Canadian superstars Rob Watson, Reid Coolsaet and Dylan Wykes have confirmed that they will join Canadian record-holder and defending champion Cam Levins on the start line at this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, which takes place October 20. This year’s marathon will also serve as Canada’s Olympic marathon trials, with the top Canadian man and woman qualifying for the Olympics, provided they have achieved standard (2:11:30 for men, 2:29:30 for women) during the qualification period.

 

Among them, the three men have 21 national titles. Coolsaet, 40, is a two-time Olympian, the third fastest man in Canadian marathon history with a personal best of 2:10:28, and was the first Canadian across the line at this year’s Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon. Fellow Olympian Wykes won the Canadian 10K championship at this year’s Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend in May, and Watson, who is a familiar sight on the podium at many Vancouver races, and who won the BMO Vancouver Marathon in 2018, has been to the world championships three times.

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Dylan Wykes at Around the Bay in 2019

Levins may be a shoo-in for the top spot, but as everyone knows, anything can happen in the marathon. Coolsaet acknowledges his best marathon performances may be behind him, but feels it’s worth one more shot at his chance to represent Canada on the world stage. “Although I don’t want to get hurt, I don’t want to sell myself short and think ‘what if?’” he says. “I am going to be smart about my training and listen to my body.

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Cam Levins at STWM 2018. Photo: Todd Fraser, Canada Running Series

“I am not going to run quite as much mileage as in the past. But I know I can’t let being 40 be an
excuse to back off my training because I can’t handle it or something like that. Although there will
be some slight changes, they are going to be very slight.”

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Wykes, 36, also has a challenge ahead of him to replicate the success he enjoyed in the past (he was the top Canadian in the 2012 Olympic marathon, and is the fourth-fastest Canadian marathoner, with a PB of 2:10:47). After not making the 2016 Olympic team and beset by injuries, he focussed on his young family and his and Watson’s coaching business in Vancouver, Mile2Marathon. This spring his wife Francine’s academic career brought a move to Ottawa, where Wykes announced he would run the 10K championships, and won.

Photo: lululemon

Watson’s goal is, admittedly, more modest: one final sub-2:20 marathon, if all goes well. His PB, set at STWM in 2013, is 2:13:29. This year he finished sixth at Vancouver, in 2:25:10.

Coolsaet will race the Beach to Beacon 10K in Maine this Sunday.

 

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