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Coolsaet among strong field for Canadian 10K road race championships

October 16, 2009

Coolsaet among strong field for Canadian 10K road race championships

Lori Ewing, THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO – Coming on the heels of a season focused on the marathon, Saturday’s Canadian 10K National Road Race Championships is going to feel like an all-out sprint for Reid Coolsaet.

The distance runner from Guelph, Ont., who won the Canadian title in his marathon debut earlier this year, will be among a strong field gunning for the 10-kilometre title at the Toronto Zoo.

“I definitely feel like my endurance and strength is better, but I’m definitely lacking some foot speed,” Coolsaet said.

Coolsaet, Canada’s top 5-and 10,000-metre runner on the track for the past few years, moved up to the marathon last season, overcoming a broken foot suffered in the fall to quickly make a name for himself over the gruelling 42.195-kilometre distance.

His Canadian title earned him a spot at the world championships in Berlin in August, where he went in ranked No. 85 out of a field of 91, but crossed the finish line 25th.

He’s switching gears once again to focus on the 5-and 10,000 metres, with his eye on the Commonwealth Games next October in New Delhi, India.

“In October, the daily high is like 31 degrees, and it’s pretty polluted in New Delhi, so I definitely don’t want to run a marathon there,” Coolsaet said. “I’ll go back to the 5-and 10,000, and then in 2011 and 2012, I’ll concentrate on the marathon again.”

Coolsaet, 30, said he considers himself a favourite to finish second Saturday – top spot should go to Simon Bairu, he said.

The Regina runner is the defending 10K road race champion and also won it in 2006.

“I think Simon and I are fairly equal over 10K, his best time and my best time are only six seconds apart, but he trained for it all summer whereas I focused on the marathon,” Coolsaet said.

Other favourites among the field include Ryan McKenzie of Windsor, Ont., the 2007 Canadian 1,500-metre champion, Taylor Milne of Guelph, Ont., who was second in the Canadian 10K championships two years ago, and Dylan Wykes of Kingston, Ont., the 2007 10K champion and a marathon teammate of Coolsaet at the world championships.

Malindi Elmore of Calgary is among the favourites in the women’s field. Emore is the reigning Canadian 1,500-metre champion.

The race is being held in conjunction with the Oasis Zoo Run and includes the Timex National Road Race Series Finale.

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