gel, which claims to pack 180 calories and 45 grams of carbohydrate. They performed an at-home experiment with a dehydrator and a kitchen scale, concluding that an Awesome Sauce gel provides a runner with only around 60 calories and 17 grams of carbohydrate.

While various elites, amateurs and Internet trolls weighed in on their beliefs around the content of Awesome Sauce, coach and pro ultrarunner Jason Koop purchased some gels and sent them to an independent lab for testing, then shared the results on his website and Instagram. The verdict? Koop reports that an Awesome Sauce gel contains 75 calories (not 180, as labelled), and 18 grams of carbohydrate (as opposed to the 45 grams claimed on the label).

Coolsaet explains the challenges that committing poor fuelling choices (unknowingly) caused him. While he struggled during the final third of Pike’s Peak, he assumed it was due to altitude (the race finishes at over 4,000m). “I didn’t think fueling had anything to do with falling apart because I thought I was consuming about 65 grams of carbs per hour,” said Coolsaet, who was drinking Tailwind and eating Awesome Sauce gels during the race. “Now it sounds like instead of 45 grams of carbs in each Awesome Sauce there are only 18 grams (check out @jasonkoop’s post). So I was really only getting 35 grams of carbs an hour, which isn’t going to cut it when racing for 2-3 hours.”

At the end of April, Spring Energy responded to the Reddit poster, stating that they value constructive criticism and input. “Our analysis supports the accuracy of our product labeling. However, we will reevaluate to make sure our data is accurate,” they wrote.

(06/08/2024) Views: 238 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Olympian Anne-Marie Comeau Pursuing a Fast Time at TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

On October 15th the 27-year-old from St. Ferréol les Neiges in Quebec will race the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon, her first competitive marathon since her inauspicious debut in Philadelphia in 2019.

This time around the former cross-country skier will come prepared having followed the program set by her new coach, two-time Canadian Olympic marathoner, Reid Coolsaet. The two paired up in November 2022. Coolsaet has developed both her physical and mental preparation and Comeau has a specific goal in mind.

“I talked to Reid last week,” she reveals. “My first goal is to go under 2:32. But he told me if I want to take risks in my race I should try to do 2:29:30 or just under 2:30. He told me it’s a big risk to start at this pace but I like to take risks.”

Once again, the race will serve as the Athletics Canada Canadian Marathon Championships with medals and a lucrative prize purse including $8,000 to the national champion. Comeau is more cautious.

“For sure I will be happy if I am finishing on the podium,” she says. “But I don’t think about it. I don’t have a lot of experience in marathon races. I would just like to do another marathon because the last one was in 2019.

“It’s a ‘couple’ of years so I want to start back doing one and see how I can fuel correctly in the race. Because my first one - it was very bad nutrition. I will give all that I have. I have done a lot of work. I am excited to see what it can give.”

Comeau laughs at her recall of that Philadelphia race, a 2:41:10. But in March of this year she showed that her training is going well as she finished second at the Project 13.1 (Half Marathon) in New York’s Rockland State Park. Her time of 1:11:30 indicates that with the right volume of training she is certainly capable of dipping under the 2:30 marathon barrier.

More recently she won the half marathon at the Marathon Beneva de Montreal in 1:13:56. That result came during her buildup for Toronto Waterfront. She did not back off her training one bit.

“I am not a person that does a lot of high mileage,” she reveals. “My biggest week with the training in the marathon buildup was 155km. It was mostly about 130km a week. I also use other sports in preparation.

“I am not competing anymore in cross-country skiing. But I am doing a lot of cross- country skiing in the winter and a lot of skiing up mountains but I don’t do competition anymore.”

Cycling with her boyfriend Jean-Philippe also has a place in her overall fitness. And she is also an accomplished mountain and trail runner. Last March she represented Canada at the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships finishing 15th in the women’s vertical race and 17th in the ‘up and down’ race.

“I always loved running,” Comeau admits with a laugh. “I was running for training (for cross-country skiing). The two sports work very well together and since the age of 8 years I was running races in the woods. When I was a skier I was always running in the summer and even in the winter.

“I wanted to try and see what my potential was in running. When I was skiing it was not perfect for running. So when I stopped I was able to concentrate my energy and see what I can do.

For income Comeau works as an accountant for a medium size firm while studying to become a tax specialist. Recently she left a major accounting firm so she could cut back on her hours to devote more time to training and recovery.

In her down time she says she enjoys going for bike rides and also pursuing a more relaxing pastime.

“My boyfriend (national team trail runner) Jean-Philippe Thibobeau and I like to explore breweries,” she says with a laugh. “We love this activity and when we travel we try to choose different breweries and match our trip with that.”

Comeau is eager to line up at Toronto Waterfront and for the first time really see what she is capable at the marathon distance. A surprise could be in store.

About the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon is Canada’s premier running event and the grand finale of the Canada Running Series (CRS). Since 2017, the race has served as the Athletics Canada national marathon championship race and has doubled as the Olympic trials. Using innovation and organization as guiding principles, Canada Running Series stages great experiences for runners of all levels, from Canadian Olympians to recreational and charity runners. With a mission of “building community through the sport of running,” CRS is committed to making sport part of sustainable communities and the city-building process.

To learn more about the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon, visit TorontoWaterFrontMarathon.com.

(10/03/2023) Views: 428 ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Should you warm up before your marathon?

Two-time Canadian Olympic marathoner, Reid Coolsaet, insists that a warm-up is a good idea, but it's important to not go overboard.

Most runners understand the purpose of warming up before a race, but the question remains: should you be doing a warm up before your marathon?

The warm up is a crucial activity to prep your muscles for the demanding marathon ahead. By increasing your core body temperature, a warm up speeds up the supply of oxygen to your hardworking muscles, promoting optimal performance. Additionally, this procedure boosts blood flow to the working muscles, priming them for the effort and effectively reducing the risk of injury.

While warming up is essential, it’s important to be mindful of the energy it requires. For shorter races like 5K or 10K, running out of energy is not a concern, given the race’s briefness. However, when you’re gearing up for a marathon that spans three-to-four hours, conserving energy and glycogen (stored carbohydrate) is vital.

Two-time Canadian Olympic marathoner and head coach of CoolsaetGo, Reid Coolsaet, advocates for a warm up but emphasizes not overdoing it. He suggests running enough before the race to hit your race pace off the start line. “You want to run enough before the race to hit your race pace off the start line,” says Coolsaet. “Five to 10 minutes of running and a few strides is plenty.”

He notes that many marathon runners find themselves running at around warm-up pace for the first five or 10 minutes into the race. “Going beyond a 10-minute warm up may prove counterproductive, as it could lead to regrets later on, especially around the 40-kilometer mark,” says Coolsaet.

Another thing Coolsaet mentioned is to leave enough time between your warm up and the start of the race to navigate the porta-potty lines. GI issues can be a runner’s worst nightmare, especially only 10 kilometers into the race.

So don’t overlook the importance of a warm up, as it can be a gateway to ensuring that your body is primed to take on the distance and conquer your personal best. Get your muscles ready, conserve energy and tackle those 42.2 kilometers like a champion!

