Lanni Marchant to Run Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon by Paul Gains

029_ij_svhm13_0165It could be said that Lanni Marchant epitomises the ‘loneliness of the long distance runner’ training alone on the roads near her home in Chattanooga, Tennessee using programs emailed from her coach in London, Ontario.

The 30 year old national marathon record holder is also the sole Canadian entry in the Commonwealth Games marathon set for next month.  But it’s a lifestyle that she relishes – for now.

Since claiming that record with her 2:28:00 in Toronto last October Marchant was able to relieve a little financial stress using the $28,000 record bonus to pay down the loan she had taken out to finish law school. And she also experienced racing in the Boston Marathon, a World Marathon Major event, where she finished a credible 14th.

Marchant says she is grateful that the law firm for whom she does work is flexible allowing her to travel to races and to what has become an annual high altitude training camp in Iten, Kenya each winter. Preparing case work from home or, when she feels particularly isolated, from a local coffee shop, she is committed to practicing law in addition to her athletics career.

As she pounds out the miles her next important test will come in the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon June 22nd the fifth of eight races that make up the 2014 Canada Running Series.

“That course is really tricky,” she says. “Last year I think I ran just over 1:11 (1:11:38) so I am hoping for) something similar to that, maybe a bit quicker. I want to feel stronger the second half of the course because the first half is all downhill, so I wouldn’t even mind to be a bit slow if I really hammer it the last half of the race.

“(SVHM) will work well because most of the rest of the Commonwealth team have to go to Moncton, New Brunswick for the track nationals to prove fitness. It actually times pretty well being the week before track nationals so I can put in a solid effort and show that I am still fit and ready to go, and I can test the legs a little bit and see what I have in the tank without going too, too deep and using a race effort. It’s about a month before I will do the marathon.”

Last month she tested herself at the Ottawa 10km. She was the top Canadian finisher in the women’s race finishing 7th overall (33:15). Most encouraging for her was that she ran the second half much faster than the first passing 5km in 16:26.

“Ottawa was just a rust buster,” she says laughing. “I knew I wasn’t ready to go with the lead Kenyan runners so I wanted to run and finish strong. I am really trying to focus on the second half of my race I tend to be a runner that pushes hard the first half and sometimes gets into trouble the second half.

“I am doing a lot of work in the gym and I am trying to use these races to get some finishing speed and keep my speed and hip strength and everything going over the second half of every race.”

The Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon will be of much higher importance since the distance is more attuned to the high mileage training she has been doing to prepare for the Commonwealth Games. Twice she has run here with mixed results. In 2012 she broke her foot during the race. A year ago her friend and Canadian rival Krista DuChene got the better of her and she wound up second.

Marchant says she plans to arrive in Vancouver a couple of days earlier and stay a few days after the race in order to visit her elder sister as well as other family members. Though the occasion will be relaxing there is no doubt she will be all business when she lines up for the race.

Yes, it’s a lonely existence but a victory in Vancouver followed by a strong performance wearing the Canadian vest in Glasgow will make it all worthwhile. Indeed, Marchant has lofty goals.

“The Commonwealth Games is something I always wanted,” she explains. “I remember the last time around I was looking to do the 10,000m but the standard was way too fast for me. I didn’t think I would ever actually make a team and I always thought it would be a fun team to make and it’s a good chance for Canadians to do well at an international event.

“And if Rio (Olympic Games) is the end goal I want as much experience putting on that Team Canada singlet and lining up against some big names before I hope to do it in Rio.”

 

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Introducing our 2014 STWM Digital Champions!

On Sunday October 19th, 25,000 runners will come together in Toronto for the 25th Anniversary of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon! Today we are excited to announce our 2014 Digital Champions ambassador team. The STWM Digital Champions are a group of diverse, dedicated, and enthusiastic athletes, each with a unique story and running history to share.

This year we are introducing some new faces as well as bringing back the best of our Digital Champion alumni! Over the next 130 days, you can follow the journeys of these 50 runners on Twitter, Instagram, and this blog as they share their training challenges and triumphs on the road to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

Whether you’re a busy parent, a new runner, or a Boston hopeful, we know you will find a story that inspires you to lace up your shoes and log the kilometres on the road to the finish line.   As you embark on your own training journey, we hope you’ll join our online community and connect with our Digital Champions for motivation and support!

