As Canada’s current crop of Olympic marathoners crossed the finish line in London on Sunday, the next field of hopefuls stood at the start of the Toronto Ten-Miler.
Toronto’s Matt Loiselle took the win on a warm, windy and humid morning. Rob Watson, a 2:13:37 marathoner, led the pack through the first couple of fast kilometres, before Hamilton’s Josephat Ongeri took the lead. Ongeri would then pushed the pace in bursts for much of the first half of the race, breaking apart the lead group.
Watson would fall off the pace, leaving Loiselle alone with Ongeri through much of serene Tommy Thompson Park along Toronto’s lakeshore. As the two leaders returned along the Port Lands the pace begin to slow, with a strong wind effecting the runners’ speed. That’s when Loiselle made his move, dropping Ongeri just after the 14K mark.
Loiselle would win in a time of 49:35.
On the women’s side, Canadian marathon champ Lisa Avery ran with Kenyan Anne Jelegat and Thornhill’s Lioudmila Korchaguina for the first half of the race. UTTC runner Rachel Hannah bided her time behind them, only to reel the group in and take the lead through Tommy Thompson Park.
Avery would fight back and challenge Hannah for the win, making for an exciting finish. Hannah held on to take first place, just three seconds ahead of the tenacious Avery. Jelegat placed third, 30 seconds back from Avery.
The Toronto Ten Miler showcased a bevy of talented Canadian runners, many of whom used this race as a fitness test for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October.
Both Watson and Loiselle will once again go head-to-head at STWM. Both aim to run fast marathons and qualify for the world championships next year. Avery has also stated that she plans to run STWM, joining Lanni Marchant and Krista DuChene on the start line.
Last year’s first and second place finishers, Reid Coolsaet and Eric Gillis, both represented Canada in the Olympic marathon. Loiselle placed third in 2011 and hopes to translates his continuing success to a berth on the 2016 Olympic squad.
Waterloo’s Josh Morrison won the 5K race, with Torontonians Connor Outhit and Darren Lee placing second and third. Hamilton’s Stephanie Ryall won the 5K on the women’s side, besting Torontonians Faiza Vassanji and Kerry Kuluski.
The Toronto Ten Miler had over 2000 participants and raised $10,000 for the Living City Foundation.