Seboka Dibaba TolaThe elite field for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, an IAAF Silver Label Road Race, just keeps getting deeper and now, with the addition of Ethiopia’s Seboka Dibaba Tola, organisers are hoping the men’s race will result in the fastest time ever run on Canadian soil.

The current Canadian all-comers’ record belongs to Kenneth Mungara at 2:07:58, a time the Kenyan set in 2010. But that mark has proven elusive to subsequent winners for one reason or another.

Dibaba, a confident 25-year-old, has twice run faster. At the 2012 Dubai Marathon, he ran a splendid 2:06:17 personal best, and then in March of this year he finished third at the Seoul Marathon in 2:07:26. Naturally, each course has its merits and it is difficult to compare, but Dibaba is grateful for the fact he has been given full details on what he can expect on the streets of Toronto on 20 October.

“My training mate and defending champion of the Toronto [Waterfront] Marathon, Sahle Warga, and my coach Gebeyehu Berihun told me their experiences last year,” he explains, “and so I know a little bit about the Toronto [Waterfront] Marathon.”

This visit to Canada’s largest city marks his first time in North America and is a result of a close association between his agent, the noted Italian Gianni Demadonna, and the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Dibaba admits his training is on schedule to attack Mungara’s record and earn the $35,000 bonus on offer.

“I would like to run under the course record,” he declares. “My training is better and I am in good condition. I train with the group from ‘Demadonna Athletics’. I train with Dino Sefir (2:04:50 best), Deressa Chimsa (2:05:42 best), Shami Abdulai, Sahle Warga and some other strong athletes.” Read more