As a runner you probably like the larger race expos.
This is what Rob Watson (2:13:37) told me when I met him at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon press conference today. Rob was not on stage but he did show up to say hi to his Canadian competition, Eric Gillis (2:11:28).
The Running Groupie arrived early to watch the elites file in before Alan Brookes introduced a few of the keynote runners to come up on stage.
Paul Gains interviewed Eric Gillis, Sahle Warga, Henry Sugut and Abderrehmine Bouramdane.
The STWM course record is 2:07:58. Both Warga (2:06:25) and Sugut (2:06:58) believe they can better that if the conditions are good.
Not on stage with Sahle and Henry was Deressa Chimsa, (pictured here with the RG) who ran 2:06:25 to win in Prague (and has run under 2:07 three times this year).
The other runner introduced by Alan is 35 year old Abderrehmine Bouramdane from Morrocco (2:07:33). I met him in London in 2011.
Speaking of breaking records, both Rob and Eric are trying to break Jerome Drayton’s time of 2:10:09; the men’s Canadian Marathon record is 38 years old and the cash bonus to beat it is $38,000.
Eric is pictured here with the RG and Ed Whitlock.
Last year Ed set a new a Marathon world record of 3:15 by an 80 year old. This effort helped create the phrase “getting Whitlocked,” meaning to be passed in the race by an old guy.
Next up were the elite women. Krista DuChene (2:32:06), Flomena Cheyech Daniel (2:24:34- winning in Vienna by 7 minutes), Netsanet Achmano Abdeyo (2:24:12) and Lanni Marchant 2:31:51).
My girlfriends Lanni and Krista (both of whom remembered the Running Groupie and said hi to him) are after another unbroken 28 year old Canadian Marathon record of 2:28:36 set by Silvia Ruegger.
A surprise guest was acknowledged by Alan. So the Running Groupie had to meet him.
The Ethiopian runner Miruts Yifter was a double Olympic champion at the 1980 Games in Moscow, thanks to his amazing ability to break clear of the pack just 300 metres before the finish line. This end-of-race acceleration enabled him to win gold in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres in Moscow, and earned him the nickname “Yifter the shifter.” Haile Gebrselassie, it is said, began his career after hearing about Yifter’s success on the radio.
Okay the RG has to rest now for his race. As I like to tell the elites, “I am right behind you.”
The Running Groupie also likes expos because he can meet all his running friends that he doesn’t see except at races….. plus he scored a great deal on some Icebreaker Merino wool tops.
Keep on runnin’