3-time champ takes aim at marathon mark

CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:17 AM ET

The course record for the MDS Nordion 10K fell last night.

David Cheriuyot would like to take down the Ottawa Marathon standard this morning.

"I will try my best," said the three-time winner of the Ottawa Marathon. "Even with an injury from last year, I am ready to run and defend."

Cheriuyot set the course record two years ago with a personal-best two hours, 10 minutes and 35 seconds.

The Kenyan will face some good competition in the race, which gets under way at 7 a.m. at Elgin St. and Laurier Ave. Countryman Luka Chelimo has the fastest personal best in the field (2:10:30), but is still looking for his first marathon win. Ketema Amensisa Tadesse of Ethiopia and Ahmed Baday of Morocco have also posted sub-2:11 marathons.

The top Canadian in the field to watch is Reid Coolsaet of Hamilton. He's Canada's top 5,000-metre runner and is bidding to make Canada's world championship team in his first marathon effort. Matt Loiselle of Toronto and Steve Osadiuk of Langley, B.C., also bear watching.

Drive for 5

On the women's side, Toronto's Lioudmila Kortchanguina is bidding to become the first five-time winner of the Ottawa Marathon to go with victories in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2007. She is coming off a solid 2:30 marathon performance in January.

Her competition will likely come from defending champion and course record holder Asmae Leghzaoui of Morocco and a group of racers that includes Liza Hunter-Galvan of New Zealand, a consistent 2:30 marathoner, Kenya's Irene Jerotich Kosgei, who won the Nairobi Marathon, and Selomie Getnet of Ethiopia, who has already run 2:33 this year.

Competitors at the Ottawa Marathon will be dividing up $110,000 in prize money with additional time bonuses.

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca


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