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Kangogo & Tessier Take Tactical Wins at 2017 Scotia Half


June 26, 2017


http://canadarunningseries.com/2017/06/svhm-2017-race-report/


Thomas Toth to face string field at Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon


June 21, 2017


http://canadarunningseries.com/2017/06/newcomer-thomas-toth-face-strong-field-scotiabank-vancouver-half-marathon/


Stacked Field for the 2017 BMO Vancouver Marathon and Half Marathon


May 04, 2017


http://bmovanmarathon.ca/invited-athletes 


Kenya’s Kipkoech beats headwind to win second Times Colonist 10K


May 01, 2017


http://www.timescolonist.com/sports/kenya-s-kipkoech-beats-headwind-to-win-second-times-colonist-10k-1.17671783 


Champions back to defend titles at TC10K


April 27, 2017


Sunday’s TC10K features a talented women’s field, chasing honours in the 5th race in the 2017 BC Super Series, and a number of returning Kenyans contesting the men's race.

Four-time defending champion Jane Murage of Kenya failed to finish last weekend’s Vancouver Sun Run, and will have her work cut out to claim a fifth title.

Challenging her will be in-form Dayna Pidhoresky of Vancouver, winner of last weekend’s Scotiabank Montreal Half Marathon, as well as last month’s Around The Bay 30K in Hamilton, where she beat Murage convincingly. Pidhoresky will be looking to improve her 10K PB of 33:35 set last year at the Vancouver Eastside 10K.

Another in-form athlete is last year’s runner-up and 2016 Canadian Half Marathon Champion, Emily Setlack of Cold Lake, AB, who ran a personal best to finish fourth at last weekend’s Vancouver Sun Run in 33:44.

Just behind Setlack at the Sun Run, and returning to fitness following foot surgery, Rio Olympian and Canadian 10,000m record holder Natasha Wodak, returns to the TC10K for the first time since winning in 2012.

Also returning is 2015 runner-up and last year’s third place finisher, Lindsey Scherf of the US. Scherf finished second at December’s Honolulu Marathon in 2:34.

Late entrant, and another Rio Olympian who placed 6th at the Sun Run, is Victoria based Hilary Stellingwerff.

Rounding out the elite women’s field is 4-time Sun Run masters champion Catherine Watkins.

Defending men’s champion Daniel Kipkoech of Kenya is the favourite for the men’s title. Since winning last year’s race Kipkoech has gone on to win the 2016 Vancouver and Victoria Marathons, the Calgary 10K and the Edmonton Half Marathon. Last weekend he finished 3rd at the Vancouver Sun Run in 29:54, and is preparing to defend his Vancouver Marathon title next weekend.

2013 Champion Paul Kimugul likely poses the greatest challenge, but Kimugul was only 8th at this year’s Sun Run, and placed 4th at last years TC10K.

Last years 3rd place finisher, Solomon Rotich, also of Kenya, is another returnee. But he was only 15th at this year's Vancouver Sun Run.

Local Nick Walker, who recently won the Island Race Series, may spoil a Kenyan sweep of the men's podium. While another local, Jim Finlayson, will defend his masters title.

The action gets underway from in front of the Empress Hotel at 8:00am Sunday, with the finish in front of the BC Legislature. Complete information at www.tc10k.ca


Vancouver Sun Run 2017: Elite runners bask in the warmth of their victory after a cool run in cloudy Vancouver


April 23, 2017


http://vancouversun.com/sun-run/vancouver-sun-run-2017-elite-runners-bask-in-the-warmth-of-their-victory-after-a-run-in-rainy-vancouver 


Sun Run gives elite 'walk stars' a pace of their own at start line


April 19, 2017


http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/sun-run-gives-elite-walk-stars-a-pace-of-their-own-at-start-line 


Sun Run: Elite men embrace race-day vibe, amazed by sheer numbers


April 19, 2017


http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/sun-run-elite-men-embrace-race-day-vibe-amazed-by-sheer-numbers


Elite Sun Run winner Rachel Cliff aims to improve on her first, victorious effort


April 19, 2017


http://vancouversun.com/sun-run/elite-sun-run-winner-rachel-cliff-aims-to-improve-on-her-first-victorious-effort


Proudfoot and Pidhoresky Prevail at St Patrick’s Day 5K


March 18, 2017


The competition lived up to the hype Saturday morning, as Ross Proudfoot edged Luc Bruchet in a photo-finish at the St Patrick’s Day 5K presented by BMO, second race in the 2017 BC Super Series. And Dayna Pidhoresky demonstrated she is fully recovered from injury, to outlast the rising stars.

On a cool, chill morning, no one was eager to set the pace into a headwind, despite the downhill start. Once the leaders turned onto Park Drive, late entrant Kevin Friesen took the initiative and upped the tempo, pulling a large pack behind him. Approaching the first mile, Ross Proudfoot surged to grab the $150 bonus offered by RunGo in 4:36, as 4 seconds covered the top 14.

Meanwhile the pre-race favourites for the womens title were locked in close combat, as Trinity Western University’s Regan Yee took the mile bonus in 5:01, a stride ahead of Hilary Stellingwerff, with Dayna Pidhoresky close behind.

Proudfoot was absorbed back into the pack, as slowly the top contenders emerged at the front, and the final kilometer back uphill to the Stanley Park Pavilion took a toll on those who went out too hard. Course record holder and defending champion Luc Bruchet kicked hard on the last incline, almost catching the Maserati pace car, and thought he had created enough of a gap rounding the final bend 40m before the finish. But Proudfoot was not done. And as Bruchet relaxed across the line Proudfoot caught him in the final strides to win by 10cm, as both ran 14:40. Consolation for Bruchet was victory in the BC Championship, for which the Ontarian was not eligible. An equally fast finishing Geoff Martinson was only a couple of strides back in 14:41.

Another blanket covered 4th to 6th places, as Kevin Coffey, 14:48, caught early leader Friesen, 14:49, in the final 10 meters, with TWU’s Nickolas Colyn just behind in 14:50. UBC’s Kieran Lumb wrapped up his final preparation for next weekends Junior World Cross Country Championship in 14:54. And Rob Watson was the last to duck under 15 minutes, by one second.

Pidhoresky used her course knowledge and endurance to her benefit, working hard on the uphill to open an unassailable gap on Yee, running out the Champion in 16:28 to Yee’s 16:34. Surprise came in the form of SFU’s Rebecca Bassett taking third place in 16:49. For both Yee and Bassett this was their first serious road race, but likely won’t be their last.

Stellingwerff struggled towards the end, but held on for fourth place in 17:01. Robyn Mildren, who outsprinted Sabrina Wilkie by one second over 10K two weeks ago, repeated the feat as they clocked 17:08 and 17:09. Kirsten Lee, daughter of former Canadian 10,000m record holder Sue Lee, took seventh in 17:16, just ahead of top master Catherine Watkins in 17:18.

Canadian Masters Cross Country Champion Jerry Ziak was first master, finishing 17th overall in 15:47. Other notable age group winners included Mark Bennett, 17:15 M55; Jillian Fong, 18:05 F50 (BC record); Thelma Wright, 22:57 F65 (tied BC record); and Lenore Montgomery, 37:00 F85.

The depth of competition was as impressive as usual, with 40 men under 17 minutes, and 40 women under 20 minutes.

Complete results: https://www.startlinetiming.com/en/races/2017/stpat/event/5K


Track Stars to Duel on the Roads at St Patrick’s Day 5K


March 16, 2017


(Vancouver, BC – March 16, 2017) Two intriguing head-to-head contests featuring Rio Olympians will highlight Saturday’s St Patrick’s Day 5K presented by BMO, the 2017 BC 5K Championship and the second race in the BC Super Series.

Defending champion Luc Bruchet will renew his rivalry with Ross Proudfoot in the title bout. Last summer both were chasing Olympic 5000m qualification, with Bruchet going on to represent Canada, while Proudfoot had to watch from home. Since then Proudfoot has relocated from Guelph to Victoria, and rebounded to win the Canadian Cross Country Championships in the fall with Bruchet second. Most recently Proudfoot edged Bruchet by a second over 3000m indoors in February, while Bruchet won the first race in the BC Super Series, the Harriers Pioneer 8K. This will be their first match-up on the roads, and could lead to an improvement of Bruchet’s course record of 14:22.

