Ethiopians Compete for Course Records at 2022 Tartan Ottawa International Marathon

Unprecedented depth of field with 8 men with personal bests under 2:08

Ottawa, May 4, 2022 – Ethiopia will once again be the favorite to win when the recently renamed Tartan Ottawa International Marathon returns to an in-person event on Sunday, May 29.

Indeed, the Ethiopian women are expected to extend their 10-year winning streak as they compete for the course record (CR) of 2:22:17 set in 2018 by returning champion Geleta Burka. Burka is challenged by 2019 defending champion Tigist Girma, who has since run under 2:20 twice.

These lightning-fast women are challenged by rural woman Bruktayit Eshetu who finished 2nd in the 2019 Toronto Waterfront Marathon with a personal best of 2:22:40 and Juliet Chekwel of Uganda who set a national record of 2:23:13 in her marathon debut two year ago.

Lanni Marchant returns to Ottawa, who broke the 28-year national record in 2013 by running it in exactly 2:28:00. Marchant goes up against Dayna Pidhoreski, the 2019 Canadian Marathon Champion with a personal best of 2:29:03.

Unprecedented depth of field in the men’s event

On the men’s side, Ottawa’s new Elite Athlete Coordinator Dylan Wykes, a 2012 Canadian Olympian, has amassed an unprecedented depth of field on Canadian soil. No fewer than eight of the men on the starting line will have personal bests under 2:08, three of which were recently 2:06 or faster. The course record, set by compatriot Yemane Tsegaye in 2014, is 2:06:54.

Wykes looks for returning competitor Adugna Takele (2:05:57) and his fellow Ethiopian competitors Tsegaye Getachew Kebede (2:05:11) and Andualem Belay Shiferaw (2:05:52) to battle for that CR. The Ethiopians were able to watch a fight from Kenyan Alex Kibet who recently won the Berlin half marathon with a personal best of 58:55, indicating his preparations are going well.

“Building this starting list with so little personal competition over the past two years has been an interesting challenge,” said Dylan Wykes, the Elite Athlete Coordinator. “Based on what we’ve seen with these athletes recently, and with how fast road racing has been in general, I think we’re very likely to see some very fast times on May 29. I can not wait.”

The top Canadian in the men’s is Tristan Woodfine, who placed 10th in the 2018 Ottawa Marathon and will aim for a top 10 finish.

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