TORONTO. 14 August. Reid Coolsaet showed why he’s Canada’s #1 ranked marathoner and the man to beat at the de facto “Olympic Trials” at Scotia Toronto Waterfront on October 16th, as he cruised to a comfortable victory at this morning’s ACURA Toronto 10 miler in 48:34. On a sunny, warm (20 to 23 degrees) morning with high humidity in the 80% range, the Speed River TFC star made his title defence at “The Acura” look easy, against what appeared to be a strong field. Teammate Eric Gillis ran 49:01 and Athletics Toronto’s Matt Loiselle continued his show of fine form this year taking 3rd in 49:27. All three will square off again at Toronto Waterfront in 9 weeks, along with Simon Bairu and Dylan Wykes, with 3 trips to London 2012 on the line and a 2:11:29 standard to achieve. Tecumseh, Ontario’s Dayna Pidhoresky made equally easy work of the women’s race, crossing the line in 56:32, a minute 40 seconds clear of Ethiopian Aselefech Asefa and almost 2 minutes clear of 3rd place Lucy Njeri of Kenya (58:24).
A record field of 2,100 took off in the 10 miler from The Historic Distillery District at 8:30am, accompanied by another 700 in the 5K, who turned back after 2.5k. While he was always in the thick of things, Coolsaet was content to sit back in a sizeable lead pack and let teammates Rob Watson and Eric Gillis, plus Matt Loiselle and Hamilton’s Kenyans, Josephat Ongeri and David Karanja do the early work. They passed 1k in 2:59 and 2k in 6:02, with Gillis pushing things along steadily. Three kilometres was passed in 9:01, and by the time the pack turned into Tommy Thompson Park at 4km, they were down to 8. By the 5 mile mark it was a three-man contest between Coolsaet , Gillis and Loiselle – all timed in 24:06. Oakville’s Giitah Macharia and Karanja had settled into 4th and 5th, some 26 seconds back (24:32), then there was another major gap to Ongeri and Athletics Toronto’s Rejean Chiasson (24:59 & 25:18). An unfortunate Rob Watson was forced to drop out with a hamstring problem around 6k. By the time they exited the park at 12.5k the race was all over. Coolsaet continue to impressively click off the 3 minute kilometres (13k in 39:02), while the competition wilted in the humidity.
In the women’s race, the much-anticipated re-match between Dayna Pidhoresky and Canadian National Half marathon Champion, Megan Brown of Athletics Toronto, never materialized. While Pidhoresky has looked impressive in victories at Around the Bay 30K, Harry’s Spring Run Off 8K and Sporting Life Toronto 10K this Spring, Brown gave her a good hiding at the Banque Scotia 21K de Montreal in April, winning by almost a minute on a blustery, wet morning. Seeming eager after not racing since May, Pidhoresky took it out hard from the start, with only Ethiopian Aselefech Asefa hanging on. Apparently suffering the after effects of a cold, Brown stepped off the course after 4km. Like Coolsaet, Pidhoresky was able to lose all of the competition in the Park, and admitted to easing up over the final 2k, after the strong start. “It was a hard effort, today,” said Pidhoresky afterwards. “It felt good to be out there racing again, and to get another Canada Running Series victory.” She will go on to race Brown again for the National 10K Road Championship at OASIS ZooRun on September 24th. Current score 1-1!
While the skies clouded over as the morning progressed, the rain held off and didn’t spoil the party back at The Distillery with Canadian Idol judge Zack Werner. Canadian Running magazine editor Mihira Lakshman celebrated his birthday with a 60:44 performance, and June Ann Clarke in her “Bride To Be” outfit and fiance Eric Ambrosimov made it round together as a pre-marital tune-up – nuptials taking place next Saturday. The Canadian Cancer Society was all smiles, raising more than $30,000 on the day.