Edmonton’s Leonard Chesoo (29:28) and Vancouver’s Natasha Wodak (33:15) stormed to new course records in front of a sold-out crowd of 7,000 enthusiastic runners. It was a fine morning for running in the Alberta capital: 15 Celcius, overcast, and no wind. The scenic course, which took participants through the heart of the city and along the High Level Bridge, attracted Olympians and recreational runners from across the country and the U.S. In fact, “Guests from seven provinces, two territories, eleven states, and six (6!) countries traveled to Edmonton for today’s 10K. It was a world-wide running meetup and the energy was palpable! It was just a massive celebration of running and a healthy, mindful lifestyle.” said Alan Brookes, President, Canada Running Series.
More than a run, the race was an experience; in addition to custom medals, a donut wall, free massages, DJ Joanna Magic, a lululemon pop-up shop and a post-race party zone, runners were also treated to two community yoga classes led by lululemon Global Yoga Ambassador, Ryan Leier.
“This is a race to celebrate the city of Edmonton and all the fantastic people who choose to call it home,” says Natalie Westlake, Director, North America Community, lululemon. “Since its inception two years ago, the race has grown in popularity, this year selling out in 10 hours. Every runner gets to experience the city in a special way—whether it’s through running across the High Level Bridge, experiencing the sense of community at the post-race party, or celebrating the fact that we have raised more than $35,000 for our charitable partner Wellspring Edmonton.”
With eight cheer stations along the route, the community extended beyond those wearing bibs. Hundreds of spectators cheered on runners along the course, shouting words of encouragement and waving motivational signs, with help from ivivva by lululemon cheerleaders, Kokopelli Choir and CycleBar.
At press time, the lululemon Edmonton 10K had raised more than $35,000 for lululemon’s social impact program “Here To Be” and Edmonton-based charity, Wellspring Edmonton.
In the second year of this increasingly popular event, both Chesoo and Wodak set new course records. Evan Esselink followed Chesoo in second place with a huge PB, and Canadian marathon record-holder, Cam Levins, out-sprinted defending champion Reid Coolsaet and London, Ontario’s Chris Balestrini for third, fourth, and fifth. Calgary Olympian, Jessica O’Connell was second in the women’s field, with Torontonian Gladys Tarus following in third.
Defending champion, Reid Coolseat, was pleasantly surprised with his fourth-place finish saying, “I’m happy with my race considering how close this race came after the Ottawa marathon. It was good to kick it in with Cam even though he edged me out of the podium”.
Women’s champ, Natasha Wodak, was also pleased with the win, “I was in front the whole way and thought Jess would be with me, but she held back,” she continued, “I’m in a bit of a relaxed part of my season and since the Vancouver Scotia half and will now start increasing intensity in preparation for the Pan Am Games 10,000m on August 6th.”
After a spectacular day in the Alberta capital Canada Running Series will take a short summer hiatus before moving on to Vancouver for the Eastside 10K and Toronto for the Oasis Zoo Run in September.
Edmonton 10K Results
1. Leonard Chesoo, Edmonton – 29:28
2. Evan Esselink, Guelph – 29:57
3. Cameron Levins, Portland – 30:14
4. Reid Coolsaet, Hamilton – 30:15
5. Chris Balestrini, London – 30:15
1. Natasha Wodak, North Vancouver – 33:15
2. Jessica O’Connell, Calgary – 33:50
3. Gladys Tarus, Toronto– 35:02
4. Christy Lovig, Kelowna – 37:02
5. Alecia Kallos, Edmonton – 37:05
For full race results, visit: Edmonton10K.com