March 13, 2018
A captivating head-to-head contest between two in-form Canadian record holders will highlight Saturday’s St Patrick’s Day 5K presented by BMO, the 2018 BC 5K Championship and the fourth race in the BC Super Series.
Rachel Cliff, who set the Canadian Half Marathon record of 1:10:08 in Texas earlier this month, will face the Canadian 10,000m (track) and 8K (road) record holder Natasha Wodak, as both athletes make final preparations for the 10,000m at the Commonwealth Games in Australia next month. Cliff and Wodak are no strangers to each other, having found themselves in the same race on 10 previous occasions over the past year, with each coming out top 5 times. Cliff is a three-time former winner of the St Patrick’s Day 5K, and also the event record holder at 16:05, a time which if beaten on Saturday will earn the winner a $250 bonus courtesy of Saucony on top of $500 for the win.
Olympian Lucas Bruchet will also be looking to improve the men’s course record of 14:22, a time he ran in 2016. His chief rival is likely to be Rob Denault from Ontario, but training at the Athletics Canada Western Hub in Victoria. Denault ran 14:12 in California last November, the fastest 5K by a Canadian in 2017. On their last meeting, Bruchet ran out a convincing winner at the BC Cross Country Championships, before going on to win the Canadian Cross Country Championship in Kingston, ON.
Looking to spoil the party will be a host of other talent. World Championship marathoner Dayna Pidhoresky will not relinquish the title she won last year easily, and will be eager to add another title to the BC 8K Championship she won in January. Lindsay Carson and Erica Digby, fresh off representing Canada at the Pan American Cross Country Championships will also be in the hunt. So too will be Vancouver Eastside 10K champion Sarah Inglis, and Robyn Mildren who sits second in the BC Super Series rankings behind Cliff.
On the men’s side, a quartet of representatives from last month’s Pan American Cross Country Championships will challenge for the podium, led by recent BC 8K Champion Justin Kent, UBC standout John Gay, Theo Hunt and talented Junior Tyler Dozzi. And Jesse Hooton and Rob Watson will be looking to maintain their place atop of the BC Super Series rankings.
Having come close to having 50 finishers under 17 minutes the last two years, race organizers Karen Warrendorf and Steve Mattina are hoping to break that particular barrier this year. And with representation from all of BC’s university programs taking part, chances are good that this may be Canada’s most competitive 5K race in 2018.
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 Association, with over $100,000 donated to date.
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 22.