While newcomers to Canada, the pair of Salome Nyirarukundo and Jean Marie Viamey Uwajeneza have been quick to make an impression on the road running scene. The duo, originally from Rwanda, continue their string of strong running as they swept the top spots for both women and men at last weekend’s Lululemon 10k in Toronto.
Nyirarukundo, a 2016 Oympian over 10,000m, bested the field by more than 28 seconds as she crossed the line to win in a time of 34 minutes and 0.2 seconds. Guelph’s Rachel Hannah took silver in 34:28.6. The pair had run close together through the first five kilometres before Nyirarukundo pulled away in the second half of the race. Saturday’s victory was just the latest in a string of strong results this spring. The Rwandan record holder at every distance from the 5,000m up to the marathon has been victorious in five of her seven road races so far this year. The only blemishes being a second place finish at a 5km event in Lac Beauport, QC at the end of April and her fourth place finish in the Ottawa Marathon where she clocked a speedy 2 hours, 30 minutes and 44 seconds.
Uwajeneza, who has also had a strong start to the season, was the only individual in the field to break the 30 minute barrier, winning in 29 minutes and 57.4 seconds. Among the notable names finishing behind Uwajeneza was Canadian marathon record holder, Cam Levins who was fifth in 30:19.9. Saturday’s victory was the 30 year old’s third victory of the young season with previous wins coming at the Lévis and St. Laurent 10km races in Quebec.