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Posted: January 7, 2013  

Athletics: Kiwi Mary Davies Named Ottawa Road Racer of the Year for 2012

Finishes Race Season by winning Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Mary Davies, a New Zealand native now living in Ottawa, and a member of the Ottawa Athletic Club Racing Team, has been named Ottawa Road Racer of the Year for 2012. The Ottawa Sports Awards dinner will be held on January 30, 2013.

This year was her first year back at serious training and racing following some time off due to injury and to have a baby.

About the Toronto marathon Mary said: "At about 39 km, I could see (Kiprop -- Kenya’s Agnes Kiprop) and I thought maybe I could catch her," Davies said. "I didn’t have much energy left.

"It was amazing. My goal was to break 2:30 and I am just over the moon. I felt strong at 40 km when I passed (Kiprop), but kept looking around for her."

A former all-American at Oklahoma State University, Davies met her husband Gabriel Sawakuchi, now a physics professor at Carleton, at the American school before moving to Ottawa. She represented New Zealand in the 2009 world championship, placing 35th, and came seventh at the 2010 Ottawa Marathon before taking time off for the birth of her son last year.

Photo - Steve Bower

Davies, who still is coached by New Zealand-based Ian Babe, returned to the athletics scene this year in a big way.

  • June 9th, Barrhaven Run for Roger's House - 10k 34:45 1st
  • June 23rd, Emilie's Run 5K - 16:08 1st, Course Record PB
  • August 19th - Edmonton Half-Marathon 2nd 1:11:49 PB
  • October 14th - Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon - 2:28:56 1st PB

Mary’s previous PB in the marathon was 2:38:48 set world marathon championships in Berlin in 2009. It was the fourth fastest time on the New Zealand women's all time list. Kim Smith heads the list with 2:25.21, followed by Lorraine Moller 2:28.17 and Mary O'Connor 2:28.20.

A field hockey player growing up, Davies turned to running in her high-school years and quickly raised eyebrows.

Mary is expected to be on the New Zealand team for the world marathon championships in Russia next year and is hoping to make the Kiwi team for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Mary - post race - with Ken Parker, head of the OAC Racing Team Photo: Steve Bower

About the Ottawa Sports Awards

In 1953, Lou LaBlond of the Associated Canadians Travellers (ACT) initiated the first awards dinner called the ACT Sportmen's Dinner, honouring 16 amateur athletes with assistance from the Eastview Lions Club and the Eastview Recreation Centre. The event continued to be known as the ACT Awards for an amazing 50 years under the guidance of Mike Milligan and Gary Mighton. In 2003, both Mike and Gary decided to step down from their key organizing roles. Bob Chiarelli, the Mayor of the City of Ottawa at the time, recognized the need to continue to honour and celebrate Ottawa's top amateur athletes and approached Pat Reid, a recognized local sports contributor, to continue the organization of the event. Early in 2004, the 2003 Ottawa Sport Awards were held with a significantly expanded list of awards including: Top Male and Female Athlete of the Year

  • Volunteer Sportsman of the Year in three categories - Lifetime Achievement in Sport Administration (dedicated to Mark Lowry), Sport Technical Officiating and Sport Volunteerism
  • Outstanding Male and Female Sports Team of the Year,
  • Outstanding Male and Female Coach of the Year (dedicated to Jack Donahue)
  • Amateur Sport Club of the Year, and
  • The Ernie Calcutt, Eddie McCabe, Brian Smith Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sports Media.

Finally, a ninth major award category was created, called the Mayors Cup. This special award is given to an individual(s) who has made a significant lifetime contribution to sport - in areas otherwise not covered by sport administration, sport technical officiating or sport volunteering categories.

For more details on past Ottawa Sport Award winners including bios, please visit the website at:

About the Ottawa Athletic Club Racing Team:

The OAC Racing Team is an Ottawa based women’s distance running club founded in 1981 by Ken Parker. The club is sponsored by the Ottawa Athletic Club and New Balance Ottawa. Visit the website at:

This is the 7th consecutive year that an OAC Racing Team has won this award. Previous winners were Liz Maguire (3 times), Dani Riendeau and Leah Larocque (twice).

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