Tomorrow is the Speed River Inferno. While only in its 2nd year for the meet in the newly renovated Alumni Stadium at the University of Guelph, the meet has already established itself as one of the best meets to take place on Canadian soil each year. Looking at the start lists for tomorrow it looks like the meet has been taken to another level this year with numerous Olympians and Olympic Medalists scheduled to compete. With the weather forecast calling for sunny skies and warm temps, tomorrow’s races should have the perfect set up.
This is good news because many Canadians are looking for one final opportunity (#lastchanceforglasgow) to hit a standard for this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. (To see who has already hit a qualifying time check out Athletics Canada’s Commonwealth Games Athlete Tracking List)
While every race features some of the best athletes in Canada (and in some cases the world!) the 4 events with athletes right on the bubble, chasing a standard are:
In the men’s 800m we have Speed River’s very own Anthony Romaniw looking to punch his ticket to Glasgow. He has run 1:47 this year and needs 1:46.20 to put himself in the selection pool. Anthony is no stranger to pressure, last year he was travelling from race to race in Europe looking to hit a qualifier for the World Championships in Moscow and it wasn’t until the 11th hour, somewhere in Belgium, that he finally hit it. Let’s hope he can find some similar magic tomorrow night!
In the men’s 1500m Charles Philibert-Thiboutot, who had a breakthrough race down in LA a few weeks ago, is knocking on the door of B standard (3:37) and Luc Bruchet has been on fire all year long and I’m sure he will be looking to push Chuck all the way to the line.
The women’s 3000m Steeplechase has really shaped up nicely with both Jessica Furlan and Chantelle Groenewoud capable of hitting B standards (9:48.00) which, in doing so would also take down the Canadian record! With these two ladies, among a couple of others that have dipped under the 10:00 barrier in the past, this could well be the race of the evening!
My personal interests lie in the men’s steeplechase. With Chris Dalhanty unselfishly offering to pace the race at ‘A’ Standard pace (8:26.00) for 2000m and with friends, training partners, and past Olympians Alex Genest and Taylor Milne in the field, along with some other top notch “long-hurdlers” Ryan Brockerville and Mark Draper, things should be set up very nicely for a shot at a fast time. The Guelph Mercury put out a nice article this morning talking about the race.
This season has had a very different feel to it. The last couple of years have been a blur of travel and excitement with PBs seemingly coming every weekend. However, with a couple of hiccups in the Winter I came into the outdoor season well behind where I would like to have been. That said the last couple of months have gone great and I finally feel like I am back to where I was in previous years. I’m healthy and fit and tomorrow should provide the opportunity I need to take a good crack at it.
If you live in Guelph, you are likely well aware of this meet and are likely planning on attending. However, if you are from anywhere outside of Guelph and think you can make the trip, do it! If you can’t make it in person there will be a live feed for the meet here. Show up or tune-in as it’s rare to have a meet of this quality held this close to home. Tomorrow night promises to be special.
For more info about the Speed River Inferno check out the event’s website (here)
List of confirmed Athletes (Here)
Schedule of Events (Here)