The women’s contest pitches experience against young talent. Two-time Olympian Hilary Stellingwerff will be up against Trinity Western University star Regan Yee. Stellingwerff, who retired from the track after representing Canada in the 1500m at the last two Olympics, has transitioned to the roads. She was runner-up to St Patrick’s Day course record holder Rachel Cliff at the Harriers Pioneer 8K. Cliff will be absent this year, as she competes at the New York City Half Marathon on Sunday. Yee took second place last weekend at the USports 3000m Indoor Championships, and is the NACAC U23 3000m Steeplechase Champion. Their only previous head-to-head was at the 2015 BC Cross Country Championships, where Stellingwerff came out top over 6K.

Looking to spoil the party will be a host of other talent. 2014 Champion Geoff Martinson is the former St Patrick’s Day 5K course record holder. UBC freshman Kieran Lumb will use the race as a final tune-up to next weekend’s IAAF World Junior Cross Country Championships in Uganda, having won the NACAC regional Championship two weeks ago. Declan White is another TWU star, coming off last weekend’s USports Championships. UVic freshman Josh Kozelj won the Bazan Bay 5K two weeks ago. And never count out the experience of Rob Watson, 2015 PanAm Games marathoner.

On the women’s side, last years runner-up Dayna Pidhoresky will return to racing for the first time since last October’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Last years third place Erica Digby was only two seconds behind Yee over 3000m indoors this winter. Lindsay Carson, a Canadian cross country international, will make the trip down from Whitehorse. And Catherine Watkins, another 2015 PanAm Games marathoner, is always in the mix.

While the serious athletes may have the BC Championship as their goal, many more will come dressed in costume, and will stay for the Irish themed after-party. Proceeds from the event benefit Diabetes Canada.

The lead runners will be chasing a Maserati pace car, courtesy of Ferrari Maserati of Vancouver. The race starts at 9:30am on Pipeline Drive, and circles around Brockton Point, before finishing back up Pipeline to the Stanley Park Pavilion.

Complete race information at http://www.stpatricks5k.com/

The BC Super Series is a collaboration between BC Athletics and 12 of BC’s best road races, http://www.bcathletics.org/BCSuperSeries/. The next event is the Vancouver Sun Run 10K on April 23.


2017 BC Super Series to score 4 from 11 races


February 07, 2017


Despite the unfortunate but necessary cancellation of the "First Half" Half Marathon, awards for the 2017 BC Super Series will still be based on best 4 scores. 

However, special recognition will now be given to anyone completing 7 or more races, rather than the previous 8 required.


Women’s Record a Target at the “First Half” – February 5


February 01, 2017


(Vancouver, BC – January 31, 2017) The 28th edition of the Pacific Road Runners “First Half” Half Marathon on February 5th will see Olympians and Pan Am Games medalists up against international competition in the second race in the 2017 BC Super Series, a collaboration between BC Athletics and 12 of BC’s best road races. Keen competition is anticipated in both the men’s and women’s races, with the women’s event record under threat if conditions are favourable.

Headlining the women’s field is a quintet of Canadian talent.

  • Rachel Cliff (Vancouver, BC) ran a 5000m qualifying time for Rio, but was unfortunate not to be selected to the team. She was the Vancouver Sun Run champion in 2014.
  • Rachel Hannah (Guelph, ON) won bronze at the 2015 Pan Am Games, and was Canada’s fastest marathoner in 2016 (2:32:09).
  • Hilary Stellingwerff (Victoria, BC) did represent Canada in Rio at the 1500m. Now retired from track competition, she is turning her attention to the roads.
  • Emily Setlack (Cold Lake, AB) was the 2016 Canadian Half Marathon Champion.
  • Melanie Myrand (Montreal, QC) has the Quebec provincial half marathon record of 1:14:51 as her goal.

Breaking the event record of 1:12:47, set by Tina Connelly in 2004 would result in a $1500 bonus for the winner. Connelly will be back as a masters competitor, where the race will feature 2016 Portland Marathon Champion Kate Landau (Tacoma, WA) and 2015 Pan Am Games marathoner Catherine Watkins (Vancouver, BC).

Dylan Wykes (Vancouver, BC), who set the men’s record of 1:04:21 in 2012 prior to the London Olympics, returns in an attempt to win the race for a record fourth time. His competition includes his Mile2Marathon Coaching colleagues Rob Watson (Vancouver, BC), a two time former winner and runner-up last year; and Kevin Coffey (Vancouver, BC) who finished third last year. Challenges to the local dominance will come in the form of Norberto Abad (Mexico) who has represented his country in the World Mountain Running Championships on multiple occasions; and Brian Masterson (Seattle, WA) 2016 Bellingham Bay Half Marathon Champion.

Three-time masters winner and 1:07:03 course record holder Jim Finlayson (Victoria, BC) will return again, but will find tough competition in the form of Canadian Masters Cross Country Champion, Jerry Ziak (Vancouver, BC).

The oldest competitors will be 82 year olds’ Gwen McFarlan from Richmond, who has set a number of world age best performances; and Roger Roufosse from Surrey.

For many the “First Half” has become an annual tradition. Henny Coates of Vancouver has completed the race 23 times, and three time winner and former Olympian Art Boileau has completed 20 First Halfs. “Everyone has their personal goals and motivations for doing the race”, says this year’s race director Terry Bushnell. “The goal of the Pacific Road Runners is to provide a top class competition for runners of all abilities, and use the proceeds to benefit the local community”.

Proceeds from the event benefit Variety - The Children’s Charity.  The 51st Show of Hearts Telethon takes place on February 12. This year’s “First Half” contribution will take total donations past $750,000 since 1995.

Starting and finishing at the Roundhouse Community Centre, the route includes a circuit of the Stanley Park seawall. The race gets underway at 8:30am, with a loop around BC Place, before heading out to Stanley Park. The winners will return to the Roundhouse shortly after 9:30am. The race sold out in under 72 hours last November, and has attracted entrants from seven Provinces and seven States, as well as from Australia, Brazil, Ireland and Mexico.

Additional information on the event website: www.pacificroadrunners.ca/firsthalf

Complete elite field here: www.pacificroadrunners.ca/firsthalf/2017-elite-field/

Pacific Road Runners (PRR) is a recreational running club, with members interested in leading a fit and active lifestyle combined with social events; meeting Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the False Creek Community Centre on Granville Island. 


Inaugural BC Super Series Wraps Up at GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon


October 07, 2016


The 12 race BC Super Series, that kicked off on the Island in January with the Harriers Pioneer 8K, will conclude down the road on Sunday at the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon. Sunday’s race also serves as the 2016 BC Marathon Championship.

Although the series leads, held by Rob Watson and Dayna Pidhoresky, are unlikely to change, keen competition can still change some of the minor placings. Watson will be in Victoria, but racing the half marathon, not the full marathon distance.

Sabrina Wilkie, currently occupying third place in the rankings, will make her marathon debut. And Cheryl Pepin, who has only run three series races so far, could move into the top half dozen overall. But favourite for the BC Championship title is former winner Catrin Jones.

On the mens side, Drew Nicholson is the highest ranked of those taking part, and could move up into the top 10. But the battle for the BC Championship is more likely to be between Bryan Andrews and defending BC Marathon champion Oliver Utting.  

The BC Super Series is a collaboration between BC Athletics and 12 of BC's best road races, which bring the best athletes in BC together in competition, and encourage participation from all abilities. Complete series details at www.bcathletics.org/BCSuperSeries/


Rain can't dampen great competition at Eastside 10K and BC Championships


September 17, 2016


In conditions more suited to cross country running than road racing, Ontarians Eric Gillis and Leslie Sexton upstaged the locals at the Vancouver Eastside 10K Saturday morning, held in west coast liquid sunshine.