(08/07/2023) Views: 679 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Canadian Cameron Levins will be seeking new national marathon record in Tokyo

Canada’s Cameron Levins is racing the Tokyo Marathon on Sunday, he will be looking to improve his own national record of 2:07:09, which he set last summer during the Eugene World Athletics Championships.

Asked if he will be going after the 2024 Paris Olympic entry standard of 2:08:10 or the 2023 Budapest World Athletics Championships standard of 2:09:40, he told Athletics Illustrated, “I think we’re waiting to see what the pace options are before making that decision, but certainly looking for a personal best and not just standard.”

Levins set a new Canadian half-marathon record on February 12 at the First Half Half Marathon clocking a 60:18. He finished 4:03 ahead of his nearest competitor. Although that time, according to World Athletics’ points performance scale is almost, but not quite, as good as his marathon best, it was run in less than ideal conditions. For example, in Eugene, there was a highly competitive field to race with — to bring the best out of him. Additionally, in Vancouver, although not overly challenging, the weather was cool and windy. The general consensus is he could have run the First Half Half Marathon a little faster, yet. Perhaps right at the level of his national marathon record. So, we know from that performance he is in great shape.

Looking at his options in Tokyo, Levins has a fast course and runners looking for a fast time and prize money.

The field is led by Ethiopian Lemma Sisay who has run as fast as 2:03:36 back in 2019 at the Berlin Marathon. He has also run at least three other sub-2:07-marathons. As it has been four years since Sisay set his best, anyone of Kenyans Bernard Koech (2:04:09), CyBrian Kotut (2:04:47), Titus Kipruto (2:04:54), Ugandan Stehen Kissa (2:04:48), Ethiopian Deso Gelmisa (2:04:53) could challenge for the win. There are also several fast Japanese runners led by Kengo Suzuki with his 2:04:56. He holds the national record from Otsu, Japan two years ago. There are six others who have run 2:05 to 2:07 — right in Levins’ range.

The 24-year-old Kipruto finished second in the Amsterdam Marathon last October — less than five months ago. He was beaten only by Ethiopian Tsegaye Getachew by five seconds. Gelmiso, just 25 and Kipruto won the 2022 Valencia and Milano Marathons respectively. If the weather is ideal expect a couple of 2:03 marathons in Tokyo. Currently the forecast is trending in the right direction with projected highs of 13-16 degrees.

Prior to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, Levins ran several marathons that ended in disappointment. These included the London Marathon in poor weather as well as Chandler, AZ, where he looked fresh at 32 kilometers into the race, running with the lead pack, only to fade to a 2:12:15 clocking. At the 11th hour, he boarded a plane for Fürstenfeld, Austria and ran a small marathon event just fast enough to qualify for the Olympics at 2:10:14. However, by the time he go to Sapporo, where the event was held, some 800 kilometers north of Tokyo, it was hot at 34 degrees celsius, and perhaps he had run too many marathons leading up. The standard was 2:11:30 at the time.

The 33-year-old Vancouver Island native has had big highs with breaking the Canadian marathon record three times, competing in two Olympic Games and at one time holding the national 10,000m record. Anything can and often does happen in a marathon event. Expect Levins to improve his own national marathon record and perhaps run 2:06 plus or minus a few seconds if all works out for him.

It was not long ago that the 43-year-old Canadian record was stuck at a modest 2:10:09 by Jerome Drayton from his run in Fukuoka, Japan in 1975. Excellent Canadian marathon runners Reid Coolsaet, Dylan Wykes, and Eric Gillis among others had led the Canadian Marathon resurgence. Levins has taken the mantle from there and has run with it to repeat records. The standard he has set and will likely continue to, will be a benchmark for up and coming Canadians to follow. Perhaps to put Canada back on the global marathon map.Levins recently signed with Asics as his new shoe sponsor. Until 2021, he was with HOKA and prior to that Nike with the now defunct Nike Oregon Project that was led by the now banned Alberto Salazar. Levins is now coached by fellow Vancouver Island runner Jim Finlayson.

(03/02/2023) Views: 696 ⚡AMP
by Christopher Kelsall
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. Sponsored by Tokyo Metro, the Tokyo Marathon is an annual event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World...

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Sarah Biehl delivers historic performance at 60th annual JFK 50

The 60th annual edition of America’s oldest ultramarathon deserved a special performance, and Sarah Biehl (first photo) more than delivered Saturday Nov 19 at the JFK 50 Mile.

Biehl, 28, of Columbus, Ohio, smashed the women’s race, running away with the victory in a course-record time of 6:05:42 while finishing 11th overall. The previous mark of 6:12:00 was set by ultrarunning legend Ellie Greenwood in 2012.

“Oh my gosh, she was a mile ahead of the record Ellie Greenwood set 10 years ago that nobody had come within five minutes of,” JFK 50 Mile director Mike Spinnler said. “You know, and I hate to do this, gender vs. gender, but it may be the greatest performance in JFK history. 

“Ellie Greenwood was the world champion, Ellie Greenwood won Comrades, Ellie Greenwood won Western States, and she beat Ellie Greenwood’s record by a mile. And we know how hard Ellie had to run that day to win because she was chased. It’s just remarkable and inspiring. She just missed the top 10 overall, and it was the best men’s field ever. Amazing.”

In his JFK debut, Garrett Corcoran, 26, of Salt Lake City, Utah, won the men’s title in 5:29:47 — the No. 5 performance in race history.

Overall, 966 runners reached the finish line within the 13-hour time limit.

For Biehl, this was her third straight JFK. She was the women’s runner-up last year in 6:22:03 after placing fifth in 2020 in 7:22:32 in her ultramarathon debut.

“At the end of the day, I wanted to win,” Biehl said. “Coming here last year and getting second, that was awesome. But after getting second, you have the goal of winning, so that was my main priority. But I also had the course record in mind, too, and the splits and where I needed to be.”

By the time she came off the rocky Appalachian Trail at 15.5 miles, her lead over second place was over 13 minutes. Over the next 26.3 miles on the C&O Canal towpath, the margin increased to more than 19 minutes, and she only continued to add to it over the final 8.4 miles of paved roads to Springfield Middle School.

“I’m ecstatic right now,” Biehl said. “I’m a little in shock, to be honest.”

Caitriona Jennings (third photo), 42, of Ireland, finished second in 6:28:53 — the JFK’s No. 8 all-time women’s performance and a masters (40-and-over) record.

Jennings competed in the marathon at the 2012 London Olympics and was fresh off two big-time ultramarathon efforts, placing first in the European 50K championships last month after taking third at the 100K World Championships in August.

She went into her JFK debut Saturday with the same goal as Biehl’s  — a course-record victory.

“I struggled from the start, pretty much. It just wasn’t my day,” Jennings said. “But fair play to Sarah, she had an absolute stormer. Wow, so impressive, amazing. 

“It’s a lovely course. I was hoping I’d enjoy it more,” she added. “For some reason, I just couldn’t settle. It was a harder race than I expected. I’ve had two tough races in the last (few months), but I’m not making excuses. I was beaten fair and square. Maybe I expected too much of myself today. But you win some, you lose some. That’s what sport is. It just makes the good days all the better.”

Shea Aquilano, 21, of Carmel, Ind., placed third in 6:40:40.

Sub-4:00 miler wins men’s title (second photo).

