Run Ottawa Distance Night Preview

Canada’s best athletes will be bringing the heat on Thursday, July 6 at the Run Ottawa Distance Night.

The Run Ottawa Distance Night is part of the week-long Canadian Track and Field Championships, which will see members of the Canadian Olympic Athletics team, including big names like Andre De Grasse and Melissa Bishop, competing at the Terry Fox Athletic Facility, July 3-9, 2017.

The championships make their return to Ottawa after a long hiatus, with 2006 being the last year the national capital played host.

“We’re very excited to be working with Athletics Canada to bring Canada’s best to Ottawa,” said Run Ottawa president John Halvorsen. “It’s hard to think of a better way to support the future of running than to showcase elite, Olympic-level talent, right in our own backyard.”

The Run Ottawa Distance Night will feature events ranging in distance from the 800 metre to the 5000 metre final, which caps off the night. You can check out the full schedule of the week’s events on the Athletics Canada website.

Tickets are $15 a night or $50 for a Championship Pass that will get you into all of the week’s events.  Friends of Run Ottawa get a $5 discount to the Run Ottawa Distance Night by using the code RunOttawa

Here are some of the Olympians you’ll need to watch out for at the Run Ottawa Distance Night on Thursday, July 6:

Lanni Marchant

London, Ontario

As one of Canada’s best athletes, Marchant needs no introduction.

She’s the owner of the Canadian women’s marathon record, which she set by running a blistering 2:28:00 in October 2013 in Toronto, as well as the Canadian record for the half-marathon, with a PB of 1:10:47. You may also recognize her from competing in both the marathon and the 10,000m at the 2016 Rio Games.

Marchant is just as accomplished in her professional life. After studying at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, she moved on to study law at the University of Ottawa and Michigan State University, finished in May 2011 with two law degrees.

Mohammed Ahmed

St. Catharines, Ontario

The 26-year-old Mo Ahmed is one of Canada’s most decorated athletes and will likely have to clear more space on his trophy shelf in the future. Ahmed competed for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was a seven-time All-American and the 2014 Big Ten Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year, after a third-place in the 10,000m at the NCAA Championships.

Last year, he set a PB after running 13:01.74 in the 5,000m at the Prefontaine classic in Eugene, Oregon. He also owns the Canadian junior 10,000m record (27:34.64). Ahmed is also a two-time Olympian, competing in the 2012 London Games and finished 4th in the 5,000m at the 2016 Rio Olympics

Melissa Bishop

Eganville, Ontario

The two-time Olympian has spent the past couple years lighting up the track and record books on her way to establishing herself as one of Canada’s brightest stars. She owns the Canadian 800m record holder (1:57.02), set when she finished 4th in 800m at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

In 2015, she earned silver with a second-place finish in the 800m at 2015 IAAF Championships, and then followed up with a gold medal performance in the 800m at 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto.

Matt Hughes

Oshawa, Ontario
3,000m steeplechase

The athlete with the best hops on this list is Matt Hughes, another Canadian record holder.He set the Canadian 3,000m steeplechase mark in August 2013 with a time of 8:11.64.

At the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, he took home Gold in the event for Canada, and amongst the best in the world at the 2016 Rio Games, Hughes finished 10th in the 3,000m steeplechase.

Andrea Seccafien

Guelph, Ontario

Born and raised in Canada’s running hotbed of Guelph, the 26-year-old Seccafien has already made her name as one of the country’s best 5,000m competitors.

She took home the national 5,000m title in 2013, but was hampered by a lingering foot injury throughout 2015. However, Seccafien overcame that injury in May 2016, when she ran a PB of 15:17.81 and qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.