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Athletics Canada selects eight athletes to represent Canada at 2018 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships

Ottawa – Athletics Canada named eight athletes today, four men and four women, to represent Canada at the 2018 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. The biyearly event will take place on March 24 in Valencia, Spain, known around the world as the City of Running.

“The World Half Marathon Championship is an extremely competitive race where the top distance running nations typically send strong teams. The depth of performances is always staggering,” said Bruce Deacon, head coach of Canada’s 2018 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships team. “We are sending a team that features some of the strongest Canadian athletes at this distance.”

The Canadian squad, the largest team to don the red maple leaf at the World Half Marathon Championships since Edmonton played host in 2005, will feature eight first-time competitors looking to establish a new national record and better its placing from two years ago when the women finished in sixth place (3:36:54) and the men in 12th (3:22:11).

“The team is a mix of experienced veterans and for some, this will be their biggest championships to date,” said Deacon. “Although none have raced the World Half Marathon, some have competed successfully at other World Championships or, in the case of Cameron Levins, at the Olympic Games. The women’s team has our top two finishers from last year’s World Cross Country Championships (Victoria Coates and Sasha Gollish); their experience at this level of competition will be a big boost to the team.”

“I am very excited to represent Canada at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championship. I was disappointed when I had to turn down the spot in 2016, so I am really looking forward to putting my best foot forward in Spain,” said Gollish. “It is an honour to represent my country on the world stage. I am looking forward to the inspiring results of the Winter Olympics to propel me forward during training over the next six weeks leading into the event.”

“I’m always happy to represent Canada whenever the opportunity arises, and this one is particularly special to me as it will be my first World Championship post-surgery,” said Levins. “I would really like to run a good time, and I think this will be another highly competitive race to chase that. We have a strong team and I’m excited to see how we can place overall.”

The route of the 2018 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships was designed exclusively for this race, and is expected to produce fast times since the city is located at sea level. The maximum difference between the highest point (17 metres) and lowest (3.2 metres) is only 13.8 metres, so it is an almost completely flat route.

“The goal of any athlete is to run a personal best in a championship race. It means that you have delivered your best when it counts,” said Deacon. “The course is well suited to chasing a personal best time. It’s fast and you know that the field will not wait around. It’s going to be a quick and unrelenting pace that favours those ready to hang on and run their best. On a course like this, any of our athletes could expect to better his or her best time, possibly run the fastest Canadian time ever recorded at this event.”

Team Canada – 2018 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships 

Men

First name

Last name

Hometown

Club

Coach

Evan

Esselink

Guelph, Ont.

Speed River

Dave Scott-Thomas

Sami

Jibril

Toronto

Newmarket Huskies

Derek Hackshaw

Cameron

Levins

Comox, B.C.

Unattached BC

Eric Houle

Geoffry

Martinson

Oliver, B.C

Prairie Inn Harriers

Richard Lee

Women

Victoria

Coates

Hamilton, Ont.

Dundas Valley Track Club

Patrick MacKinnon

Sasha

Gollish

Toronto

University of Toronto Track Club

Ross Ristuccia

Kinsey

Middleton

Guelph, Ont.

Unattached BC

Travis Floeck

Emily

Setlack

Kingston, Ont.

Run Lab

Pat McDermott

Staff

First name

Last name

Hometown

Club

Role

Bruce

Deacon

Victoria

Prairie Inn Harriers

Head coach

John

Lofranco

Montreal

Athletisme Ville-Marie

Team manager

Kimen

Petersen

Vancouver

 

IST

For more information on the 2018 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, please click here.

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