More than 6,700 people took part in the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon and 5k, raising an estimated $970,000 for 70 local charities through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. This brings the grand total since 2007 to over $8 million.
Photo credit: Inge Johnson/Canada Running Series
by Paul Gains
Injury free for nearly two years now, Dayna Pidhoresky has been enjoying an unprecedented block of consistent training and is raring to go at the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon & 5k on June 24th, a Canada Running Series event.
“I want to win for sure,” the 31 year-old Vancouver resident says of her goals. “Time-wise it depends on the day. If I am feeling good then maybe I can really push it a little bit more. I think the main thing is to get some Canada Running Series (CRS) points and try to win.
“Last year I ran really slow there because I was in my marathon recovery phase, so I am in need of a little bit of redemption. I am familiar with the course now and I know the second half can be harder coming off a pretty long downhill section. I think Natasha (Wodak) is doing it so it will be good if she ends up racing – I am ready to put up a fight.”
She laughs at her last comment knowing that Wodak registered a fine 5th place finish at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and remains the Canadian 10,000m record holder at 31:41.59.
At the same time Pidhoresky has enjoyed an impressive start to the 2018 season. In March she won the Around The Bay 30k Road Race in Hamilton, scored a personal best 10k when she finished 5th in the Vancouver Sun Run and then claimed the silver medal at the Canadian Half Marathon Championships in Calgary. Toronto’s Sasha Gollish was the victor that day.
“So far I have been very consistent,” Pidhoresky declares. “I haven’t had that special race that I have been wanting where everything kind of shines, but I have put in a lot of solid races. The main thing is I have been healthy – no injuries at all for going on two years.”
During the 2016 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon she suffered a painful sacral fracture that crushed her physically and emotionally. Yet she battled back seven months later to run a personal best marathon of 2:36:08 in Ottawa. That performance has led to selection for the Canadian team at the 2017 World Championships marathon in London, and suggestions that she is destined to follow Lanni Marchant and Krista DuChene into the ranks of top international class marathoning.
The men’s field features Lethbridge’s Kip Kangogo who last year won this race for the sixth time, and former Canadian international Rob Watson, of Vancouver. To view the complete elite field for the 2018 Scotiabank Half Marathon & 5k, please click here.
Kangogo was 4th in the half marathon at the Vancouver Marathon festival in early May, then three weeks later, finished 2nd at the Canadian Half Marathon Championships in Calgary. Despite his advanced years – he will be 39 next month – the Kenyan born Canadian citizen never fails to turn up ready to do battle, and perhaps feels he owns this race.
Watson ran 2:13:29 at the 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and once claimed to have retired. Yet his ‘fun running’ has left him in fairly good condition. Despite extensive coaching duties with the Mile2Marathon group, he has returned to serious training to win the Vancouver Marathon last month. He also finished 5th in the Vancouver Sun Run in a very good 30:01. On such evidence this certainly promises to be a competitive race.
The picturesque course starts on the grounds of the University of British Columbia and traces the Pacific Ocean shoreline through Point Grey and Kitsilano to Stanley Park. With turns, some hills and the challenging climb over Burrard Bridge at 18km the event records are quite extraordinary. Lioudmila Kortchaguina set the women’s record of 70:50 in 2003 while Kenya’s Patrick Nthwia ran 63:10 in 2007 to establish the men’s standard.
The top Canadian man and woman will each receive $1,500 as well as 45 CRS points which count toward the overall title and the accompanying $3,000 awarded to title winners.
For further information and last-minute entries, see www.scotiahalf.ca.
Natasha Wodak, 36, Vancouver
“You know it’s just about fun for me I really want to enjoy the race.”
The Toronto Waterfront 10k defending champion, Natasha Wodak is the Canadian 10,000m record holder (31:41.59) and represented Canada at the 2016 Olympic Games.
How Natasha prepares for the race:
“Generally when I come to Toronto the races are in the morning so it’s a little tricky with it being three hours time difference. Usually I am getting only 5 or 6 hours sleep. I will go to bed at midnight and get up at 5:30 a.m. and that works fine me
I like to be at the start an hour and ten minutes before, to get settled and begin my warm up. If I am away I will usually have a coffee and a chocolate chip/coconut energy bar. I try to aim for 250 calories before a 5 or 10k. If I am at home or a place where it’s available, I will have a piece of multigrain toast with peanut butter and banana. But I need that two hours before the race.”
