Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Athletics Canada sets lofty marathon standards

By Mihira Lakshman

Canadian marathoners looking to qualify for the 2011 world championships, or 2012 Olympics will have to run close to a national record, in order to make the team.

Athletics Canada released its set of standards for the marathon and the men’s 50K racewalk on Wednesday:

Men’s marathon - 2:11:29
Women’s marathon - 2:29:55
Men’s 50K racewalk - 3:53:23
The marathon standards are both about a minute off the current Canadian records. Jerome Drayton’s men’s record of 2:10:09 was set in 1975, while the women’s mark is Sylvia Ruegger’s 2:28:36, from 1985.

“The announcement is consistent with Athletics Canada’s high performance mandate and its commitment to effective communication related to National Programs,” said Martin Goulet, Athletics Canada Chief High Performance Officer.

The qualifying period for the world championships began Jan. 1, 2010, and goes until May 29, 2011. The qualifying period for the 2012 Olympics began Sept. 1, 2010 and ends Apr. 15, 2012.

Athletics Canada uses IAAF criteria for all other events, but for the marathon and 50K racewalk, it applies its own standards. There are no selection trials for these events, and runners will be chosen based on their rankings during the qualifying period.

There will also be a subjective ‘rising star’ category for athletes who show potential in the 20K racewalk or 10,000m events.