New event record expected at the 2013 Ottawa 10K

Organizers expect strong performances in both men’s and women’s categories

May 1, 2013 – OTTAWA – The lineup of elite athletes confirmed to run the 10K distance in the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend makes this year’s event one to watch.

“We have assembled a field of highly competitive and fast 10K racers in both the women’s and men’s categories,” says Manny Rodrigues, Elite Athlete Coordinator.

Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai, 31, returns this year to defend his 2012 winning time of 27:41 and is aiming to break Ottawa’s 27:24 course record set in 2009 by Ethiopia’s Deriba Merga. The 26:44 world record was set in Utrecht in 2010.

With favourable weather on May 25, three or more of the men could run in the 27-minute range. Mutai will compete with fellow countryman Edwin Kipyego, 23 (best time of 27:49), Ethiopian Adugna Bikilo, 24 (best time of 27:30), Isaac Korir Kekikuo, 22 (best time of 28:05) from Bahrain, and Ahmed Baday, 39, (best time of 27:48) from Morocco.

Among Canadian racers, 29-year-old Rob Watson (best time of 29:24), who led the pack for much of the first half of the 2013 Boston Marathon, will be an athlete to watch.

“With so much talent running roughly the same finish times, the race dynamic could be electric this year,” says Rodrigues.

The field of women racers could be equally intense. Twentynineyearold Ethiopian Firehiwot Dado is confirmed to run. With a New York City marathon win under her belt (2:23:15 in 2011 – the marathon was cancelled in 2012 due to Hurricane Sandy), she will bring her best game.

Dado will get hot competition from Malika Assahah of Morocco (best time of 32:15), Juliet Chekwel, 23, from Uganda (9th at the 2013 World Cross Country Championships), Worknesh Alemu, 23, (best time of 32:31) and Natasha Fraser, 31, (best time of 32:42 at this year’s Vancouver Sun Run) from Canada.

“If the weather is good, I predict we’ll have some very strong finish times,” says Rodrigues.