– Scotiabank Charity Challenge Participants Target $650,000 for 60 Local Charities

– Canada Running Series brings the country’s best distance runners to Vancouver

VANCOUVER, BC (15/06/2012) – Two members of Canada’s 2012 Olympic marathon team will line up at the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon in their final race before the London Olympics. On June 24, 2012 Olympic-bound athletes Eric Gillis and Reid Coolsaet will join an expected 7,000 runners and walkers in the Scotiabank Half-Marathon and 5K event. In addition to running for personal goals, many participants will be running to raise $650,000 in donations for 60 local charities through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge.

Eric (left), Reid, pictured with Dylan Wykes (the 3rd member of Canada's London 2012 Men's marathon squad) pictured at recent Official Team Announcement in Guelph

Elites to Watch For:

Eric Gillis, Guelph, Ontario: Originally from Antigonish, NS, Eric represented Canada in the 2008 Beijing Games in the 10,000m. He qualified to represent Canada in this year’s Olympic Marathon by the smallest of margins — one second — running 2:11:28 at the 2011 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon last October. Eric also won the 2012 Canadian Half-Marathon Championship on April 29th at Banque Scotia 21K de Montreal.

Reid Coolsaet, Hamilton, Ontario: Like Gillis, 32-year-old Reid Coolsaet also trains in Guelph under Coach Dave Scott-Thomas at the Speed River Track Club, and he also qualified for London at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront 2011 with a time of 2:10:55. He also spent two months training in Iten, Kenya this past winter.

Kip Kangogo, Lethbridge, AB: Kangogo is the SVHM defending Champion, having won the last three editions in a row. Always a fierce competitor, he currently leads the Canada Running Series overall standings. His goal this season is to win the overall Series. He also hopes to solidify a place on the Canadian Marathon team for the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow through his performance at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October. On a personal note, Kip also expects to secure his Canadian citizenship in early 2013.

Lanni Marchant, London, ON: At 28-years-old, from London, ON, Lanni is one of Canada’s brightest, up-and-coming distance-running stars. She had a tremendous, breakthrough performance at the Rotterdam Marathon this April where she notched a 2:31:51 time, beating her personal best by 13 minutes. Although just outside the Canadian standard for the Women’s Olympic Marathon of 2:29:55, Lanni has launched an appeal to be given a place on the team to London and expects to hear the result any day now. She raced for Canada on May 28th at the Bolder Boulder 10km in Colorado, finishing 11th in a time of 35:02 on a hilly course in high-altitude conditions.

Krista Duchene: This 35-year-old mother of three from Brantford, ON, also had a huge breakthrough in Rotterdam on April 15, 2012, finishing in 2:32:05, a seven-minute improvement to her personal best. Faith is also a very important motivator in Krista’s life and running. Like Lanni Marchant, she has also filed an appeal to see if she can be given a place on the Canadian Marathon squad for London.

For more information & online registration:

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