STWM Tune-Up Run Larger

Connect with the 2014 Digital Champions on Twitter using the hashtag #STWM:

Wally Azarcon
Twitter: @callousedrunner

Catherine Azoulay
Twitter: @marathoner514

Jean-Paul Bedard
Twitter: @RunJPRun

Tina Benigno
Twitter: @TinaBelinda

Alyssa Bird
Twitter: @alyfly8910

Amanda Bond
Twitter: @amandalea_b

Andrew Chak
Twitter: @AndrewChak

William Chaupiz
Twitter: @wchaupiz

Alyssa Cheung
Twitter: @the_real_alyssa

Michelle Clarke
Twitter: @runningchic

Karyn Cooper
Twitter: @coopkaryn

Karen Dancy
Twitter: @kdancey

Christa Davidson
Twitter: @christadavidson

Lisa Davidson
Twitter: @TorontoFitMom

Christopher Doyle
Twitter: @ChrisDoyle

Heather Gardner
Twitter: @RunSoulCycle

Emily Gray
Twitter: @EmilyMcGray

Patrick Girard
Twitter: @PatRuns

Prasheel Gopal
Twitter: @PralexGorier

Jean-Paul Hernandez
@rundarkknight

Hideki Kinoshita
Twitter: @kinosfault

Jessica Kuepfer
Twitter: @lacesandlattes

Josh Labove
Twitter: @jlabove

Steve Layton
Twitter: @stevewlayton

Jodi Lewchuk
Twitter: @jodilewchuk

Carol Levesque
Twitter: @carollevesque

Michael Lobsinger
Twitter: @mLob_creative

Laurie-Ann March
Twitter: @innerpossible

Linda Nguyen
Twitter: @lindamnguyen

Cory Pagett

Twitter: @CMDPcomm

Noel Paine
Twitter: @NoelPaine

Amber Renton
Twitter: @gingersontherun

Leanne Richardson
Twitter: @RLeanne

Bridget Roussy
Twitter: @bridgetwaits

Mark Sawh
Twitter: @Mark_Sawh

Sally Seabrook
Twitter: @sallyseabrook13

Janine Sedgwick
Twitter: @wanna_b_runner

Krysten Siba-Bishop
Twitter: @darwinianfail

Ravi Singh
Twitter: @ravimatsingh

Janice Smith
Twitter: @fitcheerldr

Petja Taivassalo
Twitter: @MrTDoesPE

Michael Thornton
Twitter: @MikeThorntonCA

Alan Tou
Twitter: @alatus

Jennifer Wilson
Twitter: @JenWilsonTO

Lara Winnemore
Twitter: @viva_lara

Stephanie Xamin
Twitter: @stephanieruns

Kenny Yumke
Twitter: @yumke 

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Dylan Wykes Returns to Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon by Paul Gains

Dylan Wykes East SideAfter racing to a 20th place finish at the 2012 London Olympics Dylan Wykes had reached a peak in his running career and wondered if he would ever find the motivation and determination to continue.

Thankfully for Canadian running fans that mindset was only temporary.

On April 27th Wykes took second in the Vancouver Sun Run with a time of 29:11. The performance has served notice he is fit and mentally preparing to run a fall marathon. As the second fastest Canadian in history – he recorded 2:10:47 in Rotterdam 2012 to earn his spot on the Olympic team – he has hopes of improving upon that time.

Next up for the Vancouver resident, who celebrates his 31st birthday on June 6th, is the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon on June 22nd, a true test of his current training program.

“Training is going pretty well,” he said on a recent visit to his hometown of Kingston, Ontario. “I ran the 10k last week in Ottawa. It wasn’t as good a performance as I wanted but I bounced back. I have been getting in some good training for sure.”

Wykes finished 9th in the Lowertown Brewery 10km in Ottawa on a warm and muggy night with a time of 29:40. Asked about the difficulty in bouncing back mentally following the Olympics he chooses his words deliberately.

“I think it was tough to reach a big goal like that,” he says quietly. “It’s kind of like ‘oh, what now?” That feeling combined with some injuries shortly after the Olympics, for about a year and half, it’s definitely been up and down emotionally.

“There have been times when I definitely thought about packing it in. But I always gravitated back to wanting to get back to where I had been and to be better. The goal is to just keep improving; that has kept me getting out there training.”

Since the fall of 2010 Wykes has trained under the guidance of Richard Lee, who also heads up the BC Endurance Project. He has eked out an existence thanks to the help of his sponsors Mizuno as well as a part time job at Forerunners a Vancouver store owned and operated by Peter Butler (4th fastest Canadian marathoner of all time at 2:10:56).  On occasion, he also does some contract work related to epidemiology, a field in which he has a Master’s degree.

“I am cautiously optimistic that I will stay healthy,” he admits. “It’s probably been three months now that I have been training and healthy. I can definitely get back to the level I was at leading up to the Olympics and during the Olympics. Hopefully I can get more out of myself. There are definitely some big goals and stuff I want to accomplish still.”

Optimism is abundant these days especially since he was a last minute entrant in the Vancouver Sun Run and preparations couldn’t have been more challenging. A week before the race he and his longtime girlfriend, Francine Darroch, were married. The couple is also expecting a child.

