Strong line-up will make for an intense, competitive race
May 8, 2013 – OTTAWA – Spectators lining the streets to watch the 2013 running of the marathon event at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend could witness history being made.
“We could see a course record and possibly the record on Canadian soil broken this year in the men’s division,” says Manny Rodrigues, Elite Athlete Coordinator. “With confirmed athletes in top condition, I expect this to be an intensely competitive race right to the finish if weather conditions are right.”
Twenty-nine-year-old Kenyan Laban Moiben, who set a new course record last year in Ottawa with a time of 2:09:12, is returning to defend his title. He will have an eye on the 2:07:57 record set on Canadian soil in 2010 by fellow countryman Kenneth Mungara.
Moiben will get fierce competition from Kenyans Nathaniel Kipkosgei, 28 (best time of 2:06:28), and Victor Kipchirchir, 25 (best half-marathon time of 59:31). Running times that are also well within range of breaking course and Canadian soil records are Ethiopians Tariku Jufar, 28 (best time of 2:06:51), and Terefi Kebede, 32 (best time of 2:07:32).
Canadian racer Eric Gillis, 33 – who placed 10th overall in the Ottawa 10K distance in 2012 before running the marathon event at the Summer Olympic Games in London – is confirmed to run the 2013 marathon and is competing in the Canadian National Marathon Championship.
Confirmed racers in the women’s category could smash the course record of 2:27:41 set by Moroccan Asmae Leghazoui in 2009.
“Among the women, it could be a very tight race,” says Manny Rodrigues. “There’s a field of eight very strong runners with similar times, making it hard to predict the outcome.”
Last year’s top half-dozen marathoners are returning in 2013, with Yeshi Esayias, 27 (best time of 2:26:00) as the defending champion. In addition to Esayias, Ethiopians may dominate the course, with Netsanet Achamo, 25 (best time of 2:24:12), Misiker Demissie, 25 (best time of 2:25:20), Sechale Delasa, 21 (best time of 2:26:00) likely setting the pace. But they may trail Russian Maria Konovolova, 38, who boasts a personal best time of 2:23:50.
Canadian Lisa Avery, 36, will run the marathon this year hoping to defend her national title. She’ll get stiff competition from 41-year-old Lioudmila Korthchaguina, a four-time Ottawa Marathon winner who is returning to the line-up this year.
“For anyone who enjoys watching marathons, this will be a race to watch,” says Manny Rodrigues.