© Copyright – 2015 – Athletics Illustrated

Canadians Lanni Marchant and Eric Gillis appear to have stamped their tickets to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games marathon. Gillis was a 2012 London Olympian and both were the top Canadian finishers in the 2015 Toronto Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon today.

The Marathon was won today by Kenyan Chemtan Ishhimael, who finished in the time of 2:08:58, after splitting half-way in the time of sixty-three minutes and 43 seconds. While the women’s race was won by 19-year-old Ethiopian Shure Demise in the time of 2:23:35, her personal best is three minutes faster, from the Dubai Marathon that she ran in January of this year. Today she split half-way in the time of 1:11:31.

Gillis ran to a 2:11:31 finish time, which was good for seventh overall and first Canadian. The Guelph-based native of Antigonish, NB owns a personal best at the distance, which came during last year’s edition of the Toronto marathon where he finished 10 seconds faster. His Toronto record so far is very consistent:

2015       2:11:31  Toronto
2014       2:11:21 Toronto
2013       2:11:49 Toronto
2011       2:11:28 Toronto
2010       2:12:08 Toronto

The top Canadian female was Lanni Marchant, who finished in a near personal best time of 2:28:07. The Chattanooga-based attorney currently owns the national record, which she set on the Toronto course in 2013 with her 2:28:00 performance. Marchant has also performed consistently in Toronto:

2015       2:28:07  Toronto
2014       2:31:06  Toronto
2013       2:28:00 Toronto

Gillis went through the half-way point in the time of 1:05:13, so he slowed marginally in the second half, while Marchant appeared to be going for a personal best having passed through 21.1K in 1:12:21.

Other top Canadian times include Lethbridge, Alberta’s Kip Kangogo, who finished in the time of 2:15:26. He finished 11th overall and second Canadian with that slight personal best performance. He ran the Victoria Marathon in the time of 2:15:35 in 2013.

Sami Jibril of Toronto was 21st overall in the time of 2:24:39. Toronto was his debut at the distance. He has run a half-marathon as fast as 1:04:57, today he went out 1:06:23, which would put him on pace for a 2:12:46 finish time.

Leslie Sexton of London, Ontario was the second Canadian female, who finished in the time of 2:33:20, which represents a big personal best performance from her previous best of 2:39:34, which was run in Virginia Beach, VA earlier this year.

Natasha Labeaud was the third Canadian female finishing in 2:37:11. Her best is three minutes better from the 2014 edition of this race. Today it appeared she was looking for a personal best of 2:31:00, as she split half-way in 1:15:28.

The 2016 Rio Olympic standard for women is 2:29:50, while the men’s standard is 2:12:50. The 2015 IAAF World Championships standards were slightly softer at 2:35:00 and 2:15, respectively.

After today, it appears that Canada now has two men and two women who have run fast enough to compete in the Rio Olympic Games. Reid Coolseat of Guelph, Ontario ran 2:10:28 last month in the Berlin Marathon. Coolseat is the fastest active Canadian marathon runner and second fastest all-time.

Krista Duchene of Brantford, Ontario ran 2:29:38 in April during the Rotterdam Marathon, the second best performance of her career. Rotterdam was her first marathon after having broken her femur during the 2014 Scotiabank Montreal Half-Marathon. She has now had broken bones in her legs three times. Not to be deterred, she is on the mend and expects to race in Rio.

Canada can send three competitors in each event, male and female, respectively.