Corcoran, who used to live in Baltimore, retuned to his former home state with some flair — including running shorts with the Maryland flag design.

“Dude, I’m out here, I’ve got the shorts, I’ve got to rep, right?” he said. “I know where I’m at, and I know I’ll get a lot of love for this.”

Corcoran, who ran a 3:59 mile in college, showed that speed kills at any distance.

“It feels like another life when I ran sub-4:00. I was 19 years old,” he said. “It’s been a fun journey. When I graduated from college, I just about hung up the running shoes, and didn’t really know what I was going to do. 

“I moved to Baltimore for work, and kind of realized it was the best way to have a good social life, at least for me, so I joined a running club, the Falls Road Running Club, and I made a lot of good friends. And once the pandemic hit, all the races got canceled, and I started dragging a friend of mine in Baltimore on these really long runs. I had so much fun and really got into the ultra distance.

“The JFK was a good excuse to come back and see some friends.”

Corcoran took the lead on the towpath around Mile 31 and never relinquished it.

“There was an aid station at 30.5, and (Matthew Seidel), who ended up getting fourth, he was just ahead of me,” Corcoran said. “He turned around and saw me not far behind him and walked for a little bit and then started running with me. He was like, ‘Hey, let’s run together, man. Let’s work together.’ And then, like a quarter-mile later, I just kind of floated away from him. I was like, ‘I guess it’s me by myself now. Hope nobody catches me.’”

Makai Clemons, 26, of San Diego, closed hard to take second in 5:32:19, finishing less than 3 minutes behind Corcoran after trailing him by more than 9 minutes at the end of the towpath section at 41.8 miles.

“I’ve been watching his training on Strava, and he’s been throwing down some filthy workouts,” Corcoran said of Clemons. “I was telling him after the race that he was one of the guys that was on my radar.”

Preston Cates, 25, of Flagstaff, Ariz., placed third in 5:33.23. Overall, eight men finished under 6 hours, a JFK record.

“Back in my generation, we always wondered what would happen if a 28-minute 10,000-meter runner or a sub-4-minute miler started doing the trails,” said Spinnler, a two-time JFK champ who lowered the course record to 5:53:05 in 1982.

"And now they’re doing it. The prize money, the national teams, the international competitions, it’s all there — all the incentive that wasn’t there a generation ago is there. All of the sudden, the sub-4-minute milers are coming to the sport. We had two of them in the race today, and we also had two Olymians. It’s so exciting for the future of the sport.”

Canadian Reid Coolsaet, a two-time Olympic marathoner, ran near the front before dropping out on the towpath.

(11/20/2022) Views: 880 ⚡AMP
by Andy Mason
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Should you warm up before your marathon?, Two-time Canadian Olympic marathoner Reid Coolsaet says a warmup is a good idea, but you don't want to overdo it

Most runners understand the purpose of warming up before a race, but should you be doing a warm up before your marathon?

The warm-up is intended to prepare your muscles for performance by increasing your core body temperature, which speeds up the supply of oxygen to your muscles. This procedure increases blood flow to the working muscles, so they are ready for the effort, and reducing the risk of injury.

A warm up requires energy, and for shorter races like 5K or 10K, running out of energy is not a concern, since the race is too short to risk running out of glycogen (stored carbohydrate). But when you’re preparing to race for three-to-four hours, it’s vital to conserve as much energy and glycogen as you can.

Two-time Canadian Olympic marathoner (2012 and 2016) and head coach of CoolsaetGo Reid Coolsaet says a warm up is a good idea, but don’t overdo it.

“You want to run enough before the race to hit your race pace off the start line,” says Coolsaet. “For most, five or 10 minutes of running and a few strides is plenty.”

Most runners will be running at their warm-up pace for the first five or 10 minutes into the marathon as it is.

“If you go out for anything longer than 10 minutes, it is likely that you will regret that 20-minute warm up at kilometer 40.”

Another thing Coolsaet also mentioned is to leave enough time between your warm up and the start of the race to negotiate porta-potty lines. The last thing you want is to have GI issues only 10 kilometers into the race.

 

(08/16/2022) Views: 915 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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How a Two-Time Olympic Marathoner Finished Western States 100

For a guy who's run solid marathons at the world's most competitive level, Reid Coolsaet admits he felt like a wide-eyed rookie at times during the 2022 Western States 100.

The two-time Olympic marathoner for Canada turned in a solid performance in his first time running 100 miles, finishing in 19 hours, 27 minutes, and 3 seconds. That placed him 25th overall and 17th among men, which isn't bad for a guy who has been more accustomed to running sub-5-minute mile pace for 26.2 miles at the peak of his career. (For reference, his Western States time averages out to 11:39 per mile.)

The 42-year-old from Hamilton, Ontario, had great moments and humbling moments during the race and says he learned plenty along the way, including a slow run-walk effort over the final 20 miles to the finish. Still, he left Auburn in good spirits with the notion that he might run another 100-miler at some point in his future

 

"I actually feel pretty good," he said this week after returning home. "I thought I would be a lot more wrecked than I am, which is a bit of a weird thing with ultras. I find myself barely able to run at the end and figure I won't be able to walk for a few days, but then I feel OK and think, 'Why didn't I run harder?' I feel like I had a 30K cooldown at Western States and I think that's what helped me recover."

Coolsaet owns a respectable 2:10:28 marathon PR at the 2015 Berlin Marathon and also raced well in two Olympic games - all before the advent of carbon-plated super shoes. At the 2012 Games in London, he finished 27th in the marathon (2:16:29) and four years later improved to 23rd overall (2:14:58) in Rio de Janeiro. 

He's believed to be the only Olympic runner to run in the Western States 100 aside from Magda Boulet, a 2008 Olympic marathoner for the U.S. who was the 2015 Western States women's champion and 2017 runner-up. 

Coolsaet started running ultra-distance races last summer after ending one final quest to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. In his last attempt to run 2:11 or faster at a race in Siena, Italy, last April, he went through the halfway point in 65 minutes but faded to 2:16:38.

From there, he shifted to trail running and won the Quebec Mega Trail 110K race last August (14:24). But even though he was successful, he found out that he needed to do a lot more work to handle long descents and technical trails after his legs locked up on a long, downhill section.

He's believed to be the only Olympic runner to run in the Western States 100 aside from Magda Boulet, a 2008 Olympic marathoner for the U.S. who was the 2015 Western States women's champion and 2017 runner-up.

Coolsaet trained through the winter and turned in a good performance at the Canyons Endurance Runs 100K in Auburn in April, placing 15th overall (14th among men) in 10:12. He didn't earn a Golden Ticket, but was able to get a sponsor's entry for Western States.

When he arrived in Olympic Valley before the race, he hoped to compete for a top-10 finish and pegged Scott Traer and Jeff Colt as two runners he might be able to run with based on the smart races they had run at the Canyons 100K. He said his first 25 miles went about how he hoped as he was in the top 15 and staying hydrated and fueled.  

He prepared for the heat by doing considerable sauna training in the weeks before the race. When temperatures rose into the mid-90s by mid-day, he kept the sun's impact at bay by taking on ice and wearing white arm sleeves and a sun hat. But from about the 30.3-mile Robinson Flat aid station to roughly the 50-mile point on the descent from Devil's Thumb to the El Dorado aid station, he started to lose contact with Traer and Colt (who would go on to finish 10th and 11th, respectively).

