Speed River’s new recruit Mike Tate showed himself to be the class of the field as he powered his way over the hills, and around the innumerable twists and turns of the Oasis ZooRun 10k Saturday morning to break the tape near the wildebeest pen in 30:51, some 45 seconds clear of the field. The women’s race was much more competitive as Ethiopian-Canadian newcomer Boneshi Woldegorgis (36:12) played a cat and mouse game with Waterloo’s Erin McClure, stalking her most of the way before surging ahead for the win over the final kilometre.
TORONTO September 23rd. Canadian Olympian and national marathon record holder, Lanni Marchant won this morning’s 15th annual Oasis ZooRun 10k in 35:21, dressed as Wonder Woman. Toronto Olympic Club’s Wendimu Adamu took the men’s title in 31:01 over the hilly, winding course through the Toronto Zoo. The 6th event in the seven-race Canada Running Series attracted a sold-out crowd of 5,500 participants from every Canadian province except Newfoundland, and 7 countries; 2,500 were in each of the 10k and 5k, with another 538 in the children’s Cub Run. Conditions were fair for the 8am start of 10k, at 17c with some cloud-cover and no wind. By the time the recreational 5K and Cub Run took off at 10am and 11:30am, however, the skies were bright and clear and the temperature had risen another 10 degrees on an unseasonably warm autumn day.
Gradually returning from an illness that has taken out her whole 2017 racing year, Marchant decided to enter at the last minute, and do so in the ZooRun spirit by running in costume. “I’d say I’m about 80% right now,” she said after the race. “I’ve been doing a fair amount of easy running, about 130 to 145 kilometres a week, but this is the first week I’ve tried any quality, with a fartlek session. Last week in Vancouver (at Canada Running Series’ Under Armour Eastside 10k) was so much fun, and I’ve missed that. I want to have fun getting back to the high level of the sport, and that’s what a race like today was about.” But Wonder Woman also got in a little business, going to the front from the outset, pulling along a pack that included Masters athlete Lioudmila Kortchaguina, Newmarket Huskies’ Laura Desjardins, Speed River TFC’s Katrina Alison, and Grand River Endurance’s Tanis Bolton. Marchant and Kortchaguina gradually moved away between 3k and 4k; then Marchant dropped Kortchaguina between 5k and 6k. “The wasn’t at all my plan,” said Lanni. “But then I had to commit to it and just keep pressing up the hills as best I could. I’m not going to lie, there were a few times I looked over my shoulder to make sure Lioudmila wasn’t coming back on me!” The 46-year-old Kortchaguina had the performance of the day, finishing a strong 2nd place, just 26 seconds back (35:47). Desjardins was 3rd, Alison 4th and Bolton 5th.
The men’s race featured an absorbing contest between Etobicoke’s Kyle Grieve and three of Toronto Olympic’s Ethiopian-Canadians: Wendimu Adamu who had won the Toronto Waterfront 10k in June, Hajin Tola and Berhanu Degefa. “We settled in the first 2km,” said Grieve. “A good group of guys. They did the work the first 3k, then I decided to take over and see if I could push it a little bit.” By 6k it was down to a duel between Grieve and Adamu. “We traded off the lead. He took the lead back around eight and a half K, but he didn’t gap me until about 500m to go. I tried to go for the win. It wasn’t in the cards today, but I’m happy with the effort,” said the 23-year-old Grieve.
Like Wonder Woman, many of the participants came for the fun and a family day at the Zoo, with free entry to all the runners. Costumes abounded. In the 10k, a pair of koalas took first prize. A zebra claimed the Cub Run costume award over a beautiful butterfly, and a shark/turtle/lobster team were applauded top honours in the 5K over a snow leopard, a bear, two wolves and a peacock. A unicorn and a large raptor were impressive “also-rans” in the 5K. The big winners on the day were the Toronto Zoo who took home a cheque for $46,000 to support their important animal conservation programs.
The final event of Canada Running Series takes place on October 22nd, with the IAAF Gold Label Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-marathon & 5K. www.STWM.ca
A message from Canada Running Series Race Director Alan Brookes:
Hello fellow runners;
As 2015 fades into our log books, 2016 is coming up fast! Canada Running Series is ALMOST done – bar the wrap up! WHAT a year it was! In addition to 8 great Series races, we also had the Pan Am Games to organize and enjoy. A massive THANK YOU to all of you for the important part you played in an outstanding year. Almost 60,000 participants; more than 5,000 volunteers; 19 fabulous sponsors; tens of thousands of spectators and cheer squads; and a whopping $6 million raised for our 339 Official Charities. So many great stories, and reasons to cheer. Beyond EPIC!