“I only decided to race Sun Run two weeks before,” he explains. “I had my wedding the week before that. I had a lot of other things going on and I didn’t feel any pressure to perform.

“The race wasn’t hyping me up as one of the main contenders because I decided to run so late. So I was able to get in there and I didn’t really know where I was at fitness wise. I didn’t put on any pressure on myself and just tried to compete. That was my first race in five months. I was happy with how that went for sure.”

Wykes is looking forward to the Scotiabank Half Marathon, a race he is more than familiar with. He raced it in 2011 finishing 4th in 1:04:35. In his buildup to the Olympics he recorded his personal best of 1:02:38 in Tempe, Arizona.

“I know the (Vancouver) course,” he reveals. “Part of it goes through the neighbourhood where I am living and I know the streets it is run on.”

“When you look at it on paper it looks like it should be a really fast course there’s some significant downhill but there’s also some tough uphill. I just want to try and compete well. Obviously I think it will take 63-64 minutes to be competitive. I think I am ready to do that again. If I can just get in there and be in the mix that will be great.”

The event record is 63:10 set by Kenya’s Patrick Nthiwa in 2007. Although Reid Coolsaet has withdrawn due to an injury the field remains very, very strong. Among those Wykes will face on June 22nd are training partner Rob Watson (1:03:22 best) and four time Vancouver champion, Kip Kangogo, the Kenyan born resident of Lethbridge, Alberta.

Kangogo received his Canadian citizenship on April 4th of this year but has been a force on the Canadian scene for years.

“Kip knows how to get it done, eh?” Wykes says laughing when reminded Kangogo has won the race four times. “Kip is obviously a super competitor and knows how to win on that course. I hope that I am strong enough to keep up with the lead pack. Kip is a tough guy to beat. I think he has had my number more times than I have had his, in the times we have raced, so it will be tough.”

With renewed optimism and his life moving along nicely Wykes admits he is in a good place emotionally.

“I got to a point where I am pretty content with things and things seem to be going in a good direction. Basically there will be lots of new things on the horizon, the baby coming on the horizon,” he says breaking into a laugh. “So I will have to pick (two time Olympian) Eric Gillis’ brain for how to be a good dad and still be able to perform at a high level.”

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Olympian Coolsaet Heading to Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon by Paul Gains

ZAKM0579Canadian Olympian Reid Coolsaet heads up a fine men’s field at the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon June 22nd.

The 34 year old member of Speed River Track Club in Guelph, Ontario recently finished 13th at the Virgin Money London Marathon (2:13:40) but still has designs on Jerome Drayton’s now 39 year old Canadian marathon record. Determined as ever, the Vancouver race is another stepping stone to achieving his goal.

“Training is going well,” Coolsaet said this week. “After London I took a week off then another week to ease back into it. Now I am trying to push a little bit more in workouts with Eric (Gillis) Nick (Sunseri) and John (Mason). They are getting ready to do the Ottawa Marathon.”

Two years ago Coolsaet raced on this same Vancouver point to point course as his final test before the 2012 London Olympics. He won the race in a very quick time of 63:16 just six seconds off the event record of 63:10 set by Kenya’s Patrick Nthiwa in 2007. He went on to finish 27th at the Olympics.

Organisers of the Canada Running Series have put up a $1,000 course record bonus but, as is his custom, Coolsaet won’t say whether he will chase the record.

“It’s still pretty early in my stages,” he reveals. “But, of course, I am going to go there looking to be competitive with the guys who typically come out to the race, maybe Kip Kangogo, (Kangogo), who is always strong there, and the top BC guys. Those guys I want to be competitive with them and get going again with competition.”

You’re invited to race with Reid and Lanni Marchant! Entry and further information available at http://www.canadarunningseries.com/svhm/index.htm

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Running With Benefits

TORONTO. May 15th 2014. When Digital Champion Andrew Chak ran his first 10K three years ago, he felt like a hero. The city streets were closed just for his run. People cheered him on like he was an Olympian. He got a sparkly medal that he could keep wearing for days. And he had all-you-can-eat bagels at the finish. He was hooked. Fast forward to present day and Andrew has completed over 45 races and just finished his 6th marathon and he’s looking forward to being a part of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon this fall. You can read about Andrew’s running obsessions on his Obsessive Runner blog on iRun.ca or follow him on Twitter @AndrewChak.

Running With Benefits. By Andrew Chak.

Andrew Chak Digital Champions

One of the unique experiences that I’ve had as a blogger and socially-connected runner, is being a Canada Running Series “Digital Champion” for #TYS10K, and this year for #STWM. In this role, CRS features myself and other Digital Champions in their social media postings as we engage in conversations and share our training tribulations with other runners.In other words, we overshare our tweets, photos, postings and hashtag everything!

