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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/