For the primary time within the 34-year historical past of the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon, the race has reached over 25,000 runners. Toronto has established itself as Canada’s premier marathon and has set a precedent within the world operating group, with individuals coming from 78 nations all over the world for the marathon on Sunday, Oct. 15.
The elite box on the 2023 version of the marathon appears considerably other from final 12 months, and two new champions will probably be topped at the males’s and ladies’s facets, as Ethiopia’s Yihunilign Adane and Kenya’s Antonina Kwamboi might not be returning. The 2023 elite box options up-and-coming stars, at the side of a number of American girls aiming to reach the Olympic same old of two:26:50 forward of the impending U.S. Olympic Trials in February. The race will even decide two new Canadian marathon champions, with compelling storylines on each the boys’s and ladies’s facets.
Right here’s our in-depth elite preview.
Do we see an American winner?
It’s been 22 years since an American girl final received the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon (Leslie Gold in 2001) however on this 12 months’s box, two American elites may be able to finish the drought. Certainly one of them, Emily Durgin, a street racing specialist primarily based out of Flagstaff, Ariz. got here to Toronto searching for redemption after a less-than-ideal marathon debut in NYC final 12 months. Durgin stated all the way through Friday’s elite press convention that she felt the drive to hit occasions and carry out all the way through her debut and ended up falling by the wayside of the race earlier than 30 km. “I realized so much from New York and my construct for Toronto has been other,” stated Durgin. “As for a function time, I need to run within the low 2:20s and be aggressive.” The 29-year-old marathoner hopes to make use of Toronto as a stepping stone for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in February 2024 in Orlando. Durgin was once ready to qualify for the rigors from her time on the 2022 Houston Part Marathon the place she completed sixth total, clocking the seventh-fastest half-marathon in U.S. historical past with 67:54. “I got here to Toronto to be aggressive and contend for the the rostrum, as that’s what it’ll take to qualify at trials come February,” she says.
Some other U.S. identify within the girls’s elite box to look at is Molly Grabill, who’s operating her 6th occupation marathon in Toronto on Sunday. Grabill advised the media that she has equivalent plans to her compatriot Durgin and hopes to dance again after, in her phrases, falling in need of her targets in her final marathon in Hamburg previous this 12 months. Even though Grabill ran the second-fastest marathon time of her occupation in Hamburg, she stated she was once dissatisfied as she took a swing and neglected, suffering in the second one 1/2. “The function in Toronto is to keep watch over the second one 1/2 of the race higher and acquire robust momentum heading into the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials,” stated Grabill. The 31-year-old from Boulder, Colo., is coming off a top-15 end in 69:53 on the inaugural Global Athletics Highway Operating Championships in Riga, Latvia, previous this month, which she says has given her numerous self belief for Sunday.
Eyes at the route file?
Out of doors of the American duo, two different global athletes to look at are the Ethiopian duo of Afera Godfay and 2023 Ottawa Marathon champion Waganesh Mekasha. For Godfay, Toronto is her first marathon in 3 years after giving delivery to her daughter. Her final marathon got here in 2020 when she ran 2:26:43 to put 3rd total on the Xiamen Marathon in China. In her first two races again since changing into a mom, Godfay has run first rate 1/2 marathon occasions of 70 and 71 mins however has now not but returned to her earlier shape. She stated at Friday’s press convention that she hopes to return during the 1/2 mark in 1:11 and feels well-prepared for her marathon go back. A glimpse of hope for Godfay is that she lately trains along the brand new girls’s international file holder Tigist Assefa in Ethiopia. So, who is aware of what she is able to?
The favorite within the girls’s race is Mekasha, who’s coming off a win within the sizzling warmth on the 2023 Ottawa Marathon in Might. Mekasha is focused on the Canadian all-comers’ girls’s marathon file on Sunday of two:22:16, set 4 years in the past by means of Kenya’s Magdalyne Masai at this race. Mekasha holds a non-public highest of two:22:45 from the 2019 Dubai Marathon and stated that she expects round a equivalent time on Sunday. “If the pacemaker runs a excellent tempo, I’m hoping to wreck the route file,” says Mekasha.
The Canadian contingent
Two of the highest 3 Canadians from final 12 months’s race have returned to the 2023 box, with Malindi Elmore, the reigning Canadian marathon champion, opting to run Berlin, the place she clocked the second-fastest time in Canadian historical past (2:23:30). Returning are moment and 3rd position Canadian finishers Dayna Pidhoresky and Toronto’s personal Sasha Gollish. Pidhoresky had an iconic second right here in 2019, when she raced just below the Olympic same old on the Canadian trials, profitable in 2:29:03–qualifying her for the marathon on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Even though the Olympic marathon didn’t pass as deliberate for Pidhoresky, she was once ready to dance again at this match final 12 months to put 7th total (moment Canadian) in 2:30:58. “Rising up in Windsor, Ont., I got here to Toronto for such a lot of races,” says Pidhoresky on tackling on her fourth Toronto Waterfront Marathon. “I think I do know the route rather well, which is useful in a marathon, and it’s nice to have a top of the range box that’s with reference to house.” Pidhoresky advised the media that this construct has now not been easy however she remains to be assured she will run a non-public highest Sunday. “This route is wonderful, and I want to be sensible and simply run my race,” she says.
