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      Hello Everyone,                                                                                                                                                                                                              January 14, 2021        

     In this Issue:


  1. Year in review: the top running moments of 2020
  2. Photos This Week
  3. Upcoming Events; Feb 28 Hypothermic Half
  4. Running Room Run Club Update: 
  5. Track North






Year in review: the top running moments of 2020
It was a weird year with very few races, but 2020 still featured so many incredible moments in the running world


We finally made it to the end of 2020 — the strangest year of our lives. Because of the pandemic, races all over the world were cancelled, and for a while it looked like we wouldn’t see any competitions for the final 10 months of the year. Luckily, that wasn’t the case, and when racing eventually did make its comeback, it produced so many amazing results. While 2020 was far from an easy year for anyone, it was also a year of triumphs for many runners. We can’t list all of these runs, but here are the top 10.


The Impossible Games

The Impossible Games were the first big event to be held after COVID-19 hit, and they were a huge success. The event took place in June, replacing the Oslo Diamond League, and while it had a limited field of athletes and competitions, multiple records were broken. Norwegian hurdler Karsten Warholm set a new 300m hurdle world record, running 33.78 seconds to beat the previous mark by more than half a second. Norwegian distance star Jakob Ingebrigtsen ran to a European 2,000m best, posting a 4:50.01, and his older brother Filip ran a national 1,000m record of 2:16.46. Finally, fellow Norwegian Sondre Nordstad Moen beat the European 25,000m record with a final time of 1:12:46.5. The Impossible Games were quite the way to revamp the 2020 season.

The women’s half-marathon

This year saw plenty of action in the women’s half-marathon. The season started off with a world record from Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh, who ran 1:04:31 at the RAK Half Marathon in the United Arab Emirates. In September, Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir beat the women-only half-marathon world record in Prague, clocking a 1:05:34 finish. Only a month later, she ran to the win at the World Half-Marathon Championships, where she beat her own women-only record, this time posting a 1:05:16.

Cheptegei’s Monaco 5Ks

Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei ran in Monaco on two occasions in 2020, both times running 5K. His first race came in February, when he ran to a 5K road world record of 12:51. Several months later in August, he returned to Monaco, this time to contest 5K on the track. Just like he did at the start of the year, Cheptegei set a world record over 5,000m, running 12:35.36 to beat Kenenisa Bekele‘s record of 12.37.35.

The London Marathon

Just like the Impossible Games marked the comeback of track and field, the London Marathon was the first big marathon to be run during the pandemic. It attracted a stacked elite-only field that included the likes of world record holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei, both of whom were the main pre-race favourites. Kosgei managed to live up to those expectations, taking the win in 2:18:58, but Kipchoge struggled to a 2:06:49 finish. Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata sprinted to the win in 2:05:41.

NN Valencia World Record Day

NN Valencia World Record Day lived up to its name as Cheptegei and Letesenbet Gidey ran to world records in the 10,000m and 5,000m. Gidey kicked off the night in Valencia with a 5,000m world record of 14:06.65, beating the previous mark set by Tirunesh Dibaba in 2008. Cheptegei set his third world record of 2020, running 26:11.00 to beat Kenenisa Bekele‘s long-held 10,000m record of 26:17.53.

The Marathon Project

The Marathon Project was one of the biggest events on the 2020 running calendar. It attracted around 100 of the best marathoners from across North America, and it made for a pair of exciting races. American Marty Hehir won the men’s race in a massive PB of 2:08:59, and Sara Hall smashed the rest of the field to take the women’s win in 2:20:32.

Sara Hall runs ahead of fellow American star Molly Huddle.

Continuing off The Marathon Project, Hall‘s season deserves its own spot on this list. After dropping out of the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in February, she ran two more marathons, first in London and then at The Marathon Project in Arizona. She broke her PB at both of these races, first running to a second-place finish at the London Marathon in a time of 2:22:01. At the time, this was the sixth-fastest time in U.S. history. Only two months later, though, she posted an even quicker time, running 2:20:32 in Arizona, which is the second-fastest time in the American rankings, less than 30 seconds behind Deena Kastor‘s national record.

