Saturday at the Metro Toronto Zoo, some of the top road runners in Canada will vy for the titles of men’s and women’s 10k national champion. The start list features all our Olympic marathoners (Coolseat, Gillis and Wykes), and almost-Olympic women’s marathoners (Duchene and Marchant), as well as Rob Watson, Natasha Wodak and Lioudmila Kortchaguina, and so we should have a great race.
Looking to make a break into the upper echelon of Canadian road running will be two young men from Quebec. Ryan Noel-Hodge, of our own McGill Olympic Club, and Iain Fyfe, currently living in Saskatchewan, but an MOC alum and native Montrealer, will renew their friendly rivalry in the twists and turns of the Zoo. This summer Noel-Hodge set a new 10k club record of 30:46 in the Toronto 10k. He backed that up with 30:41 on the track. Both marks bettered Fyfe’s 2008 time of 31:41 that he set at the tender age of 20.
Iain says his “preparation has gone very well leading into the race.” His fitness “was confirmed” as he (finally) won the Cougar Trot in Regina last weekend. He’s looking forward to locking horns (shoelaces?) with his “arch nemesis for many years” Ryan Noel-Hodge.
Noel-Hodge, on his end, was not able to open the season with a win, as he was edged out by Dany Racine at the McGill Martlet XC Open last weekend. This being his first fall out of the varsity cross country wringer, the McGill race was his first real hard run of the season, and he’s confident that the last 6 weeks of bread-and-butter tempos and mileage will serve him well. Asked for comment about how he stacks up against Iain, he muttered cryptically “Just a good ol’ dom-show now…” and went out for another run.
***UPDATE*** Post-run, Hodge says “The fitness is good! Excited to mix it up with some of the best Canada has!”
There are two other Quebec representatives in the race, Nathalie Goyer, of St. Bruno, and Josée Picard-Arsenault of Quebec City. The 10k starts at 8:15 am on Saturday so by 8:45 or slightly earlier we should have a new men’s 10k champ, and likely only a couple minutes after that, a women’s champ. All the race info can be found here.