Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Part 1 - Megan Brown

This week the focus shifts to Canada's 'better half' (I've learned that's always the correct response). It's not only the Canadian men who are turning heads, their female counterparts are also mixing things up with their American counterparts. However, the focus isn't so much on the marathon distance but in the 5k to half marathon events. So I'll work my way through the distances, starting at the marathon and working down to the 5km. We've much talent to be proud of as you'll see!

Note: There are many more females than the 3 profiled here, but at some point you have to get back to work. These other talents (Lanni Marchant, Natasha Wodak, etc) will be touched on through the weeks).

Current National female record: 2:28:36 (5:40/mile or 3:31/km) set back in 1985 (Houston) by Sylvia Ruegger
*Compare this to the USA record of 2:19:36 (5:19/mile or 3:18/km) by Deena Kastor in 2006 (London )

Lioudmila Kortchaguina
The fastest Canadian female marathoner in the last 5 years has been Lioudmila Kortchaguina (say that 3 times fast!). The Russian emigre became a Canadian citizen in 2005 and dominated the National running scene! Her race times have ranged from 2:29:42 to 2:32:08 (~5:43/mile or 3:33/km) since wearing the red & white on her singlet. I forgot to mention that she was 35+ for all of those times! Who says you don't get better with age!?

In the last two years, only one lady Canuck has broken 2:40:00 (6:06/mile or 3:47/km), that being Krista Duchene at the 2010 Ottawa Marathon, with 2:39:08. Basically, I'm saying that the marathon might not be our next Olympic medal.

In the next few years we have some talent in the half-marathon and 10km distances moving up that could get under that 2:30:00 barrier and really leave their mark!

Half-Marathon - 10k - 5k
Half-Marathon record 1:12:09 (5:30/mile or 3:25/km) by Tara Quinn-Smith
10k record: 31:44 (Courtney Babcock, 2003)
5k record: 14:54 (Courtney Babcock, 2003)

It seems to be there a good few Canadian females testing the elite running waters and are they ever throwing down some impressive times! Let's look at the who's who:

1) Megan Brown - the 25 year old Guelph Native is a University of Toronto Graduate who has a running resume that is astounding. That is also the understatement of 2012.

Allow me to mesmerize you:

- 4 x UofT Athlete of the Year,
- 3 x CIS and OUA XC champion,
- 2 x silver medallist at Canadian XC championships,
- 5th place at World University XC championships
- Won the half marathon in 1:14:08 (5:39/mile or 3:31/km) last year in Montreal.

Megan not only had the aches and pains that come with the long distance running lifestyle but she has struggled with battling Lyme disease in 2008 and 2009. Briefly, Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bite of a tick. It can lead to multitude of symptoms and issues that would keep someone, especially a professional runner off her game - and maybe her feet altogether!

Besides being one of the fastest half marathoners in Canadian history, she also has a 5km PB of 15:56 (5:08/mile or 3:11/km) to her credit. From a few interviews I've read Megan trains at about 90-95 miles or ~150km per week! Despite initially plans to run her first 26.2 in 2013, she has decided to go backwards first improve her 5k for a year or two before moving up the distances. A smart choice in my opinion to build another year or two of speed and endurance in her legs.

Megan is already one of Canada's most prolific runners and she's barely even begun to make her mark internationally. I literally can't wait to see what she will do in the next 2-10 years!

Up next is Megan's closest competitor: Dayna Pidhoresky

No comments:

Post a Comment