Canada Running Series is currently recruiting Digital Champions for the upcoming Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, taking place on Sunday October 19th. Here are 10  great reasons why I think you should apply to be part of the team:

1. Connect with runners from another mother
A big part of being a Digital Champion is to share your training progress and linking it to the #STWM race hashtag so that other participants can discover your posts. This introduces you to other runners who are sharing the same race and it’ll feel like you’re discovering long lost family members.

2. Never train alone again
When you get up at dark o’clock and hop onto social media, chances are someone else is already up and at it. Waking up and knowing that someone else is up too reminds me that misery does indeed love company and that I should just get after it.

3. It’s schwagarific
Becoming a race ambassador often comes with the commensurate duty of being a human billboard for the race via gratuitous free training schwag that you can wear over and over again for those training selfies (see next point).

4. Taking selfies with a purpose
Those shockingly exciting pictures of yourself going on exotic running paths are no longer just for your own viewing pleasure – they’re actually sources of “run envy” where deep- seeded run yearnings drag others out for a dash.

5. Find your twinsie
As you get connected to more runners, you’re more than likely to find your running twinsie – you know, that runner who runs all the same races as you do and is at your exact pace. Finding your twinsie means finding an awesome partner to run with on race day.

Andrew Chak Digital Champions 2

6. Run more than you ever thought you would
The more runners you connect with, the more likely you’ll run more. You’ll hear others heading out for a run and you’ll want to head out too. You’ll hear about new trails and routes that you’ll just have to run through. You’ll sign up for more races because you
know others will be there. Just make sure you let your loved ones know where you are or better yet, have them join you.

7. Stretch your inspiration
As a Digital Champion, I’ve had the privilege of learning about stories about how runners have comeback from addiction, dealt with sustained injuries or are just struggling with doing the next workout. Connecting with a wider gamut of runners has stretched the spectrum of life experiences that I am exposed to and I am awestruck at how inspired the human spirit can be when it faces adversity.

8. Live a more cheer-filled life
One of the best parts of being a Digital Champion is how much more cheering there is in your life. My tweet-cheers often turn into real life cheers and it has definitely come full circle back to me. Best. Feeling. Ever.

9. A guaranteed PB on race day
When race day comes, your social media feeds will light up with pre-race rituals, last- minute wardrobe changes, medal-wearing selfies to race recaps. And because you’re connected with so many more runners, you will definitely be celebrating someone’s personal best that day whether it is their first race, a triumph over injury or a faster finish time. So even if it doesn’t turnout to be your best race day, you’re more than likely to still be able to celebrate someone else’s.

10. Build a healthier community around you
When you start sharing your running journey, others around you will inevitably notice and consider joining in. I’ve seen many friends and family members start to take up running and I’ve often been told that I helped to encourage them just by seeing me doing it. By becoming a Digital Champion, you’re given a larger platform to share your running journey with others and to truly be a part of building a healthier community around you.

If these benefits are of interest to you, you should consider applying to be a Digital Champion for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon this fall! Canada Running Series is accepting applications here until May 30th! In the meantime, connect with myself and other runners training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon using hashtag #STWM on Twitter.

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Lanni Marchant Returns to Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon, by Paul Gains

That National Record victory smile, 2:28:00 at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2013!

That National Record victory smile, 2:28:00 at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2013!

Lanni Marchant returns to the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon June 22nd with the heavy mantle of being the new Canadian marathon record holder.

Last October at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Marchant beat the 28 year old standard with a time of 2 hours 28 minutes to raise her already growing profile. She has resumed training following her recent 14th place finish at the Boston Marathon, a result of which she was immensely proud.

Now her attention is focused on the Vancouver race and defending her stature as the country’s preeminent female distance runner. The course record of 1:10:46 (Lioudmila Kortchaguina 2003) is secondary to her thirst for victory.

“I ran Vancouver last year and I was second to Krista (DuChene) and the year before I ran it and I broke my ankle,” she recalls. “It’s a good tricky, technical course. I mean you can run really fast. Krista ran 1:10:52 and I ran 1:11:38 on it so you can run fast.

“I think it’s like Boston or Toronto with a downhill at the start and you put some wear and tear into your quads and then you have rollers and some turns. And then you have to go over Burrard Bridge back to the finish. It’s definitely a technical course. It was fun – well the first time I did it it wasn’t fun. But I had a lot of fun last year.”

Marchant, 30, faces a field of younger contenders bent on providing an upset.

For information & entry to Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon & 5K see website.

Facebook: Canada Running Series and Vancouver Half

Twitter: @scotiahalf #scotiahalf @RunCRS

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Canada Running Series adds New Balance to Vancouver Eastside 10k

The Start at Dunsmuir & Beatty!

The Start at Dunsmuir & Beatty!

