© Copyright – 2015 – Athletics Illustrated

Guelph, Ontario based athletes, as members of the Speed River Track and Field Club as well as the University of Guelph Gryphons will be busy this spring season looking to race well at their respective events.

Five Speed River athletes will race the Rotterdam Marathon, while a large number of runners will be racing track. Major events include the World University Games (FISU) that take place from July 3rd to 14th in Gwangju, Korea as well as two different global events, the Pan American Games that will be taking place in Toronto, Ontario from June 10th to the 26th and the 2015 IAAF World Track and Field Championships that are happening in Beijing, China from August 22nd to August 30th.

Speed River’s road runners will be competing in the 2015 Rotterdam Marathon, including Canada’s second fastest active marathon runner Reid Coolsaet, who has run as fast as 2:10:55 back in 2011 at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Speed River Coach Chris Moulton told Athletics Illustrated, “Coolsaet has spent the past six weeks in Kenya, he is healthy and ready to go, he ran 63:36 in his lone tune-up race, which was the Chilly Half Marathon in Burlington, Ontario on March 1st.”

Coolsaet wrote in his blog, Float On, “Leading up to the (Chilly Half) race I didn’t have a time goal, I figured I would wait until race morning to see what the conditions would be like. In the past I’ve run 63:11, 63:15, 63:16 (3:00/km) before marathons. I ended up with 63:36 (3:01/km) and was pleased with the effort considering the extra clothes and solo effort. This is a positive result heading into Rotterdam Marathon.”

Coolsaet’s half-marathon best of 62:42 is from the 2011 running of the New York City Half Marathon. The Rotterdam Marathon happens on Sunday, April 12th. Canada’s fastest marathon runner is Dylan Wykes who has gone the distance as fast as 2:10:47 in the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon.

The four other Speed River athletes heading to Rotterdam next week are Robert Winslow, Tristan Woodfine, John Mason and Nick Sunseri.

The 22-year-old Woodfine will be making his marathon debut. He competed in the Barcelona Half Marathon and finished in the time of 66:18 on February 15th. He also owns a 10,000m best of 28:56.53, which he ran May 4th last year in the Payton Jordan Invitational that takes place in Palo Alto, California.

“Winslow has had an impressive build-up and ran a lifetime best 66:46 to finish second to Coolsaet at the Chilly Half,” shared Moulton.

Mason’s bests are, half marathon 1:07:59 and marathon 2:34:27.

Eric Gillis, Canada’s third fastest active marathon runner, with his best of 2:11:21 from the 2014 edition of the Toronto marathon, had hoped to race at Rotterdam as well but an injury early in the build-up derailed this plan. “He has shifted his focus to a domestic racing circuit and will be opening up at Harry’s Spring Run-Off this weekend. His plan is to race the Toronto Yonge Street 10k and the Montreal Half Marathon,” said Moulton.

The 35-year-old native of Antigonish, NS has run the half marathon distance as fast as 63:30 at the 2014 edition of the New York City Half Marathon. His 10,000m best is from the Payton Jordan Invitational and is a very solid 28:07.19. He won the Vancouver Sun Run in 2011 in the time of 29:05.

“As for the post-collegiate crew, we have eight athletes heading down to altitude next week.  Alex Genest, Chris Winter, Hilary Stellingwerff, Karine Belleau-Believeau, Rachel Aubry, Genevieve Lalonde, Barry Britt and Jeremy Rae.  Most will race at Sun Angel Classic and the Payton Jordan Invitational,” said Moulton.

According to Moulton, all athletes are in good shape and are progressing towards big outdoor seasons.  Genest and Lalonde both won the 5K at this past weekend’s Around The Bay event, which features the historic flagship race, North America’s longest-standing 30K – it’s older than the B.A.A. Boston Marathon at 121 years old.

Stellingwerff is coming back from becoming a mother during 2014. She is an Olympian and has specialised primarily in the 1500m. Her best at the distance is 4:05.08, which she ran in Rome in 2012, during her successful bid to qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games. She has raced on the roads over 5K as well as the half marathon distances. Displaying strong range, she also owns a very respectable 800m best of 2:01.22 from 2012.

Anthony Romaniw will open up his season at the Mt Sac Relays which take place from April 11 to the 18th on the Campus of Mt. San Antonio College near Los Angeles. “Romaniw has had a good winter and will likely run at Payton Jordan after that,” said Moulton.

The 23-year-old Romaniw specialises in the 800m distance and owns a personal best time of 1:45.61.

Taylor Milne will open this weekend at his alma mater High Point University in North Carolina. He will follow that race up by competing in the Payton Jordan event. Milne competes primarily in the 1500m, 3,000m and 3,000m steeple chase. He has run the 1500m distance as fast as 3:36.00 in 2008. He has accomplished his 3,000msc best during the 2014 season firing off an 8:27.81 at the Speed River Inferno.

“As for the collegiate crew most are back training after taking a down week following the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Championships (CIS),” said Moulton.

Aaron Hendrikx will race this weekend at the Stanford Invitational where he will run the 10,000m. Hendrikx has moved up from the middle-distances – specialising in the 1500m – to longer races. His best in the 1500m is from 2010, where he ran 3:43.70 in 2014 and has run the 5,000m distance in 13:51.41 at the 2014 Payton Jordan meet. Hendrikx ran personal bests in at least four distances during 2014 including a 29:46.58 10,000m in London, Ontario.

“Most of the rest of our collegians will be opening up Payton Jordan,” said Moulton then added, “We are looking to run Ross Proudfoot in the 5,000m at Mt Sac and then shift him down to the 1500m at Payton Jordan.”  Proudfoot’s best in the 1500m distance is 3:39.46 from the 2014 Heusden-Zolder KBC Night of Athletics. It appears that it has been some time since he has run the 5,000m event, but in 2010, two days after his 18th birthday he ran a 14:43.35 in Moncton, NB a the Canadian Junior Championships.

“Domestically our group will all race at the Speed River New Balance Inferno on May 30th. We will then look to compete in the remainder of the National Track League.  With the qualifying windows being varied this year for FISU, Pan Ams and Worlds it presents a lot of different deadlines and having a strong start to the season will be critical,” shared Moulton.

The National Track League includes five meets that take place in Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Halifax and Guelph. The League kicks off on May 30th with Guelph’s Speed River Inferno meet.