Guelph resident Eric Gillis demonstrated early that he’s recovered quickly from his 10th place finish in last months Olympic marathon, and will be ready to roll at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon next month. After an opening kilometre run in 3:03, Gillis maintained that tempo and opened a gap on the chasing group to pass halfway in 15:13. Only Justin Kent seemed interested in giving chase, and between 5K and 8K he gradually reduced the gap until he was almost on Gillis’ shoulder. But Gillis clearly had more left in the tank, as he was able to increase the pace over the final two kilometres to come home the winner in 30:16.

Kent had the consolation of winning the BC 10K Championship in 30:26 in his first race at the distance, which bodes well for the future. Behind him, Geoff Martinson, last years Eastside champion, took third place overall in 30:43. And recent Ontario transplant to BC, Kevin Coffey, rounded out the BC Championship awards in fourth, in 31:01.

In contrast, London’s Leslie Sexton bided her time before moving to the front and taking the victory in 33:17. The early pace was set by Dayna Pidhoresky, who was closely tracked by Natasha Wodak. Pidhoresky passed halfway in 16:33, with Wodak 5m behind, and Sexton a further 40m back. But like Gillis, Sexton ran a negative split, catching the leaders before the Dunsmuir Viaduct, and then running away from them to record a new PB.

Pidhoresky was able to maintain her lead over Olympian and reigning Eastside champion Wodak, and was rewarded with a PB of 33:35 in taking the BC Championship. Wodak took third in 33:42. While Natasha Labeaud completed the Championship podium.

Top masters were Edmonton’s Brian Stewart and Vancouver’s Jillian Fong.

In addition to the BC Championship, the Vancouver Eastside 10K was also the 11th race in the BC Super Series. With her 10K PB, Pidhoresky extended her lead in the Series. While Rob Watson held on to his lead, as Kevin Coffey halved it to just two points. The final race in the BC Super Series is the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon on October 9.

Complete Championship results, and BC Super Series rankings updates, will be posted in the next few days. Race results here: https://www.sportstats.ca/display-results.xhtml?raceid=40520


Rio Stars Spice Up the BC 10K Championship


September 14, 2016


After a brief summer hiatus, the BC Super Series returns on Saturday with the sold out Vancouver Eastside 10K, incorporating the BC 10K Championship. And what a race is in prospect, with some of Canada’s brightest stars from Rio headlining the competition. The 4th year Canada Running Series event has quickly established itself as one of BC’s premier fall races.  

Guelph’s 3-time Olympian Eric Gillis, who placed an outstanding 10th in the Rio Marathon, returns to Vancouver for the third time this year, having won both the “First Half” Half Marathon and the Vancouver Sun Run 10K in the spring. Having recovered quickly from his Olympic exertions, Gillis will be running the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon next month, with the Canadian record as his goal.

Over the shorter 10K distance Gillis will have to show the speed that won him the Canadian 10,000m Championship this summer, as his competition features a wealth of local talent including defending Eastside champion Geoff Martinson, and the inaugural winner Dylan Wykes. Rob Watson leads the BC Super Series, but only by 4 points over Kevin Coffey, and both will be racing Saturday. Others to watch include Justin Kent and Theo Hunt, who placed 5th and 8th at last weekend’s Canadian 5K Championship in Toronto.

The women’s race features local Olympian Natasha Wodak, who placed 22nd in the 10,000m final in under 32 minutes. Wodak is the defending Eastside champion, having won last year in a course record 33:04. Challenging her will be last years runner-up and the BC Super Series leader Dayna Pidhoresky, who took 4th place at last weekend’s Canadian 5K Championship, as well as 2014 Eastside champion Natasha Labeaud. Also in contention will be top master Catherine Watkins and Sabrina Wilkie, lying 2nd and 3rd in the BC Super Series.

From out of province, Ontario’s Leslie Sexton and Yukon’s Lindsay Carson should mix it up with those seeking the BC Championship title.

One other Rio star will also be competing. Evan Dunfee, who came agonizingly close to medalling in the 50K race walk, is unlikely to make the podium Saturday. But he could walk the distance in around 40 minutes, which would likely see only 100 or so runners finish quicker than him.

Jerry Ziak, Kevin O’Connor and Craig Odermatt should have another close battle for the mens masters title.

The Eastside 10K gets under way on Dunsmuir Street at Beatty at 8:30am, heading east across the Viaduct before looping back for a circuit of Gastown, and then returning back to the start. If the mens or womens winner returns in under 29:18 or 33:04 respectively, they will win a $500 course record bonus on top of $1800 for the overall win, and $600 for the BC Championship.

The BC Super Series is a collaboration between BC Athletics and 12 of BC's best road races, which bring the best athletes in BC together in competition, and encourage participation from all abilities. The Eastside 10K is also the final race in the Lifestages Lower Mainland Series. The finale of the inaugural BC Super Series is in 4 weeks time, at the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, also incorporating the BC Marathon Championship. Complete series details at www.bcathletics.org/BCSuperSeries/


Kelowna set to welcome the BC Super Series


July 01, 2016


The BC Super Series visits the Okanagan for its tenth event this weekend, as the Kelowna Running Club presents the Fresh Air Midsummer 8K, incorporating the 2016 BC 8K Championship. The race is also the seventh event in the Canadian Tire Interior Road Race Series.

The race has attracted entries from across BC, from Prince George to Victoria, as well as strong representation from the Lower Mainland and Alberta.

Local athlete Brad Bickley, winner of multiple local races, may find more competition than he is accustomed to, as Nic Browne of Vancouver, currently lying ninth in the BC Super Series rankings, can be expected to vie for the Championship title.

In the women’s contest, Jessica Kaiser from Cochrane, AB, who placed 45th at last years World Mountain Running Championships, will present a challenge to the locals, led by Stephanie Trenholm, as well as Coquitlam’s Olivia Willett, the top rookie in the BC Super Series rankings.

The Okanagan is home to many of BC’s best masters road runners, and most will be present on Sunday. Entries include Liz Borrett, Diane Leonard, Cindy Rhodes, Roly Muller and Sergio Pio, as well as David Guss from Calgary.

A number of the masters will also be competing at the BC Masters Track Field Championships, taking place all weekend at the Apple Bowl, in conjunction with the Jack Brow meet.

The Fresh Air Midsummer 8K gets underway at 8:00am Sunday morning from Gyro Park, and follows an out and back course close to the lake shore. Shorter distance races for under 12s follow the main event.

The BC Super Series is a collaboration between BC Athletics and 12 of BC's best road races, which bring the best athletes in BC together in competition, and encourage participation from all abilities.

The BC Super Series will take a short summer break following this event, before reconvening on September 17 at the Vancouver Eastside 10K, which also serves as the BC 10K Championship.


Kip Kangogo runs to victory, marking his fifth win at the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon


June 27, 2016


VANCOUVER, BC – (June 26, 2016) – Over 6,500 people took part in the 18th annual Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k on Sunday, June 26. The event raised more than $860,000 and counting for 81 local charities through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. This amount is a significant contribution to the $50 million raised nationally in the lifetime of the Scotiabank Charity Challenge since its inception in 2003.

Race day saw momentous victories on a sunny Vancouver morning as runners brought their best to the scenic course, stretching from UBC to Stanley Park. Kenyan-born Kip Kangogo of Lethbridge, Alberta owned today’s race, as he has since his Canadian debut in 2009, leading the men’s pack and winning his fifth Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon in eight years with a time of 01:07:03. Kenya’s Pius Kipsang Korir followed in second place, with Kangogo’s fellow Kenyan Canadian, Willy Kimosop in third for the men’s event.

Romanian born American, Adriana Nelson came to Vancouver looking for a half-marathon win, and led the women’s pack from the beginning. She ran to victory three minutes clear of second place, Lindsay Tessier from Toronto.