Reid Coolsaet, 34, Hamilton
“I haven’t looked closely at the competition, but I’d be going for the win.”
Reid Coolsaet is a two time Canadian Olympic marathoner and father of two. Coolsaet is the second fastest marathoner in Canadian history with a personal best of 2:10:28.
How Reid prepares for the race:
“Waterfront 10k morning is going to be an early morning. I usually eat oatmeal then an energy gel thirty minutes before the race and a sports drink throughout the morning.
Even if I’ve had a bad sleep, once I drink a couple of cups of tea with caffeine before the race, I am never tired for the race. For Waterfront 10k I will wake up at 4:30 a.m. Hopefully I can fall asleep at 9:30 p.m.”
Sasha Gollish, 35, Toronto
“A fun time and a good race, because really you cannot ask for much more than that, right!?”
Sasha Gollish is an extremely versatile distance runner. She has a 1,500m personal best of 4:07.08 and claimed the 1,500m bronze medal at the 2015 Pan Am Games.
How Sasha prepares for the race:
“I will probably get up somewhere around 4:30 a.m. to make sure I can get a proper breakfast in. I’ll likely stick with what I eat on ‘tempo saturdays’ which is a bowl of greek yogurt and some berries. And of course, coffee with a splash of milk.
In all honesty, I’ll probably go to bed when I feel tired. Recovery after the race will be really important, so I’ll be sure to go to bed early the night of race day. I am not worried if I don’t get a good night sleep before a race, as long as the sleep before that night has been sufficient I know I’m going to be ok.”
Krista DuChene, 41, Brantford
“I will not be running any super fast personal best times. So something around 35 minutes I will be happy with.”
Krista DuChene, a Brantford, Ontario mother of three ran the second fastest marathon ever by a Canadian with her 2:28:32 at the 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. She represented Canada at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
How Krista prepares for the race:
“I am used to running early in the morning so that is not something that would concern me. I would plan to have an early dinner the night before, be finished by 6 and get to bed early between 9 and 10 p.m.
It depends on when we are catching a bus to the start. I will probably wake up 5 a.m. or 4:30 a.m. have my usual bagel with honey, a few coffees drink some sports drink. That would work for me.”
To view the full start list click here.
Introducing our Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k Elite Field.
|Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon Male Elite Athletes|
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|Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon Female Elite Athletes|
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The top men’s performer of the 2017 Canada Running Series drops a sub-2:19 performance at the 2018 Ottawa Marathon
With the holidays just around the corner, we asked some of the elites that have graced us with their presence on the start line about some of their favourite holiday gift, traditions, and ideas for other runners. We heard from Trevor Hofbauer, Catherine Watkins, Dylan Wykes, Leslie Sexton, and Kate Gustafson.
What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
Trevor Hofbauer: The best Christmas gift I ever received was a Nintendo 64. The N64 is a classic and it logged hundreds of gaming hours. The best running related gift I ever received was a Petzl headlamp. It has 3 settings at 50-lumens, 100, and 150. It gets put to use frequently throughout the winter and periodically in the summer during early morning runs and around the campfire.
Kate Gustafson: Composite hockey stick. As a teenager, this was so epic!
Catherine Watkins: The best gifts for me are experience gifts with a destination or an activity (Escape the Room or a Broadway Show for example). I love the long lasting memories these kind of gifts leave me with.
Dylan Wykes: Goalie pads. When I was 13.
Leslie Sexton: I got a Garmin Forerunner 205 about ten years ago. It was big and bulky and took a while to connect with satellites, but it told me how far I ran and how fast, so I loved it. I upgraded to a 220 a few years ago.
What the best gift for a runner?
Trevor: The best gift is definitely a headlamp. It’s a multipurpose gift that can be used all year round.
Kate: A gift certificate to a local spa (with a massage included), hands down. This is such a treat.
Catherine: Gift certificates for race entries, babysitting services to look after their children while they race/train, homemade cookies (runners always love a good cookie), or a great running watch.
