Ethiopians lead the field in Ottawa 10K race

Canadian male and female athletes finish in the top 10

Press Release

LRC Race Photos

May 29, 2010, OTTAWA – Ottawa Race Weekend recorded a new “first” this evening when Dire Tune of West Chester, Ethiopia became the first woman to cross the finish line ahead of a man with a time of 32:11 minutes.

Women elite athletes started the 10K race 4 minutes and 7 seconds before the male elites, but in the past they were overtaken and beaten to the finish line.

Under sunny skies, Dire Tune came in ahead of Lelisa Desisa, also of West Chester, Ethiopia. Desisa claimed first place in the men’s category with a time of 28:08.

Tune will take home $10,000 US for her efforts – the first place $5,000 US prize for top woman and $5,000 US for winning the gender competition prize for crossing the finish line ahead of her male counterparts. Desisa will claim $5,000 US for being the first male finisher.

Attracting a strong competitive field in 2010, organizers hoped the world record of 27:01 minutes (set in Holland in March 2009) or the Ottawa course record of 27:24 minutes set by Deriba Merga in 2009 would be shattered. By the 6K mark, it was clear no speed records would fall this year.

When record-breaking hopeful Merga began to slow down, his own pacer – an elite athlete and fellow countryman trained to set and hold pace for the prospective winner – carried on to win the race.

“Weather conditions were right for records to break tonight,” said Manny Rodrigues, Elite Athlete Coordinator, adding race officials were concerned intense heat over the last few days might carry into the weekend. “Speed records weren’t set, but we were thrilled to see a woman beat a man to the finish line and take home the gender competition prize.”

Canadian athletes placed well in the 10K distance. Guelph, Ontario native Eric Gillis placed fourth overall with a time of 29:11 minutes. Emily Tallen was the first Canadian woman to finish, placing 7th with a time of 35:23.

The 2010 Ottawa Race Weekend 10K event sold out March 30 with 9,500 registered runners. All seven Ottawa Race Weekend races sold out for a record-breaking participation of 38,788.


  1. Lelisa Desisa (Ethiopia)                                  28:08
  2. Mohamed El Hashimi                                     28:11
  3. Deriba Merga (Ethiopia)                                 28:41
  4. Eric Gillis (Guelph, Ontario)                           29:11
  5. Dereje Tadesse Raya (Ethiopia)                     29:17
  6. Dylan Wykes (Kingston, Ontario)                     29:37
  7. Matt Loiselle (Toronto, Ontario)                     29:49
  8. Robert Kiprotich Letting (Kenya)                    29:57
  9. Willy Kimosop (Kenya)                                   30:17
  10. Baghdad Rachem (Algeria)                            30:20              



  1. Tire Dune (Ethiopia)                                       32:11                          
  2. Rehima Kedir (Ethiopia)                                 33:27
  3. Yvon Ngetich (Kenya)                                     33:30
  4. Emebet Bacha Lencho (Ethiopia)                   33:55
  5. Alemtsehay Misganaw            (Ethiopia)         34:00              
  6. Lucy Muhami Njeri (Kenya)                             35:10
  7. Emily Tallen (Kingston, Ontario)                     35:23
  8. Kristina Rody (Burnaby, BC)                             35:48
  9. Kate Vaughn (St. John’s, NF)                           36:15
  10. Paula Wiltse (Brockville, ON)                           36:51



The Ottawa Race Weekend, Canada's premier running event, combines competition, participation and fundraising to make a distinctive contribution to the health of the community. The 2009 Ottawa Race Weekend welcomed more than 36,694 participants in seven races, including the Ottawa Marathon. Run Ottawa, the organization behind the Ottawa Race Weekend, is run by a volunteer Board of Directors.




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