Thanks to his crew, Coolsaet recovered and still had a competitive mindset when he left the 62-mile Foresthill aid station, but running alone in the heat down to Rucky Chucky and the river crossing was the beginning of the end. By the time he picked up his second pacer at Green Gate near mile 80, he felt nauseous and had dead legs, which forced him to shift to survival mode.

"I was like 'Yeah, I'm just finishing this thing.' At that point, in my mind, I was just determined to finish," he says. "When I'm hurting that much, I have to be really excited about trying to catch people. And with the way I felt, I would have had to kill myself to catch two more people. That was a big ask for a little reward. I was just struggling to get one foot in front of the other for the last 30K. My legs were just shot. I could always run slow, but I would find myself at a small incline and just have to start walking."

He finished at 12:27 a.m. and was surprised to see his family there to greet him. He ran the final 300 meters on the track at Placer High School with his wife, Marie, and kids, Louis, 5, and Elodie, 4. 

"It's fun because it's a lot more interactive than running marathons, where I won't even break a stride when I pass someone," he says. "In road races that my kids saw me run, I would zoom by at a fast pace and that was it. But in ultras, my wife has helped out a lot by crewing me, and I can high-five my kids at aid stations and then run the last 300 meters with them, so that's pretty cool."

For the time being, Coolsaet says he'll take time off to recover but quickly adds that he's as motivated as ever to run more trail races, both sub-ultra and ultra-distance events. Although he has no plans for another 100-miler anytime soon, he says he'll continue to pursue trail running and develop his technical trail running skills.

"I'd always rather been on the trails, but there just wasn't the Olympics on the trails," he says. "Without the Olympics, this is really where I want to be. Obviously, I would like to do really well at it, but I don't feel like I need to do well. When running was my job, I was super-motivated to be at the top in Canada and be on an international stage. There is just so much more unknown, but I'm not really dwelling on it too much and more just enjoying it. It's not that I don't want to be competitive, but I don't feel the same urgency to be at the top. So if I'm just doing all right at it and having fun, that's fine with me."

(07/02/2022) Views: 734 ⚡AMP
by Trail Runner Magazine
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Canadian Reid Coolsaet signs with Salomon

Since making the jump from the roads to the trails, Canada’s Reid Coolsaet has already begun making a name for himself and brands have taken notice. The two-time Olympian announced Thursday he had signed a sponsorship agreement with Salomon heading into the 2022 ultra-trail racing season.

Coolsaet is one of Canada’s most successful distance runners. He represented Canada twice in the Olympic marathon (London 2012 and Rio 2016) and has competed on the track at multiple World Championships and international competitions. In 2011, he ran the second-fastest marathon by a Canadian athlete at the time, finishing third in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon with a time of 2 hours, 10 minutes, 55 seconds. Today, he still holds the fifth-fastest Canadian marathon time in history.

Even after his Olympic days had come to a close, Coolsaet continued his career, turning his attention to master’s records. In June 2020, he ran 14:39 over 5K for the Canada Running Series virtual Spring Run-Off, breaking the Canadian M40 5K record of 14:42 held by Steve Boyd. His time was not ratifiable, but demonstrated he was still competitive in the sport.

Recently, he’s pivoted yet again, this time to the ultra-trail running scene. In August 2021, he won his debut ultra-trail race, placing first at the Quebec Mega Trail 110K in 14:24:16 despite taking a wrong turn and running 10K more than the rest of the field. Thanks to his partnership with Canadian company Stoked Oats, he was granted entry to this year’s Western States Endurance Run, and will be lining up in Olympic Valley, California on June 25.

“We are thrilled to announce that Reid Coolsaet is joining our Salomon Canada elite running team,” says Sr. Marketing Manager at Salomon Canada Virginie Murdison. “Reid is a prominent figure in the Canadian running scene, a well-regarded coach, and exemplifies Salomon’s values of inclusivity, clean sport, encouraging every individual to get outside and play. We are excited to partner with Reid as he takes on new adventures on and off the trails.”

Running fans across the country have been excited to see Coolsaet back on start lines (and podiums), and with this new sponsorship, Canadians everywhere will be excitedly waiting to see what he does next.

(01/21/2022) Views: 1,039 ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Canadian Reid Coolsaet set to run the 2022 Western States 100

The lotteries for the 2022 Western States 100 and Hardrock 100 took place this weekend, and Canadian Olympian Reid Coolsaet got his name on the Western States list. With over 8,000 applicants vying for only 340 lottery spots (221 for Western States and 119 for Hardrock), runners without automatic entry have a slim chance of having their names pulled, but 34 lucky Canadians got a spot on the start lines.

Western States

Of the top 10 male finishers at last year’s race, eight will be making their return to Olympic Valley, Calif., including second- and third-place finishers Tyler Green and Drew Holmen. Jim Walmsley, who won the race in 2018, 2019 and 2021 (the race was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19), has not elected to return for the 2022 race. The top three podium finishers from last year’s race, Beth Pascall of the UK, Ruth Croft of New Zealand and Ragna Debats of the Netherlands, will all be returning, as will six more of the top 10 women from 2021.

Canada’s Ailsa MacDonald received automatic entry, thanks to her 13th-place finish at the 2019 Western States and first-place finish at the 2020 Tarawera 100 Mile. Other fast runners who have received automatic entry include Sébastien Spehler (second at Ultra Trail Cape Town this year), Tom Owens (fourth at UTMB in 2019), Cole Watson (third at the Javelina Jundred), Stephanie Auston (third at the 2020 Black Canyon 100K and second at the 2019 Tarawera 100K) and Zoë Rom (third at the 2021 Rio del Lago 100 Mile and third at the 2021 Tillamook Burn 50 Mile), among others.

Coolsaet will be one of the top Canadians in the race, despite being relatively new to the ultramarathon scene. In August, he won his first-ever ultra, the Quebec Ultra Trail 110K, despite missing a turn and having to run an extra 10 kilometres. He will be joined by several other Canadians, including:

Leo Fung, Calgary

Jesse Hulley, Calgary

Mike Jollie, Calgary

Kevin Jansen, Calgary

Rohan Aurora, Vancouver

Steve Day, North Vancouver

Adam Harris, Squamish, B.C.

Patrick Humenny, Kimberly, B.C.

Ricardo Tortini, Port Moody, B.C.

Dawson Mossman, New Maryland, NB

Aytug Celikbas, Oakville, Ont.

Matt Lowe, Hamilton

Derek Mulhall, Tecumseh, Ont.

Norman Nadan, Orangeville, Ont.

James Swartz, Toronto

Vincent Gauthier, St-Zotique, Que.

Fanny Barrette, Calgary

Tara Chahl, Edmonton

Chelsey Topping, Lethbridge, Alta.

Kelly Haston, Toronto

Karen Holland, Kimberly, Ont.

Hardrock 100

Hardrock is particularly difficult to get into, because the only way to gain automatic entry into the race is by winning it the previous year. A unique addition to this year’s lottery: entrants who were chosen for last year’s race but were unable to travel because of COVID-19 were given automatic entry for 2022, which included 16 men and two women.

