If you have spent more than 5 seconds talking to Dylan Wykes you would know that he is a class act. He is unassuming, humble, and always takes the time to ask about your running. He has been one of Canada’s most outstanding and consistent runners since the Beijing Olympics. That being said, will we see Wykes toe the line in London?
As a Canadian citizen I would like to see Dylan Wykes represent our country at The 2012 London Olympic Games this summer. Wykes’ 2:15:16 debut in the marathon at the tender age of 24 caught my eye as most impressive. That was four years ago, and Wykes has done nothing but get better with age. He has run 2:12 twice recently, which is just shy of the Athletics Canada imposed Olympic Standard of 2:11:29. Wykes’ gave it the old college try again on the weekend and struggled with some GI issues. I was going to message Wykes via Skype to grab a quote or two, but I think his post-race tweet says it all.
“Big ole DNF. How’s that for an anti-climax! Terrible GI problems. Writing was on the wall v[ery] early on. Very tough day Thx to all 4 ur support”
I simply do not understand why Athletics Canada won’t send Wykes to London. I liken Athletics Canada to a parent who is embarrassed when their child finishes in 2nd place. Would Athletics Canada be embarrassed if Wykes went to London and finished top 10? I think so. Would Canada be embarrassed? I think not.
Top 10 Reasons Wykes Should Be Sent to London
1. He has run 2:12 twice in the past 15 months (two B standards?)
2. He finished 3rd at The FAKE Canadian Marathon Olympic Trials crossing the finish line in a respectable 2:12:56, which anyone who was in attendance on that day knew was worth 2:11:29 due to the wind.
3. 2:12:39 would have put him 11th place at the 2008 Beijing Olympics (directly behind American superstar Ryan Hall)
4. There is no rising star standard for the Marathon. If there is one event that should have a rising star component, it is the marathon. Meb, the winner of the U.S. Olympic Trials is almost 10 years older than Wykes. I realize Wykes has represented Canada at a major championship but Wykes could arguably continue improving for the next 10 years.
5. He ranks Top 10 All-Time in Canada for the 10,000m and Marathon
6. His 1:02:14 half marathon is worth 2:11:15 – 14 seconds under the Marathon Standard
7. Wykes is 4 years younger than Reid Coolsaet and 3 years younger than Eric Gillis
8. Eric Gillis went to the Olympics for the 10,000m in 2008 with a 28:07 as a rising star – Wykes has run 28:12
9. Who cares how fast he can run the marathon? To finish in the top 10 at the Olympics requires the ability to compete, not necessarily run fast. Wykes can do this.
10. The Olympic Marathon standard is 2:15 – NOT the Athletics Canada imposed 2:11:29 – is it a matter of time before some of our athletes find another country to represent?
I’m sure I could refine this top 10 and add another 30, but I need to get out the door for a run.
About the Author: Brandon Laan is a runner, coach, and entrepreneur. He spent his undergraduate days at The University of Western Ontario where he captained the Cross Country Team before fleeing to Hawaii Pacific University for graduate school. He is a Level II Certified USATF coach and holds personal bests of 1:06 and 2:21 in the Half Marathon and Marathon respectively. He also enjoys running to eat, not eating to run…and always will.