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Thursday, May 26 2011 - Thrilling Races at the London Distance Classic

The London Distance Classic once again saw TD Waterhouse stadium records broken as fans watched thrilling races on Tuesday evening. Melissa Bishop of the Ottawa Lions kicked things off, breaking her own stadium record in winning the 800m with a time of 2:05.74. The 5,000m races represented one of the deepest fields assembled in Ontario in quite some time. Leslie Sexton of the London Runner club won the first of three 5,000m sections with a clocking of 16:34; this ranks Sexton 9th in Canada, to go along with her 6th place ranking in the 10,000m. Megan Brown of Athletics Toronto was the top female with a 15:53 clocking, also a Stadium record. Brown is now ranked 2nd in Canada for both the 5,000m and 10,000m.

The final race of the night provided a stirring finish as Canada's top marathoner Reid Coolsaet came down in distance and held off a tremendous finish by Kellly Wiebe. Representing the Guelph-based Speed River club, home of Canada's top distance runners, Coolsaet saw an early lead slip away as Matt Loiselle of Athletics Toronto and Weibe of Excel Athletika caught him with 600m to go. At this point, Wiebe took over the lead with intentions of breaking 14 minutes and achieving an International Championship standard. The surge dropped Loiselle, who still posted a respectable 14:01, while the savvy veteran Coolsaet hung on before digging deep to outsprint Wiebe over the final 150 meters. The thrilling finish saw Coolsaet clock 13:55, with Wiebe a second behind. 

The next stop in the 401 Distance Series is Guelph for the Speed River Inferno on Saturday May 28th. The Runners’ Choice London Distance Series will resume Sunday June 5th with the Roberts Meet of Champions.


Sunday, May 22 2011 - Superb Fields Lined up for London Distance Classic

On Tuesday May 24th, the London Distance Classic will feature the strongest collection of runners ever assembled at TD Waterhouse Stadium. Looking to break the current Stadium records will be many of the top distance runners in Canada, including 2:11 Marathoner Reid Coolsaet of Guelph and 2011 Canadian Half-Marathon Champion Megan Brown, who are racing the 5,000m. Acting as the 2nd meet of the 401 West Distance Series, the London Distance Classic is drawing dozens of out-of-province runners to race on the fast TD Waterhouse track, including International runners from the U.S. and New Zealand, as well as a strong contingent from the province of Quebec.

Top local runners include Leslie Sexton, Aaron Hendrikx, and Patrick Hartman of the London Runner Distance Club - the host group for this event, alongside race series sponsor Runners' Choice. Sexton is the 2010 Canadian 5000m Bronze medalist and will compete in the 5000m both May 24th and at the 2011 Canadian Championships in Calgary. Hendrikx and Hartman are local high school stand outs that will race the 800m as a short tune-up before their upcoming school Championships, while preparing for the Canadian Junior Championships this summer in Winnipeg.

Races are scheduled to start at 7:30pm on Tuesday May 24th, with free admission to spectators.

This is the 2nd of 6 meets in the 2011 Runners' Choice London Distance Series. Next up is the Sunday June 5th Roberts Meet of Champions, which will feature 1500m, 3000m, and 4x800m races. On Saturday June 18th, the New Balance 1500m Night will take place, alongside the Go the Distance road races - both great events you won't want to miss!


Saturday, May 14 2011 - Launch of M & T Printing Group London Distance Rankings

Who are the fastest runners in London and the surrounding area? What about the top Masters (40+) and Juniors (19 & Under)? Hosted by the London and Area Running Association, the M & T Printing Group London Distance Rankings track the top local runners over World Championship distances: 800m, 1500m, 3000m Steeplechase, 5000m (and 5k roads), 10000m (and 10k roads), Half Marathon, and Marathon.

The first update of the M & T Printing Group London Distance Rankings are now posted online with early season results. The next update is expected May 25th, following the London Distance Classic - meet #2 of the 2011 Runners' Choice London Distance Series.


Friday, May 13 2011 - London Sensations Sexton and Suda Medal at Ontario 10,000m Championships

The London 10,000m on Sunday, May 8th marked a great start to the 2011 Runners’ Choice London Distance Series. Hosted by the London Runner Distance Club, the race series is now in its seventh year and has produced some of the strongest distance races in Canada. The first race of the 2011 series certainly didn’t disappoint, as the night featured strong performances in both the open 1500m and the Athletics Ontario 10,000m Championships.

The men’s 1500m showcased a tight battle between Athletics Toronto athletes Michael Del Monte and Tim Konoval, with Del Monte taking the win with a strong early-season time of 3:51.09. The top London Runner was Ben Procter who slashed almost four seconds off of his previous personal best to take 11th overall in 4:05.99. Sara Giovannetti of Etobicoke Track Club won the women’s 1500m race in a time of 4:39.47.

The women’s Athletics Ontario 10,000m Championships featured exciting performances, with Athletics Toronto’s Megan Brown winning the race in a new stadium record of 33:10.47. Brown’s time on Sunday ranks her among Canada’s all-time top-20 performances in the 10,000. London Runner’s Leslie Sexton took silver in a personal best of 35:16.13.

Joe Campanelli of Toronto, Ontario, won the men’s 10,000m in 31:13.66, but it was veteran runner and coach Steve Boyd of Physi-Kult Kingston who had the standout performance of the night. Boyd set a new Canadian Masters 45-49 10,000m record with his performance of 31:31.21. The top junior was Dylan O’Sullivan, also running for Physi-Kult, who ran 32:06.51. Joining his London Runner clubmate on the podium, LRDC post-collegiate Matt Suda ran a personal best performance of 32:54.80 to earn the bronze medal in the senior men’s Athletics Ontario 10,000m Championship.

