Elites race some of Ottawa's best times ever; 5 qualify for Rio Olympic Games
May 29, 2016 - OTTAWA - Hot and humid temperatures forced a detour for some runners today at the 2016 Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon.
Shortly after 11 a.m. at around the 4-hour mark of the race, officials made a weather-based decision to close a roughly 10 kilometre stretch of the marathon course to remaining runners returning to Ottawa from Gatineau via the Alexandra Bridge. At their pace this meant about 1 ¼ hours less time on the roads at what would be the hottest point in the day, with expected humidex readings as high as 40 degrees C.
It was a different story in the earlier part of the day, where spectators witnessed an Ethiopian sweep in both the men's and women's categories.
Hot weather conditions didn't do much to slow down the frontrunners and Rio Olympic Games hopefuls, who delivered some of the marathon's strongest performances ever. Ottawa was a preferred destination for many elite-level athletes looking to secure an Olympics berth. Even in warmer than usual weather, five racers made the grade today.
Frontrunner Dino Sefir, 28, crossed the finish line in 2:08:14, nearly two full minutes ahead of fellow Ethiopian Shura Kitata, 19, who ran 2:10:04. Kenyan Dominic Ondoro rounded out the top three with a time of 2:11:39.
All three of the top female finishers this year were Ethiopians. Koren Jelela, 29, ran 2:27:06. She beat last year's winner, 32-year-old Aberu Mekuria, who came in at 2:29:51. Third place finisher was Sechale Dalasa, 24, with a time of 2:32:46.
Top Canadian woman was Tarah Korir, 29, with a time of 2:35:46. Korir was paced by her husband Wesley Korir, former Boston and Chicago marathon winner and no stranger to Ottawa's marathon course. She was followed by Neasa Coll, 33, from Vancouver with a time of 2:46:16 and Brittany Moran, 28, from Etobicoke with 2:48:35.
Top Canadian man this year was Kip Kangogo, 36, from Lethbridge, who ran 2:21:23. John Parrott, 29, from Guelph, Ontario and Aaron Cooper, 30, from Camlachie, Ontario came in second and third, with times of 2:26:10 and 2:28:12 respectively.
Results: Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon.
"We made today's decision to reroute some of our marathoners with their health and safety in mind. We closely monitored weather conditions and the capacity of our medical services. It was always one of the options when weather forecasts became an issue a few days ago." - John Halvorsen, President and Race Director, Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend
"This year's marathon performances by both men and women elites were really impressive, with times as strong as in years when hot weather conditions weren't an issue. Dino Sefir's time was exactly the same as last year's winning time - the third best time ever for our marathon event. It was a highly competitive field and a great day for Rio qualifiers." - Manny Rodrigues, Elite Athlete Coordinator, 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.