There are some big names on the 2022 start list, including Courtney Dauwalter, Sabrina Stanley, Magie Guterl, François D’Haene, Kilian Jornet, John Kelly, Luke Nelson and Jeff Browning. Canada’s Stephanie Case, who was the first woman (and third overall) at the 450km Tor des Glaciers race in Italy, will also be on the start line.

Other Canadians who received entry into Hardrock include:

Suzanne Johnson, North Vancouver

Dana Samis, North Vancouver

Joanna Ford, Calgary

Larry Kundrik, Lethbridge, Alta.

Ken Legg, Powell River, BC

Randy Duncan, Victoria, BC

Christopher Aubrey, Sherwood Park, Alta.

Nathaniel Couture, Fredericton, NB

Matthew Fortuna, Oyama, BC

Leo Fung, Calgary

(12/06/2021) Views: 1,286 ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Western States 100

Western States 100

The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the...

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Gerda Steyn sets South African marathon record in Siena, Italy

Eighty runners lined up in Siena, Italy, on Sunday morning to race the Xiamen Marathon, an elite-only event that marked one of the final opportunities to qualify for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Kenyans Eric Kiptanui and Angela Tanui took the wins in PBs of 2:05:47 and 2:20:08, and South Africa’s Gerda Steyn set a national marathon record of 2:25:28. In his first race in more than a year, Canada’s Reid Coolsaet finished well off the Olympic standard of 2:11:30, crossing the line in 2:16:38.

Kiptanui won the race by 10 seconds, edging out Ethiopia’s Abdi Fufa for first place. He bettered his PB by 30 seconds, improving on a 2:06:17 showing from his marathon debut in Dubai in 2020. His result is the second-fastest ever run on Italian soil, a minute off the all-comers record set by his fellow Kenyan Titus Ekiru at a race in Milan in 2019, which he won in 2:04:46. 

While Kiptanui fell short of the Italian all-comers record, Tanui did not, and her 2:20:08 winning time lowered the mark of 2:22:25, which Kenya’s Vivian Kiplagat also set in Milan in 2019. Unlike in the men’s race, which was relatively close, the women’s race saw a big gap between first and second place, with Tanui crossing the line more than two and a half minutes ahead of the next-closest runner. On top of setting the Italian all-comers record, Tanui also lowered her own PB by a whopping five minutes. 

In recent years, Steyn has proven to be one of the best runners in South African history. She set the Comrades Marathon up-run course record in 2019, becoming the first woman to break six hours in the storied event with her 5:58:53 winning time. That same year, she ran to an 11th-place finish at the New York City Marathon (a race less than half the distance of the 87K Comrades Marathon), running 2:27:48.

In 2020, Steyn ran to a seventh-place finish at the elite-only London Marathon, where she posted a new PB of 2:26:51, which was the second-fastest marathon result in South African history. This year, she was set to run the NN Mission Marathon, but her plans changed when the event was pushed from April 11 to April 18 and moved from Germany to the Netherlands. 

Fortunately, the Xiamen Marathon accepted her on short notice, and she ran a new South African marathon record of 2:25:28. She looked to have great chances of being named to the South African team headed to the Tokyo Olympics before Sunday’s race, but with her result in Italy, she has likely officially booked her ticket to the Summer Games. 

(04/12/2021) Views: 1,328 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Canadian Ben Flanagan wins debut half-marathon in 1:03:19 one of the fastest times in Canadian history

Canadian Ben Flanagan ran his debut half-marathon on Sunday at a small race in South Carolina, and he posted one of the fastest times in Canadian history to take the win.

Despite never having raced a full 21.1K, Flanagan — an Olympic hopeful in the 5,000m and 10,000m — ran to a blazing-fast time of 1:03:19, which puts him in 10th all-time among Canadians.

Flanagan has only raced twice since February, but his brief transition to the road couldn’t have gone better, and he looks to be in great shape heading into 2021. 

 Flanagan, a former University of Michigan runner and NCAA 10,000m champion, may have won the race by a healthy margin of 19 seconds, but his victory wasn’t a sure thing until the late stages of the run. The course followed a 6.4K loop, and very early on, Flanagan and eventual second-place finisher Matthew McClintock of Maine were dropped by Kenya’s Athanas Kioko. Flanagan and McClintock ran together for much of the race before the 25-year-old Canadian pulled away for sole possession of second place. Not long after that, Flanagan overtook Kioko (who was also eventually caught by McClintock) and carried on to take the win. McClintock took second place in 1:03:38 and Kioko held onto third in 1:03:47.

Trying something new 

After the race, Flanagan posted on Instagram, writing, “Tested out the half-marathon this weekend and am happy to walk away with a W and by-default PR. Really pleased with the decision to get creative during a year with limited racing opportunities and fully intend to return to the track a stronger athlete.”

While Flanagan won’t be making a career of road racing just yet, he has certainly shown the running world that he has promise at the longer distances. With his time, he sits just behind Olympian Reid Coolsaet (1:03:16) on the all-time Canadian list, and he will have plenty of opportunities in the future to climb higher than 10th place. 

(12/10/2020) Views: 1,037 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Welsh marathon runner Josh Griffiths will be seeking olympic selection at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The IAAF Gold Label race (October 20th) is serving as the Athletics Canada Marathon trials for Tokyo 2020 and Josh Griffiths, fresh off his personal best performance in London (2:14:25), has chosen to make his own run for an Olympic berth.

The 25-year-old is presently ranked fifth in Britain behind Mo Farah (2:05:39), Callum Hawkins (2:08:14), Dewi Griffiths (2:11:46) and Jonny Mellor (2:13:25). Like the Canadians he will face in Toronto, he believes a 2:12:30 performance might be enough to cement a place on his national Olympic team. Asked what he is looking for in Toronto he is succinct.

"Just a really good, competitive race," he offers. "Malcolm (Anderson, his manager) said it would be a really good Canadian field, so if I can just get in the mix and, on a good day, see how far I can go with them.

"There's three really good British guys now. Obviously, it all depends on if they all stay fit and if they all choose to do the marathon. All I can do is focus on myself and if I run the best I can then I can’t really ask for more."

Canadian record holder Cam Levins (2:09:25) will be seeking to run with the international elite and improve upon the record he set a year ago, while fellow Olympians Dylan Wykes and Reid Coolsaet want to be in that 2:12 - 2:13 range that Griffiths is targeting.

Although he represents Swansea Harriers, Griffiths has lived all his life in Gorslas, Carmarthenshire in rural Wales where there are few runners. As a result, he is self-coached and does all his training alone. He supports himself financially by providing an online coaching program as well as some funding from Welsh Athletics and the London Marathon.

"It’s mentally tough getting out the door," he says of the solitude. "Sometimes it’s the hardest part of the run. I just think if it’s going to be that grim in training I am really prepared. If it rains in Toronto, I am prepared for anything.

"The weather is not always great in Wales; it rains a lot. But on those days, you have got to think what the goal is. If I want to run well in Toronto, then I have got to put the work in. I don’t struggle like that. I am in a pretty good position I can run all these amazing races and it’s well worth putting in the work."

The toughness that has characterized so many British runners over the years is epitomized especially by Welsh hero, Steve Jones, who set the world marathon record in the 1984 Chicago Marathon and won the 1992 Toronto Marathon.

