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Top Canadian runners set to duel

rob watson

March 4, 2014 (Ottawa) – The Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend will again provide the stage for Canadian running drama as Olympian Eric Gillis and Canadian Marathon Champion Rob Watson square off at the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, while Canada’s top two female distance runners, Lanni Marchant and Krista Duchene, run for the top Canadian spot in the Ottawa 10K.

Gillis, who placed 22nd at the 2012 London Olympics, withdrew prior to the 2013 Ottawa Marathon due to injury. Watson, who was coming off a gutsy performance at the 2013 Boston Marathon, replaced Gillis at the last minute and, though running on short rest, claimed top Canadian honours, which also comes with the title of Canadian Marathon Champion, and a $5,000 prize purse.

The 2014 Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, an IAAF Silver Label event, sets the stage for the two marathoners to face off for the championship at Canada’s largest marathon.

“I’m very happy with how the return to workouts has gone,” said Eric Gillis. “I’m feeling more on top of my game than I’ve felt in years. This has got me eager to really start rockin’ and rollin’ this Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon buildup. Ottawa is a race I’ve had my heart set on for years, the first ever marathon I watched live. 2014 is the year I finally compete and complete this great race!”

The evening before Gillis and Watson run the marathon, Ottawa crowds will be treated to one of Canada’s most competitive races when Marchant and Duchene aim for the top Canadian spot at the Ottawa 10K, also an IAAF Silver Label event.

The Saucony teammates have a track record of pushing each other to personal best performances, including a groundbreaking run at the 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon where both runners broke the 28-year old Canadian women’s marathon record.

Marchant, who now holds the Canadian marathon record of 2:28:00, will run Ottawa after racing the Boston Marathon in April 2014.

“Once again I look forward to racing at the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend,” said Duchene. “I love the energetic atmosphere, fun with the family, scenic race route, and competitive field. Any opportunity that Lanni and I can race each other only makes us stronger and there’s no better place than in our nation’s capital.”

“Every year we try to assemble the best field of runners from across Canada and around the world.” said, Manny Rodrigues, Elite Athlete Coordinator for the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. “In doing so, we hope to be able to set a stage that helps our Canadian athletes to push their limits and achieve new levels.”


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