Reid Coolsaet & Megan Brown win 10K National Championships at Oasis ZooRun.

TORONTO. September 23rd. Pre-race favourites Reid Coolsaet of Guelph’s Speed River TFC and Megan Brown of Athletics Toronto showed their mettle yesterday morning claiming the Athletics Canada National 10K Championship titles in front of a sold-out crowd of 3,500. Another 1500 ran the accompanying 5K and CubRun. Both Coolsaet (30:25) and Brown (33:24) had convincing victories over the new, scenic but hilly, winding course through Toronto Zoo. Vancouver’s Rob Watson (30:36) and London, ONs, Lanni Marchant (34:09) took silver medals, and Speed River’s Matt Brunsting (30:37) and Tarah McKay-Korir (34:23) of St.Clements, ON, took bronze. The 10K also doubled as the Timex Series Grand Finale, where British Columbia took both the Men’s and Mixed Team awards; only Ontario’s Women denied them a clean sweep.

Conditions were good for running with a temperature of 13 degrees, cloudy, and overnight light rain ending just prior to the 8:15am Start. Kenayan Dancan Kasia charged off from the line and immediately opened up a gap between himself and the chase pack that included Watson and Athletics Toronto’s Rejean Chiasson, Terence Attema from Smithville, ON, Brunsting and Coolsaet. “I didn’t know how I’d feel just 6 weeks after racing the Olympic Marathon,” said Coolsaet. “So I wanted to sit back. I waited ‘til 6km to push a bit. I slowly kept increasing the pace and moved away from the group. I caught Dancan and went by him with about 1.5 kilometres to go. It felt really good.” Coolsaet will be pacing Kenya’s Stephen Chelimo to 25km at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 3 weeks – returning the favour that Stephen did for him last October in his Olympic qualifying run; then it’s onto the Great South Run 10 miler in the UK. He hopes to make the Canadian Team for the Chiba Eikiden Relays in Japan in November as his final race of the season. Watson, who is hoping to better his current PB of 2:13:35 at Toronto Waterfront on October 14, and claim a place on the Canadian Marathon Squad to the World Championships in Moscow next summer, was similarly pleased with his outing. “It was a good hard effort for me today. I had my biggest workout of my STWM prep on Tuesday, so I’m pleased. I felt strong. I just didn’t have any top gears!”

Perhaps the biggest smiles of the day, however, were sported by Megan Brown. She led the Women’s contest from start to finish, and notched a convincing victory over marathoner Lanni Marchant, who is also in the final high-intensity phase of her Toronto Waterfront training, by 35 seconds. “This was one of my best races! I’m SO pleased to get rid of the bridesmaid thing. I have 3 silver Canadian Championship medals. It feels great to finally claim a gold and a Championship title! I have 2 silvers from Cross and was 2nd here last year. This was a tough course and we went out fast (2:59 at 1km). But I felt strong. I stayed with the group [of other women] ‘til about 4km, then opened it up.”

All in all, it was an excellent morning for Canadian distance running. Costumes and high-spirits added to the sense of occasion at the Zoo venue, Athletics CEO Rob Guy was on hand to give out the hardware, and the Zoo was delighted to take home a cheque for $31,000 from Canada Running Series, from the runners’ fundraising efforts. The CubRun capped off the day, with Heidi Gillis – daughter of Canadian Olympic marathoner Eric Gillis – making her racing debut. “Scott the Care Bear” took home Best Children’s Costume Award.

OASIS ZooRun 10K: Top Finishers

Men:

1. Reid Coolsaet   Speed River TFC            30:25 

2. Dancan Kasia    KENYA                            30:32*

3. Rob Watson       Vancouver, BC               30:36

4. Matt Brunsting  Speed River TFC          30:37

5. Rejean Chiasson  Athletics Toronto        30:49

6. Kyle Boorsma     Speed river TFC           30:59 

* Kasia not eligible for Canadian 10K Championships

Women:

1. Megan Brown      Athletics Toronto         33:34

2. Lanni Marchant   London, ON                 34:09

3. Tarah McKay-Korir Athletics Toronto   34:23

4. Natasha Fraser     Port Moody, BC           34:30

5. Kriata DuChene     Brantford, ON            34:48 

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half & 5K on October 14th will be the final event in Canada Running Series 2012. Entries are still open at www.stwm.ca

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One Response to Reid Coolsaet & Megan Brown win 10K National Championships at Oasis ZooRun.

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