"I met Steve a few times but when he was at his peak I wasn’t born yet. I have met him many times since," Griffiths reveals.

"We met at the Welsh track championships a couple of years ago. I went along to watch and so did he. We kind of got to chatting. It was after the London Marathon. He is always supportive."

Like Jones, he recalls his early start in athletics came as a schoolboy where he was exposed to many different sports.

"When I was in university I kind of took it seriously, started working with a good group of athletes in Cardiff. In 2017 I decided to do the marathon to try and qualify for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast Australia. I had to run 2:16 and I managed to run 2:14 which qualified me for Gold Coast and for the World Championships."

In 2011 he visited southern Ontario on a schoolboy rugby trip. At the time he was billeted by families in Coburg, Brantford and Lindsay, Ontario. They also visited Toronto’s tourist sites. There will be little time for site seeing on this trip however as so much is at stake.

"I will be looking to go through halfway just under 66 minutes," he says returning to the reason for his Canadian adventure. "One thing I have learned in the marathons I have done it’s much better to feel good in the second half. I don’t want to go crazy at the start. If there is a good group, then I will work my way through."

 

(09/05/2019) Views: 1,816 ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Kenya´s Philemon Rono will be looking for another title at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Philemon Rono of Kenya has won the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon twice–the first time in 2016, and the second time in 2017, when he set the Canadian all-comers record of 2:06:52 (also his personal best).

Rono, who trains with NN Running (marathon world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge’s group), was dealing with a calf injury and didn’t have a great race in 2018, finishing ninth in 2:13:36, but the diminutive runner they call Baby Police is healthy and will be back on October 20, hoping not only to win, but to lower his Canadian soil record.

Rono raced at Boston in April, finishing eighth, in 2:08:57–which he was happy with. He is currently running about 200K per week with the NN Training group in Kaptagat under the direction of coach Patrick Sang.

Kipchoge has a big influence on the training, Rono says. “We watch everything he does.” Many accounts of Kipchoge’s training make note of the fact that while living in camp from Monday to Saturday, he takes his turn mopping floors and scrubbing toilets like everyone else. When not working out, the group loves to watch soccer on TV. Like Kipchoge, Rono travels home to his farm on weekends, where he spends time with his wife and young son, and tends his cattle.

Rono’s stiffest competition so far announced will be Abera Kuma, who has a personal best of 2:05:50, and Benson Kipruto, who won last year’s marathon in 2:07:24 (which was seconds off his PB).

The race will also serve as the Canadian marathon championships and unofficial Olympic trials, with the top Canadian male automatically qualifying for Team Canada at Tokyo 2020 (provided he achieves the Olympic standard of 2:11:30 within the qualifying window). 

Reid Coolsaet, Dylan Wykes, Rob Watson and Canadian marathon record-holder Cam Levins will all be on the start line on October 20.

(08/16/2019) Views: 1,912 ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Canadians Reid Coolsaet, Dylan Wykes & Rob Watson will return to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Three very familiar faces will be among the outstanding Canadian entries for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon October 20th, all lured by the Athletics Canada National Championship which runs concurrently in this IAAF Gold Label race.

Moreover, this year’s event also serves as Canada’s Olympic trials with the ‘first past the post' earning an automatic spot on the team bound for Tokyo provided he or she has achieved the Olympic standard (2:11:30/2:29:30).

Two-time Olympian Reid Coolsaet will seek a third berth, Dylan Wykes a second and Rob Watson, a three-time World Championships performer, relishes the challenge of earning another podium finish. The ‘three amigos’ between them have won twenty-one national titles.

Coolsaet turned 40 on July 29th and acknowledges his best days are behind him - he is Canada’s third fastest marathoner of all time with a 2:10:28 personal record - but believes he has the experience to make the team for Tokyo. "Yeah, it is my goal, I am totally focused on making the Olympics," said Coolsaet, who has run under 2:11:30 six times in his career. "It’s definitely my main motivation for training as hard as I do in the marathon.

"If it wasn’t for the 2020 Olympics, knowing I am not really looking for a PB anymore, I think I would have moved to the trails last year. I am happy to train this hard knowing the reward would mean a lot to me."

With Cam Levins (2:09:25) also returning to the site of his dramatic Canadian record-breaking performance, Coolsaet realises that something would have to go seriously wrong for Levins to miss the automatic place. Still, he remains optimistic he has a chance.

"I know what it takes to run the level I need to run to potentially qualify for the Olympics," Coolsaet says believing a 2:12:30 might be good enough to earn a place through the IAAF ranking system.

"Although I don’t want to get hurt, I don’t want to sell myself short and think ‘what if?’ I am going to be smart about my training and listen to my body. "I am not going to run quite as much mileage as in the past. But I know I can’t let being 40 be an excuse to back off my training because I can't handle it or something like that. Although there will be some slight changes, they are going to be very slight."

Wykes who was Canada’s top finisher in the 2012 Olympic marathon (20th in 2:15:26) has a personal best of 2:10:47 making him the fourth fastest Canadian of all time. Many were surprised by his return. After failing to make the Rio Olympic team he effectively retired to focus on his family - he and his wife Francine have two young children - and his coaching business ‘Mile2Marathon’.

Coach Richard Lee had once declared that he doubted Wykes would ever want to put himself through the disruption which ultimately led to his place on the 2012 London Olympic team. He made three attempts to achieve the standard sacrificing much in the process. His 2:10:47 came at the 2016 Rotterdam Marathon. Reminded of this the now 36-year old laughs.

"It’s certainly taken a few years to wrap my head around things and realize I am probably not going to do it again if it’s like the buildup was to London," he admits. "I would be lying if I said Tokyo wasn’t in the back of my mind. But I think I am trying to see things less ‘big picture’ and trying to focus on staying healthy and getting to the finish line in Toronto.

"If Cam Levins is on his game he’s in a different stratosphere. But I guess guys like Tristan Woodfine, Reid, Trevor Hofbauer, these kind of guys, if I am going well, I will mix it up with them.That is kind of what I am most excited about."

Following the 2012 Olympics, Wykes’ motivation was at a peak. The London experience had left him excited with endless possibilities to set about achieving. But there were obstacles that cropped up along the way. "I was as focused or more focused after London as any time in my career and the years between London and Rio were going to be my best," he reveals. "But a lot of that was injuries and kind of biting off more than I could chew.

"Some of that had to with the buildup to London and having to run so many marathons. And I made the silly mistake of trying to chase down (Jerome Drayton’s Canadian record). After London that became my focus. And, when I didn’t make Rio, I was kind of done."

A year ago Wykes and his family moved east from Vancouver after Francine received a post-doctoral position at Carleton University. Together with Rob Watson he coaches runners of all abilities through their company ‘Mile2Marathon’. With over 200 clients and ten coaches it is a thriving business. Somewhere along the way he rediscovered his own love for disciplined training. At his peak Watson achieved a personal best of 2:13:29 at the 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

(08/02/2019) Views: 1,979 ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Two of Canada's fastest-ever marathoners Cam Levins and Reid Coolsaet are going to battle it out at this year's Edmonton lululemon 10K

Natasha Wodak, Cameron Levins and Reid Coolsaet are leading the field for the 2019 Edmonton lululemon 10K. The three Olympians and previous lululemon 10K winners will line up against a strong elite field in the sold out event.