“We would like to congratulate all of the runners in the 2016 Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k, especially those who participated in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge and ran for causes close to their hearts,” said Winnie Leong, Senior Vice President of the BC and Yukon Region at Scotiabank. “This marks a special year for the race here in Vancouver. With the support of the local community, the Scotiabank Charity Challenge reached a fundraising total of $860,000 and counting – helping to take our national fundraising even further past the $50 million national fundraising milestone achieved this past week.”

The race also saw record-breaking moments as Jason Cole and Rand Surbey broke the Guinness World Record for fastest half-marathon pushing a wheelchair. The powerhouse duo had a strong finish in the race and in their fundraising efforts, raising over $15,000 for the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. The Scotiabank Charity Challenge also saw a record broken as Cassie and Friends Society raised over $120,000 this year, surpassing the most a charity has raised through the Challenge in Vancouver, annually.

“Today we saw residents of Vancouver and surrounding areas unite in an inspiring way – from talented runners to dedicated supporters cheering on race participants, we witnessed a great deal of athleticism, philanthropy and community spirit,” said Clif Cunningham, Canada Running Series Western Race Director. “With the combination of outstanding running achievements and hundreds of thousands of dollars raised for local charities here in BC, we couldn’t have asked for a better day.” 

Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k Results:

Half-Marathon Results 

Half-Marathon Male              

  1. Kip Kangogo – Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada                                  TIME : 01:07:03
  2. Pius Kipsang Korir–  Kenya                                                            TIME : 01:07:29
  3. Willy Kimosop – Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada                                TIME : 01:08:11

Half-Marathon Female                      

  1. Adriana Nelson – Boulder, Colorado, USA                                    TIME : 01:14:35
  2. Lyndsay Tessier – Toronto, Ontario, Canada                                TIME : 01:17:30
  3. Robyn Mildren – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada               TIME : 01:18:55

5k Results

5k Male                       

  1. Alistair Kealty – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada                 TIME : 17:07
  2. Dorian Baysset – Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada                    TIME : 17:56
  3. Samuel Yeung – Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada                TIME : 19:28

5k Female                   

  1. Olivia, Willett – Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada                   TIME : 18:57
  2. Carina Blafield – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada               TIME : 20:12
  3. Hannah Ye – Leesburg, Virginia, USA                                           TIME : 20:22

 To see a list of charities involved in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, please visit the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon and 5k website.

 For more highlights and complete race results, please visit: www.vancouverhalf.com


International Flavour to the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon


June 22, 2016


The ninth event in the 2016 BC Super Series brings athletes from Alberta and Ontario, as well as Americans and Kenyans, to race the locals from UBC to Stanley Park on Sunday morning at the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon.

Adriana Nelson from Colorado, making her first visit to Vancouver, will be the favourite for the women’s title. The former Romanian, who became a US citizen in 2011, placed 12th at the US Olympic Marathon trials earlier this year in 2:38:56, and has a half marathon best of 1:11:09.

A tight race for second is likely to feature Lyndsay Tessier from Toronto, and locals Sabrina Wilkie and Robyn Mildren. Mildren beat Wilkie by one second at the recent BlueShore Financial Longest Day 5K, so Wilkie will undoubtedly be seeking to reverse that, and by completing her fourth race in the BC Super Series is likely to move into the top 3 in the standings.

Melanie Kassel from Chilliwack, who was top master at the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon, should claim that award again on Sunday.

The men’s race is harder to predict. Rob Watson, the BC Super Series leader, has not been training as intensely since the Virgin Money London Marathon in April, but his competitive instincts will undoubtedly kick in once the gun fires. Kip Kangogo from Lethbridge has won the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon four times previously, most recently in 2013. He was top Canadian at the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon four weeks ago, which may take the edge off his performance this year. Kenyan Pius Kipsang Korir took fourth place at the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon. Another to watch is Blair Johnston, the reigning BC 10K Champion, who will be making his half marathon debut.

An intriguing masters contest is also in prospect, as Jerry Ziak turned 40 only days ago, and will be set to challenge Jim Finlayson for that title.

The race gets underway at 7:30am Sunday morning on UBC’s East Mall. After looping around the university campus it follows the waterfront along Spanish Banks, through Kits and across Burrard Bridge. The winner will break the tape at Second Beach shortly after 8:30am.

In addition to being the 9th race in the BC Super Series, the event is also part of the Canada Running Series and the Lower Mainland Road Race Series, and is a fund raiser for over 70 charities.

Complete event information can be found at http://www.canadarunningseries.com/svhm

The 10th race in the BC Super Series follows in a weeks time at the Fresh Air Midsummer 8K in Kelowna on July 3, which also serves as the 2016 BC 8K Championship.


World Age Best for Lenore Montgomery at the BlueShore Financial Longest Day 5K


June 13, 2016


Apart from the unexpected appearance of a vehicle as the race was about to start, the BlueShore Financial Longest Day Road Race went very much to plan at UBC on Friday evening. The forecast thunder showers never materialized. The new course proved to be fast. The race favourites emerged the winners. And the post race barbeque and entertainment was as good as ever.

The most outstanding performance of the 8th race in the BC Super Series belonged to 86 year old Lenore Montgomery. At last years race she set an F8589 world age best time of 36:11. Just last week she lowered that time to 35:13 at the Sandcastle Classic. And on Friday night she improved that mark again, running a remarkable 34:56.

The race was notable for the performances of masters, or soon to be masters. Catherine Watkins missed her PB by a single second in winning the women's race in 16:55. Not far behind, Robyn Mildren out-sprinted Sabrina Wilkie for second, clocking 17:19 and 17:20 respectively.

Jerry Ziak, running his final race before turning 40, was the overall 5K race winner in 15:47. Canadian Masters Cross Country champion Craig Odermatt made the trip over from Victoria to finish second in 16:19. And Kirill Solovyev completed the podium in 16:36.

Both Ziak and Watkins completed their fourth race in the BC Super Series, and will move into the top-5 of the series rankings. 

Complete series rankings will be updated in the next few days. In the meantime the race results can be found here

The next race in the BC Super Series is the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon, from UBC to Stanley Park, on Sunday, June 26.


BC Super Series Resumes Friday at the BlueShore Financial Longest Day 5K


June 09, 2016


After a brief hiatus the BC Super Series resumes Friday evening with the eighth race, the BlueShore Financial Longest Day 5K at UBC, hosted by the Vancouver Thunderbirds. Also the seventh race in the regional Lifestages Lower Mainland Series.

Favourites are Catherine Watkins, second last year, and Jerry Ziak, third last year. Both have only run three BC Super Series races to date, so wins on Friday will undoubtedly move them to the fore in the series rankings where an individual’s best four results score. Neither of the current series leaders, Dayna Pidhoresky and Rob Watson, is expected to race. And a number of other series contenders are focused on track competition for the summer.

But victory will not come easy. Sabrina Wilkie has been steadily returning to form this year. And Robyn Mildren, who won the Whistler 10K outright last weekend, may also challenge. On the men’s side, Ziak’s competition will include Canadian Masters Cross Country Champion Craig Odermatt, and Chris Napier who lies immediately behind Odermatt in the rankings after 7 races.

In the rookie of the year rankings, open to anyone under 25, Olivia Willett will hope to consolidate her lead, fresh off of winning silver and bronze medals at the BC High Schools Track & Field Championships.

In the masters age graded rankings, Anthony Skuce will also be looking to strengthen his hold on the top spot. Further up the age groups, Lenore Montgomery ran an F8589 world age best at this race last year, and is capable of improving her time this year.

Of the seven people who share the lead in series participation by having completed five of the previous races, five are expected to complete their sixth race Friday.

The BlueShore Financial Longest Day 5K gets underway at 7:05pm on Friday at UBC Thunderbird Stadium, and will be followed by the usual popular barbeque, plus live entertainment by the Richard Reichert Band.

The ninth race in the BC Super Series follows in two weeks time, with the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon on June 26.

Complete series details at www.bcathletics.org/BCSuperSeries/


Local and international winners create excitement in celebration of 45 year history


May 03, 2016


Top local and international BC athletes competed at the 45th year of the Vancouver Marathon and BC Half Marathon Championships with top times from runners out of Kenya, Ethiopia, the United States, and Canada.

