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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