VANCOUVER, May 8, 2014. Canada Running Series is pleased to announce global athletic leader New Balance is joining the Vancouver Eastside 10K as athletic partner to the award winning event, set for Saturday, September 13th, 2014. The inaugural race took place in 2013 and is quickly staking its claim as one of the best events on the Fall calendar. It was voted “Reader’s Choice, Best Road Running Event in Western Canada for 2013” by Get Out There magazine. The first edition had a sold-out crowd of 1,500 runners, some fine performances capped by Olympian Dylan Wykes’ victory, a great course through a different part of Vancouver, and some wonderful neighbourhood charity partnerships.
“We got off to such a great start last year,” said Race Director Clif Cunningham. “There was a real buzz. This new partnership with New Balance and retailers Forerunners and Runners’ Den is so important in moving us forward. We’re really excited about the next 3 years, and where we can go.”

Dyaln Wykes breaks the tape in 29:42 to become the inaugural Men's Champion!

Dyaln Wykes breaks the tape in 29:42 to become the inaugural Men’s Champion!

New Balance’s support will grow and improve the “running experience” for participants of all levels and abilities at the Vancouver Eastside 10K. Everyone who enters will receive a $20 New Balance Gift Card to Forerunners or Runner’s Den. New in-store and online Training Programmes will be offered to help get people to the Finish Line with a smile and a personal best, and all participants will be given a premium-quality New Balance, “Vancouver Eastside 10K” technical t-shirt. The sponsorship will also allow the race to build its community outreach and charity programme. According to Cunningham, “we are also planning some new initiatives with our charity partners to expand our reach in the community — reducing barriers for the youth of the community to enter, and with New Balance, launching a new programme to outfit select groups in need of proper footwear.”

“New Balance is delighted to join forces with Canada Running Series on the Eastside 10k to support runners and the vibrant Eastside Community” said Stewart Weepers, New Balance Canada. “We look forward to showcasing New Balance’s

Gassy Jack looks down approvingly over the 5.5km water station!

Gassy Jack looks down approvingly over the 5.5km water station!

innovative footwear and helping runners achieve their goals in this exciting race.”
The race Starts & Finishes Downtown at Dunsmuir & Beatty, next to the Armoury and SkyTrain station [MAP]. It heads East over the Dunsmuir viaduct into the Eastside, past Strathcona Park, along Raymer and Powell, before circling the historic Gastown district, past the Steam Clock and Gassy Jack, then heading back to Dunsmuir and Beatty . This year’s event has set a cap of 2500 runners and expects to raise even more money for the community it runs through. For 2014, the Official Community Charities will be the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, Watari Counselling & Support Services, and the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.
The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre empowers women and children living in extreme poverty; Watari Counseling and Support Services, assists people working with poverty, housing, systematic abuse, alcohol and drug issues, mental illness and more; and the Greater Vancouver Food Bank provides food and related assistance to those in need, helping nearly 27,000 people weekly.
For more information and online registration please visit us at www.eastside10k.ca.

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Eric Gillis Wins Third Consecutive Canadian Half Marathon Title, by Paul Gains

ij_21kdeM14_4363MONTREAL April 27th. As expected Eric Gillis claimed his third consecutive Canadian Half Marathon championship title today as he won the 2014 Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal in a time of 1:04:28.

For his efforts the 34 year old earned $2,500 while confirming his fitness is as good as ever.

From the gun the two time Canadian Olympian found himself in front but not alone as Sami Jibril of Athletics Toronto virtually attached himself to his right elbow passing through a quick opening 10 kilometres in 30:26. Conditions were ideal with the temperature hovering around 6 celsius but a wind kicked up along the river. Still the pair pushed on unconcerned with the chasing pack of more than 3,000 runners.

Gillis is in the midst of training for the upcoming Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon and hadn’t tapered for this race. He had expected only to run a steady tempo to claim the victory. Jibril had other ideas since he had beaten Gillis at the Harry’s Spring Run Off 8k on April 5th.

ij_21kdeM14_3925“The idea was to stick with the more experienced Eric Gillis as long as I could and if I have a good day go with him all the way,” said the 24 year old Jibril. “The wind was pretty strong on and off at some points. Once he broke away from me around 14k or 15k it was all a matter of getting to the finish after that. I had a bit of a stitch so I just wanted to stay relaxed and finish the race respectfully. It was a thirty second personal best and I have to be very pleased with that.”

Jibril finished far back but was rewarded for his bravery with a personal best time of 1:06:06. Third place went to David Le Poro of Montreal in 1:08:31.

“It was great experience,” Jibril continued. “Eric is a good role model for how a half should be run. It was very honest, and no playing around. You have to be even paced. Running with rhythm most of the way helped me out throughout the race. I am looking forward to doing another one for sure.”

ij_21kdeM14_4463The champion had brought his wife and two young children to Montreal with him to enjoy both the city and the potential third championship and they were not disappointed. Gillis broke away in the 14th kilometre as he covered the next kilometre in 2:56 to go clear of the young challenger.