Although there’s still a lot of tidy-up activity happening at the CRS offices – paying bills and prize monies, mailing out unclaimed awards, writing 2015 reports for our sponsor partners, we’re also full swing into 2016 – designing next year’s medals and t-shirts, fun new activations and more.
Are you ready?
We have some VERY exciting stuff in the works, including a new race. What will it be called? When will it be held? Where will it run?
Because of these tasty updates, we’ll be LAUNCHING online registration tomorrow for the following Individual Races:
- Banque Scotia 21K et 5K de Montreal: Sunday April 24th 2016.
- Oasis ZooRun, 10k, 5K & Cub Run: Saturday September 24th 2016.
- Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-marathon & 5K: Sunday October 16th 2016.
COMBO PACKS, with multi-event discounts, for our full Eastern Calendar [including Toronto Spring races] will be coming SOON. We’ll have that up and available as soon as we have finalized our plans – and you’ll be among the first to know! ‘Til then, let’s keep running, keep in touch, and get planning for new goals, and thrilling new adventures together in 2016.
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
TORONTO August 2nd 2015. CRS Community Leader Heather Gardner is a marathon runner, indoor cycling coach, yoga teacher, and triathlete. Inspired by her friend and mentor Kim Agostino, Heather first laced up her runners after a change in career put her momentarily behind a desk. Running highlights for Heather include racing her first marathon in NYC in 2010, racing her first 70.3 Ironman in Muskoka in 2014, and the Canada Running Series ZooRun, every year because it’s such a fun race! Heather is the founder of Tribe Fitness, a Toronto fitness community sweating for social good, and enjoys supporting runners, yogis, and cyclists of every level set and rock their fitness goals. Connect with Heather on Twitter, Instagram, and her blog.
5 Great Reasons to Sign-Up for the Oasis ZooRun 10k! By Heather Gardner.
The Canada Running Series Oasis ZooRun 10k was my gateway into the Toronto road racing scene. With just over 3,000 runners it’s offers a small but electric energy, perfect for those looking for their first race, or those prepped for a personal best. When asked to recommend a race to a new runner, or to a family looking to run together and have fun, the CRS Oasis ZooRun is it.
Here are my top 5 reasons why you should race the Oasis ZooRun 10k.
Although the Oasis ZooRun is a smaller race than most of the CRS events in Toronto, the atmosphere at the Toronto Zoo is electric. Live music will motivate you along the winding course, and the spectators will cheer your loud on your way. In the few places where humans aren’t permitted, you’re surrounded by the awesome sights and sounds of the wildlife, it’s the perfect running party.
2. It’s A Knock out Race for New Runners.
At Tribe we often use the Oasis Zoo Run as our “My First Race” Run Clinic goal race for our learn-to-run team. While the course does offer some small rolling hills, the zoo terrain is very accessible for new runners, with lots of excitement to push you through. This smaller race is well marked, with many volunteers, has multiple aid stations, and is the perfect place to win your first finishers medal. Check out our Tribe Fitness ZooRun Facebook Album to see what kind of fun we had last year!
3. Great for Groups.
With a spacious starting line and finishing area, the ZooRun is a great place to run with a group. Whether you choose to stick together or venture off searching out your personal bests, the winding course gives you plenty of opportunity to see your friends and get powered up by high fives.
4. Run Like an Animal!
While running among the animals, why not dress like one too? No doubt, you’ll see many runners dressed like cheetahs, tigers, and even flamingos, so why not join in the fun! Canada Running Series hosts an official costume contest (with prizes!) at 11:45am at the main stage in the post-race party site, so make sure you stick around to show off your wild side!
5. It’s at the Toronto Zoo!
Sure, this is an obvious one, but where else can you run alongside the wild life, catch a glimpse of the neon pink flamingos, see towering giraffes, and sprint past the elephants. Not only do you get to run here, but your race entry includes free admission and your spectators can join to watch you on route and for post-race fun for half price!
I hope you’ll join me on Saturday September 12th to run with the animals at the Oasis ZooRun 10k! This race is over 90% sold, so if you want to join in the fun, don’t delay! Register today at http://zoorun.ca .