Simon Bairu of Regina solidified his place as Canada’s top long distance runner, winning the 10,000 metres to open the Canadian Track and Field Championships, Wednesday night in Toronto.
Bairu has now won 10 Canadian titles in track, cross country and road racing.
Bairu clocked 28:49.26, easily winning the race over second-place Kip Kangogo, a Kenyan based in Lethbridge, Alta. Kangogo’s time was 29:02.
Reid Coolsaet and Eric Gillis, of Guelph’s Speed River track club, were third and fourth respectively, rounding out the Canadian medallists for the national championship event.
Bairu ran clear of the field with 11 laps remaining, shortly after the top four went through 5K in about 14:32.
Earlier this season, Bairu broke the Canadian record with a 27:23.63 performance in California.
His time on Wednesday was pedestrian for his standards, but he looked relaxed and in control the entire way.
When Bairu won the Canadian cross country championship in 2009, his winning time was 28:49.8 over the same 10K distance — and that was over hills, grass and mud, in Guelph.
The three Canadian medallists in the national championship 10,000 metres were doing the race as part of their training, as opposed to chasing a goal time, or personal best, at the event.
Bairu, Gillis and Coolsaet are all planning to run marathons in the fall.