Coolsaet and Gillis make Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon their last stop before London Olympics

Two members of Canada’s 2012 Olympic marathon team  will line up at the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon in their final race before the London Olympics. On June 24, 2012 Olympic-bound athletes Eric Gillis and Reid Coolsaet will join an expected 7,000 runners and walkers in the Scotiabank Half-Marathon and 5K event. In addition to running for personal goals, many participants will be running to raise $650,000 in donations for 60 local charities through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge.

Elites to Watch For:

Eric Gillis, Guelph, Ontario: Originally from Antigonish, NS, Eric represented Canada in the 2008 Beijing Games in the 10,000m. He qualified to represent Canada in this year’s Olympic Marathon by the smallest of margins — one second — running 2:11:28 at the 2011 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon last October. Eric also won the 2012 Canadian Half-Marathon Championship on April 29th at Banque Scotia 21K de Montreal.

Reid Coolsaet, Hamilton, Ontario: Like Gillis, 32-year-old Reid Coolsaet also trains in Guelph under Coach Dave Scott-Thomas at the Speed River Track Club, and he also qualified for London at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront 2011 with a time of 2:10:55. He also spent two months training in Iten, Kenya this past winter.

Kip Kangogo, Lethbridge, AB: Kangogo is the SVHM defending Champion, having won the last three editions in a row. Always a fierce competitor, he currently leads the Canada Running Series overall standings. His goal this season is to win the overall Series. He also hopes to solidify a place on the Canadian Marathon team for the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow through his performance at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October. On a personal note, Kip also expects to secure his Canadian citizenship in early 2013.

Lanni Marchant, London, ON:  At 28-years-old, from London, ON, Lanni is one of Canada’s brightest, up-and-coming distance-running stars. She had a tremendous, breakthrough performance at the Rotterdam Marathon this April where she notched a 2:31:51 time, beating her personal best by 13 minutes. Although just outside the Canadian standard for the Women’s Olympic Marathon of 2:29:55. She raced for Canada on May 28th at the Bolder Boulder 10km in Colorado, finishing 11th in a time of 35:02 on a hilly course in high-altitude conditions. 

Krista Duchene:   This 35-year-old mother of three from Brantford, ON, also had a huge breakthrough in Rotterdam on April 15, 2012, finishing in 2:32:05, a seven-minute improvement to her personal best.   

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