Mexico’s great distance runner, Juan Luis Barrios, will race the 2019 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 20, he and race director Alan Brookes announced in Mexico City last month. Barrios has fond memories of Toronto, where he won the gold medal in the 5,000m at the 2015 Pan Am Games.
Barrios was scheduled to represent Mexico at the Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru this month, but an injury prevented him from racing. However he expects to be fully healthy in time for the Toronto event later this fall. He told a Mexican media outlet his doctor advised him to rest for two to three weeks before resuming training.
Like many elites racing STWM this year, he will be trying to qualify for the 2020 Olympic marathon. The men’s Olympic standard is 2:11:30, which should hopefully be attainable for Barrios on the fast, flat STWM course. Barrios ran 2:10:55 at the Tokyo Marathon in 2018, and 2:12:00 (good enough for an enviable third place, but narrowly missing the Olympic standard) at this year’s Los Angeles Marathon.
Mexicans comprise one of the biggest international groups at this marathon, with 700 expected to toe the line this year. Barrios is sure to benefit from the support. Brookes extended some welcoming words to Barrios and his many compatriots who will be on the course in Toronto: “Bienvenidos a todos nuestros amigos Mexicanos… We love our Mexican runners in Toronto! They bring the city alive with
their passion, strong running, and love of a fiesta!”