“Yeah, it’s nice to run here and to go three in a row,” he admitted with a smile. “And this is the year I have been most in control. I felt strong and consistent. It was a bit windy but all in all it’s a flat course and I am still able run a decent effort. It was a very nice race here to set me up for the Ottawa Marathon in four weeks

“(Jibril) did push me the first half; he was right on my tail. He’s obviously a strong runner and he’s beaten me already this year so I wasn’t taking him for granted. He is younger so I thought I might have an edge on him in the half marathon here. I think if he sticks with it he is going to be able to take this title in the future.”

Gillis revealed he and his family took a train to Montreal, a first time experience for his four year old daughter Heidi, who will begin attending school in September.

“Heidi, my wife Emily and son Luke went to an art gallery with arts and crafts yesterday which was a down day for me,” he offered. “Heidi took the school bus here with the other athletes. She is going to be starting school this year so that was another highlight and that was her first time on a school bus.”

While Gillis’s victory was no surprise the outcome of the women’s race was totally unexpected.

ij_21kdeM14_2915Krista DuChene, who represented Canada in the marathon at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, won the title last year and has been in good form this spring winning both the Harry’s Spring Run Off 8km and the Around the Bay 30km road race. A year ago she won the title here in 1:12:28.

As expected she forged an early lead and seemed to be in control of the race. But Toronto’s Rachel Hannah, who defeated her at the Toronto Yonge Street 10k two weeks ago, was closing the gap in the last kilometre when she noticed DuChene clutching her hip in obvious pain. She increased her speed and passed the favourite in the final five hundred metres.

Hannah claimed the gold medal and $2,500 while DuChene struggled to stay on her feet. She would eventually be passed by Erin Burrett of British Columbia (1:15:02) and take home the bronze medal.

“It feels excellent,” Hannah admitted. “This is actually my first Canadian championship medal. I caught up to Krista just after 10k or 11k and was right up with her and she asked to speed up on the canal part of the course near the river and she definitely got a gap on me at that point. I just tried to maintain my pace. I was running pretty even from that point on.

“In the last kilometre her hip started to give out on her. I could see myself catching up to her and I didn’t think she was slowing and then she had to stop it looked like. I knew her hip was hurting her and she was holding it. I just hope she is ok and not injured for a while.”

DuChene eventually limped across the line in 1:16:37 and fell into the arms of race director Alan Brookes and a very concerned Hannah. In an extraordinary example of sportsmanship the pair carried her away from the finish area to meet oncoming medical staff. She was taken to hospital for examination. The injury appeared to be bursitis of the hip for which she has been receiving ongoing treatment.

Complete Results available at http://www.canadarunningseries.com/monthalf/montRESULT.htm

-30-

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ASICS Canada prolonge son partenariat avec le Circuit du Canada jusqu’en 2016 pour Montréal et Vancouver

A version in English follows, below.

TORONTO, le 24 avril. Le Circuit du Canada, le plus prestigieux circuit de course à pied au pays, est heureux d’annoncer qu’Asics Canada a renouvelé sa commandite de présentation, à la fois pour le 21K et le 5k de Montréal Banque Scotia et le demi-Marathon & 5k de Vancouver Banque Scotia. Asics a joué un rôle de premier plan dans l’événement de Montréal depuis 2007, et dans celui de Vancouver depuis 2010.

402_IJ_21kM12_1229«Nous sommes ravis d’avoir de soutien solide et continu d’Asics pour le Circuit du Canada », a déclaré le directeur des courses nationales Alan Brookes. « Ils sont d’une qualité haut de gamme absolue de marque pour la course et ils partagent notre engagement à promouvoir le sport à tous les niveaux. Ils ont été une partie essentielle de la croissance de la qualité et de la quantité de nos deux semi-marathons à Montréal et à Vancouver. Ce renouvellement important nous permettra de poursuivre le développement à long terme de ces courses».

Le nouvel accord prévoit un accroissement significatif de l’engagement d’Asics envers le Circuit du Canada.

js_svhm13_0963Un intérêt particulier pour les participants, dans les deux événements, 21k et 5k de Montréal et de Vancouver, tout le monde recevra dorénavant un t-shirt technique Asics de qualité supérieure. Il y aura aussi de nombreux concours et activités de médias sociaux qui mettront en évidence les récentes chaussures et vêtements Asics.

Selon Yves Simard, vice-président ventes et marketing, Asics Canada :

Asics est fier de poursuivre son partenariat avec une organisation professionnelle de course telle que le Circuit du Canada. Nous partageons la même passion pour le sport et le Circuit du Canada est sans doute l’organisation qui redonne le plus aux athlètes canadiens. Les demi -marathons de Montréal et de Vancouver expérimentent une croissance énorme, ce qui est le meilleur témoignage de la qualité de ces courses.

