TORONTO. 3 May. Moses Macharia hammered the field to the win "Canada's fastest 10K" this morning, in 28:13. Macharia led the charge down Yonge Street from the Start above Eglinton to the new finish line at Historic Fort York, ahead of a record-sized field of 12,481 entrants -- up 25% from 2008. Last year's race champion arrived from Kenya just a week ago, well trained at altitude and ready to go. Macharia went straight to the front, and passed 3K in 8:14, with only Ethiopian Asamenew Yeshanew gamely hanging on. Yeshanew, who had won the Canadian Half Marathon Championships at Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal two weeks ago, managed to stick on the Kenyan's shoulder through 4K [10:54], but began to drop off before halfway, passed in 13:48. From there, Macharia cruised to victory across Richmond Street, through the club district, past the Rogers Centre to Bathurst and Fort York. "I came here fit," said Macharia. "I wanted to run 27 minutes, but on my own the who! le second half, there was no-one to push me." The brave Yeshanew faded over the last 2 kilometres and was picked off by last year's CRS champ, Josephat Ongeri of Milton, who came through to take second in 28:49. Yeshanew was 3rd in 29:15. Montrealers Bagdad Rachem and Fethi Oukid also ran well to come home 4th and 5th, in 29:36 and 29:56, placing the top 5 all under 30 minutes. Another Quebecker, and new Masters' runner, Terry Gehl of St.Charles, showed he'll be a force to be reckoned with this year, notching a 31:41, good for 10th overall and top 40+ male.
On the women's side, Lucyn Njeri made it 2-0 for Kenya over Ethiopia, by cruising to victory in 33:20, ahead of Ethiopia's Firehiweot Gegreyesus [33:32]. Toronto's Josiane Aboungono was 3rd in 34:00. Njeri has been based in Toronto with her husband Nelson Ndereva, since late March, when she arrived to win the Around the Bay 30K. Lucy followed that up with a vicctory at Harry's Spring Run Off Toronto 8K on April 4th, and has been doing some major mileage in preparation for the Los Angeles Marathon on May 24th. "I was very pleased with my win today," said Njeri. "I've been doing a lot of training for Los Angeles, and I am happy I beat my husband today!" Brockville's Paula Wiltse also had a strong day, with a 35:10 clocking for 4th, and 1st Master's woman.
Conditions were ideal, with clear blue, sunny skies, a cool 7 degrees for the 8am start, and no wind. Since Sporting Life assumed title sponsorship of Toronto's Spring 10K in 1998 -- traditionally always run the first weekend in May -- it has grown from 1,200 participants to become Canada's second-largest chip-timed race with 12,500 runners, after only the Vancouver SunRun. Not only were there lots of smiles and positive reaction to the new course and the Fort York venue this morning, but Camp Oochigeas were thrilled that in the current economy, they took home a cheque for $800,000 so kids with cancer can have a regular summer-camp experience. This was up sharply from ther $500,000 raised last year.