The overall Marathon champions were Kenya’s Daniel Kipkoech with a time of 2:21:04, and Ethiopia’s Hirut Guangul, who finished with a time of 2:39:52. Both Elite Athletes came back to win after placing second last year.

“This is a beautiful course. I like the fans, the people are so nice,” says Kipkoech of the BMO Vancouver Marathon. “They motivate me. I like their cheering, it’s a very good thing. They give us energy after 42 kilometers.”

Local Canadians and international Elite Athletes battled for the other podium spots in the historic 45th year of the Marathon.

In the men’s Marathon, Ethiopian Habteselassa Lemma Gemechu took second this year in a time of 2:23:34. British Columbia’s Ryan Day took home third-place, and was the top Canadian with a time of 2:36:45.

Chief of the Bonaparte Indian Band, Secwepemc Nation, Day ran the race alongside fellow BC Elite Athletes Oliver Utting and Graeme Wilson before breaking away around Siwash Rock in Stanley Park.

“It’s a beautiful course,” adds Day. “The cheering is awesome. I know lots of people here. It’s good to get out, run hard, and healthy.”

American runner Allison Macsas claimed second in the women’s Marathon with a time of 2:42:07, and North Vancouver’s Ellie Greenwood was third in 2:45:21.

In the BC Half Marathon Championships, Langley’s Lisa Brooking won the women’s division with a time of 1:16:03. “It was fabulous. It was such a beautiful day, great course, good crowds,” says Brooking. “It’s definitely one of my favourite Half Marathons, just because of the scenery, and it really showcases Vancouver well… the time just passes, the kilometers just kind of click by.”

Vancouver’s Neasa Coll and Chilliwack's Melanie Kassel took home second and third at the women’s BC Half Marathon Championships with respective times of 1:19:15 and 1:23:55. Jane Murage of Kenya clocked in at 1:14:41 to take the overall women’s Half Marathon title.

On the men’s side, Terence Attema, 26, of Abbotsford won the men’s BC Half Marathon Championships with a time of 1:07:02. Jim Finlayson, 43, of Victoria pushed through to second place with a stunning performance of 1:09:54, and Jeremiah Ziak of Vancouver took home third-place with 1:11:05.

Kenyan Paul Kimugul was the overall winner of the Half Marathon at 1:05:01. At the Finish Line, the African embraced his two-year old daughter Lynn, named after the event’s Elite Athlete coordinator, in a nice celebration of his third BMO Vancouver Half Marathon championship title.

Still winning after 45 years, Tom Howard, the first-ever Marathon winner in 1972, 1973 and 1974, took home first in his age category of 65-69 with a time of 36:42 in the 8KM.

“It was a celebration of history, and of amazing regional athletes, recognizing both the 45th year of the Vancouver Marathon and the BC Half Marathon Championships,” says Charlene Krepiakevich, Executive Director of the Vancouver International Marathon Society, the non-profit organization responsible for annually organizing the world-class event.

“Local, regional and international athletes performed for thousands of raving fans around the city to clock podium finishes at the electric downtown Finish Line under blue skies and sunshine.”

“Everyone who crossed that Finish Line is winner,” adds Krepiakevich. “Congratulations and thank you to all for making this another successful event.”


Kipkoech, Murage claim TC 10K titles


April 24, 2016


For her 29th birthday Sunday, Jane Murage received a brand-new watch, a surprise rendition of Happy Birthday from organizers and friends of the Times Colonist 10K Race and many congratulatory mentions from fans along the route on a cool, cloudy morning.

Oh yeah, the Kenyan police officer also received the top prize of $2,000 for claiming her fourth straight TC 10K victory, a feat that's never been accomplished by either a male or female competitor over the 27-year history of the run.

Murage completed the course in 33 minutes and 45 seconds, just two seconds ahead of hard-charging Emily Setlack of Cold Lake, Alta. who, as the top Canadian, added a $1,000 bonus to her $1,000 runner-up finish.

Lindsey Scherf of Mountain View, Calif., was third in 34:20, ahead of Lenah Jerotich of Kenya (34:45) and Victoria’s own Lucy Smith, fifth in 35:59. Smith — a six-time winner of the event, but never with four in a row — did top the masters’ women’s field on this day.

Daniel Kipkoech led a field of top six Kenyans on the men’s side in a time of 29 minutes and 42 seconds, ahead of Christopher Cheruiyot (29:48), Solomon Rotich (30:05), Paul Kimugul (30:06), Leonard Kipkoech (30:46) and Willy Kimosop (31:15). Shoayb Bascal, of the UVic Vikes, was the top Canadian in seventh in 31:21.

“This is like the best day of my life. Winning this day is just like a present to me,” said Murage, who broke away from the pack about eight kilometers in. “I felt good because it was my birthday and I wanted to win.

“I love this race,” added the smiling Murage, who calls the TC 10K her favourite run in North America. “I love Victoria. I love the people and I heard my name, ‘Go Jane, go.’ It’s just perfect. The cheering -—people calling out my name, ‘Jane, Jane, Jane’ — I felt strong.”

As did Setlack, who opted to run without a watch to keep pace of her time.

“I really surprised myself. I didn’t think I was capable of doing that,” said Setlack, who improved her personal best, which she had previously recorded at last week’s Vancouver Sun Run, by 15 seconds. “I really just raced and kept my eyes in front of me.

“I remained there neck-and-neck with the group, but Jane is a very talented runner and she took off in the last two kilometres. I managed to come back, though,” said Setlack, who now focuses on the Canadian half-marathon championship in Calgary at the end of May.

There was also a sprint for third among the men as Rotich managed to overtake Kimugul just at the finish line.

“I found that my pace was not comfortable [early],” said Rotich, who moved up from fifth.

The Kenyans were in a pack for the first five kilometres and it was at the six-kilometre mark, along a windy Dallas Road, that it broke apart with Kipkoech, Kimugul and Cheruiyot leading the way until Rotich legged out the last stretch.

“Coming back was very windy, too much wind [on Dallas Road],” said the men’s champion, Daniel Kipkoech, who won the Goodlife Victoria marathon in 2014 and 2015 and finished sixth last week at the Vancouver Sun Run. “Today, I’m happy because last week, I made a mistake.

“Today was a tactical race and I pushed the last two kilometres. That was my plan and it worked and that’s why I am so happy. Last week, I ran the first 2K too quick and the last 5K I was finished, so today I made a different plan.
“I just said, ‘Let me wait for my time to go.’ I told myself to be patient and then go,” added Kipkoech, who was running the TC 10K for the first time.

In other notable finishes, Victoria’s Jim Finlayson topped the men’s masters field at 32:07, three seconds back of UVic’s Ben Weir who was third among the Canadian men behind his Vikes teammate Bascal and Terence Attema of Abbotsford. Attema was eighth overall and Weir 10th.

Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell was the first to cross the line on the day in the wheelchair race in an unofficial 28:20.

A total of 9.474 racers began the day, including 936 in the Thrifty Foods Family Run. Final numbers on how many finished were not available at press time.

The total prize money was $13,500 with $2,000 to the men’s and women’s winners, $1,000 for second, $500 for third, $250 for fourth and $125 for fifth. Top Canadians earned $1,000.

mannicchiarico@timescolonist.com

 


International Fields Set For TC10K


April 21, 2016


Victoria will be the stage for race six of the BC Super Series on Sunday, as a number of the top finishers from last weeks Vancouver Sun Run seek redemption at the TC10K.

Jane Murage (KEN) returns to defend her hat-trick of victories, having placed third at the Sun Run. To succeed she will undoubtedly have to be close to the event record of 32:54, as she will be challenged by Lindsay Scherf (USA), Emily Setlack (CAN) and Lenah Jerotich (KEN), who were close behind Murage at the Sun Run in fourth, fifth and sixth places respectively. Setlack will be favourite to finish top Canadian following her 34:02 PB last week. Top BC honours are likely to go to ageless Lucy Smith, 6-time winner of the event, and top master.

