Eight Canadians will compete at the 2018 IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships in Valencia, Spain.
Four men and four women were named to the largest Canadian world half team since Edmonton hosted the championships in 2005. The 2018 IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships, held every two years, are set for March 24.
Cam Levins is the lone Olympian on the squad. Geoff Martinson is the top-ranked Canadian, according to Athletics Canada, for the IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships qualifying and he accepted his spot on the roster. Natasha Wodak, the top-ranked Canadian woman, passed on the opportunity, as did Rachel Cliff, meaning dual citizen Kinsey Middleton is the top-ranked Canadian who will be racing worlds. (Cliff is racing the Commonwealth Games.)
No member of the team has raced at a past IAAF World Half-Marathon Championship, according to the Athletics Canada press release. “The team is a mix of experienced veterans and for some, this will be their biggest championships to date,” says head coach and Olympic marathoner Bruce Deacon.
The top-four ranked-men all accepted their spots on the roster, according to Athletics Canada’s tracking list. Three of the top-seven ranked Canadian women declined their spot.
The IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships are a standalone event unlike the world marathon championships, which are held as part of the greater athletics world championships. March and April are unusually busy months in 2018, compared to most years, in regards to international competition. The IAAF World Indoor Championships, IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships and Commonwealth Games are all being held in March and April, in that order.
The top-three, among women, and top-four, among men, times in Canada for world qualifying purposes are from the 2018 Houston Half-Marathon, which was held in January. Below are the names selected to the team.
— Canadian Running (@CanadianRunning) February 6, 2018
— Canadian Running (@CanadianRunning) October 22, 2017
Deacon, John Lofranco and Kimen Petersen are the team’s support staff.