Thursday, May 31, 2007

Canadian Marathon Scene

Last weekend was the Ottawa Marathon and some Canadians ran really fast. However, none made the Canadian Marathon Standard for the World Championships or the Olympics. It is a sad sorry that Athletics Canada continues to tighten the standard above that of the International Standard. Every couple of years, you hear athletes such as myself literally bash Athletics Canada for doing this. Why? Two reason:

1. We loose good athletes who have dual citizenship, and
2. Athletes who are coming up through the ranks get no experience at competing at the international level.

A good example, of an athlete who fits into both of the above reasons is Cathy Bulter. See the following link to gain my information on this athlete for those of yoiu who do not know who she is: http://www.worldmarathonmajors.com/US/index.php?nid=24&athlete=79

Bulter after competing for Canada at the 1999 World Cross-Country Championships decided to switch allegiance to Great Britain. Butler was fourth in the 4K Race at the 1999 IAAF World Cross-Country Championships while competing for Canada. She currently holds two Canadian National Records in the 5000m (15:37.02) and the two-mile (9:27.18). She was the Canadian National Champion in 1995 and 1999 for the 5000m, and in 1995 and 1996 for Cross-Country. Go figure, she moved up to the marathon and has gone on to run a 2:28:39 and 2:30:01 marathon both of which were in Chicago. At 34 years of age she has about 4 to 6 years of potentially improving these times. Bottom line is that she could be representing CANADA!!

Just for a point of reference, the "A" Standard in CANADA for the marathon for women is 2:27:43 and for men it is 2:11:34. The Canadian records for women and men, respectively are 2:28:36 and 2:10:09. I think you get my message. The international standards for the marathon, for women and men, respectively are 2:42:00 and 2:18:00. See the following link for all the IAAF Standards:
http://www.iaaf.org/statistics/standards/xml=osaka_2007/index.html\
and this link for the Canadian standards for all athletic events: http://www.athletics.ca/article.asp?id=9170.

Given the results below from the Ottawa Marathon (the Canadian Championships), we could be sending some athletes!!!

Women’s Marathon
Lioudmila Kortchaguina, 1, 2:31:56 (Canadian Champion)
Suzanne Evans, 2, 2:46:21
Lisa Harvey, 3, 2:48:56

Men's Marathon
Matthew McInnes, 1, 2:18:06 (Canadian Champion)
Matthew Normington, 2, 2:20:51
Calvin Staples, 3, 2:24:20
Joel Bourgeois, 5, 2:30:04


On another note, hats off to one of the best North American runners, Deena Kastor!

Kastor aims at Osaka 10,000m after successfully overcoming skin cancer
Wednesday 30 May 2007

Marathon runner Deena Kastor, bronze medallist of the Olympic race in 2004 and winner of London in 2006 with an American women’s record of 2:19:36 which remained the fastest time of the year, has successfully been treated for skin cancer.

As revealed on her web page - www.deenakastor.com - three spots on her body were identified, and after the cancerous areas were successfully and completely removed Kastor recently wrote on her webpage: “What a relief!”.

Kastor ran the Boston Marathon in April but there was no luck for her in that race, when she suffered period pains. Having been one of the big favourites she had to be content with fifth place in 2:35:09, though still won the US championship in Boston.

But after the recent good health news Kastor appears extremely motivated. Living in high altitude at Mammoth Lakes (California) the American has resumed training and reports: “My first couple of workouts back in training have gone great.” The 34-year-old is now looking ahead and intends to qualify for Osaka. The 10,000 metres will be her goal for the World Championships. To qualify she has to run the US Championships which begin in little more than three weeks from now.

In the summer season Kastor also plans to run 3000 and 5000m races in the big European meetings. Her long-term goal remains the Olympic marathon in Beijing next year. To qualify for that target she will have to return to Boston for the selection race, which will be held a day before the Boston Marathon next April.

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