The mens race is likely to be a Kenyan sweep, but the order on the podium may come down to the tape. Christopher Cheruiyot took second place at the Sun Run, just ahead of 2013 TC10K champion Paul Kimugul. Last years runner up Leornard Kipkoech also returns. And so too does the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon champion Daniel Kipkoech, and another former TC10K champion Willy Kimosop. Top Canadian and BC honours are also likely to be closely contested between Terence Attema (recently moved to BC from ON), UVic stars Shoayb Bascal and Ben Weir, and Jim Finlayson who took the honours last year, as well as finishing top master.

Complete event details at www.tc10k.ca

 


Rio Bound Canadians Triumph at the Vancouver Sun Run


April 19, 2016


Canada Day came early on April 17 as Lanni Marchant, Eric Gillis and Tristan Smyth triumphed over international competition at the 2016 Vancouver Sun Run.

Recaps of their races here:

Lanni Marchant fulfills wish list with Sun Run win

Eric Gillis tries to pad Rio resume by winning second Sun Run men's title

Tristan Smyth wins Sun Run wheelchair division in a breeze

Top BC finishers were Geoff Martinson and Dayna Pidhoresky. Rob Watson, who was absent preparing for the London Marathon, retains his lead atop of the men's BC Super Series rankings. And Pidhoresky takes over top spot in the women's rankings. Complete series rankings will be updated shortly.

Complete Vancouver Sun Run results can be found here.

Video of the top finishers here, thanks to Rick Horne.

 

 


Trevor Hofbauer and Rachel Cliff win Modo Spring Run-Off 8K


March 20, 2016


VANCOUVER. March 20th, 2016. Trevor Hofbauer and Rachel Cliff recorded convincing victories ahead of more than 1,100 runners at Sunday’s Modo Spring Run-Off 8K in Stanley Park. Participants were drawn from 5 provinces and six countries.  The event was “Opening Day” for Canada Running Series 2016, the country’s #1 running circuit, as well as race #4 for the BC Super Series.  It was also an important fundraiser for the Music Heals Foundation.   

Vancouver-based, Rob Watson came in second place with a time of 24:10.  Rob used the run as a hard training day en route to next weekend’s IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff, Wales and then on to the London Marathon in April where he needs to post a “do or die” time better than 2:12:50 in order to qualify for this summer’s Olympic Marathon.  Vancouver’s Kevin Friesen was third with a time of 24:28

“It was a fun day out there,” Said Hofbauer, “The competition was really strong and the weather held up great.  Three of us stuck together for most of the race until the 7K mark where I got away from the group.  I was able to hold them off for the final 1K”

On the women’s side, Rachel Cliff led from Start to Finish to notch a decisive victory. She continued her strong Spring form; coming off a personal best and Course Record time at the St. Patrick’s Day 5K last weekend (16:05), she broke the tape today in 26:47.  Dayna Pidhoresky, also from Vancouver, came in second place at 28:00 and Neasa Coll finished third with a time of 29:44.  Rachel was able to take over the lead in the BC Super Series by winning the 4th event on the calendar.  Rob Watson consolidated his lead in the series with his second place finish.

“I felt really strong today and wanted to be smooth.” said Cliff, ”I kept pace with a group of the guys and then 3 of us took off around the 3K mark.  I split up and held on for the win during the last 1K.”

Participants today ran in support of Music Heals, who raise awareness for Music Therapy programs across Canada.  More than $4,200 was raised for the Charity with fundraising open to April 3rd.   

 “We were thrilled with the turnout today and the quality of the competition,” said Canada Running Series President Alan Brookes, “What a way to launch into Spring.  We want to thank everyone for making this event such a success.  We are very proud to open Canada’s running series in the world’s most beautiful park. Special thanks to the City of Vancouver and Parks Board for allowing us to race here”.

Canada Running Series now moves to Toronto for the sister event, the Race Roster Spring Run Off 8K in High Park on April 9th. It will return to Vancouver on June 26 for Scotiabank Vancouver Half-marathon, race #9 in the BC Super Series. Meanwhile the BC Super Series resumes on April 17 with the Vancouver Sun Run.

Modo Spring Run Off 8K Male:   

  1. Trevor Hafbauer                          23:48
  2. Rob Watson                                   24:10
  3. Kevin Friesen                                24:28

Modo Spring Run Off 8K Female:

  1. Rachel Cliff                                     26:47
  2. Dayna Pidhoresky                       28:00
  3. Neasa Coll                                      29:44

Complete results can be found at www.springrunoff.ca   

BC Super Series rankings will be updated as soon as complete results are confirmed.


Internationals Lining Up at the Modo Spring Run-Off 8K


March 17, 2016


(Vancouver, BC – March 17, 2016) Another star-studded field will toe the line for the Modo Spring Run-Off 8K, the fourth race in the BC Super Series, on Sunday morning in Vancouver’s Stanley Park.

Headlining the Canada Running Series event is one of Canada’s best marathoners with aspirations of qualifying for the Olympics later this year. Rob Watson has the London Marathon on April 24 as his primary goal. Before that he will be representing Canada at the World Half Marathon Championships in Wales on March 26.

Despite winning the first BC Super Series race, the Harriers Pioneer 8K in January, with marathon preparation in his legs Watson will be hard pressed to win by two in-form shorter distance specialists. Calgary’s Trevor Hofbauer made up half of Canada’s NACAC 10K winning team in Puerto Rico last month. While Kevin Friesen beat Watson by 21 seconds last weekend at the BC 5K Championship.

Adding a new mix to the field is another Canada international Terence Attema, who recently moved to BC from Ontario.

The women’s race is led by the same 1-2 as topped the podium at last Saturday’s St Patrick’s Day 5K, Rachel Cliff and Dayna Pidhoresky. Cliff won the 5K Championship in a course record 16:05, with Pidhoresky 35 seconds back. And Pidhoresky won the “First Half” Half Marathon in February. Whoever wins on Sunday will likely move to the top of the BC Super Series rankings.

Watson meanwhile is all but assured of remaining top of the men’s rankings, having run all races to date.

Watson was pleased to learn that Music Heals is the featured charity in this year’s Modo 8k, being a huge music lover himself. In fact, the Executive Director, Chris Brandt, will be among those who toe the starting line but with slightly different expectations. Brandt says he is delighted the charity will again benefit from the association with Canada Running Series.

Racing gets underway at 10:00am, with the start and finish located at the Stanley Park Pavilion. And in keeping with the charity theme, the post race party will feature live music from Dominique Fricot.

The BC Super Series is a collaboration between BC Athletics and 12 of BC’s best road races, BC Super Series. The next event is the Vancouver Sun Run 10K on April 17.


Bruchet and Cliff Set Course Records to Win BC 5K Championship


March 12, 2016


The weather gods smiled on the BMO St Patrick’s Day 5K, as the forecast wind and rain did not materialize, the sun breaking through to provide perfect conditions for the BC 5K Championship and the third race in the BC Super Series in Vancouver’s Stanley Park on Saturday morning.

A large group pursued the Masarati pace car off the start line, and after the initial downhill rush Lucas Bruchet moved to the front to control the race. Passing the mile in 4:24 he was 25 meters clear of the chase group of Chris Winter, Justin Kent and Kevin Friesen, with Thomas Riva 10 meters further back.

Bruchet never let up, extending his lead around the rest of the course, storming back up the hill to the finish in 14:22 to break Geoff Martinson’s course record time by 2 seconds. The race for second remained undecided until the final strides, as Winter just held off Kent, both clocking 14:34. And Friesen was not far behind in 14:36.

Rachel Cliff dominated the womens race from the start. By the mile, reached in 4:50, she had created a gap of 50 meters over Dayna Pidhoresky and Erica Digby, who were running together. She too did not let up around the rest of the course, coming home in 16:05 to break her own course record by 9 seconds. Pidhoresky pulled away up the hill for second in 16:40, with Digby third in 16:51. Anne-Marie Madden, who was only 11th at the mile, snatched 4th place from Catherine Watkins, 17:02 and 17:03.