BS21KdeMtl14 ASICSshirts14La 12e édition du 21k et du 5k de Montréal Banque Scotia aura lieu le 27 avril au Parc Jean-Drapeau et sera de nouveau l’hôte du championnat canadien de demi-marathon d’Athlétisme Canada. La 16e édition du demi-marathon et du 5k de Vancouver Banque Scotia aura lieu le 22 juin, sur l’un des parcours les plus pittoresques en Amérique du Nord, de UBC, le long de la côte du Pacifique, avec ses majestueuses montagnes North Shore en toile de fond, pour finir dans Stanley Parc, de renommée mondiale. Les deux événements devraient afficher complets, avec des sommets de 5700 coureurs à Montréal et 7000 à Vancouver. Inscription et informations disponibles à www.RunCRS.ca

Pour plus d’informations sur Asics Canada et leurs produits, voir http://www.asicscanada.com/

Le Circuit du Canada est le plus important circuit de courses au pays avec 8 événements : 4 à Toronto, 3 à Vancouver et 1 à Montréal. Il attire chaque année quelques 60 000 participants recueille plus de 5 millions de dollars pour quelque 250 organismes de bienfaisance, essentiellement locaux. Le circuit inclut le Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, portant le label Argent de l’AIFA, et le Championnat canadien du 10k et du demi-marathon d’Athlétisme Canada. Depuis 1999, le Circuit du Canada a acquis une reconnaissance internationale pour son innovation et son organisation. Il est fortement engagé dans la mise en scène de grandes expériences pour les coureurs de tous les niveaux, allant des athlètes olympiques canadiens et vedettes internationales, à des personnes aux saines habitudes de vie, à ceux qui courent pour des causes de charité, et faire que le sport fasse partie des collectivités durables et du processus de l’édification de la ville.

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ASICS Canada extends partnership with Canada Running Series in Montreal & Vancouver until 2016.

TORONTO, April 24. Canada Running Series, the country’s most-prestigious running circuit, is pleased to announce that Asics Canada have renewed their presenting sponsorships for both the Banque Scotia 21K de Montreal et 5k and Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon & 5k. Asics has played a prominent role in the Montreal event since 2007, and in Vancouver since 2010.

“We’re delighted to have Asics’ continued strong support of Canada Running Series,” said National Race Director Alan Brookes. “They are an absolute premium quality running brand, and they share our commitment to promoting the sport at all levels. They have been a vital part of the growth in quality as well as quantity of our two half marathons in Montreal and Vancouver, and this important renewal will help us continue the long-term development of the races.”

The new agreement provides a significant increase in Asics’ commitment to Canada Running Series.

Of special interest to participants, everyone in both 21k and 5k events in Montreal and Vancouver will now receive a premium quality Asics technical t-shirt. There will also be numerous contests and social media activities featuring the latest Asics footwear and apparel.

According to Yves Simard, VP Sales & Marketing, Asics Canada:

Asics is proud to continue our partnership with such a professional race organization as Canada Running Series. We share a similar passion for the sport, and Canada Running Series is arguably the organization that gives back the most to Canadian athletes. The Montreal and Vancouver Half Marathons are both experiencing tremendous growth, and that is a testament to the quality of the races

The 12th edition of the Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal et 5k will take place on April 27th in Parc Jean Drapeau, and will again host the Athletics Canada National Half Marathon Championships. The 16th running of the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon & 5k will be held on June 22nd, on one of the most scenic courses in North America, from UBC along the Pacific shoreline with the majestic North Shore Mountains as a backdrop, to finish in world-famous Stanley Park. Both events are expected to sell out, with caps of 5,700 in Montreal and 7,000 in Vancouver. Registration and further information is available at www.RunCRS.ca

For more information on Asics Canada and their products see http://www.asicscanada.com/

Canada Running Series [CRS] is the nation’s premier running circuit with 8 events: 4 in Toronto, 3 in Vancouver and 1 in Montreal. It annually attracts some 60,000 participants and raises more than $5 million for some 250 mostly-local charities. The Series includes the IAAF Silver Label Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, and the Athletics Canada National 10K and Half Marathon Championships. Since 1999, CRS has gained international recognition for innovation and organization. It is strongly committed to staging great experiences for runners of all levels from Canadian Olympians and International stars, to healthy lifestyle people and charity runners; and to making sport part of sustainable communities and the city-building process.

 

 

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Gillis and DuChene To Defend Canadian Half Marathon Titles in Montreal by Paul Gains

IJ_21kdeM13_2284Canadian championship medals, lucrative prize money and a chance to run on a fast course through scenic Parc Jean Drapeau have attracted some of the best road racers to Montreal for the Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal this Sunday, April 27th.