Dylan: Gloves, headlamp, socks, wind protective undies (if you live east of the Rockies…). All the stuff you never think of, but that is essential, and can’t hurt to have a lot of, especially for winter running. A good running book is great at Christmas too; Once a Runner is the classic.
Leslie: Winter running socks! It may not sound very exciting but a good pair of merino wool socks can cost $20 so it is something a lot of people wouldn’t buy for themselves, making it a practical and thoughtful gift for a runner training through the winter. For guys, a pair of winter running boxers with a windproof material in the front is also an essential winter apparel item, so get one for the runner dude in your life.
Favourite part of Christmas / holiday season?
Trevor: Spending time with family and friends.
Kate: Hmmm, my dad’s fruit salad on Christmas morning is something I always look forward to. If I’m at home, I love to run on Christmas day with my younger brother on the snowy roads in Northern Ontario, it’s not fast but it’s always fun.
Catherine: My favourite parts of Christmas are the traditions. Going out with the family to get the tree, decorating the tree while drinking hot chocolate and eating Christmas cookies and reminiscing about where the ornaments came from. I also love the food !!
Dylan: Eating & Drinking with friends and family. I also like to getting out for a run on Christmas Day every year. Now it’s with my two little girls! We’ll see how long that tradition lasts…
Leslie: I usually have a pretty quiet Christmas day because I race the Boxing Day 10-miler the following day in Hamilton, Ontario. After that I visit family and refuel with the traditional Christmas turkey dinner. I always bring desserts: homemade brownies and Nanaimo bars.
Some of our favourite places to shop for running gifts:
Over the last 12 months it has become a fairly common occurrence for the Vancouver running community to see me out on the streets tackling a road race. Over the last year I have walked in 10km, half marathon and full marathon races, and ran a 10km and a half marathon.
This dabbling in running during my off-season has led to a lot of questions. How often do you run in training? How does racing/recovery differ? Why do you do it?
And I think it would be fun to attempt to answer some of these questions by comparing my two most recent road races, the Scotiabank Half Marathon, where I race walked to a 95th place finish in 1:29:54, and the recent Eastside 10km, where I ran my way to 6th place in 32:26.
So just how much running do I do in training? Since May 1st I’ve run 120km (not including a few 3km late night runs/plods home from the bar), or a whopping average of 6km per week. Evidently running isn’t something I find myself doing in training too often.
That lack of running most clearly rears its ugly head when it comes to recovering from running races vs. walking races. I can typically bounce back from a 30-40min hard walking effort either later that day or the next day. However, after running the Eastside 10k my legs were shot.
Race walking, because of its lower impact, takes way less of a strain physically on your body (think somewhere between swimming and running). Plus, given that it’s my primary form of training, my body is primed to handle the specific stressors exceptionally well. Running however, requires way more calf/quad activation, and the higher impact takes its toll on my joints and ITBs.
Additionally, after most of my walking races my focus is on recovering as quickly as possible because I’m mid-season. After Eastside the focus was getting home ASAP to shower and head downtown to celebrate the end of my off-season. With drinks at the White Caps game and a late night concert, my body woke up the next day with considerably more DOMS.
There are many more similarities (think physiological measures: %VO2max, HR etc…) than there are differences. One difference, while running, is how easily my mind wanders. Not having to focus on technique freed up mental capacity. Unfortunately, that mental capacity was used to frequently question: “Why are you doing this to yourself?”. It’s tough to say if that is a positive or negative difference.
Another big difference was the overwhelming lack of expectations. When I go into a walking race I roughly know what I should be capable of. Sometimes this is a hindrance where I might hold back subconsciously. With running, I had no idea what to expect. I figured a good strategy was to make sure I ran hard enough that I was tired by 3km and then just hang on from there.
But moreover, no one else had any real expectations. I could have run 34min and people still would have thought that was pretty good for a race walker. Special shoutout here to my retired teammate/full-time lawyer Inaki Gomez who busted out a 35min run! He lost the fastest lawyer battle when Lanni Marchant pulled away from him late in the game.
