Kenya’s Philemon Rono is the new champion of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon that was on Sunday (16).
Rono nearly pulled out of the race after an accident during his warmup. He was using a barricade to stretch his hamstrings when it tipped over and came crashing down on top of him.
Blood ran down the side of his face and he said he felt dizzy. But after consulting with his management team, he decided to start. Within three kilometres he was fully recovered and the accident was largely forgotten.
“I was not expecting to win today,” he said, a gash still evident on the side of his face. “It was a surprise. When I fell and hurt my head, I thought I would not run.
“When I arrived here (in Toronto) I thought I might be in the top three. I was very strong I was very competitive. When I took the lead I was pushing hard. I said ‘let it be’.
Rono crossed the finishing line with a time of 2:08:27 followed by Seboka Dibaba of Ethiopia finished second in 2:09:47 with 22-year-old Albert Korir taking the final podium place in 2:10:23.
Olympian Eric Gillis won the Canadian title, coming in fifth overall with a time of 2:13:44. Gillis had been gunning for the Canadian record of 2:10:09, but told reporters after the race that his body wasn’t feeling optimal in the second half.
“I don’t want to make excuses, but I got wound up and I don’t usually feel that in my hips and my knee,” he said.
“No regrets, it was a good effort. I think it was just one of those days.”
More than 25,000 people ran in the three races that were part of the marathon on Sunday.
A total of 4,833 people registered for the marathon, 11,488 for the half-marathon, and 8,851 for the five kilometre race.
Runners from more than 60 countries took part, event organizers said in a news release.
Alexis Kronwald-deBruyn, publicity co-ordinator for the event, said she considers the early Sunday morning event to be a success.
“We have beautiful weather out here. It’s perfect conditions for the runner, despite a little drizzle at the beginning.”
Philemon Rono 2:08.27
Seboka Dibaba 2:09.47
Albert Korir 2:10.23