The Commonwealth Games kicked off on Wednesday! I won’t be participating, as I did not obtain a qualifying mark in the required timeline (I haven’t run a marathon since the Olympics). But, I’m still tuning in with a lot of interest.
The Athletics events get underway this weekend, starting with my favourite event, the marathon. In what I believe to be a unique setup for a major championships the Men’s and Women’s marathons will be happening at the same time, with the men starting 28 minutes ahead of the women. Though the timing isn’t great for us here in Canada I suggest you try to tune-in if you can, the races kick off in the wee hours of Sunday morning (1:02am PST for the men, 1:30am PST for the women). You should be able to watch online http://www.cbc.ca/sports/commonwealthgames
Unfortunately there will not be a Canadian presence in the men’s marathon race. We did have three men qualify, but Rob Watson and Eric Gillis decided to focus on running a spring (Ottawa) and fall marathon instead, while Reid Coolsaet has been sidelined by an injury. But, there will still be a great race out on the roads of Glasgow. I was surprised to see only 25 men on the start list. It’s sad in a way, but also gives the opportunity for some to surprise and climb the podium. I’d really like to see Michael Shelley of Australia repeat as a medalist (he won Silver in Dehli in 2010). Michael has been a consistent performer in Championship style races, with his best performance being a great 16th place at the 2012 London Olympic marathon.
As for the women, there will be a Canadian presence, with Canadian Record Holder Lanni Marchant toeing the line. As with the men’s race the start list for the women’s race is small – with only 21 women. Lanni is ranked in the top 6 based on PB, but hasn’t quite proven herself in a championship race. Fingers crossed she runs smart and doesn’t end up with pins jabbing her quads at the 40km mark. I believe she is rounding into top form after a busy spring of racing. So, lets look for Lanni to take on the Kenyan trio and get on the podium!