TORONTO. September 12th. Matt Loiselle of Newmarket Huskies and Lioudmila Kortchaguina of Markham both raced to convincing victories at this morning’s OASIS ZooRun 10K, in 30:58 and 37:03, respectively. Combined with the 5K and CubRun that followed, there was a record total for participation of almost 6,000 runners, and a record fundraising total of over $37,000 contributed for animal research and preservation at the Toronto Zoo.
Loiselle, back to top form after a sustained period hampered by injuries, put in a dominant performance under cooler [14c] but wet conditions on the scenic Zoo course known for its hills and its turns. He moved away from Berhanu Degefu, Dancan Kasia and Terrence Attema shortly after 2K and never looked back. By 5K [15:14] he had a 10 second gap on Degefu, and used the challenging second half of the course as an important, strong workout before he takes a run at the Canadian Olympic standard for Rio [2:12:50] at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in five weeks.
Kortchaguina put in an equally impressive effort, just 2 weeks after running the Mexico City Marathon at 2,300m altitude, leading from start to finish. At the line, she was almost a minute clear of Toronto’s Ashley Comstock, with Owen Sound’s Jennifer Kehoe a distant third.
The rain then stopped just in time for the 5K, where 16 year-old Evelyn O’Hara from Mississauga, best known for her figure skating, notched a most-impressive 4th consecutive victory [20:38], with Mitchell Miron of Thornhill winning the Men’s division in 17:46.
But OASIS ZooRun has become one of the most-popular events in Canada Running Series, for much more than its competitive element. It’s a family day at the zoo, with runners of all shapes and sizes, significant numbers in animal costumes, many making their first foray into road racing. And then there’s the CubRun, that this year took a record number of 526 kids. The Caped Crusader was on hand to start them off and costumes were everywhere in sight – adding to the spirit of the race and bringing joy to the sport. Curtis the Lion was judged to have crossed the line with the best costume, but close on his heels for ZooRun sartorial splendour were penguins, rabbits, alligators, sharks, turtles and tigers.
Click here for complete OASIS ZooRun race results. http://www.canadarunningseries.com/zoorun/zooRESULT.htm
Next weekend, Canada’s only national road race series moves to Vancouver for the Eastside 10K, then back to Toronto for the grand finale, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-marathon & 5K on October 18th. Entries are still available for both events at www.RunCRS.ca