Hunt and Wodak first BC Champions of 2015. Maurice Tarrant sets Canadian age record

Damp, misty conditions greeted participants in the 2015 BC 8K Championship, also the first race of the Frontrunners Island Race Series and the BC Road Running Series – the Harriers Pioneer 8K. The race started and finished at Saanich Fairgrounds, and was hosted by the Prairie Inn Harriers (PIH). There were 606 finishers.

Vancouver’s Theo Hunt won the 36th Annual event in 24:59, 47 seconds off his personal best. Second was Port Moody’s John Corbit in 25:02 and third was Victoria’s Jim Finlayson in 25:47. Finlayson was also the top Master.

Hunt – who runs for Point Grey Track & Field Club – was pleased with his race. “I felt good and ran smooth from the start. John was with me until around 7 km, then I pulled away,” he said afterwards. He plans to run the Lower Mainland Race Series and to qualify for the World University Games in South Korea in July. “I run distances from 1500 metres to 10K, but by far I am most successful in cross-country,” he added.

The women’s race was won by course record holder Natasha Wodak in 26:37. She dominated the field beating out last year’s winner Erin Burrett, who finished second, in 27:16. Burrett runs for the Bastion Running Club in Nanaimo. Third and top women’s master was Victoria’s Marilyn Arsenault, finishing in 28:19.

Wodak, who also lives in Vancouver, set the Pioneer course record and a Canadian 8K record of 25:28 in 2013. She was never really challenged today. “I decided to go out with the boys and I felt really good,” she said. “I love this race – it’s a favourite of mine.” She has a busy year of racing: “I want to run the 10,000 metres at the Pan Ams, participate in the world cross-country championships in March and also do a fall marathon.

“The High Performance athlete component of the Harriers Pioneer 8K was outstanding with several excellent runners from the Lower Mainland joining top level athletes from Vancouver Island,” said Bob Reid, High Performance Athlete Director. ”BC 8K Road Running Champions were crowned at the event with Theo Hunt and Natasha Wodak, both from Vancouver, winning the open division and Jim Finlayson and Marilyn Arsenault, both from Victoria, capturing the masters' division.  Open division runners-up were John Corbit, Port Moody, and Erin Burrett, Nanaimo, while Craig Odermatt, Victoria, and Lucy Smith, Sidney, placed second in the masters' division of the championships. Wodak, Smith, Finlayson and Odermatt are all members of the host club, Prairie Inn Harriers.”

There were some outstanding age group marks. Finn Battersby in the Boys 1-15 (29:35); Marilyn Arsenault in W45-49 (28:19), and Mark Bennett at age 54 (26:49). In the new M85-89 age category Maurice Tarrant finished in 50:02, a new Canadian record for this age division by over 4 minutes.

“The weather was a balmy 7 degrees with no precipitation, so perfect conditions for racing,” said Kathleen Birney, Race Director. “46 clubs were represented by racers with the largest contingent coming from the Prairie Inn Harriers with 64 runners.”

Full race results are available on: 

And BC Championships here.