With their overall wins, course record bonuses, mile bonuses and BC Championship titles, Bruchet and Cliff each profited by $900.

Watkins had the consolation of finishing top master. While on the men’s side Kevin O’Connor was top master in 15:37. With his run O’Connor will have kept second place in the BC Super Series. Series leader Rob Watson, who ran 15K warming up today as he prepares for the London Marathon, was 7th today.

Former national champions Nancy Tinari and Thelma Wright won their respective age divisions. And many more were rewarded with Irish stew, beer and a jig at the finish.

Complete results at https://www.startlinetiming.com/en/races/2016/stpat

The BC Super Series returns to Stanley Park next Sunday for the Modo Spring Run-Off 8K, for which online registration closes on Monday. Series rankings will be updated once today’s results are finalized.

 


Olympic Hopefuls to Contest the BC 5K Championship on Saturday


March 08, 2016


(Vancouver, BC – March 8, 2016) Saturday morning will see sub-4 minute milers, national champions, and international marathoners in head-to-head competition around Vancouver’s Stanley Park at the BMO St Patrick’s Day 5K. The 5K distance is always an intriguing race, pitting middle-distance against endurance specialists, and the third event in the BC Super Series brings them together for the BC Championship.

“I have a passion to put on the most competitive race we can over the distance” says race director Steve Mattina. “The BC Super Series is trying to gather like-minded events to support the pursuit of competitive running and the dreams of Canadian athletes to achieve all their goals.”

A tight five-way battle is anticipated for the men’s Championship, with a $250 bonus on offer for breaking the course record of 14:25.

  • Series leader Rob Watson steps down in distance as he prepares to qualify for Rio at the London Marathon next month.
  • Former Canadian Cross Country Champion Chris Winter has already run an Olympic qualifying time in the steeplechase, and finished second to Watson at the opening Series event, the Harriers Pioneer 8K in January.
  • Lucas Bruchet is another former Canadian Cross Country Champion, and a sub-4 minute miler, who placed fourth at last years Canadian 5K Championship.
  • Bruchet’s training partner Justin Kent finished a place behind him at the Canadian 5K Championship.
  • Thomas Riva has the fastest credentials, also having broken the 4-minute mile barrier, and run 3:37 for 1500m last summer. This will be a step up in distance for him.

The women’s Championship may have less contenders, but nevertheless could produce a course record.

  • Two-time defending champion and 16:15 course record holder Rachel Cliff returns, hoping for the hat-trick.
  • Also returning is last years runner-up Dayna Pidhoresky, fresh off winning the last BC Super Series event, the “First Half” Half Marathon.
  • Both will have to be at their best to beat last summer’s breakout performer Fiona Benson, who has a Rio qualifying time at both 800m and 1500m.
  • PanAm Games marathoner Catherine Watkins will likely be not far behind, and should be the top master.

While the serious athletes may have the BC Championship as their goal, many more will come dressed in costume, and will stay for the Irish themed after-party. Proceeds from the event benefit the Canadian Diabetes Society.

The race starts at 9:30am on Pipeline Drive, and circles around Brockton Point, before finishing back up Pipeline to the Stanley Park Pavilion.

Online registration for the BMO St Patrick’s Day 5K closes on Wednesday night. Complete race information at http://www.stpatricks5k.com/

The BC Super Series is a collaboration between BC Athletics and 12 of BC’s best road races, http://www.bcathletics.org/BCSuperSeries/. The next event is the Modo Spring Run-Off 8K on March 20.


Pidhoresky successfully defends, and Gillis triumphs at First Half


February 15, 2016


A wet and cool Valentines Day did not dampen spirits at the 27th “First Half” Half Marathon, the second race in the BC Super Series. Although the winning times were not as quick as hoped for, the depth of the fields was impressive, with eight women finishing under 1:20.

From the gun the lead trio of men quickly separated themselves from the rest of the field. Eric Gillis, Rob Watson and Kip Kangogo set out with a World Half Marathon qualifying time of 1:04 as their target, but it quickly became apparent that conditions were against them. Kangogo was the first to fall off the pace as they passed English Bay. And after the Georgia Street underpass, Gillis was on his own out front as Watson was feeling the chill.

Gillis passed 10K in 30:31, 100m clear of Watson, and continued to extend the gap all the way to the finish, to win $800 for the victory in 1:05:46. Watson persevered for second in 1:07:39. Kevin Coffey, who ran alone for the first 15K, caught and passed Kangogo at Second Beach, to take third in 1:08:21. Kangogo, also not enjoying the damp, finished fourth in 1:09:09. And Logan Roots rounded out the money winners in a PB of 1:09:39 for fifth.

Kevin O’Connor narrowly missed ducking under 1:10 for the M4549 Canadian Masters record, finishing in 1:10:10. His consolation was beating 3-time masters champion Jim Finlayson.

Dayna Pidhoresky made her intentions clear from the gun, as Krista DuChene and Erin Burrett allowed her to break away in the first mile. Reaching 10K in 35:01, she was over a minute clear of DuChene and Burrett who were still running together. From there her pace slowed to match her pursuers. But being largely out of sight on the winding seawall, there was never any danger of them reeling her in.

Pidhoresky won comfortably in 1:15:11, a minute quicker than her winning time last year, and the joint fifth best time ever recorded at the First Half. DuChene was finally able to drop her shadow in the second half, but Burrett never gave up the chase, as they finished in 1:16:20 and 1:16:30 respectively. The surprise came in fourth place as Karen Tulloch finished strong to beat many more favoured athletes in 1:17:26. Top master Catherine Watkins was happy with her fifth place in 1:18:08.

Behind the winners the masses came, with just over 2000 total finishers. They included Team Hamm and Legs and Team Josh, two young wheelchair athletes who have benefitted from support from Variety – the Children’s Charity. The First Half once again donated $50,000 to the charity as part of the 50th annual Variety Show of Hearts Telethon.

Complete results, http://www.startlinetiming.com/en/races/2016/fhhm

Rankings in the BC Super Series will be updated shortly, once results are finalized.

Next up in the BC Super Series is the BMO St Patrick’s Day 5K in Vancouver’s Stanley Park on March 12, which also serves as the 2016 BC 5K Championship.


Rio bound Gillis and DuChene to race the “First Half” – February 14


February 09, 2016


(Vancouver, BC – February 7, 2016) The 27th edition of the Pacific Road Runners “First Half” Half Marathon on February 14th will feature some of Canada’s best endurance runners as they prepare for Rio this summer. Keen competition is anticipated in both the men’s and women’s races, with the event records under threat if conditions are favourable.

Also at stake will be places on the Canadian team at the upcoming IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff, WAL next month. And additionally the “First Half” is the second race in the 2016 BC Super Series, a collaboration between BC Athletics and 12 of BC’s best road races.

Two time Olympian Eric Gillis (Guelph, ON) already posted a Rio qualifying time last fall at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Rob Watson (Vancouver, BC) and Kip Kangogo (Lethbridge, AB), who both represented Canada in the marathon at last summer’s Pan Am Games in Toronto, are still seeking qualification for Rio.

Watson recently ran 1:03:58 at the Houston Half Marathon, placing him second on the Canadian rankings for selection to the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. Gillis and Kangogo will have to run faster than 1:04:03 to move into the top 3 for selection. The course record is 1:04:21, set by Dylan Wykes in 2012. Wykes, who also won in 2015, will not be defending his title this year.

The women’s race will also feature a trio of talent. Krista DuChene (Brantford, ON), like Gillis, has already qualified for Rio in Rotterdam last spring. Dayna Pidhoresky (Vancouver, BC) will return to defend her title. And last years runner-up, Erin Burrett (Nanaimo, BC) will also return.

All three women recently ran in Houston, where DuChene beat Burrett by 23 seconds in the half marathon, and Pidhoresky had to abort her attempt in the marathon. Like the men, the course record of 1:12:47, set by Tina Connelly in 2004, will have to be bettered for any of them to qualify for the World Half Marathon Championships. 1:12:25 being the time to beat.

