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Idaho Runner Kinsey Middleton Wins Canadian National Marathon Championship


  • Kinsey Middleton, Instagram
Boise residents out on the Greenbelt first thing in the morning might have a chance of being passed by a national champion marathoner. Idaho native Kinsey Middleton took seventh place overall in the Oct. 21 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon with a time of 2:32:09. Holding dual U.S./Canadian citizenship, Middleton clocked the best time for any Canadian and was thus crowned the Canadian National Marathon champion.

It was her first time racing a full marathon.

“It’s so bizarre because you’re not really breathing that hard, but your legs are just like, ‘Ah, I’m pretty tired,’ so that was interesting,” Middleton told Boise Weekly en route to a recovery massage. “This is definitely the most sore I’ve ever been.”

Middleton ran far from the pack in the final few miles of the race, finishing a comfortable four minutes ahead of last year's champion, Leslie Sexton.

“There were so many crowds and so many people cheering my name, because my bib had my name on it,” Middleton said.  Before the race, Middleton was fairly tight-lipped about her goals, telling BW she preferred to talk about her private prediction for the competition only after the race was over.

“[Coach] Kam [Ulmer] was really big on just having a good experience and running conservatively for the first one so I didn’t blow up,” said Middleton. “But he was pretty confident from the training that I could run 2:32.”

  • Kinsey Middleton, Instagram
Middleton has a deep history of running in the Gem State. While competing for Coeur d'Alene High School, she won six state high school titles—two in cross country and four on the track. After graduating from Coeur d'Alene High in 2011, Middleton initially ran for Oregon State University before transferring to the University of Idaho for her last year of college. As a Vandal, she finished a career-high 10th in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA championships. Thereafter, she joined a professional team in Michigan before returning to Idaho to train.

Her Boise-based training group also includes former Boise State runners Emma Bates, who will make her own professional marathon debut this December, and Megan Lacy, who won Boise's Race to Robie Creek this spring.

Middleton plans to step down in distance for a few months, with hopes of lowering her half-marathon time this winter, and ultimately representing Canada at the IAAF World Championships in Doha next summer. Then it will be on to another marathon and the possibility of competing in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

But while speaking with BW immediately after her Toronto run, that massage was the most important thing on her mind.

“The only thing that is sore is my legs when I move them,” said Middleton, followed by a laugh. “So stairs, sitting down and standing up is a struggle.”

Middleton's time in the Toronto marathon was the the fastest time clocked by an Idaho resident, eclipsing the 2:36.51 debut marathon College of Southern Idaho cross country coach Lindsey Anderson at the Chicago Marathon earlier this year.