The action will continue on May 24th with high performance 800m and 5000m races at The London Distance Classic. The event is also the second stop of the 401 Distance Series, which consists of three meets in Windsor, London, and Guelph, and features races by some of the top distance runners in Canada. All fans are welcome to watch, starting at 7:30pm on Tuesday, May 24th at TD Waterhouse Stadium, as the London Runner Distance Club again plays host, bringing Canada’s top distance runners right here in London.


Wednesday, May 11 2011 - Canadian Champion Rob Watson Returns to Inspire London Runners

3-time Canadian Champion and 2009 World Championship competitor Rob Watson returns home this Saturday, but not for a family visit. Watson will be a special guest for the London Runner Distance Club, looking to share his knowledge and inspire young runners to pursue their own Olympic dreams. Following a successful career as a 3000m Steeplechase competitor that included two Canadian Championship titles, this Speed River (Guelph) athlete has moved up to become one of the top Canadian marathon runners. On Saturday, he'll be sharing some of his tricks of the trade, including what made him the top Steeplechase runner in Canada, while sharing the passion that keeps him training hard with the goal of representing Canada at the 2012 London Olympics.


Rob Watson Bio

Age: 27

Hometown: London Ontario

High School: South

University: Colorado State

Events: Steeple (8:27), 5000m (13:40), Marathon (2:16:17)

3-time Canadian Champion (2xsteeple, Road 10km)

World Championship participant 2009 Berlin, Steeple

 


Wednesday, May 4 2011 - The London 10,000m Kicks Off 2011 Track Season

On Sunday May 8 2011, the London 10,000m track meet will kick off the open racing season for many Ontario runners. As has become tradition, this is the first meet in the Runners' Choice London Distance Series - now in its 7th year - and will again play host to the Ontario 10,000m Championships. Open to all ages and abilities, the RCLDS meets draw a unique blend of local to international level athletes, with a common purpose of 'having fun and running fast'.

Expected to be leading the field - literally - is University of Toronto Track Club member Trevor Caldwell. Fresh off a strong 29:45.50 10,000m showing, Caldwell will actually be acting as a pace rabbit for training partners Joe Campanelli and Robert Kitz. Challenging the Toronto crew will be a foursome from the Kingston-based Physi-Kult club, including Junior (19 & Under) athletes Rob Asselstine and Dylan O'Sullivan, who will battle for the Ontario Junior gold medal.

On the Women's side, 2010 Ontario 10,000m Champion Leslie Sexton of the host London Runner Distance Club will have a major battle on her hands as 2011 Canadian Half-Marathon champion Megan Brown of Athletics Toronto will have her sights set on smashing Sexton' 35:17.71 series record.

In the open 1,500m, athletes from top Ontario clubs such as Speed River, Athletics Toronto, and the Newmarket Huskies will compete, including Rob Denault who set the Canadian Youth (17 & Under) 1,500m record at the 2010 RCLDS.

Although the London 10,000m is usually a small meet, it marks an exciting start to the outdoor track season for many. 1,500m Champion from the 2010 edition Jillian Wyman expressed her regrets at missing the first RCLDS meet, with plans to attend several others, commenting: "I have always loved the RCLDS meets, from the racing buzz to the pristine track to the fantastic competitors, of all events, who come to put on a show. Thanks to you and your team, it is so organized and there is this awesome combination of a relaxed but intense atmosphere!"

Those sitting out the May 8th meet won't have long to wait - next up is the May 24th London Distance Classic, and it promises to be a barn-burner. Top post-collegiate women Megan Brown and Leslie Sexton, along with Junior Melissa Jones, have set the women's confirmations 'off and running'. On the Men's side, London-native and Speed River athlete Rob Watson will act as pace rabbit while Daniel Wallis of New Zealand sets his sights on the 13:55 World University Championships 5,000m standard. Speed River teammate Reid Coolsaet - Browns male counterpart as 2011 Canadian Half-Marathon champion - plans to race, and will be accompanied by a strong Athletics Toronto crew including Rejean Chiasson and Matt Loiselle. 

The May 24th London Distance Classic is also the 2nd meet in the 401 West Distance Series. Now in its' 2nd year, the 401 Distance Series is a coordinated effort by meet directors and coaches to provide high performance racing opportunities in South-Western Ontario. The series kicks-off May 21st at the Windsor Open, stops in London on the 24th, and finishes in Guelph on May 28th at the Speed River Inferno.

The Runners' Choice London Distance Series meets are among the 15 London-area races committed to supporting the London and Area Running Association, a not-for-profit organization established to promote distance running as a lifelong activity and to facilitate the development of high performance athletes and coaches within the sport. 

Photo: pace rabbits from the Speed River and London Runner clubs helped Andrew Nixon (3rd from left) qualify for the 2010 World Junior Championships and Toronto athlete Robert Kitz qualify for the Canadian Track & Field Championships in the 10,000m.


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Friday, November 28 2014 - Canadian Cross Country Championships
Tuesday, September 2 2014 - 4th Annual LRDC Cross Country Runathon
Thursday, August 14 2014 - Let the Fall Season Begin!
Tuesday, June 3 2014 - London Runner Distance Club seeks new members
Monday, May 12 2014 - Ontario 10,000m Championships Preview
 

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