Another 2015 Pan Am Games marathon representative, Catherine Watkins (Vancouver, BC), will have to be at her best to win the masters title, as she will be up against Marilyn Arsenault (Victoria, BC) and Lucy Smith (Victoria, BC). While three-time masters winner and 1:07:03 course record holder Jim Finlayson (Victoria, BC) will return again, with his competition likely to come from Oliver Utting (Burnaby, BC) and Kevin O’Connor (Vancouver, BC).

The oldest competitors will be 88 year old BJ McHugh from North Vancouver, who has set a number of world age best performances at previous “First Half”s; and 81 year old Roger Roufosse from Surrey.

For many the “First Half” has become an annual tradition. Henny Coates of Vancouver has completed the race 22 times. “Everyone has their personal goals and motivations for doing the race”, says this year’s race director David Parker. “The goal of the Pacific Road Runners is to provide a top class competition for runners of all abilities, and use the proceeds to benefit the local community”.

Proceeds from the event benefit Variety – The Children’s Charity. The 50th Show of Hearts Telethon will be underway while the race is being run. This year’s “First Half” contribution of $50,000 brings total donations to over $700,000 since 1995.

“The Pacific Road Runners having been teaming up with us for 21 years and we greatly appreciate their support,” says Kristy Gill, Variety’s executive director. “Just like the runners in this race, Variety kids strive to reach their full potential. Variety steps in to help kids with special needs on their individual journeys, and our thanks goes to the Pacific Road Runners for their outstanding support.”

Starting and finishing at the Roundhouse Community Centre, the route includes a circuit of the Stanley Park seawall. The race gets underway at 8:30am, with a loop around BC Place, before heading out to Stanley Park. The winners will return to the Roundhouse shortly after 9:30am.

The race sold out all 2,000 entries in under 24 hours last November, and has attracted entrants from six Provinces and six States, as well as from South Africa and Estonia.

Additional information on the event website: www.pacificroadrunners.ca/firsthalf

Pacific Road Runners (PRR) is a recreational running club, with members interested in leading a fit and active lifestyle combined with social events; meeting Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the False Creek Community Centre on Granville Island.


Watson and Wodak Winners of the Harriers Pioneer 8K


January 10, 2016


The Prairie Inn Harriers launched the new BC Super Series in style with a stellar field for the Pioneer 8K. Conditions were perfect for fast times, and a collection of Canadian internationals did not disappoint. 

After the initial downhill rush, Rob Watson emerged at the front of the field of over 500 runners. Forcing the pace, he opened a gap on his competitors on the first uphill around the 2K mark, before reaching halfway in 11:51, 40 meters ahead of the trio of Chris Winter, Brandon Lord and Dylan Wykes. Watson extended his advantage to 75 meters, before the battle between Winter and Lord started to reel Watson in with 400m to go. However, Watson’s lead was more than enough, as he broke the tape in 23:47, eight seconds ahead of Winter in 23:55, with Lord a couple of steps behind in 23:56. Wykes had to settle for fourth in 24:12.

Natasha Wodak set a Canadian 8K record of 25:28 on this course in 2013. She was not able to approach that time today, but nevertheless won the event for the fifth time, six seconds faster than last year, in 26:31. She led from the gun, passing halfway in about 13:10. Her training partner, Rachel Cliff, was equally untroubled in second, finishing in 27:10. Rounding out the podium was the ageless Lucy Smith, who first won the race in 1992, and today was top master in 28:27. Masters rival Marilyn Arsenault wasn’t far behind in 29:05

Kevin O’Connor surprised himself with a 25:43 clocking to take top spot in the men’s masters race, ahead of Canadian Masters Cross Country Champion, Craig Odermatt.

The first major competition of 2016 was also the first event in the 2016 Frontrunners Island Race Series, which continues in two weeks time with the Cobble Hill 10K. Race Two in the BC Super Seriesis the Pacific Road Runners “First Half” Half Marathon in Vancouver on February 14, where another outstanding field is anticipated.

Complete results of the Harriers Pioneer 8K are here.


BC Super Series Launches with Serious Competition on Sunday


January 08, 2016


Some of BC’s best road runners will help kick off the inaugural race of the new BC Super Series on Sunday – the Harriers Pioneer 8K in Saanichton on Vancouver Island.

An intriguing men’s competition will feature Olympic marathoner Dylan Wykes, Commonwealth Games steeplechaser Chris Winter, PanAm Games marathoner Rob Watson, and FISU 10,000m representative Brandon Lord, as well as members of the University of Victoria CIS Championship winning cross country team.

The women’s race will feature recently crowned Canadian Cross Country Champion Natasha Wodak, who set a Canadian 8K record on this course in 2014, and her training partner who finished third at the Cross Country championships, Rachel Cliff, as well as the World 50K Championship Bronze medallist Catrin Jones.

The masters competition will be equally compelling, with Canadian Masters Cross Country Champion Craig Odermatt up against Kevin O’Connor and Jim Finlayson. And on the womens side Marilyn Arsenault and Lucy Smith will do battle.

The BC Super Series is a collaboration between BC Athletics and 12 of BC’s best road races, which bring the best athletes in BC together in competition, and encourage participation from all abilities.

The 12 races were selected based on the quality of the events and the competitiveness of their fields. They include BC Championship races at 5K, 8K, 10K, Half and Full Marathon distances. Collectively the 12 events will bring together over 100,000 participants, present over $100,000 in prize money, and raise over $1,000,000 for charity in 2016.

Complete series details at www.bcathletics.org/BCSuperSeries

The Harriers Pioneer 8K is also the first race in the 2016 Frontrunners Island Race Series. The race starts at 11:00am from the Saanich Fairgrounds. Entries will be taken on the day. Results will be posted at racedaytiming.ca


BC Super Series Promotes Participation and Performance in 2016


November 10, 2015


(Vancouver, BC – November 10, 2015) BC Athletics, in collaboration with twelve of BC’s best road races, will launch the BC Super Series in 2016. Attracting more than 100,000 participants, and featuring more than $100,000 in prize money, the races bring the best athletes in BC together in competition, and encourage participation from all abilities.

Kicking off at the Harriers Pioneer 8K in January, the BC Super Series will make stops in Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna before concluding at the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon in October.  Included in the series will be BC Championship races at 5K, 8K, 10K, Half and Full Marathon distances.

“I really like the idea of the BC Super Series,” said Kimberley Doerksen. “It's a fun way to have competition outside of just one race.”

Participants must compete in four or more races to qualify for BC Super Series awards. Recognition will be given to top overall performers, top masters, rookie of the year, and frequent finishers.

“I love this idea! I think it will get all of us elites out to more road races together,” said masters’ athlete Catherine Watkins.

The twelve races were selected based on the quality of the events and the competitiveness of their fields. The 2016 BC Super Series events are:

  • Harriers Pioneer 8K
  • Pacific Road Runners “First Half” Half Marathon
  • BMO St Patrick’s Day 5K*
  • Modo Spring Run-Off 8K
  • Vancouver Sun Run 10K
  • TC10K
  • BMO Vancouver Half Marathon*
  • BlueShore Financial Longest Day 5K
  • Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon
  • Fresh Air Midsummer 8K*
  • Vancouver Eastside 10K*
  • GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon*

      *BC Championship race

“The Vancouver International Marathon Society is thrilled to be a part of the BC Super Series, and to host the BC Half Marathon Championships at the BMO Vancouver Marathon on May 1st, 2016,” said Charlene Krepiakevich, Executive Director. “We are certain Vancouverites will be excited to watch and cheer for our top BC athletes as they compete for this title.”

BC Athletics is the Provincial non-profit amateur sport organization for Track & Field, Road Running, Marathons/Ultras, Cross Country/Trail Running and Race Walking. A Branch member of Athletics Canada, BC Athletics is made up of individual members, member clubs and affiliated organizations. The purpose of the Association is to promote, encourage and develop the widest participation and the highest proficiency in the sport of Athletics.

http://www.bcathletics.org/BCSuperSeries/