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Posted: May 29, 2016:  

Athletics: Ottawa 10K delivers thrills despite intense heat

Strong performances by elite Canadian men and women

May 28, 2016 - OTTAWA - The Ottawa 10K start horn blew at 7:00 p.m. tonight - 30 minutes later than the usual 6:30 p.m. start - to give racers a chance to compete in slightly cooler evening temperatures.

The decision to move the race back a half-hour was made earlier in the day as race officials kept a close eye on weather conditions and consulted with medical and other experts supporting the race.

A rain shower started shortly after the race began -- cooling elites and the roughly 13,000 runners trailing them.

Twenty-two year-old Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir staggered to a dramatic finish in 31:29 to win first place and the race's gender challenge prize. This year, elite women were given a 3 minute 15 second advance start over their male counterparts. By finishing before the first male in less than that time gap, Jepchirchir takes home $2,000 US in addition to the $8,000 US first prize.

Mohammed Ziani, 23, of Morocco placed first in a near photo-finish with 23-year-old Yitayal Atnafu of Ethiopia. They clocked in at 28:36.5 and 28:36.9 respectively.

Intense heat didn't slow down Canadian women, five of whom placed in the top 10. Lanni Marchant, 32, from London finished with 32:08. She was followed closely by Natasha Wodak, 34, from Vancouver with 33:51 and Rachel Hannah, 29, from Guelph, Ontario with 34:36.

Three Canadian men finished in the top 10 and all in the 30 minute range. Reid Coolsaet, 36 from Guelph, Ontario ran to a 30:19 finish. He was followed by Kevin Friesen, 28 from Vancouver with 30:31 and Pier-Olivier Laflamme, 28, from L'Ancienne-Lorette, Quebec with 30:45.

Results: Ottawa 10K Top 20 men and women.


"Peres Jepchirchir put in a gutsy performance tonight. She ran the first two kilometres at world record pace. She slowed down as the race progressed, but her performance was incredibly strong considering the warm weather conditions." -Manny Rodrigues, Elite Athlete Coordinator, Run Ottawa

"The men's race was an example of road racing at its most exciting. They gave spectators a very tight race right down to the wire." - Manny Rodrigues, Elite Athlete Coordinator, Run Ottawa

"Our primary concern tonight was our runners. We moved the time of the Ottawa 10K to give them the best race experience despite the weather conditions. We cautioned them to hydrate well, adjust their pace to accommodate the heat, and pay attention to our race crew for news and information. We were fortunate to have a rain shower just as the race got underway, which cooled runners down and resulted in less pressure on our medical services." - John Halvorsen, President and Race Director, Run Ottawa

About the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

The 2016 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend is welcoming 47,000 participants in six races, including the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, the Scotiabank Half-Marathon, the Ottawa 10K, the HTG Sports 5K, the 2K and Scotiabank Kids Marathon. The Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend is one of only two running events in the world to host two IAAF Gold Label races - the Ottawa 10K and the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon. The 2016 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend will take place on May 28-29, 2016. Visit us at RunOttawa.CA.

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