Kip Kangogo Leading Canada Running Series, by Paul Gains

At the midway point of the 2012 Canada Running Series some familiar names occupy the top spots in the overall points category.

Tarah seen breaking the tape at Harry's Spring Run Off Toronto 8K

Tarah McKay-Korir of St Clement’s, Ontario leads the women’s standings with 90 points by virtue of her victories at the Toronto Harry’s Spring Run Off race and the Toronto Yonge Street 10km. Still in the hunt is Kate Van Buskirk (Toronto) who has 78 points in second place overall. She was second in both races to McKay-Korir.

“The Canada Running Series has an outstanding reputation which all my former and present coaches have been a part of,” says Van Buskirk, “ so it is neat to now follow in their footsteps, so to speak.”

Both of these ladies are focusing on the track during the summer but remain favourites for the CRS overall title.

Kip Kangogo, the Kenyan born resident of Lethbridge, Alberta, leads the men’s series with 97 points as the series approach the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon (June 24th). The ever improving Matt Loiselle has 69 points with Josephat Ongeri (66) Giitah Macharia (63) and Canadian Olympic marathoner Reid Coolsaet following (60) in that order.

Kip has won the last THREE Scotia Vancouver Half-marathons, but he'll be in tough to defend this year against both Coolsaet & Gillis

Coolsaet is focusing on the London Olympics but intends to race the Vancouver event with training partner and fellow Olympian, Eric Gillis. The race fits in perfectly with their Olympic training program.

Both Kangogo and Loiselle are hoping to achieve the 2013 IAAF world championship marathon standard of 2:15 at this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and also want to collect as many CRS points as they can.

The battle between them for the overall title and the $2,500 first place prize might well come down to the marathon which is the flagship CRS race.

Though he first lived in Lethbridge ten years ago Kangogo is still awaiting Canadian citizenship. Leading the series at this point with a victory in Vancouver’s Spring Run Off and a second place finish in the Toronto Yonge Street 10km he admits he is optimistic about winning the overall title. Furthermore, he is pleased to be leading at this juncture.

“It feels great,” says the 32 year old. “When I add up every sore muscle, every single struggle, every second that I hustled and all the challenges that I took then I know inside me that it was worth it. It is very important to win the Canada Running Series title.

“Training has been coming along nicely. This year coach (Patrick Cunniff) has added some long workouts and the mileage has gone up. Coach has been great putting together the best training for me. I love every bit of what coach has for me each day and I really appreciate how he approaches training. Flaman Fitness has also been a great sponsor for me this year. I am very thankful for all that they do for me.”

Meanwhile Loiselle earned his points by winning the Toronto Harry’s Spring Run Off and by finishing 2nd in the Banque Scotia 21km de Montreal.

“The next goal is, indeed, to qualify for Moscow in the marathon,” Loiselle reveals. “If I want to qualify for the 2016 Olympics, I need to be progressing and making international teams in the marathon. Moscow will be the next benchmark.

“Racing in the CRS is very important and helpful for my development as a runner. The races allow me to track my progress against other Canadians and also against the clock.”

Up next is the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon June 24th.

“At the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon I want to run my race and not get into other people racing plans,” Kangogo reveals. “It is a moment to reward myself by racing the race. It is my moment to run the damn race. It is a moment to connect with my fans. And when I see that crowd screaming so loud and my fans on the side line feeling so proud. That is my happiness.”

Still, he hasn’t forgotten his main priority.

“The most important thing for STWM is to get a good training for the months ahead of me and race day will take care of itself,” he declares. “At this point in time I want a good preparation and that is my main goal.”

In addition to the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon the remaining Canada Running Series races are the Toronto 10 Miler (August 12th), Oasis Zoo Run (September 22nd) and of course, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (October 14th).

For complete CRS Points Standings see:

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