A team of five men have been selected to represent England at the IAAF gold standard 2016 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on 16th October.
With the nation’s two leading female marathon runners, Aly Dixon and Sonia Samuels successfully gaining selection for the Rio Olympics and the remaining female contenders focusing on European marathons this autumn, England Athletics have extended the opportunity to the male athletes to don the England vest in Canada this autumn.
- Kojo Kyereme (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet, Coach: Conrad Milton)
- Kevin Rojas (Club: Brighton & Hove, Coach: Allison Benton)
- Steve Bayton (Club: Hallamshire, Coach: Phil Nichol)
- Tom Payn (Club: Run Fast)
- Jonathan Poole (Club: Serpentine)
The team mixes experience and youth with four of the five athletes making their debut for England as seniors.
This will be Kojo’s second international vest, his first for England. Kojo previously represented Great Britain in 2005 in the Stockholm Marathon. He is the current World Masters Champion at 10,000m (M40-44) winning the title last year in Lyon, France. Like a fine wine, Kojo is improving with age and at 41 years old, set his marathon personal best in London this April in a time of 2:21.28 to add to his Half Marathon PB of 66:12 also set this year.
Jonathan will make his international debut in Toronto having set a personal best in Berlin last September with a time of 2:20.38. The 33 year old only started running in 2011 when he joined the Serpentine Running Club and it was not until 2013 that he began to take things more seriously. He is determined to break the 2:20 barrier in Toronto.
This will be Tom’s fifth appearance in an England vest, but his first at the marathon. The 36 year old first competed for England in 2007 at the Barcelona 10k, which he won and says was a bit of career highlight. “It’s always a huge honour to compete for England and I’m hugely motivated to race in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon for my country.”
At 24 years of age Steve is the youngest member of the team and made an impressive debut at the marathon in April of this year by winning the Asics Greater Manchester Marathon in a time of 2:22.34. Steve also makes his England senior debut, having previously represented England as a junior in fell running. His fell running pedigree showed this winter where he finished in the top 20 at the prestigious English National Cross-Country Championships.
Having only started running in 2011 Kevin has made rapid progress from a 2:48.36 marathoner to a lifetime best of 2:18.44 set in Berlin last September. His Half-Marathon time has progressed from 81:00 to 66:46 minutes, which he did last year in the Brighton Half and definitely rates as one of his favourite races being on home turf. The 34 year old was runner up in in the Asics Greater Manchester Marathon this April.
Event Coordinator for Road Running, Charlotte Fisher said, “I’m delighted that in the absence of our female distance runners that we are able to offer 5 places to the men. Several of the guys have aspirations towards Commonwealth Games selection and the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon will give them a superb overseas experience and world class competition. We’ve got a strong team and I look forward to seeing how they get on in Canada.”
Any club runners looking for an autumn marathon experience should go to the Toronto website
for more details on overseas race packages for Toronto.