Toronto (Thursday May 19th, 2009) -- Matt Loiselle, Tara Quinn-Smith and Andrew Smith of the Brooks Canada Marathon Project will be competing in their respective events in Ottawa this weekend.
Andrew Smith, 29, having recently placed second at the Ontario 10,000m Championships in a time of 29:55.54 will be running the Nordion 10k on Saturday May 23rd. Smith recently claimed second place at the Canadian half-marathon Championships on April 19th in a personal best time of 1:05.07.
Andrew's Thoughts on the upcoming 10k: "I am really looking forward to the race this weekend and to having a strong performance. This will be the most competitive 10k race I have ever been in, so it will be a great test to see how I match up against an extremely strong international field as well as a strong contingent of Canadians. Training has continued to go well since my last race, so I really just want to go out and run a strong, smart race, and hopefully come away with a new PB."
Tara Quinn-Smith, 29, will also be competing in the Nordion 10k. She recently broke the Canadian record in the half-marathon running 1:12.08 at the Canadian Championships on April 19th. The previous record held since 1995. Tara's next scheduled event will be the Canadian 10,000m Championships in preparation for her upcoming marathon which will take place in Berlin, Germany for the World Championships in August.
Tara on the 10k and her buildup to the World Championships: "I'm very excited to race the 10km in Ottawa this year. It's been a long time since I've raced the 10km now so it will be a great opportunity to test myself, racing among a great elite women's field. The switch in focus this past month has been great and I really think it will be beneficial to my marathon build-up for Berlin this August."
Vying for a spot on the men's World Championship marathon team will be the BCMP's Matt Loiselle, 24. Loiselle will be competing in his first full marathon on Sunday May 24th. This weekend's marathon is held on the final day of the qualifying window for the Canadian team being sent to the World Championships. A time of 2:18.00 or faster would put Matt in a pool of several Canadian marathoners hoping to be one of five athletes chosen to represent Canada in Berlin. Matt recently outclassed his competition at the Canadian half-marathon Championships on April 19th, besting a deep field of Canadian and international runners to claim the national title in1:04.08.
Winding though the neighbourhoods of Gatineau and Ottawa and along the Rideau Canal, the race will feature the top distance runners from across the country as well as a strong international field.
Matt Loiselle on his race plan and on running his first marathon: "I'll be very honest, I haven't been thinking too much about the actual race yet. Once I get to Ottawa and see some of the course, I'm sure I will start to play things out in my mind a little. The coaches and I have laid out a very general plan so far, which is basically to break 2:18 and put myself in the pool for the World Championship team. I know that's not too in-depth, but that is the beauty of and what I love about racing--you don't really know what's going to go down in the race until it's actually run."
"I love the uncertainty of races that lie ahead. I have run the marathon distance three times before, but at much easier paces. I'm pretty excited to soon find out what it is really like to race a marathon full-out, to see what I am capable of running at this point of my life, and to see how the race is going to play out. I'm also excited to see Canada's Fastest Couple (Andrew and Tara) race the 10k on Saturday night."
About the Brooks Canada Marathon Project: Now in its third year, the Brooks Canada Marathon Project provides distance runners with the opportunity to train with the goal of qualifying for the Olympic Games and World Championships. Thanks to a $1.5-million commitment from Brooks Canada founders Mike and Paul Dyon, the athletes train and live together in a house in Toronto's west end provided by the Project. They also receive medical and travel support, and performance-based financial incentives. For more information, see BrooksRunning.ca.