By Paul Gains
On her one and only visit to Toronto, Scottish international Sarah Inglis came away with a splendid victory in the 2019 Race Roster Spring Run-Off 8K.
The 30-year-old from Falkirk is now set to return to challenge a top-class field in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 10K, which doubles as the Athletics Canada Canadian 10K Championships.
Though she has lived in Langley, British Columbia for the past eight years, her status in Canada is ‘permanent resident’ and so she will not be eligible for either championship medals or the substantial prize money on offer.
“Of course,” she said laughing heartily when asked if she would prefer to be in the hunt for prize money. “It’s always nice incentive in a race to have some prize money…Being a part time teacher and training, it would be nice, but I understand that’s just the way it is. I am grateful to be in the race in the first place.”
Guests have occasionally been allowed in Canadian Championships since the mid-1970s and Canadian athletes are normally most thankful for the enhanced competition. Along with teaching three days a week at a Langley elementary school and working with Streamline, a company which matches prospective student-athletes with university scholarships, Inglis has done the majority of her racing in Canada. This has not gone unnoticed by Canada Running Series Race Director, Alan Brookes.
“It is an Athletics Canada 10K Championships,” said Brookes of the October 17th race. “But it also a Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 10K event and, first and foremost, we have always wanted to create a platform for Canadian athletes and athletes based in Canada.”
Inglis is a triplet who, along with her sister Mhairi and brother Robert, took up running as a youngster. She arrived in Canada to run for Trinity Western University in 2013. TWU head coach, Laurier Primeau, had spent two years as a Scottish Athletics employee and they knew one another. The offer to complete her Master’s in Education while running on scholarship was too much of an opportunity to pass up.
Since then, she has been working with former Canadian international cross-country runner Mark Bomba - remotely since he moved from Langley to become coach at Queen’s University - while retaining her affiliation to her home country.
She has continued to race for Great Britain, finishing 3rd in the 2019 European Team Championship over 5,000m, and adding to the British vest she earned as an 18-year-old at the 2010 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland. A third opportunity to represent her country was offered last year.
After she ran a solid personal best of 1:10:24 in the 2020 Houston Half Marathon, she was given a place on the British team for the World Athletics World Half Marathon Championships in Gydnia, Poland. The event was postponed from March 2020 until October 2020 due to a severe Covid-19 outbreak in that city. In the end, she turned down the invitation.
“The British team actually went to the World Half Marathon Championships, but with travel restrictions in place when we would get back to Canada, I just couldn’t leave the country,” Inglis explained. “I was disappointed to miss those World Championships. They [the World Half Marathon Championships] are in China in 2022, that’s our target. I never got to go two years ago, and It would be nice to try and make the team again.”
There are other targets to reach in 2022. On her marathon debut last December, she ran 2:29:41 in Chandler, Arizona which led to her inclusion in the Scottish Marathon Project, an effort to raise the level of marathoning in time for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. For the Commonwealth Games, England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland enter their own independent teams.
Besides the Spring Run-Off victory before the loss of in-person racing, Inglis won the 2019 Times Colonist 10K in Victoria, British Columbia, in a personal best 32:24. Asked if she can be in that kind of shape when she marks her return to Toronto, she chose her words carefully.
“I am really just starting back to workouts with a solid month of decent training,” she reported. “I am back up to normal mileage. I feel like I am in similar shape to most of the girls in my group, who had a summer season, then took some time off, and we are all starting at the same point in September. I just started training when everyone else was coming off their break. I am not sure what kind of shape timewise, but I have been doing lots of tempo runs and hills and on the trails. I am just going to see what I have got. Every week I am getting fitter in workouts. And I still have another couple of weeks. I think I will be in a good place for the race, hopefully!”
About the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon
The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is Canada’s premier running event and the grand finale of the Canada Running Series (CRS). Since 2017, the race has served as the Athletics Canada national marathon championship race and has doubled as the Olympic trials. During the 2020 event, participants raised over $2.96 million for 163 community charities through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. In 2021, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon will host a 10K along Toronto’s scenic lakeshore, the first in-person race for Canada Running Series since the pandemic began, which will also double as the Athletics Canada 10K Championships in partnership with Run Ottawa.
Using innovation and organization as guiding principles, Canada Running Series stages great experiences for runners of all levels, from Canadian Olympians to recreational and charity runners. With a mission of “building community through the sport of running”, CRS is committed to making sport part of sustainable communities and the city-building process.
About Athletics Canada
Athletics Canada is the national sport governing body for track and field, para athletics, cross-country running and road running. Its purpose is to support high performance athletics excellence at the world level, and to provide leadership in developmental athletics. Athletics Canada is a not for profit, charitable organization operating under a board of directors elected by provincial / territorial members.
About Run Ottawa
Run Ottawa is the National Capital Region’s premiere running organization and the organizers of Canada’s most popular multi-day running event, the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend.
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