(ISN) – OTTAWA – Athletics Canada named eight athletes today who will travel to Chiba City in Japan for the 2014 Chiba Ekiden Road Race on November 24. The event is a mixed gender relay where men and women alternate legs to cover the marathon distance of 42.195-kilometres. The race comprises of a men’s 5km, women’s 5km, men’s 10km, women’s 5km, men’s 10km and finally a women’s 7.195km.
Lanni Marchant of London, Ont., Jessica O’Connell of Calgary, Alb., Rachel Cliff, Vancouver, B.C., and Natasha Labeaud of Kelowna, B.C., lead the way for the women. Marchant finished fourth in the marathon at this year’s Commonwealth Games and is the current Canadian record holder in the event. O’Connell has had a stellar season representing the Americas at the IAAF Continental Cup and won Canadian titles in both the 5000-metres at the Canadian Track & Field Championships and the Canadian 5km Road Race Championships. Cliff was runner-up to O’Connell in the 5000-metres and represented Canada at the 2013 World Cross Country Championships. Labeaud finished on the podium with a third place at this year’s Canadian 10km Road Race Championships.
Canada’s male competitors are Lucas Bruchet of White Rock, B.C., Pier-Olivier Laflamme of L’Ancienne-Lorette, Que.,Sami Jibril of Toronto, Ont., and Kelly Wiebe of Swift Current, Sask. Over the past year Bruchet has shown range winning the senior title at the 2013 Canadian Cross Country Championships and breaking four minutes in the mile. Laflamme stood atop the podium at the 2014 Canadian 5km Championships. Jibril has been very consistent on the roads placing third at both the 5km and 10km Canadian Championships. Wiebe represented Canada at the last two IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
Team Canada – 2014 Chiba Ekiden