Saturday's Emilie's Run in Ottawa will see a record number of participants. As of Sunday night - when online registration closed - 403 women had entered the 5K and 121 children the 1K for children 12 and under. Late in-person registration can be done at the race site - the Aviation Museum - during race kit pick-up on Friday June 19th from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Saturday June 20th between 7 and 8:30 a.m. The women's 5K race starts at 9 a.m.
Tara Quinn-Smith heads up the race's most competitive field. She is coming off her new Canadian Half Marathon win & record of 1:12:08. She is a member of the Brooks Canada Marathon Project based in Toronto, ON. Tara has a personal best of 15:58 for 5K and is expected to threaten the course record of 16:29.7. She has qualified for the World Marathon Championships this August in Berlin. She placed 6th - first Canadian - in the recent MDS Nordion 10K in 33:38.3.
The course record of 16:29.7 was set by two-time winner Nicole Stevenson of Toronto in 2006.
Three Toronto-area runners with impressive credentials: Firehiwot Gebreyesus, Josiane Aboungono and Aynadis Bedada are all capable of running a time in the mid 16 minute range. Emily Tallen from Kingston - third two years ago - is coming off a 26:35 5K in the Kingston Beat Beethoven race. Dana Buchanan of the Ottawa Lions recently ran a personal best 4:21 1500-meters. Daniele Riendeau leads a strong team from the Ottawa Athletic Club Racing Team. Masters runner Paula Wiltse of Kingston, who was second overall last year in a Canadian Masters (40+) record of 17:02.0, heads up an impressive Masters field which includes Liz Maguire (OACRT) and Leslie Sanderson of Zone 3 Sports.
Lioudmila Kortchaguina, the 2009 Canadian Marathon Champion - having run 2:32 in Ottawa last Sunday - had been entered but she withdrew on Wednesday due to stomach flu.
While there is over $7,000 in prize money for the top individuals and teams, the race is open to all women and is designed to be a celebration of women's running in memory of a Canadian Olympian, Emilie Mondor.
The race offers several unique features to enhance the participants' experience such as timing mats at each kilometer and the race numbers 1 through 50 designate runners who placed 1 through 50 in the previous year's race.
There is also a 1K run for children 12 and under and they will receive free admission to the Aviation Museum. The 1K race starts at 10 a.m.
CHEO - the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, is the official charity of the event.
The race is sponsored by the Runner's Web (www.runnersweb.com), the Ottawa Citizen, Majic100, New Balance Ottawa, iRun Magazine, Gatorade, Goodlife Fitness Clubs, Bagel Bagel and Ottawa Outdoors Magazine and is organized by Somersault Promotions (www.somersault.ca).
About Emilie's Run:
Emilie's Run - The Emilie Mondor Memorial 5K Race for Women will be run on June 20th from the Aviation Museum in Ottawa. Emilie's Run is a women's only 5K road race named after Emilie Mondor who was killed in a car accident in September of 2006. She was the first Canadian woman to run under 15:00 for 5K and an Athens Olympian. She had moved to Ottawa to start training for the marathon with the goal of going to the Beijing Olympics in that event.
Last year Emilie's Run was the only "women's only" road race in Canada and it is certainly one of, if not the fastest women's 5k races. Last year 38 women ran under 20:00. Emilie's Run had four out of the top ten 5K female performances in Ontario last year and 6 of the top ten master's performances!
For more on the Brooks Canada Marathon Project visit: http://www.brooksrunning.ca/runners_resource/marathon_project.html
Tara Quinn-Smith in the 2009 MDS Nordion 10K in Ottawa May 23rd. Photo: RunnersWeb.com.