The 6th and final Runners' Choice London Distance Series meet will cap an exciting summer of distance races in London, Ontario. Taking place at TD Waterhouse Stadium, the races will start at 7:40pm with the Womens 1,500m. The highlight of the evening will take place at 9:20pm, as the top-3 Canadian Youth boys of 2012 - Jeremy Coughler (Durham Dragons), Ben Flanagan (Tri-City), and Ryan Sleiman (Windsor Legion) - will all take aim at the Canadian Youth 3,000m record of 8:16.37. If successful, this would be the 2nd Canadian Youth record set at RCLDS events; Robert Denault set the current Youth 1,500m record of 3:45.87 at the 2010 1,500m Night, a cornerstone of the London Distance Series.
For those that cannot make it to London to watch, there will be extensive coverage thanks to Trackie Group who will provide live twitter highlights, with race videos that will to be posted after the meet finishes.
The London Runner Distance Club had success at the 2012 Canadian Track & Field Championships/Olympic Trials, in Calgary, Alberta over the weekend. Three athletes represented LRDC at the trials, with Kyle O’Neill and Aaron Hendrikx racing the men’s 5,000m while Leslie Sexton contested the women’s 10,000m.
Leslie Sexton, who won the women’s 5,000m at the 2011 Canadian Track & Field Championships, won her second Canadian Championship gold medal, this time in the 10,000m. Despite windy conditions at the time of her race, Sexton pushed the pace, leading the women’s field from the gun and gapping her competitors early on in the race. Throughout the race, Sexton widened her lead on defending champion Bevin Kennelly, running to victory in a time of 35:18.97. Sexton very was pleased with her time, having run only thirty-six seconds slower than her personal best in the 10,000m, despite Calgary’s 3500-foot elevation. Sexton’s next race will be the 5,000m at the Forest City 5k in London on July 6th, after which she will take a break before starting to build towards her October Marathon debut at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.
Aaron Hendrikx and Kyle O’Neill continued the London Runner Distance Club’s success at the meet, both earning top-five placings in the men’s 5,000m race on Friday evening. Hendrikx and O’Neill were among a large lead pack of men, as the majority of the race proved to be tactical and slow-paced. Both LRDC men ran smart races with a fast last 1,200m. Hendrikx ran to fourth place in a time of 14:52.54 while O’Neill finished fifth in a time of 14:55.45. O'Neill equalled his fifth place finish from 2009 in a somewhat stronger field, improving upon his sixth place ranking entering the event. O’Neill will now look ahead to the Ontario Track & Field Championships in Ottawa, where he hopes to defend his 2011 title in the 5,000m. Hendrikx, who is a junior and was one of the youngest competitors in Friday’s race, was happy to have mixed it up with the senior athletes. His race at the Canadian Championships no doubt provided valuable experience for his upcoming World Junior 5,000m race on Saturday July 14th in Barcelona, Spain.
The group was extremely pleased with their three top-five placings and credited the Runners' Choice/New Balance sponsored London Runner Athlete Assistance Program for its support the past two years in helping build towards these Olympic Trials.