Mutai and Keitany for Ottawa 10K 2014
April 23, 2014 (Ottawa) - When Kenyan superstar Geoffrey Mutai returns to the Lowertown Brewery Ottawa 10K on May 24th, 2014 he will face arguably the strongest men’s and women’s fields ever assembled on Canadian soil.
Unique to Ottawa, the IAAF Silver Label event includes a ‘gender competition’ with the elite women given a head start of roughly 4 minutes and a $4,000 bonus given to whomever crosses the finish line first.
With the announcement that two-time London Marathon Champion Mary Keitany will be joining the action in Ottawa, the star-studded men’s field will certainly get a run for the money.
Keitany’s personal best 10K of 30:45, recorded en route to breaking the world half-marathon record at the 2011 Ras Al Khamaih Half Marathon, eclipses Mutai’s best of 27:19 when the 4-minute bonus is taken into account.
"This is the fastest 10k field ever assembled on Canadian soil,” said Manny Rodrigues, Elite Athletes Coordinator. “I think it'll be a very exciting race to watch.”
The battle among the men also promises to be an epic one. Lining up with Mutai will be countryman Wilson Kiprop, winner of the 2012 Kenyan Olympic 10,000m trials in 27:01.98, and a victor over Mutai at the 2010 Kenyan Championships, and well-known Ethiopians Deriba Merga and Atsedu Tsegay.
Merga, who won the Boston Marathon in 2009, is also the current Ottawa 10K course record-holder (27:24), while the 24-year-old Tsegay has a superb half marathon best of 58:47.
“Deriba Merga likes to go very hard from the start. Geoffrey Mutai likes to follow the first the first few kilometres but really dictate the pace after that. Add in Wilson Kiprop, one the fastest Kenyans at 10,000m and you have a recipe for something in the record books,” said Rodrigues.
All in all, the men’s competition promises to be a thrilling follow-up to last year’s contest, which saw the top four men all finish under 28 minutes and was rated the world’s top 10K for 2013 by All-Athletics.com.
Challenging Keitany in the women’s race will be fellow Kenyans Caroline Kilel and Filomena Chepchirchir who finished 1st and 2nd at the 2013 Frankfurt Marathon and 24-year-old Ethiopian Yebrqual Melese who won last year’s Ethiopian 10,000m Championship.
“It'll be very exciting to see Mary Kietany can do against a strong field in her first race back,” said Rodrigues.
In the race for top Canadian, the newly minted national marathon record-holder Lanni Marchant is back to take on friendly rival and teammate Krista Duchene, who also bested the long-standing Canadian women’s marathon record last year. Marchant will be coming to Ottawa after finishing 14th, and top Canadian woman, at the Boston Marathon.
On the men’s side, Saskatchewan-native Kelly Wiebe, who was the top Canadian finisher last year in 29:22, will be joined by Canadian Olympian Dylan Wykes.
The Lowertown Brewery Ottawa 10K will take place May 24 at 6:30pm as part of the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend.