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.
Backgrounder: Top 12 confirmed 2013 Ottawa Marathon elite runners
About the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend
The 2012 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend welcomed more than 42,600 participants in six races, including the Marathon, the Half-Marathon, the 10K, HTG Sports 5K, 2K and Y Kids Marathon. The Ottawa Marathon and Ottawa 10K are both designated Silver Label IAAF events by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF). Run Ottawa, the organization behind the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, is dedicated to promoting the sport of running and enhancing the health and well-being of our community by organizing distinctive world-class and local races, and managing an active, membership-based running club. Information: RunOttawa.ca.