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Posted: May 11, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: 2009 Boston Marathon winner aims for 10K World Record in Ottawa

$100,000 incentive to break the 10K world record is attracting some of the world's fastest runners this year

May 11, 2009, Ottawa -- Deriba Merga, this year's Boston Marathon winner, is setting his sights on the MDS Nordion 10K at this year's Ottawa Race Weekend.

"I love to race and I love competition. When my manager told me about the opportunity to compete in Ottawa and attempt the 10K world record, I was very excited," said Deriba Merga, "I have heard a lot about this great event. I am happy and ready to come to Ottawa and run a new world record."

Merga has already had a great year. He won and set a new marathon course record in January. He tied the 15K world record while en route to placing 3rd in a half-marathon in February. And in April, he decisively won the Boston Marathon.

Patrick Makau, the first place winner in the half-marathon in February will be providing stiff competition for the 10K world record. Makau is the second fastest half-marathoner in history. He was 1 second behind when Deriba tied the 15K world record.

"Our fast and scenic 10K has extremely enthusiastic spectator support," says Manny Rodrigues, Elite Athlete Coordinator, Run Ottawa. "When combined with this year's great competitors, it is a formula for a world record."

Returning as a credible contender this year is Julius Kiptoo, last year's MDS Nordion 10K winner. Hillary Kimaiyo, who has run the fastest ever 10K (26:01), albeit on a very downhill course also strongly believes he can take this world record.

Manny Rodrigues feels this is the stiffest competition the Ottawa Race Weekend has ever seen.

Women also providing strong competition

Deriba Merga should also be keeping his eye on the women this year.

Women at the MDS Nordion 10K are given a head start and the first athlete across the line wins an additional $5,000. Last year, 18 year-old female Emebet Bacha lost the challenge to Julius Kiptoo by mere inches.

Bacha is returning this year to be challenged by two runners have personal bests of more than a minute faster than Bacha’s 2008 winning time: Tebya Erkesso and Marina Ivanonva.

Other female runners expected to be in the lead pack include the 2008 3rd place finisher Hyvon Ngetich, Jane Murage, Jane Kibii and Canadian Tara Quinn-Smith.

The list of elites participating this year as well as prize purse numbers are available in the backgrounder posted at RunOttawa.ca.

About Ottawa Race Weekend

Ottawa Race Weekend is Canada's premier running festival. It combines competition, participation and fundraising to make a distinctive contribution to the health of the community. The 2008 Ottawa Race Weekend welcomed over 32,800 participants in seven races, including the ING Ottawa Marathon and the MDS Nordion 10K. Ottawa Race Weekend is run by a volunteer Board of Directors. The 2009 event is scheduled for the weekend of May 23-24.


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