Competition takes shape for second attempt at 10K world record and $100,000 prize

World-ranked racers plan return to Ottawa Race Weekend

May 11, 2010, Ottawa – Elite racers competig for first place at the 2010 Ottawa Race Weekend (ORW) 10K road race will be pacing themselves to smash the world record of 27:01 minutes set by Micah Kogo of Kenya in March 2009.

Their incentive is an unclaimed prize of $100,000 offered by ORW organizers in 2009.

Deriba Merga of Ethiopia will return for a second shot at the record and the purse. He comes to Ottawa on the heels of a third place finish (2:08:39) in Boston in April. In 2009 he won the fabled race.

 “Last year in Ottawa I beat the 8K world best with a time of 21:48,” says Merga. “I want to come back and see if I can do the same on the 10K distance.”

 Canadian Eric Gillis could beat Merga to the finish line. In January the 30-year-old ran a very respectable 2:13 marathon. Other serious contenders include Ahmed Baday of Morocco and Dereje Tadesse Raya from Ethiopia.

 “Having elite athletes contending for the world record makes it a much more exciting event both for recreational runners and spectators alike,” says Manny Rodrigues, Elite Athlete Coordinator, Run Ottawa. “This might be the year Ottawa makes history.”

 Women racers show promise

Ethiopians could sweep both men and women’s categories if Deriba Merga wins again and is joined on the podium either by Dire Tune, considered to be top contender, or Emebet Bacha Bencho, the 2008 race winner.

 The current women’s 10K world record is 30:21 set by Paula Radcliffe in 2003. Tune, whose personal best 10K time is 31:40, will be looking to break that record. She won the Boston marathon in 2008 and came in 2nd in 2009.

 Canadian women also have a shot at first place. Danette Doetzel from Halifax and Ottawa’s Rebecca Stallwood will be the two women to watch on May 28.

 The list of elites participating this year as well as prize purse numbers are available in the backgrounder posted at www.runottawa.ca.

 Links

Photos of last year’s 10K race are available. (http://runottawa.ca/index.php/en/media/gallery )

 See last year’s Ottawa Race Weekend 10K results. (http://www.runottawa.ca/index.php/en/media/media-centre/2009/05/23/542)

 About Ottawa Race Weekend

 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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