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Canadian Sets World Record At Boston Marathon

Josh Cassidy and David Weir
Josh Cassidy (right) and David Weir (left) racing in the 2010 London Marathon. Image: Snappa2006

April 16th was a very hot day in Boston, Mass. It was a record-setting 27 degrees Celsius.

It was the day of the 116th Boston Marathon.

A marathon is a long-distance race, covering just over 42 kilometres. On this day, many runners (16 per cent of them, in fact) decided to pass on the event because it was too hot. Many other racers posted slower than usual race times.

Except for one participant. Canadian Josh Cassidy, 27, set a world record.

Cassidy won the men’s wheelchair division. He raced in a three-wheel, high-tech wheelchair; he uses his arms to power it.

Cassidy finished with a record time of 1:18:25 (one hour, 18 minutes and 25 seconds). His time was two seconds faster than the previous best time, set by South Africa’s Ernst Van Dyk in 2004.

Cassidy already holds the Canadian records in the 1,500 metre, 5,000 metre, 10,000 metre and marathon races. His time in Boston was 3.14 seconds ahead of Australian Kurt Fearnley, who finished in second place.

Cassidy received $15,000 for winning the Boston Marathon and $10,000 for setting the world record.

There’s no rest for the Canadian champion, who has since flown to England to race in the London Marathon this Sunday.

He will be racing to raise money for four-year-old Niamh Campbell, from England, who has the same disease that he suffered from as an infant. Cassidy was diagnosed with neuroblastoma (cancer of the spine and abdomen) just weeks after his birth. He is also a double leg amputee.

All of this competition is helping Cassidy prepare for the London Olympic Games this summer, where he hopes to win a gold medal for Canada.

Note: This article was updated slightly and a few words changed (specifically, the written explanation of Cassidy’s time and the addition of “just over” to the marathon distance to be more precise, and we added information about the prize money) at 10:37 a.m., April 19.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
In addition to being an athlete, Josh Cassidy is also a fundraiser. For example, he is raising money for Niamh Campbell who has the same disease that he had as a child.

Often athletes, such as Cassidy, raise money and awareness for causes that are important to them. Why do you think they choose to do this? Do you think there is an expectation for athletes to be charitable?

Reading Prompt: Making Inferences/Interpreting Texts
Why do you think 16 per cent of the runners who were registered for the marathon “decided to pass on the event because it was too hot”?

How do high temperatures affect people’s athletic performances?

Use stated and implied information and ideas in texts to make simple inferences and reasonable predictions about them (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Use stated and implied ideas in texts to make inferences and construct meaning (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Develop and explain interpretations of increasingly complex or difficult texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts to support their interpretations (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Grammar Feature: Pronoun
A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun (person, place or thing). A pronoun could be I , we, she, him, they, it. Pronouns are used in a sentence when the noun is already made clear.

For example, look at the following paragraph: “Cassidy won the men’s wheelchair division. He raced in a three-wheel, high-tech wheelchair; he uses his arms to power it.”
In this paragraph, he is the pronoun that replaces the noun, Cassidy. It is the pronoun that replaces the noun, wheelchair. 

Find three pronouns in the article and identify which nouns they replace.