Kenya’s Geoffrey Mutai, the 2011 Boston Marathon champion, and two-time New York Marathon champion, will return to the Ottawa 10K on 24 May and run the event for the third consecutive year, the event organisers announced on Wednesday (15).
Mutai will compete in the IAAF Silver Label Road Race just six weeks after his scheduled appearance in the 2014 London Marathon.
“We’re very excited to welcome Geoffrey Mutai back to Ottawa this year,” said the elite athlete coordinator Manny Rodrigues.
“Despite finishing third (in 2013), it was Geoffrey who set the pace for last year’s very fast and very competitive race. Building on last year’s success, we think we may see an even stronger field in 2014. We may even have a new London Marathon champion in the field,” he added.
Mutai won in Ottawa in 2012. Last year, he set out on course-record pace and led until the final metres, when he was passed by Morocco’s El Hassan El Abassi and Ethiopia’s Adugna Bikila in a thrilling finish which saw the first three men home finish within three seconds of each other.
El Abassi won in a personal best of 27:36, 12 seconds off the course record of 27:24 set in 2009 by Deriba Merga, while Bikila and Mutai finished in 27:37 and 27:38 respectively.
“I like the race, and the good and friendly people of the organisation," said Mutai. "The course is okay and I like the competition with the female athletes. For me it’s good to test myself how will be my shape after my marathon in April 2014."
Over the past five years, the 32-year-old Mutai has built one of the most impressive reputations in distance running.
He has won the Berlin, Boston and New York Marathons, and his 2:03:02 course record at the 2011 Boston Marathon, which is slightly downhill and not eligible as a world record course, is the fastest ever recorded time for the distance.
He can also boast of personal bests of 58:58 for the half marathon and 27:19 for 10km on the road.
“It is always exciting to watch the world’s best run here in Ottawa,” continued Rodrigues. “With Mutai in the field, the course record is definitely in play. Ottawa is in for a treat.”
The Ottawa 10K is part of the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, Canada’s largest multi-day running event and home of the Ottawa Marathon on 25 May, also an IAAF Silver Label Road Race.
Approximately 40,000 people annually take part in the various events across the Ottawa Race Weekend.
Organisers for the IAAF