“Marathon Mania”, “Road Racing Mania” signal Big Times for Canadian Distance Running!

TORONTO. April 10th. “Tis the season! As Spring bursts forth, and winter releases its icy grip, the Marathon and Road Racing season is set to surge forward with great energy, excitement, and CANADIAN CONTENT everywhere! 

Matt Loiselle picture at Banque Scotia 21K de montreal 2012, where he has had so much success at the half marathon distance

I’ll be “up in the air” myself, starting tomorrow, and I’m quite in awe of what’s on tap the next few weekends, so I thought it worth a post! I leave tomorrow for BOSTON, where we’ll have a SCOTIABANK TORONTO WATERFRONT MARATHON booth at the Expo (booth #1720) as well as watching the race, and tweeting furiously! Then Monday night, after Bawstin, I fly overnight to LONDON, where we again have a STWM booth at the massive Expo at the Excel Centre, from Wednesday to Saturday. From there I make a mad dash back to YYZ on Saturday night, so I’m back for TORONTO YONGE STREET 10K on the Sunday morning 21st. A couple of days’ sleep and I’m off to Montreal for BANQUE SCOTIA 21K DE MONTREAL — event #4 in CRS 2013, and again the CANADIAN NATIONAL HALF MARAHON CHAMPIONSHIPS. Finally, after a couple of days back in the Tdot, its off to the PITTSBURGH MARATHON! Breathless, at this point I’m not even thinking about May! 

So here’s a CANADIAN CONTENT to WATCH FOR quick overview, in chronological order: 

  • first up is Athletics Toronto’s MATT LOISELLE in the BRIGHTON MARATHON on the south coast of England, Sunday morning, April 14th. Matt needs a sub 2:15:00 to qualify for the Canadian Marathon Team at the World Championships in Moscow in August. He’s been soooo agonizingly close, running 2:16:24 and 2:16:01 the last 2 years at STWM. The qualifying window ends the day after Ottawa, on May 26th, so this is IT! A relatively new marathon, Brighton is organized by RD Tim Hutchings — a long-time elite athlete coordinator and PR man with London Marathon, who also does lots of terrific colour commentary, including STWM 2011 for us and CBC. Brighton had lowered its course record to 2:12 over the last 3 years, with 2012 champ Peter Some going on to win Paris last weekend in 2:05! SEE “Brighton Announces Elite Field” article on their Media page http://www.brightonmarathon.co.uk/news_media.php 
  • Just 2.5 hours later, REID COOLSAET will be on the Start Line in ROTTERDAM, taking another run at Jerome Drayton’s Canadian Men’s Marathon Record of 2:10:09, that has stood since 1977! There’s lots of ink on Reid out there,

    Reid's famous Fist Pump captured at STWM 2011 after he achieved his London Olympics standard!

    but you’d be remiss if you don’t check New Balance’s lovely “Reid in Rotterdam Preview” VIDEO, just posted today.   

  • Monday, April 15th is Patriot’s Day in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and that means only one thing… BAWSTIN! As well as Michael Doyle from Canadian Running mag (& STWM 2012 broadcast commentator), and more than 1,000 Canadians who’ve qualified to be on that illustrious Start Line in Hopkinton, we’ll be able to cheer for ROB WATSON. Can “Mr. Inconsistency” (or is it “Mr. Aggressive”?) nail one? He also ran Rotterdam last year, and hung with Dylan Wykes until 35K, before dropping off to finish in 2:13:35, while Dylan nailed a 2:10:47, the 2nd fastest-ever Canadian time after Drayton’s. The weather looks promising for Boston on Monday. What’s the call for @robbiedxc — a 2:11 or DNF after the hills? (see Rob’s always entertaining BLOG). 
  • Sunday, April 21st. LONDON MARATHON. As always, London works to out-do themselves, and claim the title of “World’s Greatest Race.” This year is no exception, with AMAZING, OUTSTANDING Men’s & Women’s races. There’s too much for me to write about here. Check the releases on Men’s & Women’s fields: Women’s race . And Men’s race “The Greatest Ever Field!”  
  • Eric, Reid and Kip Kangogo battle it out at Toronto Yonge Street 2011. Eric and Kip will be at it again this year, with Reid waiting at the Finish Line!

  • Sunday, April 21st. TORONTO YONGE STREET 10K. And a massive day to not only cheer on at home, but to actually RUN WITH some of our exciting, relatively-new Canadian distance stars! ERIC GILLIS; Harry’s Spring Run Off champ

    Lanni racing to her 2nd place finish at 2012 OASIS ZooRun, National 10K Championships

    SAMI JIBRIL; Around the Bay champ TERENCE ATTEMA; GIITAH MACHARIA vs KIP KANGOGO, DANCAN KASIA, JOSEPHAT ONGERI. In the Women’s dash down YONGE STREET, we have Canada’s #1 ranked female marathoner and ATB30K champ and new Course Record breaker, LANNI MARCHANT vs Lindsay SCHERF from NYC who won the Ottawa 10K last May, beating all the Africans!! Plus RACHEL HANNAH, just back from a strong performance for Canada at the World Cross Country Championships in Poland. 

  • Sunday, April 21st. Meanwhile, out West, we’ll have the VANCOUVER SUNRUN 10K, featuring NATASHA FRASER and KELLY WEIBE.
  • Sunday, April 28th. It’s onto BANQUE SCOTIA 21K de MONTREAL – Canada’s National Half marathon Championships. Our 2012 Champ, ERIC GILLIS will be back to defend, as a final tune-up before he races OTTAWA MARATHON on May 25th — his final chance to get a sub 2:15:00 that could take him to MOSCOW in August. In Montreal, Eric will be challenged by REJEAN CHIASSON, ADAM HORTIAN and GIITAH MACHARIA(who was on the Canadian Marathon squad to the 2009 World Championships in Berlin with Reid Coolsaet and Dylan Wykes). The Women’s race features the rest of our top Canadian stars: KRISTA DUCHENE, RACHEL HANNAH and DAYNA PIDHORESKY.

Krista DuChene showing she's back to top form in winning Harry's Spring Run Off 8K last Saturday

Phewwwww…. what a month it promises to be. Good luck to everyone who will be racing and running in any of these events. Please say “hello” to me and some of our Canadian distance stars, and have a fantastic race yourself. And if you’re not racing, come out and CHEER,  follow the races on the web, and enjoy every step, every head-to-head battle! 

There are SO many great stories:

  1. Will Reid finally take out Drayton’s record?
  2. Will Matt Loiselle finally get his much-deserved good weather and Moscow World Championships qualifying standard?
  3. Will Rob Watson get a big, breakthrough PB (he already has Moscow standard) 
  4. Will Eric Gillis and Lanni Marchant be able to carry the marathoners-flag and hammer the field at Toronto Yonge Street 10K?
  5. Who will be crowned our new Canadian Half marathon Champions in Montreal? Are Eric and Krista the likely favourites?  

Place your BETS ladies and gentlemen!! 

Please join me and all the “real time” excitement on Twitter at https://twitter.com/alnbrookes

And I hope to see LOTS of your at the races, in Boston, London, Toronto and Montreal!

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