Reid Coolsaet always seems to find a way to come out on top. The Hamilton, Ont. native defended his Canadian 10K championship title on Saturday at Toronto’s ZooRun with an exciting finish.
In his first major challenge since coming back from a broken collarbone, Coolsaet worked with training partner Eric Gillis to ward off Kip Kangogo for the win. It was a rainy affair on the hilly and turn-filled Toronto Zoo course, which made for a wide open race with a fantastic field.
Dylan Wykes set the pace of the stacked men’s race. Fresh off his comfortable victory last weekend at the Eastside 10K, Wykes tested the field and immediately created a gap, which he held for much of the first half. Coolsaet and Gillis caught up with their fellow Olympic marathoner through the Toronto Zoo course and took over the lead up and down the hills and through the turns. Kangogo and Rob Watson tried to hold on just a few seconds back.
Watson faded, but Kangogo never lost contact. It took a final hard push by Coolsaet to stave off the Kenyan resident of Lethbridge, Alta. Coolsaet won in 29:50, with Kangogo in second less than a second behind. Gillis held on for third in 30:11, but took the silver medal in the national 10K championships because Kangago is not yet a Canadian citizen. That meant that Wykes got bumped up to third with his 30:11 finish.
Coolsaet said after the race that the healing process from a nasty bike accident in June has been a complete success. “I don’t even think about the collarbone anymore,” he said after the race. “It’s a bit weak with certain motions, but not the running motion.” Coolsaet said that he can’t be ready for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, where his Speed River teammate Eric Gillis will go after the Canadian marathon record. Instead, he’ll head back to Japan in December, running the race he paced at last year – the Fukuoka Marathon.
The women’s championship was controlled from the onset by Lanni Marchant. “I’ve placed in every spot from fifth to second at this race over the years,” Marchant said after her convincing 34:07 win. “I really wanted to win this.” The native of London, Ont. said she didn’t want to let Krista DuChene into the race and created an immediate buffer.
DuChene was exactly 30 seconds behind, unable to make up time in the hilly second half. Both DuChene and Marchant went to Moscow last month and ran in the world championship marathon in Moscow. Both were disappointed by their outcomes. Marchant managed to finish, while DuChene literally collapsed in the gruelling humid and hot conditions that wiped out a third of the field.
Lioudmila Kortchaguina of Thornhill, Ont. had a strong showing taking third place in 34:52. Both she and DuChene used the race as a fitness test for next month’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Kortchaguina was the top female masters finisher.
The ZooRun was also the Timex Series finale. Kip Kangogo won the men’s division, while Vancouver’s Natasha Wodak took the women’s title. Wodak will also be running her first marathon next month in Toronto and came in fourth at the zoo.
The ZooRun has become a tradition for Toronto runners, ushering in the fall season. It was again a massive success, with many embracing the festive atmosphere by dressing in animal costumes. All three events, the 10K, 5K and kid’s Cub Run, sold out. The 10K saw over 3000 run past elephants, tigers and bears through the Toronto Zoo. The race, which is a Canada Running Series event, raised over $32,000 for the institution.
Canadian 10K Championship
- 1. Reid Coolsaet, 29:50.1
- 2. Eric Gillis, 29:56.3
- 3. Dylan Wykes, 30.11.8
- 1. Lanni Marchant, 34:07.2
- 2. Krista DuChene, 34:37.3
- 3. Lioudmila Kortchaguina, 34:52.1
Timex Series Finale
- 1. Kip Kangogo, 29:50.9
- 2. Kristopher Swanson, 32:20
- 3. Kevin Friesen, 33:03.4
- 1. Natasha Wodak, 35:13.3
- 2. Rachel Hannah, 35:47
- 3. Erin Burrett, 35:53.8