Among the approximately 48,000 runners at Ottawa Race Weekend will be a contingent of the country’s top distance runners eyeing the win at the Canadian 10K Championships.
The national 10K road championships are run as part of the Ottawa 10K, the marquee event on Saturday before the marathon the following morning, both IAAF Gold Label races. Olympians Eric Gillis and Natasha Wodak headline the field in what is a race within a race as East Africans often dominate the Ottawa 10K.
Below is a brief rundown of the featured athletes as well as a full list of Canadian elites entered into the Ottawa 10K, slated for May 27. The Canadian men’s 10K road record is 28:17 (Paul McCloy, 1987) and the women’s road record is 31:44 (Lynn Williams, 1989).
After a winter of injury, Wodak has returned to the distance running scene in a big way winning both the Race Roster Spring Run-Off 8K in Toronto followed by the BMO Vancouver Half-Marathon. She’s the Canadian 10,000m record holder and finished second among Canadians at the 2016 Ottawa 10K, behind Lanni Marchant.
— Harjanto Sumali (@looseshoulders) May 10, 2017
Rachel Cliff is another contender for the Canadian 10K title with a 1:12:07 half-marathon at the NYC Half in March to her name. Cliff ran 32:50.07 at the Payton Jordan Invitational at the beginning of May, a good indicator ahead of moving to the roads at the May 27 championships.
The 2014 and 2015 Canadian 10K road champion returns after a one-year absence in Ottawa. The 10th place finisher in the men’s marathon at the 2016 Olympics was slated to run the 2017 Boston Marathon but withdrew due to injury. He will look to continue the streak of New Balance-sponsored and Speed River Track Club victories in the men’s race as teammate Reid Coolsaet won the Canadian title in 2016. Gillis is a three-time Olympian.