Tsegaye Mekonnen winning the 2014 Dubai Marathon.
Tsegaye Mekonnen winning the 2014 Dubai Marathon. (Photo: organizers)

Tsegaye Mekonnen of Ethiopia shocked the running world when he ran a 2:04:32 marathon debut as an 18-year-old four years ago. That time brought him to victory at the Dubai Marathon. Mekennon has announced that he will race the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 21st. He will be the fastest entry in the race. 

Since his big debut four years ago, Mekonnen has been consistent, placing third at Dubai in 2016, and winning the Hamburg Marathon in 2017. He told the IAAF that, “I’ve been running at a high altitude – between 2,500-3,000m – so that I could adapt myself to tough conditions and I’ve been running 180-200km per week.”

He continued, “It’s been going well and I feel like I am in a good shape right now. Toronto is a big race and I’ve been preparing for it. I have spent three months in my build-up and so I hope to run a good race.”

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Mekonnen says he, “intends on winning Toronto and nothing less.” The runner thinks he is in 2:05-2:06 shape, possibly even better. Mekonnen will face Canadians Cam Levins and Reid Coolsaet, along with New Zealand’s Jake Robertson and defending champion Philemon Rono

With a field like this, the men’s course record and Canadian all-comers record could easily fall. The current record stands at 2:06:51 – Rono’s winning time from 2017.

RELATED: Former champion to return to Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

On the women’s side, Mimi Belete has also announced that she will race in Toronto. Belete is a four flat 1,500m runner who only recently moved to the marathon. Her personal best is from the Hamburg marathon in April where she finished third in 2:26:06. 

Belete told the IAAF, “I was happy with my performance in Hamburg. I could have run faster but I had a hamstring problem. I want to get my best time in Toronto.” The runner is facing a strong contingent of women including Canadians Krista DuChene and Leslie Sexton, along with defending women’s champion Marta Megra

For more information about the Waterfront Marathon or Canada Running Series see here. 

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