Alright folks, Track & Field at the 2016 Rio Olympics is here! It’s only once every four years and these athletes have been busting their butts to be ready for this event. So lets get excited and get behind them. Here is our Guide for when to watch and who to watch out for, with a heavy slant towards the long distance events and Vancouver based athletes.
We have been lead to believe all sessions of Track & Field will be live streamed on CBCSPORTS.CA. Much of the action will also be broadcast live on TV on CBC.
Friday August 12th – Day 1 Morning Session:
11:10AM Rio Time (10:10AM Eastern/7:10AM Pacific) – Womens 10,000m Final – We have two women representing Canada in this event. Natasha Wodak (Vancouver, BC) and Lanni Marchant (London, ON). Natasha is the Canadian Record holder in this event having run 31:41 in 2015. These two will be in tough in a field of 41 women (that’s a lot in a track race)! Look for them to battle hard and scrap for every spot. If you want someone to root for with a chance at a medal get behind American Molly Huddle. She lives and trains in Providence, Rhode Island under the tutelage of Dylan’s former coach at Providence College, Ray Treacy.
M2M Gold Medal Pick – Tirunesh Diababa, Ethiopia.
2:30PM Rio Time (1:30Pm Eastern/10:30AM Pacific) – Men’s 20km Race walk. We at Mile2Marathon know very little about the race walk. But our three Canadian Men – Inaki Gomez, Ben Thorne and Evan Dunfee – are all based in Vancouver. Ben won a surprise bronze at the World Champs last year. One of these three could grab a medal.
M2M Gold Medal Pick – your best guess is as good as ours.
Entire Morning & Evening Session – Women’s Heptathlon – The longest race these ladies contest is 800m. But they are amazing athletes. And Canada’s Brianne Theisen-Eaton has a great chance at bringing home the gold medal.
Saturday August 13th – Day 2 Evening Session:
21:25 Rio Time (20:25 Eastern/17:25 Pacific) – Men’s 10,000m final – Keep your eyes out for Canadian Mo Ahmed (St. Catherines, ON). This guy is a real stud. He won gold in this event at the Pan Am Games in Toronto last summer. At the Prefontaine Classic earlier this year he took the best in the world to the line in the 5,000m event running stunning time of 13:01! The 10,000m is arguably Mo’s better event. Look for him to be in the mix the entire way.
M2M Gold Medal Pick – Mo Farah, Great Britain.
22:05 Rio Time (21:05 Eastern/18:05 Pacific) – Men’s 800m Semi-Final – Canada has a bright young star in the form of Windsor, On native Brandon McBride. This 22 year old sensation ran under 1:44 earlier in the season, making him the 2nd fastest Canadian in this event, behind Gary Reed. Brandon is poised for a big performance in Rio. The two lap event is a real mix of speed and endurance that is really fun to watch.
Entire Morning & Evening Session – Women’s Heptathlon – The longest race these ladies contest is 800m. But they are amazing athletes. And Canada’s Brianne Theisen-Eaton has a great chance at brining home the gold medal. The final event is the 800m at 22:53 Rio Time.
M2M Gold Medal Pick – Brianne Theisen-Eaton.
Sunday August 14th – Day 3 Morning Session:
9:30 Rio Time (8:30 Eastern/5:30 Pacific) – Women’s Marathon – Canada has two ladies contesting this event, Lanni Marchant and Krista DuChene (Brantford, ON). Lanni will be doubling back from having run the 10,000m less than 48 hours before. No Canadian has attempted this double before, as far as we know, so it will be interesting to see how she does. Krista DuChene is a great story – a former University Hockey player at Guelph and mother of 3, at 39 years of age she is the oldest member of the Canadian Track & Field team in Rio. Both ladies have run 2:28-and change, which means clocking 3:30/k for 42.2k! A top-20 finish would be a strong showing for these ladies, but anything could happen in the Rio heat, so don’t shocked if one of these two ladies surprises with a big showing.
M2M Gold Medal Pick – lets go with a big upset here – Shalane Flanagan, USA.
Day 3 – Evening Session:
21:30 Rio Time (20:30 Eastern/17:30 Pacific) – Women’s 1500m Semi-Final. We have 3 women in this event – Hilary Stellingwerf (Victoria, BC), Gabriela Stafford (Toronto, ON), Nicole Sifuentes (Winnipeg, MB/Ann Arbour, MI). All three ladies have a shot at advancing to the final in this one. Hilary and Nicole are veterans in this event, having both competed in London 2012 Olympics. Gabriela on the other hand is only 20 years old and competing in her first global championships!
Monday August 15th Day 4 – Morning Session:
10:25 Rio Time (8:25 Eastern/6:25 Pacific) – Men’s 3,000m Steeple Chase SF – Chris Winter, a native of North Vancouver, BC and sometimes training partner of Dylan and Rob will be contesting this one in his Olympic debut. Advancing to the next round will be a great result for Chris. After that, anything can happen! Matt Hughes (Oshawa, ON) and Taylor Milne (Calendar, ON) will also contest this one. Matt is the Canadian Record holder in the event and if he is in form has a shot at placing very high (having finished 6th in the World Champs in 2013 and 8th 2015). If you haven’t seen the steeple chase before you have to check this one out it is a great display of athleticism watching these guys clear 36″ barriers and a water pit each lap.
Day 4 Evening Session:
22:25 Rio Time (21:25 Eastern/18:25 Pacific) – Men’s 800m Final – Lets hope Brandon McBride makes it to the final. If he does this will be a great one to watch for Canadians. Once you are in the final of the 800m anything can happen.
M2M Gold Medal Pick – This one is pretty wide open, but lets go with the reigning Olympic Champ – David Rudisha, Kenya.
