Monday, November 30, 2009

Bairu, Cheboiywo Compete On Thanksgiving

Simon Bairu on his way to his 7th Canadian Cross Country Title. photo by Dave McNamee.

Canada might observe Thanksgiving in early October, but while Simon Bairu‘s American OTC compatriots were celebrating Thanksgiving back in Portland this weekend, the Canadian had every reason to be thankful as well, after traveling to Guelph, Ontario and collecting yet another National Title. Bairu tallied his seventh national cross country title, and did so in dominating fashion, besting Eric Gillis (28:07 10k PB) by over one minute. With a winning time of 28:49, Bairu laid claimed to the course record and, though unconfirmed officially, there was speculation that the time was a meet record, as well.  Not unexpectedly, the Regina native was ebullient in describing his feelings:

The performance is a testament to just how well I have responded to the increase in work that I’ve been putting in. Things are definitely starting to get exciting!

The win qualified him for March’s IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Poland, and having put good training volume in the books right up to the Canadian championships, Bairu is looking for big things in his 5th appearance at Worlds.

Two days prior, Boaz Cheboiywo took to the roads, placing 10th in the 73rd annual Manchester Road Race, held on Thanksgiving Day. Running 22:08 for roughly 4.75 miles, Cheboiywo was in the thick of things late, where a bang-bang finish saw seven competitors finish within a 9-second span.  Manchester is one of the older races in the country, and, despite being contended on a major holiday, it routinely attracts a very deep domestic field each year.

photo courtesy Dave McNamee

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