The 2013-2016 IAAF Strategic Plan has six Core Values: universality, leadership, unity, excellence, integrity and solidarity, and a Vision Statement: “To lead, govern and develop the sport of athletics in all its forms worldwide, uniting the Athletics Family in a spirit of excellence, integrity and solidarity.”
Ottawa Race Weekend recorded a new “first” on Saturday (29) when Dire Tune of Ethiopia became the first woman to cross the finish line ahead of a man with a time of 32:11.
Women elite athletes started this IAAF Silver Label Road Race 10K 4 minutes and 7 seconds before the male elites, but in the past they were overtaken and beaten to the finish line.
Under sunny skies, Tune came in ahead of Lelisa Desisa, also of Ethiopia. Desisa claimed first place in the men’s category with a time of 28:08.
Tune will take home US $10,000 for her efforts – the first place $5,000 prize for top woman and $5,000 for winning the gender competition prize for crossing the finish line ahead of her male counterparts. Desisa will claim $5,000 US for winning the men's race.
Attracting a strong competitive field in 2010, organizers hoped the world record of 27:01 (set by Kenyan Micah Kogo in Holland in March 2009) or the Ottawa course record of 27:24 set by Deriba Merga in 2009 would be shattered. By the 6K mark, it was clear no speed records would fall this year.
When record-breaking hopeful Merga began to slow down, his own pacer – an elite athlete and fellow countryman trained to set and hold pace for the prospective winner – carried on to win the race.
“Weather conditions were right for records to break tonight,” said Manny Rodrigues, Elite Athlete Coordinator, adding race officials were concerned intense heat over the last few days might carry into the weekend. “Speed records weren’t set, but we were thrilled to see a woman beat a man to the finish line and take home the gender competition prize.”
Canadian athletes placed well in the 10K distance. Guelph, Ontario native Eric Gillis placed fourth overall with a time of 29:11. Emily Tallen was the first Canadian woman to finish, placing 7th with a time of 35:23. Organisers for the IAAF
Leading Results - MEN 1. Lelisa Desisa (Ethiopia) 28:08 2. Mohamed El Hashimi 28:11 3. Deriba Merga (Ethiopia) 28:41 4. Eric Gillis (Guelph, Ontario) 29:11 5. Dereje Tadesse Raya (Ethiopia) 29:17 6. Dylan Wykes (Kingston, Ontario) 29:37 7. Matt Loiselle (Toronto, Ontario) 29:49 8. Robert Kiprotich Letting (Kenya) 29:57 9. Willy Kimosop (Kenya) 30:17 10. Baghdad Rachem (Algeria) 30:20