Talking about others helps me segue into my final point, which is the real reason I come out to these races (running or walking). That reason is to sneak my way into the amazing running community we have in Vancouver. A community which I used to feel like an outsider in but now, finally, feel like I am welcome. Doing these events has helped show that we race walkers are serious athletes. I think that it has helped raise the level of respect we walkers have. It has also brought me way closer to this incredible community. From the awesome run clubs around the city, to the strong Strava contingent constantly pursuing personal excellence. These are the people I draw constant inspiration from. So if it means putting up with a few days of sore ITBs and calf cramps each year then it is well worth the price!
by Paul Gains
Canadian Olympian Natasha Wodak heads a strong women’s field for the running of the Under Armour Eastside 10k, in Vancouver on Saturday September 16, though she is cautious about being considered the favourite.
The 35-year-old is coming off an excellent 10,000m performance at the 2017 IAAF World Championships – she finished 16th in a season best 31:55.47 – and then proceeded straight into a well-deserved rest period.
“I took a week off after the world track and field championships and have been doing some easy running.” she reveals. “It has been going well. I have been listening to my body and it is feeling good right now.”
Foot surgery last December left her playing catch up throughout the spring and summer leading to inconsistent performances. To add to the mix, she switched coaches and is now being guided by one of her heroes, 1984 Olympic 3,000m bronze medalist, Lynn Kanuka. In London she was inspired by the surprise appearance of Kanuka at the warmup track on the day of the 10000m final. The coach had only arrived in London hours before the race.
Two years ago, Wodak set an Eastside 10k event record of 33:04. She has a best 10k road time of 31:59 (Ottawa 2015) and also holds the Canadian 10,000m record of 31:41.59 which quali-fied her for the Rio Olympics. She was 22nd in the Rio 10,000m final. When she looks over the Eastside 10k field she points out that along with the ‘usual suspects’ there might be another sur-prise.
“Sarah Inglis is from Scotland and is training out here. She has been doing some training with me,” Wodak says of the graduate of Trinity Western University. “I wouldn’t be surprised if she runs low 33 or 33:30 so I am definitely going to not take her lightly either.”
Inglis finished just ahead of the Canadian at the Portland Tack Festival 5,000m in June so they are well aware of each other’s abilities. Rachel Cliff, who ran a personal best 10,000m (32:00.03 for 20th place) at the world championships is among the challengers along with marathoners Leslie Sexton, the defending Eastside 10k champion, and Lanni Marchant.
Marchant, the Canadian marathon record holder at 2:28:00, signed an endorsement contract with Under Armour in May but suffered kidney stones which required surgery. Since then she has kept her cards close to her chest and pulled out of the world championships where she had been entered in the 10,000m. Still, Wodak says she will underestimate no one.
“I think it’s going to be a really great competitive race,” Wodak continues. “I feel like we are all in the same boat, Rachel and I coming back from worlds and taking some time off, Lanni coming off a bit of an inconsistent spring and summer, so I don’t know where she is at. Leslie had a big injury in the winter and had a slow comeback. Obviously, I want to win in my hometown.”
The men’s race features 2015 Eastside champion Geoff Martinson of the BC Endurance Project a former Canadian 1,500m international, who has been tearing up the roads the past few years. He has a best of 29:26 (2016) on the roads but ran 28:48.33 on the track in June of this year in-dicating he has much potential at this distance.
The race which has been sold out for a couple of weeks, doubles as the BC championships hence the excellent turnout of local talent. Justin Kent (30:26 personal best) and Kevin Coffey (30:13) should also be contention for the prize money. The race winners will receive $1,000 with second and third earning $600 and $400 respectively. The top BC runners will collect a further $400, $300 and $200.
There is even more money at stake. Since the Under Armour Eastside 10k is part of the seven race Canada Running Series there are points to be had. The winner here will earn 60 points, and, with Wodak currently in the lead thanks to dominant victories at the Race Roster Spring Run Off 8k and Toronto Waterfront 10k earlier this year, she can solidify her grasp on the over-all title – and $5000 prize money.
For a complete start list see: http://canadarunningseries.com/2017/08/ua-eastside-10k-2017-elite-starting-list/
For more information on the run see: www.eastside10k.com
Under Armour Eastside 10k
2017 Elite Starting List
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