The 2019 race sold out in a record time of 10 hours and will host 7,000 runners.

Wodak is on a tear this season. The B.C native has won five races in 2019 alone and come away with two Canadian championship titles. Wodak has been named to the World Championship team for the 10,000m following a huge run at Payton Jordan in early May where she hit world standard and narrowly missed her own Canadian record, and a win at the Canadian 10,000m trials in June.

Coolsaet had a slightly later start to his 2019 season following a setback in training which meant he wouldn’t be prepared for the Hamburg Marathon where he initially intended to open his season. He instead ran his spring marathon in Ottawa, 10 years after debuting on the same course. Following Ottawa, he’s lining up for the Edmonton 10K and will race Canadian marathon record holder Levins.

Levins had to withdraw from the London Marathon earlier this spring due to injury, but he’s back in good form and using a series of summer races to gear up for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon this October. At STWM Levins hopes to lower his own Canadian record.

He told Canada Running Series, “My training since [the Toronto lululemon 10K] has been great. It has taken a step forward and I think there is a tendency to do that once you get your first race out of the way.”

Race race goes at 7:30 a.m. on July 7 starting at the Alberta Provincial Legislature.

(06/29/2019) Views: 1,871 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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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.”

(05/25/2019) Views: 2,181 ⚡AMP
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Ottawa Marathon

Ottawa Marathon

As one of two IAAF Gold Label marathon events in Canada, the race attracts Canada’s largest marathon field (7,000 participants) as well as a world-class contingent of elite athletes every year. Featuring the beautiful scenery of Canada’s capital, the top-notch organization of an IAAF event, the atmosphere of hundreds of thousands of spectators, and a fast course perfect both...

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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon will serve as a Canada auto-qualifier for the Olympics

Athletics Canada announced that the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon will serve as an automatic qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Canadian marathon team. 

The first Canadian man and woman across the line, provided that they have met Athletics Canada’s standard in the event, will be named to the Olympic team. While Olympic standard hasn’t been released yet, the 2019 world championship standard is 2:37 for women and 2:16 for men. 

This will be a huge draw for elite Canadian runners, and make the race within the race very interesting. The only potential issue is that the world championship marathon is only days apart from STWM, and therefore impossible for a runner to compete in both events.

Canadian marathoner Reid Coolsaet discussed the drawbacks and exciting aspects of this decision. Also, someone like Cam Levins, who should easily qualify for Tokyo may want to race Worlds in Doha (both STWM and Doha are in October). What would prepare Cam better for the Tokyo Olympics?

Another paced marathon in cool temps (he’s running London this April) or, running a championship race in hot conditions? (Tokyo is forecasted to be very hot) Otherwise Tokyo will be his first championship marathon and probably his first hot marathon.

Coolsaet jokes that he’s simply trying to convince Levins to run Doha. The past three Olympic marathon teams have been named based on time alone, taking the fastest of the runners who achieved Athletics Canada’s named standard. Creating one auto-qualifier position means that a runner who hasn’t necessarily run the fastest time, or maybe even in the top five best times, could win and make an Olympic team because they raced well on that given day. But maybe this is okay? 

(01/27/2019) Views: 2,026 ⚡AMP
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TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Olympian and Canadian 3,000m steeplechase record holder Matt Hughes won the Boxing Day 10 mile in 48:05

The 98th annual Boxing Day 10 was held today December 26 in Hamilton, Ont. The race draws huge crowds of runners to brave the cold temperatures and run an off distance road race.

Among the runners were Olympics, Canadian record holders and national champions. The conditions were much better than the 2017 event, which saw temperatures as low as -22 degrees celsius (-6F). 

Wednesday’s event saw relatively mild temperature which hovered around zero degrees C (32F). The runners certainly weren’t wearing shorts last year.

Olympian and Canadian 3,000m steeplechase record holder Matt Hughes won the 10 mile clocking 48:05.  He also won last year. 

He was followed by Tristan Woodfine in 48:09 and Mike Tate in 48:38. Marathoner Reid Coolsaet finished fourth in 49:37.

In the women’s race Robyn Mildren took the title for the second year in a row clocking 55:46, second place went to Victoria Coates in 56:57 and third place to Mengistu Emebet in 59:34.

(12/26/2018) Views: 1,575 ⚡AMP
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Jerome Drayton's Canadian marathon record of 2:10:09 has stood for nearly 43 years

 Jerome Drayton's mark of 2:10:28 from the 1975 Fukuoka Marathon is the current national Canadian record. Drayton, who lives in Toronto, is 73 years-old now. "Two-ten is obviously a good time," remarked two-time Canadian Olympic marathoner Reid Coolsaet, who came close to Drayton's record at the 2015 BMW Berlin Marathon where he ran 2:10:28. Speaking at a press conference here this morning in advance of Sunday's Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon he added, "[But], especially after Eliud Kipchoge's record (2:01:39) we need a faster national record. With guys like Cam stepping up to the marathon, it's just a matter of time before it goes." "Cam," of course, is Cameron Levins, the 29 year-old Canadian Olympian who holds the national record of 27:07.51 for 10,000m. A former Nike Oregon Project athlete who now represents Hoka One One, Levins will be making his long-awaited marathon debut here this Sunday. He'll be running primarily for the Athletics Canada national title, but with a CAD 43,000 bonus (USD 32,800) on the line for taking down Drayton's mark, the record is definitely on Levins's mind. His 10,000m best is equivalent to a 2:06:38 marathon by using one popular conversion formula. "I'm in great shape," Levins told the media here today, looking relaxed in a hooded sweatshirt, his hands folded in his lap. "I'm ready to attack the Canadian record." Levins, who was notorious for running exceptionally high mileage during his NCAA career at Southern Utah University, stuck with a high-mileage diet for this race, too. He estimated that he averaged 168 miles (270 kilometers) per week, splitting his time between his sea level home in Portland, Ore., and the high altitude of Cedar City, Utah, where he lived and trained in college. He said he adapted well to marathon training after an uncertain start. "I was a little nervous about getting into the new kind of training," Levins told Race Results Weekly. "I mean, I'm into it now. I know I'm going to do more beyond this. I can see it becoming, just, what I do." But first, he had to get through Sunday's race. Long-time race director Alan Brookes has assembled one of his best elite fields led by two-time race winner Philemon Rono of Kenya (2:06:52 PB), 2012 Olympic Marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda (2:06:33), 2017 Seoul Marathon runner-up Felix Kandie of Kenya (2:06:03), and New Zealand record holder Jake Robertson (2:08:26). Levins, who said he will run with the second group, made sure he put enough long runs which included very specific goals. As a track runner, his long runs were mostly just for adding miles, he said, at an easy pace. (10/20/2018) Views: 1,596 ⚡AMP
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John Korir whose older brother Wesley Korir won the Boston Marathon in 2012, joins elite roster at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