One-hour records

At the Brussels Diamond League in September, Mo Farah and Sifan Hassan broke the men’s and women’s one-hour records. Farah ran 21.33 kilometres in 60 minutes to beat Haile Gebrselassie’s 2007 record by 45 metres. Hassan beat the women’s record by a much larger margin, running 18.930 kilometres to better Dire Tune‘s record, which she set in 2008, by 413 metres.

World Half Marathon Championships

As already mentioned, Jepchirchir won the women’s race at the World Half Marathon Championships in Poland. She had to fight for the win until the very end, only beating second-place Melat Yisak Kejeta of Germany by two seconds in 1:05:18 and bronze medallist Yalemzerf Yehualaw of Ethiopia by three seconds. The men’s race was also tight, with Jacob Kiplimo taking the win in a Ugandan national record of 58:48. Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie came in second in 58:54 and third went to Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegn 59:08.

Valencia madness
Kandie got his revenge on Kiplimo at the Valencia Half-Marathon in December, not just taking the win, but setting the world record as well. Kandie ran to an incredible finish of 57:32 to become the first person to run a sub-58-minute half-marathon. He led Kiplimo and two other runners to sub-58 results in what was one of the best races of 2020.


Note: You’ll notice there are no Canadians on this list. Since so many Canucks had stellar seasons in 2020, we’ve made a separate list of Canadian accomplishments.

Year in review: the top Canadian running performances of 2020
In an incredibly difficult year, Canada's elite athletes still managed to put on some amazing performances

It has been a difficult year. Instead of major marathons, Olympic trials and the Olympics themselves, we got race cancellations, lockdowns and quarantines. Despite this, our Canadian athletes still managed to set PBs, break records and prove their world-class calibre. In a year marred by tragedy, let’s look back at the top Canadian moments in Canadian running in 2020.

Team Canada finishes third at Big’s Backyard Ultra World Championships

Led by Montreal’s Stephanie Simpson, team Canada competed virtually against 21 different countries on their own course in Kelowna, B.C. Simpson completed 43 hours of running, which put her 21st overall. Alberta runner Matt Shepard was the second Canadian, running for 42 hours, followed by Chelsey Topping, who ran 40 hours. Despite bad weather and lots of rain in Kelowna, Team Canada still managed a podium finish. For the full results, click here.

Canadian 10K Championships go virtual

The Canadian 10k Championships have historically taken place over the Ottawa Race Weekend, but of course in 2020 this was not possible. Instead of cancelling the race altogether, the event was moved to a virtual format, where elite runners had a 12-hour window on July 1 to complete a 10K course of their choosing (with some stipulations). Our Canadian elites proved that it’s possible to run a killer time without the crowds, and Natasha Wodak took the win on the women’s side in 32:41, a mere 10 seconds behind her winning time from 2019. Justin Kent was the men’s winner in 28:52, followed closely behind fellow B.C. runner Luc Bruchet, who ran 29:17.

John Pockler sets a new Bruce Trail FKT

On Sunday, September 20, John Harrison Pockler ran the 890-kilometre Bruce Trail in a record time of nine days and 17 hours, beating Adam Burnett’s previous record by four hours. Thanks to trail re-routings, closures and construction, Pockler’s Garmin tracker actually showed that he ran 944 km, making his record that much more impressive. Each day he was on the trail for about 17 hours, running a daily average of 94K.