Tuesday August 16th – Day 5 Evening Session
22:30 Rio Time (21:30 Eastern/20:30 Pacific) – Women’s 1500m Final – Just like the mens’ 800m, if any of the Canadian women advance to the final it will be exciting to see.
M2M Gold Medal Pick – lets just keep picking upsets – we want to see Laura Muir of Great Britain take this one.
Wednesday August 17th – Day 6 Morning Session:
10:05 Rio Time (9:05 Eastern/7:05 Pacific) – Men’s 5,000m SF – We are really excited about this one as Lucas Bruchet, a Vancouver native and training partner of Dylan’s with the B.C. Endurance Project will be making his Olympic Debut. Lucas has run 13:24 for the event and will need a PB type performance to advance to the final. But he is fit and ready to go. Mo Ahmed will also be contesting this one and he will be fun to watch. As we mentioned before, he has run 13:01 this year – we believe that performances puts him 5th on the World rankings this year!
11:50 Rio Time (10:50 Eastern/7:50 Pacific) – Men’s 3,000m Steeple Final – Lets hope Chris Winter sneaks into this one!
M2M upset Gold Medal Pick – Evan Jager, USA.
Entire Morning & Evening Session – Men’s Decathlon – Arguably the greatest athletes in the world. These guys can run, jump, and throw. And Canada has a real medal contender in London, ON native Damian Warner. He won Gold at Pan Ams and Silver at Worlds last year – where he was second behind Ashton Eaton, husband to Canadian heptathlete Brainne Theissen-Eaton – talk about a friggin’ power couple, geez.
Thursday August 18th – Day 7 Evening Session:
20:45 Rio Time (19:45 Eastern/16:45 Pacific) – Mens’ 1,500m Semi-Finals – We have two men contesting this one; Nate Brannen (Cambridge, ON) was a rival of Dylan’s back in Highschool. Dylan got sick and tired of getting thumped by Nate, so moved up to the marathon. This is Nate’s 3rd Olympics! Charles Philibert-Thiboutot (aka Chuck PT) is the other Canadian in this event. The Quebec native spends much of the fall and winter training in Vancouver with Lucas Bruchet. It will be exciting to see how he fairs in this very deep and ultra competitive event.
21:15 Rio Time (20:15 Eastern/17:15 Pacific) – Women’s 800m SF – This is one for everyone to get really really excited about. Melissa Bishop (Elgin/Windsor, ON) is one of our strongest medal hopefuls on the track. She won a Silver medal at last years World Champs, Gold at the Pan Am Games and has run 1:57 in this event!!!
Friday August 19th – Morning Session:
8:00 Rio Time (7:00 Eastern/4:00 Pacific) – Men’s 50km Racewalk – again we know nothing about the sport, but Vancouver based Evan Dunfee will be in the mix in this one. Don’t worry it takes almost 4hrs so you don’t have to wake up really early to tune in.
21:40 Rio Time (20:40 Eastern/17:40 Pacific) – Women’s 5,000m Final – We have two women contesting the Semi-Final, if either Andrea Seccafien (Toronto, ON) or Jess O’Connel (Calgary, AB) make the final it would be a huge accomplishment. Andrea has been on fire this year running a huge PB of 15:17 earlier in the season. Keep an eye out for those ladies.
M2M Gold Medal Pick – Almaz Ayana, Ethiopia – she has run 14:12 this year. WTF!?!
Saturday August 20th
Evening Session – SUPER SATURDAY – This session is not to be missed. It will be filled with exciting distance action. So grab a cold drink and sit your butt down in front of a screen.
21:00 Rio Time (20:00 Eastern/17:00 Pacific) – Men’s 1500m Final – Both Nate Brannen and Chuck PT have a shot at making this race. If they aren’t in there be sure to cheer for New Zealander Nick Willis – Dylan spent some time training with Nick last summer in Flagstaff, AZ. He is one of the most talented and humble athletes on the planet. He has been a contender on the world stage for 10 years now and has a 1 Mile best of under 3:50!!!
M2M upset Gold Medal Pick – Nick Willis, NZ.
21:15 Rio Time (20:15 Eastern/17:15 Pacific) – Women’s 800m Final – Hopefully Melissa Bishop will be in there and be in the mix for a medal in this one.
M2M upset Gold Medal Pick – Melissa Bishop, Canada.
21:30 Rio Time (20:30 Eastern/17:30 Pacific) – Men’s 5,000m Final – It will be awesome if Vancouver native Lucas Bruchet advances to the final. Be sure to cheer at the top of your lungs for him if he is. Mo Ahmed will also likely be in there (barring disaster in the heats). Just like with the 10,000m we expect Mo to be in the thick of things right until the bitter end. Both of these guys are just 25! A bright future for Canadian distance running.
M2M Gold Medal Pick – Mo Farah, GB.
Sunday August 21st – Morning Session
9:30 Rio Time (8:30 Eastern/5:30 Pacific) – Men’s Marathon – Two of Canada’s best marathon runners of all-time will be lining up for this one – Reid Coolsaet (Hamilton, ON) and Eric Gillis (Antigonish, NS). These two have been the face of Canadian men’s marathon running for 6 years now. Reid is the 2nd fastest Canadian of all-time (2:10:28), one spot ahead of Dylan. And Eric has clocked numerous sub 2:12 performances over the past 3 years. The ability of these two to consistently perform at the level they do is incredible. They make it seem easy. The inside scoop is that Eric is in the shape of his life and will be gunning for a big performance. Eric finished 22nd in the 2012 London Olympics, while Reid was 27th. A top 15th finish would be a great day for these guys and a performance worth celebrating.
M2M Gold Medal Pick – Eluid Kipchoge, Kenya.