The next stop on the 2014 Canada Running Series, this race doubles as the Athletics Canada National Half Marathon Championships and both male and female defending champions return. To top it off the race is completely sold out.

“Being the Canadian championship that gives it extra pizzazz to do it,” says 34 year old Eric Gillis, a two time Canadian Olympian who won this race in both 2013 and 2012. “Trying to get the win and winning three in a row would be pretty nice.

“It’s actually a flat course and it could be fairly fast. Both times I have run there it has been windy along the water. So if we get a nice calm day I think a lot of folks can surprise themselves on that course.”

The 34 year old from Antigonish, Nova Scotia has been a long time resident of Guelph, Ontario and is making the weekend a family affair taking the train trip with his wife and two young children. The race will also provide him with further indicators of his fitness. A week ago he won the prestigious Toronto Yonge Street 10k in 28:32.

“I think between the New York City Half Marathon, where I ran a personal best (1:03:30) and Yonge Street 10k this week, I have a pretty good indication of my fitness. My workouts, they have been going consistently, so mostly I am looking to use Montreal as a final preparation for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon. I am confident in my fitness. A fast time (in Montreal) wouldn’t hurt.”

Krista w flag at BS21KdeMtl13 IMG-20130428-00381Meanwhile women’s champion Krista DuChene must battle back from a surprise loss at Toronto Yonge Street 10k where Toronto’s Rachel Hannah blew past her with five hundred metres remaining to steal victory in 32:33.

“I am thrilled for Rachel, I really am,” DuChene admitted after the race. “It’s a huge breakthrough in her running career. She has done the work and got herself up step by step. I am honoured that she beat me. I am not one to run a race and say ‘Oh I just wasn’t in it today.’ No, she flew past me and I had nothing to give.

“So because of that and even with Erin Burrett placing third I am never going to take my competition lightly not that I ever did, but I will have to have my ‘A’ game for Montreal. I am a bit more experienced, I suppose, at the longer distances. But that doesn’t mean anything.”

Hannah, for her part, is approaching the race and a rematch with DuChene cautiously. Nevertheless she clearly has respect for the woman who represented Canada at the 2013 IAAF World Championships marathon.

“I definitely think she has a major advantage over me over double the distance,” says Hannah, a 27 year old dietitian and Georgia State graduate. “The half marathon and marathon are obviously her specialties. I think she has one up on me. She ran 1:12:28 there last year and I don’t expect to run that fast of a time next week but we will see how I am feeling. I will run a slower pace than her at least through half way and see how I feel.”

The step up in distance will be one of her toughest challenges. She was fifth in last year’s Montreal half marathon in 1:18:58 which she considers her debut at that distance.

“My number one goal is to break my time from last year,” she concedes. “l hope that things go well and if I can run with Krista I will definitely try to. We will just see if I can run her pace. I will try to.

“I think I just proved to myself (in Toronto Yonge Street 10k) I can do a lot more than I think I can. It has boosted my confidence level. You need that. You can be in very good shape but mentally you have to be tuned in on race day. I am definitely at a higher fitness level than last year.”

While Hannah has track aspirations, hoping to represent Canada at the 2015 Pan Am Games, DuChene would like to represent this country at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow (July 23 – August 3). Although her personal best of 2:28:32 from the 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is well under the Commonwealth standard she hasn’t been told if she is on the team.

A spokesman for Athletics Canada has said the marathoners will be announced along with the rest of the Commonwealth Games team after the Canadian track and field championships (June 27-29 in Moncton, NB). This is something that doesn’t sit well with the marathoners.

“I think it’s unfortunate that the long distance runners have to wait so long to be given that information because we do need twelve weeks to mentally and physically prepare ourselves to run our best marathon,” DuChene says.

“It’s encouraging to know why we are going to bed early, why we are logging the miles, and why we not eating that cookie. So if I knew I was on that team it would make me that much more accountable and more motivated. I wish we knew. I think a lot of it is routine and will be made after track. Well that is, what, June? So a month before we are to run a marathon that’s when we are going to find out? It’s a little ridiculous.”

Although she is not in the midst of a marathon training buildup she has demonstrated good form already winning the Harry’s Spring Run Off 8k and the Around The Bay 30k before finishing second last week in Toronto. Defending her title in Montreal is the next target and she will not take the race lightly.

“You know, I think with women’s distance running the bar is getting higher and higher and for Rachel to step up and beat me is great,” she declares. “A lot of people were saying that I likely had the Toronto win and I did for nine and a half ‘k’. So it’s really great that it keeps all of us on our toes. I can’t just rely on Lanni (Marchant) or anyone else to keep me going and to make me accountable and to have that high level of competition. It is great that we are having more people step up and take that spot.”

The race starts at 10:00 a.m. and should the weather cooperate we might see exceptionally fast times. But will there be a successful title defense? That’s a good question.

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