John Korir, 22, has announced he will join the elite roster at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 27. John is the younger brother of Wesley Korir, who won the Boston Marathon in 2012, and who represented Kenya at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Wesley is also a former Member of Parliament in Kenya. younger Korir debuted the marathon at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend this spring, where he was way out in front just a few kilometres from the finish line. Ultimately Korir was overtaken by Yemane Tsegay of Ethiopia, the course record-holder, and finished in second place with a time of 2:09:14. The two brothers have trained together in Louisville, Kentucky. Korir will be welcomed by the family of his sister-in-law, Tarah McKay-Korir, who live in southern Ontario. Tarah and Wesley are the founders of the Kenyan Kids Foundation, one of STWM’s charity partners. Korir joins two-time defending champion Philemon Rono, New Zealand’s Jake Robertson, and our very own Reid Coolsaet on the start line at Scotia on October 21. (09/21/2018) Views: 1,742 ⚡AMP
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Canada's second fastest marathoner Reid Coolsaet is eyeing Jerome Drayton's record

Reid Coolsaet is the fastest Canadian in the field at this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. It’s a race Reid knows well having run it several times before. In 2011 he qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics by running 2:10:55. He has since lowered his PB to 2:10:26 making him Canada’s second fastest ever marathoner. The two-time Olympian, Coolsaet has had his eye on Jerome Drayton’s 2:10:09 Canadian record for some time. And no Canadian has run Scotiabank–or any other marathon on Canadian soil–faster. Coolsaet set that record (2:10:55) here in 2011. An interesting coincidence: Drayton’s record was set in 1975 at Fukuoka, Japan, a race Coolsaet has run twice, achieving an excellent time here in 2016 (2:10:55–the same time he ran at Scotia in 2011). With a PB of 2:10:28, set at the Berlin Marathon in 2015, Coolsaet has been tantalizingly close to this goal for a while. He’s had to be patient through a series of setbacks, most significantly a painful foot condition in early 2017 that took him out of competition for almost a year. He came back in time for the Canadian National Cross-Country Championships in November, placing ninth.   Jerome Drayton has held the Canadain record since 1969.  Jerome won the Fukuoka Marathon in 1969, 1975, and 1976, as well as the Boston Marathon in 1977. He  has held the Canadian record since 1969, after breaking the then record of 2:18:55 set by Robert Moore a month earlier. (09/13/2018) Views: 1,958 ⚡AMP
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Krista DuChene placed third at the 2018 Boston Marathon and her 16th Marathon will be STWM

Krista DuChene, the 41-year-old mother of three from Strathroy, Ont., finished third at the 2018 Boston Marathon clocking 2:44:20 said afterwards, “Our Canadian winters prepare us for days like this."

Krista announced yesterday that she will run the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM) on October 17. It will be her fifth time running what she has called her favourite race, and her 16th marathon in 16 years of competition. She joins Reid Coolsaet, two-time Olympian and second-fastest marathoner in Canada’s history, who will also run Scotiabank this year.  

Krista wrote on Instagram, “There are lots of reasons: it’s close to home, it’s a Canadian championship, it’s a quality field but it’s just, no matter where I am racing, my thoughts are on this race. It’s the one I want to do even though I could pick any race in the world.” 

Krista was part of the 2016 Canada Olympic Team.

(06/21/2018) Views: 2,484 ⚡AMP
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Two time Canadian Olympian Reid Coolsaet will run the Waterfront Marathon and is eyeing the $43,000 bonus for a national record

Two time Canadian Olympian Reid Coolsaet wants it known that rumours of his retirement are greatly exaggerated, even as marathon enthusiasts are busy penciling in their choices as to who will be the ‘next generation’ of Canadian marathon runners. As if to underscore his sudden status as ‘not nearly retired but simply maturing’, the 38 year old Hamilton, Ontario resident, and New Balance sponsored athlete, has confirmed he will race the 2018 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 21st.   And in a test of fitness following his surprising 9th place finish in Boston earlier this spring, Coolsaet will also tackle the upcoming Toronto Waterfront 10k on June 16th.   Coolsaet has the closest time to Jerome Drayton’s highly coveted national marathon record (2:10:09) than any other Canadian, running 2:10:28 at the 2015 Berlin marathon, and he appears eager to finally achieve this goal. With the Scotiabank prize for beating the record in Toronto now at $43,000 – a thousand dollars for each year the record has stood - Coolsaet would easily find use for such a princely sum. He and his wife, Marie, recently welcomed their second child, Elodie Virginia, into the world and renovations to their Hamilton home lie ahead.   "Of course the record is a big deal," Coolsaet declares. "My goal has always been to break 2:10 so whether or not another Canadian runs 2:07 or 2:08 I would still want to break 2:10.   "It has been a while, about a year and half, since I ran 2:10:55 (2016 Fukuoka). Even if it’s not possible I still think of (sub 2:10) when I am training and I use it to push me along and keep me motivated. It’s something that has been motivating me for about eight years now."   Injuries tend to take longer to heal as one matures and Coolsaet has been through some debilitating ones. Most recently and most seriously was the bout of osteonecrosis in his metatarsals that restricted his training and threatened to completely derail him. But Boston was a significant response, as he bravely trudged home through the cold rain and windy conditions to snatch 9th place.   "I was hoping to get a good feel for my marathon fitness in Boston but because of the conditions I wasn’t able to do that," he reflects. "The last 12k I wasn’t trying to maximize the training I had put in; I was just trying to keep the cold away and just move my stiff legs. I am happy with toughing it out there and happy I kept pushing and got 9th. But, I really don’t know what I could have done in nice conditions on a normal course." (06/05/2018) Views: 1,571 ⚡AMP
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Doha’s 2019 world championship marathon to start at midnight

The International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) has announced an innovative and fan-centered schedule for the 2019 IAAF World Championships.

The spectacular Midnight Marathon is the highlight of the competition schedule for the IAAF World Championships Doha 2019. The new championship format enables spectators to have an exciting and engaging event experience.

Details for the IAAF World Championships’ first-ever Midnight Marathon have also been announced with a stunning setting that will showcase the events like never before. The spectacular midnight marathon will take place along Doha’s iconic Corniche with the city’s iconic night skyline as a beautiful backdrop, providing stunning imagery for TV’s global audience.

Lights along the entire route will bring the full marathon to life with spectators enjoying family-friendly activations to give the event a festival atmosphere for athletes and fans alike, the IAAF has reported on its official website.

The popularity of night running events has grown considerably over recent years with Doha 2019 embracing the latest trend of the biggest global movement to bring a unique and different element to the World Championships. 

Canada’s Reid Coolsaet, who was ninth at the Boston Marathon said, “I just don’t understand why it’s not at like 10 PM. Unless maybe by midnight the roads have actually cooled down, I imagine the sun’s so hot there, the heat coming off the roads you’ll still feel it hours after the sun goes down.”

The world championships will be held from Sept. 28 to Oct. 6, 2019 in Doha, Qatar, when temperatures typically see nighttime lows of 71F to daytime highs of 92F.

(05/08/2018) Views: 2,536 ⚡AMP
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Three Canadians added to 2018 Boston Marathon

The second-fastest marathoners in Canadian history and the 2016 Olympic 10th-place finisher have been added to the 2018 Boston Marathon professional field. Reid Coolsaet and Krista DuChene, 2:10:28 and 2:28:32 marathoners, along with Eric Gillis will contest the world’s most famous road race on April 16. The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) announcement was made on Thursday. The Canadian trio, none of who were selected for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. (01/12/2018) Views: 1,403 ⚡AMP
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