Yesterday, the 98th Annual Boxing Day 10 Miler went off in Hamilton Ontario. For those of you who know the city, the race began at the Go Station, proceeded through Bayfront Park, around part of Cootes Paradise, and up Longbow Drive before returning along the same route to finish at Hughson and King William.
It was a stacked field. On the men’s side, Olympians like Reid Coolsaet and Matt Hughes battled veteran Tristan Woodfine and youngsters Ben Preisner and Mike Tate. On the women’s side, returning champion Robyn Mildren sought to fend off local challengers Victoria Coates, Tanis Bolton and others.
In the end, Matt Hughes (Canada’s top steeplechaser) won in a course record time of 48:05, which works out to 4:49/mile. Hughes edged out Tristan Woodfine (second place at 48:09) and Mike Tate (48:38 for a solid third). All three of the top males broke the previous course record. Notables Reid Coolsaet and Ben Preisner finished fourth and fifth respectively. The top ten were rounded out by Wendimu Adamu, Sami Jibril, Ben Carson, Kyle Wyatt, and Bonsa Gonfa.
On the women’s side, Robyn Mildren won in a time of 55:46 to defend her crown. Local runner and Saucony sponsored Victoria Coates finished second, with Mengistu Emebet rounding out the podium.
In the Four Miler, Hussein Hashi won the men’s race, while Colleen Wilson won in the women’s race.
You can find the full results for the 10 Miler and the 4 Miler below:
For myself, the race was a tough go. I had a head cold the days before and knew the 10 Miler would be a bit of a slog. Mistakingly, I went out at goal pace anyways and paid for it on the hills.
With about 800m to go, I knew I was still on for just under 67 minutes when my group was stopped on course for a passing ambulance, a necessary but annoying stoppage which cost me around 30 seconds. Still 67:01 was great considering my health.
It was cool to run in such a fast race during the Winter months however, as well as catch up with Ben Preisner, who I ran against in high school.
With a noon start time, I recommend this race for anyone in the GTA who is looking for a Winter race.
Anyways, without further delay, here are my three takeaways:
1. Mike Tate is fit.
Mike Tate runs out of the Speed River Track and Field Club. After returning to Canada after a five year stint at Southern Utah, Tate has put himself on the map in Canadian distance running this fall. After impressing at ACXC, Tate qualified for the World Cross Country Championship team.
At the Boxing Day 10 Miler, Tate finished an impressive third, beating Olympian Reid Coolsaet and fellow college standout, Ben Preisner. Tate hung with Matt Hughes and Tristan Woodfine until the final kilometres before the veterans eventually pulled away.
After listening to Luc Bruchet and Evan Esselink on the Rob Watson Show and their discussion about Tate’s training, I am pumped to see how he fairs at World Cross in March.
2. The Boxing Day 10 Miler is THE Winter race in Southern Ontario.
This is my first time ever running Hamilton’s Boxing Day 10 Miler. It’s the second oldest race in Canada, second only too Hamilton’s Around the Bay. The course is a challenging one with plenty of sharp turns, undulations, hills and pedestrians to dodge, but it also sports the best Winter field of any event in Canada.
The race hands out prize money to its winners, 1st – $600; 2nd – $400; and 3rd – $200, which for elites athletes is not a ton of money, but better than nothing.
Walking to the startline I was amazed about those who were around me, even the quality oft he ameteur field is strong, and for the serous runner, I highly recommend giving this race a try.
You can check out their website here.
3. Coolsaet is ready to attack 2019.
As I have mentioned a few times in this post, Reid Coolsaet ran in the Boxing Day 10 Miler and actually missed the podium, a shock to all I was standing around the results board with.
In his post race social media post however, Reid was not overly disappointed: “So I can’t even finish top 3 at a local road race anymore! 🤪 I’m actually pleased with this result. Top 3 guys broke the course record.”
Reid continued to describe his race: “I lost contact with the top 3 around the 7km mark and watched them run away from me. Happy to have kept the pace respectable after that.”
Contrary to his placing yesterday, Coolsaet is showing no signs of slowing down. His time in this year’s event was actually faster than his previous year’s effort (granted, the weather was horrible last year), but Reid has his eyes on a bigger prize: Tokyo 2020.
Here is a snipped from my interview with Reid last week: “Now that it’s almost 2019 I’m planning races to attempt to qualify for the 2020 games. If I qualify I believe that I could achieve my highest Olympic finish.”
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more…