Gillis and Duchene win national half marathon titles in Montreal

Krista-w-flag-at-BS21KdeMtl13-IMG-20130428-00381OTTAWA – Eric Gillis of Antigonish, N.S., and Krista Duchene of Brampton, Ont., were crowned 2013 Canadian Half Marathon Champions today in Montreal, Quebec at the ScotiaBank 21k.

“I came to race for the win today”, said Gillis. “Perfect weather and a flat course made it a big marathon workout. It felt good to compete in just my second race since the London Olympics, served as great preparation in my lead up to the Ottawa Marathon (May 26).” Gillis finished in a time of 1:05:56.

Silver went to Rejean Chiasson of St-Isadore, N.B., in a time of 1:08:03 and Amor Dehbl of Montreal, Que., took bronze in 1:09:19.

In the women’s race Krista Duchene finished first to earn the Canadian title in 1:12:27 with Dayna Pidhoresky of Tecumseh, Ont., taking silver in 1:16:38 and Lisa Avery of Orillia, Ont., took bronze with 1:17:07.

“It was an excellent race with great weather”, commented Krista. “My coach and I set conservative goals for the race so I was prepared and able to execute my own race. My next race is the Ottawa 10km in May as I prepare for the Moscow World Championships later this summer. I have lots of training over the next few months.”

For the complete results visit: >> – AC –


APRIL 28 – Raising the Bar

Cody Solomons began high jumping in grade school. His teachers would leave mats out for him between classes so that he could spend recess breaks practicing. Between the 7th and 8th grades, he improved his personal best by a colossal 30 centimeters. Others quickly recognized his talent and encouraged him to join the London-Western Track and Field Club. There he would train alongside his able-bodied peers. “You may have a disability but you can still be active,” says Cody. This mentality was engrained at a young age and allowed Cody to focus on his ability rather than disability.

He has trained and competed in an integrated environment with able-bodied athletes since his introduction to the sport in grade school. A few years ago Cody was introduced to para-athletics and realized there was a system where he could compete against other athletes like him. He is classified as a T44 athlete (single leg amputee) and has been nationally carded. Cody is coached by Chris Williams and is training for the 100m and 200m track events in addition to high jump. He is most excited for the upcoming National Championships in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Cody’s future in track and field is very bright. He would encourage others to try the sport: “You are not limited by your disability. Join a club and get started!” He stresses the importance of focusing on what you can do rather than what you can’t do: “ If I had made excuses and said, I can’t do anything because I have a prosthetic leg, I would never have started this great sport”.


APRIL 27 – Family Matters

Mark and Heather Evans have long been proponents of involvement in sport and leading an active lifestyle. This belief is reflected in their daughter Emma, who is in the fifth grade. From a young age, Emma would get up in the morning and do sit-ups alongside her father, challenging each other to do more each day. Recognizing Emma’s penchant for competition, the Evans began to involve their daughter in organized sport.
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APRIL 26 – The Man with the Plan

Jeff May was in the eleventh grade when he first learned of wheelchair racing.  At the time he was using an electric scooter and casually working out in his school’s weight room. His friends on the track team playfully joked that he should equip his scooter with a bigger motor and enter the wheelchair 1500m. “Wait, there are wheelchair races in track?” queried Jeff. Empowered with this new found knowledge, he acquired a day chair and set his sights on the track. Jeff was the first person in Chatham-Kent to race the wheelchair 1500m, but he would certainly not be the last.

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Reminder – Entry/Registration deadline for AO 10,000m Track Championships Monday April 29 by 3pm

A reminder to all athletes, coaches and club administrators that the AO registration/meet entry deadline for the 2013 Ontario 10,000m Track Championships is 3:00 pm on Monday April 29. The Athletics Ontario 10,000m Championships will, once again, take place at the TD-Waterhouse Stadium in London, on Sunday May 5, as part of the first meet in the 2013 Runners’ Choice London Distance Series. The London 10,000m will feature 2012 Ontario 10,000m Champions Sami Jibril of Athletics Toronto and Leslie Sexton of London Runner. Jibril recently won the Harry’s Spring Run-Off 8k in Toronto, while Sexton had a strong showing (34:18) at the Vancouver Sun Run 10k. The event is hosted by the London Runner Distance Club. Continue Reading →

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