Rory Linkletter’s half-marathon debut

Rory Linkletter started 2020 off in a big way, finishing his first half-marathon in 1:01:44, only 16 seconds off the Canadian record. This came only a few months after his impressive 2:16 marathon debut at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

Terri Biloski is the first finisher in Laz Lake’s GVRAT 1,000K

The runner from St. Thomas, Ont., was the first official finisher of Laz Lake’s Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee. She completed the 1,000K distance in 11 days and 20 hours, finishing ahead of nearly 20,000 other participants. For those of you doing the math, that means she covered an average of 85K per day for two weeks straight. (Later in the year, Biloski joined Team Canada at Big’s Backyard Ultra World Championships, which finished third after Belgium and the U.S.)

Natasha Wodak sets Canadian women’s half-marathon record

On January 18, Natasha Wodak became the first Canadian woman to run a sub-1:10 half-marathon, with a time of 1:09:41. This came only one month after Rachel Cliff broke her own Canadian half-marathon record of 1:10:06.

Andrea Seccafien breaks Canadian half-marathon record

The half-marathon mania didn’t stop there. A mere three weeks after Wodak broke Cliff’s record, Andrea Seccafien ran a blazing 1:09:38, becoming the second Canadian woman to run under 70 minutes and beating Wodak’s time by three seconds. This was the third time in only seven weeks that the Canadian record was taken down.


Tristan Woodfine runs Olympic standard at London Marathon

The runner from Cobden, Ont., ran the race in 2:10:51, a two-minute personal best and 40 seconds under the Olympic standard of 2:11:30. The elite-only event had runners complete 2.1K laps around London’s St. James Park. They had to run the loop 19.6 times to complete the entire distance. Woodfine’s result is even more impressive when considering the terrible weather conditions, the course and the lack of spectators.

Ben Preisner’s finish at The Marathon Project

In another impressive debut performance, Ben Preisner ran an incredible 2:10:17 at the Marathon Project in Chandler, Ariz. He was the first Canadian across the line, finishing in eighth place, and his time was well under the Olympic standard of 2:11:30. This puts him in an excellent position to be named to the Tokyo 2021 Olympic team.

Natasha Wodak’s finish at The Marathon Project

Wodak continued her incredible year by setting a nine-minute personal best at The Marathon Project. Her time of 2:26:19 is now the second-fastest time in Canadian history, and it is far faster than the Olympic standard of 2:29:30. Her last marathon was in 2013, but this new time puts her in a very strong position to be selected to the Tokyo 2021 team.

Malindi Elmore sets the Canadian marathon record

The 40-year-old finished the Houston Marathon on January 18 in third place in a time of 2:24:50. In only her second marathon ever, her result smashed the previous Canadian record of 2:26:56, set by Rachel Cliff in 2019. This pretty much guarantees her a spot on the Tokyo 2021 Olympic team.

Mohammed Ahmed’s Canadian 5,000 metre record

In perhaps one of the most exciting races of the year, Canada’s Mohammed Ahmed beat his own 5,000 metre Canadian record on July 10 at the Bowerman Track Club Intra-Squad Meet. His time of 12:47.20 not only holds his spot at the top of the Canadian all-time list, but it’s also a North American record that puts him 10th all-time in the world. This incredible result has generated a lot of excitement leading to the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.















Photos This Week

Laurentian Jan 8

Laurentian trails Jan 8

Laurentiam Lake Jan 8

Laurentiam trail Jan 8


                                                                                                                                                Nina's Way at Kivi Park

Lively trails with Sara and Running Man Jan 8


Natalie and Karen around Laurentian Lake Jan 9

Sun dogs on Laurentian Jan 9

Perch Lake Jan 9

Pileated Woodpecker on Moonlight trail Jan 9


Amber Konikow senset

Linda Coulas Martians in Ottawa

Perch Lake Jan 10 by Marc C. with Vince, Michelle and Friedi

Perch Lake

Windy Lake ski Jan 10

Kivi Park this week by Marc C.






Upcoming Local Events


   February 28, 2021


Event Information and Registration

Hypothermic Half Marathon 2021 - Virtual Run Canada
Ontario: Sunday, February 28, 2021 - Registration








Run Club Update




Store News


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Cancelled until Further Notice








Track North News - by Dick Moss





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