The oldest road race in London is taking place this Sunday, and a crew of 14 athletes from the London Runner Distance Club are ready to roll at the 45th edition of the Springbank road races. The focus for the group will be on the Half Marathon event, which for many will act as a dress rehearsal for the October 14th Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half Marathon. Leading the charge on the Mens side will be 2011 4th place finisher Matt Suda, joined by teammates Adam Stacey and Nathan de Witt. Suda and Stacey will be using the effort this Sunday to gauge their fitness for the Scotiabank Half Marathon; de Witt will look to work with his teammates this weekend, while splitting off in October to instead race the Vic Matthews cross country meet in Guelph.
On the Womens side, 2012 Canadian Half Marathon silver medalist Leslie Sexton will use the Springbank road races as practice for October 14th, where she'll join teammate Karen Gilbert Tyssen on the Marathon start line. Rounding out the Womens group are University of Waterloo student Emily Yungblut, along with Masters athletes Erica Dornbusch and Annette Barry.
As the first race of the fall, other athletes, including high school stand-out Samantha McGuinness, will look to set the tone for the season. In the back of their minds, most of these athletes are looking ahead to the season-ending Canadian Cross Country Championships, taking place on Saturday November 25th in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Photo: training partners Leslie Sexton and Andre Lefort racing at the 2012 Downtown 5k road race