This can be a equivalent tale for Gollish, operating in her moment consecutive TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon, not up to 8 weeks after her final marathon on the 2023 Global Championships in August. Gollish advised Canadian Operating on the press convention that she needs to enter this race with a equivalent mindset that she had in Budapest. “It seems like a privilege to be right here, and I’m really not striking any drive of a non-public highest on myself,” says Gollish. “For the longest time, I have shyed away from this race as a result of I felt there can be drive to accomplish, however why now not run one thing to your yard fuelled by means of a group that has carried out such a lot for me?” Final 12 months, Gollish shocked herself with a non-public highest time of two:31:40 after a brief marathon construct. May just she do the similar on Sunday?
A couple of different Canadian marathoners to look at are Emily Setlack, Toronto’s Liza Howard and Kim Krezonoski of Thunder Bay, Ont. It’s been 4 years since Setlack has final touched the marathon, however with a non-public highest of two:29:48 from the 2019 version of this race, her doable to complete as the highest Canadian must now not be not noted. Setlack has had a quiet 2023 season however has strung in combination forged performances, profitable Toronto’s ancient Carrying Lifestyles 10K and striking 8th total on the Canadian 10K Championships in Might.
Howard has a non-public highest of two:35:29 (Chicago 2022) and was once the highest Canadian finisher on the 2023 Boston Marathon (thirty seventh total) in chilly, rainy and windy stipulations. Krezonoski moved to Toronto inside the final 12 months and has been finding out the route completely within the hope of crushing her marathon non-public highest come Sunday. She ran her non-public highest of two:37 on the California World Marathon final 12 months however has dropped her half-marathon PB by means of just about 4 mins since. The spots at the home podium are up for grabs, and each and every of those 3 girls may destroy thru.
The upward thrust of Elvis
The absence of Adane opens the door for a number of East African males hoping to determine their marathon careers in Toronto. This kind of males is Kenya’s Elvis Kipchoge, who might already lay declare to the identify of the most efficient operating identify. This Kipchoge is rather less well known than the previous international file holder however boasts a quicker 1/2 marathon non-public highest of 59:15, which earned him 3rd position on the 2022 Barcelona Part Marathon. Then again, this Kipchoge has now not had a lot success within the marathon. On the younger age of 27, he ran 2:10:21 on the Vienna Marathon previous this 12 months. He hopes to show issues round on a quick and flat Toronto route. Kipchoge has ties to the race, coaching along girls’s route file holder Magdalyne Masai in Iten, Kenya.
Whilst there is not any relation between Elvis and Eliud Kipchoge, but even so sharing the similar final identify and initials, Ethiopian athlete Adugna Bikila hopes to practice within the footsteps of his uncle, Worku Bikila. Worku was once a world-class 5,000m runner who completed 6th within the 1992 Olympic 5,000m ultimate in Barcelona and took fourth position on the Global Championships the next 12 months. Bikila enters Toronto with the quickest time within the box, maintaining a non-public highest of two:05:52 from the 2022 Seville Marathon, the place he completed fourth.
The entire East African males will probably be aiming to wreck the Canadian all-comers file and route file of two:05:00, held by means of Kenya’s Philemon Rono, set in 2019. The elements forecast for Sunday signifies cool and beneficial stipulations for each the boys’s and ladies’s fields, which must make each route information susceptible.
Who’s subsequent for Canada?
A brand new males’s Canadian champion will probably be topped Sunday, and for the primary time since 2016, their final identify might not be Levins or Hofbauer. The 2023 males’s box is filled with up-and-coming Canadian ability at the precipice of breaking into the elite scene. Mississauga’s Sergio Raez Villanueva returns to Toronto after a surprising 2:18:04 debut final 12 months, which earned him top-five Canadian honours. Difficult Raez Villanueva is Ottawa’s Blair Morgan, who was once the second one Canadian on the sizzling and humid Ottawa Marathon in Might, operating 2:19:50. Morgan ran his non-public highest of two:18:29 on the 2018 Toronto Waterfront Marathon however is searching for a sub-2:18 consequence this time round.
Difficult Raez Villanueva and Morgan are debutants Thomas Broatch of Vancouver and four:01 miler Kyle Grieve. Broatch is coming off a win on the Vancouver Eastside 10K the place he beat three-time Toronto champion Trevor Hofbauer. “Profitable the Eastside 10K was once an enormous self belief booster for me,” says Broatch. “Each time you are taking the place to begin the target is to win and run rapid.” The 24-year-old device engineer advised Canadian Operating that he has formidable targets to run beneath 2:15 on Sunday and that his marathon construct has long past close to absolute best.
For Grieve, who grew up and nonetheless is living in Toronto, this marathon has at all times been on his bucket listing. “I’ve been in need of to take a look at a marathon for a couple of years and feature simply saved striking it off,” says Grieve, who were given married in the summertime. “Canada Operating Collection is a huge explanation why I’m nonetheless competing as of late, so it was once by no means a query of the place I sought after to run my first marathon.” His function is to be aggressive in opposition to a robust Canadian box and let the time come at the side of it.
The best way to watch?
Marathon fanatics from all over the world will find a way to look at the 2023 TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon live to tell the tale Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, starting at 8:00 a.m. ET with a pre-race creation adopted by means of the creation of the elite box. The gun for the boys’s and ladies’s elite box fires at 8:45 a.m. ET. All race motion will also be adopted on torontowaterfrontmarathon.com or CBCsports.ca /CBC Gem or AthleticsCanada.television.
Enjoy the 2023 TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon are living from downtown Toronto on Oct. 15. Get the most recent race information, updates and are living effects from Canadian Operating with the improve of ASICS Canada. Observe us on Twitter and Instagram for all of the motion.