With five of eight 2013 Canada Running Series events completed Kip Kangogo appears headed for his first overall series victory an achievement that would cap a remarkable year.
The 34 year old Kenyan, who is a landed immigrant and awaiting Canadian citizenship, earned hard fought victories at the Vancouver Spring Run Off, The Toronto Yonge Street 10k and, most recently, the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon giving him 150 points. Only two time Canadian Olympian Eric Gillis has a remote chance of passing him but he trails with 97 points and is recovering from an injury.
The women’s overall title is much much closer with Krista DuChene leading perennial rival Lanni Marchant 120 points to 99 on the strength of her victories at the Toronto Spring Run Off, the Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal (the Canadian Half Marathon Championship) and the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon.
Of course the pair are focused on the IAAF World Championships marathon (August 10th) in Moscow where they will represent Canada.
Their world championship debut is due in part to the partnership of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon – the Canada Running Series flagship event – the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend and Athletics Canada, which have helped fund the marathoners programme for Moscow.
Winners of the overall men’s and women’s CRS titles earn $2,500 bonuses. In Kangogo’s case the money would come in very handy. Along with an incredible streak of road race victories he proudly points to another event which has left him with a beaming smile ear to ear – the birth of his daughter Emma.
“Emma was born June 2nd this year,” he says. “She was born on my wife’s birthday. It was a big present for my wife. There is no greater gift you can get than that.
“I tell you what. You plan as much as you want in trying to get ready for the baby. But when the baby comes your life changes from that second. I spent sleepless nights sometimes taking care of my baby, changing diapers, I cook most of the time. Thank God I am a good cook. It’s just wonderful. It makes you smile. It makes you so happy.”
Kangogo has been living in Lethbridge, Alberta ever since he attended college there. The Canada Running Series, he says, has been a blessing for his running career.
“Over the four years I made progression,” he recalls. “I think I started being 4th overall then I came to third and then last year I came second overall to (2012 Canadian Olympic marathoner) Reid Coolsaet. With my young family I think it will be a good time for daddy to win the overall CRS.
“The CRS continues to give us runners the best quality races I think I will make some more stops at CRS this year, possibly the Zoo Run (September 21st). I like the Zoo run it’s a big competitive race. I think I will try my best to go for the win for the CRS. That will be pretty good for the family.”
Women’s leader Duchene is also a proponent of the Series and has added incentive for winning the 2013 overall title – she is the defending CRS overall champion.
“I think it’s always a special thing to defend your title whatever that may be,” she explains. “I know that was certainly an incentive for me when I was out in Vancouver for the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon. Of course (winning the overall title) would be something I would like to do again.
“But I think it’s fair to say that for both Lanni and I that the Zoo Run is likely the last race of the Series we would do. It’s going to depend on our recovery after Moscow. Hopefully we can both bounce back and have a decent race. But the way it has been pretty much the whole year, we are so even in terms of our times and performances, so I guess anything can happen in terms of the series as well.”
The next race in the Canada Running Series is the Vancouver East Side 10k scheduled for September 21st. The event is expected to draw some of the leading racers on the West Coast.
For more information and Entry to Canada Running Series events see http://www.canadarunningseries.com/crs/index.htm
For complete CRS 2013 Point Standings see http://www.canadarunningseries.com/crs/crsRESULT.htm