Modo Spring Run-Off 8k

New iPod for Christmas? Share the joy by donating your old MP3 player to Music Heals.

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January 8, 2016 – Vancouver, BC

Is your old MP3 player really doing its best work in a drawer?

Modo, Metro Vancouver’s only local carshare co-op, and the Modo Spring Run-Off 8k, part of the Canada Running Series, are teaming up to help bring the healing power of music to more people through Music Heals’ iPod Pharmacy! Imagine giving your old MP3 player to someone spending hours waiting for treatment, or sitting on dialysis. You can help take their mind off things and allow them to lose themselves in their favourite music.

Thanks to Modo, there are now over 450 locations where you can drop off your old iPod! You can still donate your MP3 player by mailing it directly to the Music Heals office, but now you can also drop it off in any of Modo’s 450+ vehicles or at the Modo office during business hours. After you donate your iPod, Music Heals cleans them up and pairs them with new Skullcandy headphones and an iTunes gift card. The iPods are then given to a music therapist for use with their clients.

01-08-16-modo-locationsModo members, when using one of the 450+ vehicles available in the Lower Mainland and Victoria, simply put your donated iPod/iPhone/MP3 player in a ziplock bag and place in the trunk of the vehicle. The Modo fleet team will pick them up. Afterwards, feel free to tweet @modo_carcoop and @musicheals_ca that you donated to the iPod Pharmacy.

Not a Modo member yet? Any runner in the Modo Spring Run-Off 8k signing up for a new membership will get $50 free drive time! Then, you can drop your iPod off in the vehicle during your first booking, or anyone can drop one off at the Modo office.

Modo and the Modo Spring Run-Off 8k are proud to collaborate with Music Heals to support Music Therapists in our community. Register now to run and to raise funds for Music Heals, which will directly expand the Music Therapy programs at the Dr. Peter Centre in Vancouver.

01-08-16-lydia-ipodDrop off your iPod at the Modo office between 9am–5pm at 470 Granville Street, Suite 200 Vancouver. Find your closest Modo on their map!

Registration is now open for the March 20th event at


The Modo Spring Run-Off 8k is the opening event of the Canada Running Series. The Series is Canada’s premier running circuit with 8 events of varying distances in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal that attract 60,000 participants and raise $6 million for charity, annually. We’re strongly committed to staging great experiences for runners of all levels, and to making sport a meaningful part of sustainable communities and the city-building process. Our mission is “building community through running”. To register and learn more about the Canada Running Series events, please visit

The Music Heals Charitable Foundation raises awareness and fundraises for music therapy across Canada. Their mission is to increase patient access to music therapy for children, seniors, palliative care, burn units, bereavement, rehabilitation and more. Music Heals donated nearly half a million dollars to music therapy programs in Canada in their first three years.

Modo Since 1997, Modo has provided a practical, cost-effective alternative to car ownership without the hassle. Founded in Vancouver’s West End with 16 members and two cars, they now serve Victoria and the Lower Mainland with a diverse and growing fleet of cars, trucks, hybrids, EVs and more. With gas, insurance, maintenance, toll-bridges and more included in low hourly rates, why own a car when you can share 400? Learn more about carsharing and Modo at

Thriving Through the Winter Months

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Well the Race Season is pretty much wrapped up and Winter is definitely here. It can be tough to stay motivated at this time of the year, so we’ve turned to one of Canada’s top runners, Chris Winter, for his tips on Winter training!

Winters on the West Coast are cold, dark, and damp. It is dark when you leave for work in the morning and it is dark when you get home. It rains continuously. These are less than inspiring conditions to get you out the door for your workout. So how do you stay motivated through the Winter months? Here are 4 tips:

  1. Set Goals. (This is important!) It’s much more difficult to lace up your shoes on those less than motivating days without a purpose. Challenge yourself to run a new distance, new race, or a PB. Once you’ve set your goal, write it down somewhere where you’ll see it every day. I like to set a daily alarm on my phone that reminds me of my goal.
  2. Workout in the morning. (If you are simply not a morning person you can ignore this.) During the Winter months I find the mornings are the best time to train. Especially around the Holidays there is always something looking to derail your training. Whether it is an office lunch or party or family “obligations”, if you put your training off until the evening there’s a good chance you’ll have to sacrifice one for the other. Also, getting your training done in the morning means you can “earn the party” later in the day without feeling too guilty.
  3. Find a training partner. This can be tough as everyone has different schedules that can be tough to align but, even if you can only meet 1-2 times a week, it can help break up the monotony of training alone and keep you honest on those couple of days.
  4. Go inside. Some days it just plain sucks to run outdoors. Depending on the weather it might even be dangerous. On those days where the streets are flooded, it’s howling a gale out there, or there’s a fresh layer of snow/ice on the ground, opt to do your workout inside. Try a form of cross training you haven’t done in a while and/or do the strength work that you may normally neglect on the sunnier days. The Winter can be a great time to build strength and flexibility that will pay off in the Spring and Summer months of racing.

With the Winter Solstice quickly approaching on December 22nd we can all look forward to the days getting longer again and then it’ll be Spring before you know it. In the meantime, stay true to your goals and when the first races come around your results will reflect the hard work you put in and you’ll be happy you did so.

With much motivation!


Looking for a goal race in the Spring? Check out the Modo 8k on March 20!



Chris, a New Balance athlete, is an elite middle distance runner based out of Vancouver. He’s competed on numerous national teams, including representing Canada at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Chris ran both the Modo 8k and Eastside 10k this last year. In 2014 he was the Canadian Cross Country Champion and he’s currently aiming for a spot on the Canadian Olympic Team to race the 3000m Steeplechase in Rio! You can follow his journey through the blog Chasing Rio 2016.

Music Heals brings a fresh beat to the Modo Spring Run-Off 8k

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November 3, 2015 (Vancouver, BC) – The 2016 Modo Spring Run-Off 8k is proud to announce a new partnership with the Music Heals Charitable Foundation. The Foundation raises funds for Music Therapy programs across BC and represents a new opportunity for runners to get behind yet another great charity, aligned with Modo’s broader desire to support the arts.

“Partnering with the run is a great opportunity for us to expand awareness and fundraising for local music therapy programs, specifically in this case, the amazing music therapists at the Dr Peter Centre in Vancouver’s West End.” said Chris Brandt, Executive Director of Music Heals. “Music therapy uses music for non-music goals, including physical, social, and emotional support. With the Modo Spring Run-Off we can make a difference in the lives of those in our community who need it most.”

“Modo is thrilled to support Music Heals and the great work it does in our community!” said Modo Marketing Director, Selena McLachlan. “Our roots go back 18 years in the West End. The community holds a special place in our hearts, so being able to direct donations to the Dr. Peter Centre means a lot to us. Modo has been helping residents of the West End – and now dozens of other communities – get easy and affordable access to a car, without all the hassles of ownership.”

The Modo Spring Run-Off 8k is happening March 20th and is the most competitive seawall run in Vancouver attracting some of Canada’s top runners. The run is also one of the most scenic in BC representing great value for the avid runner out to race as well as for the runner that is out to simply enjoy the nature and beauty of Stanley Park. Every registrant receives a technical fabric event shirt, finish medal, post-race food and access to an after party in the Stanley Park Pavilion. Runners new to Modo will each receive a trial carshare membership valued at $50.

Stay tuned for more surprises as we work closely with the Music Heals’ team and its supporting artists to create unique experiences and memories for each runner and fundraiser that participates in the Modo Spring Run-Off 8k.

For more information, visit us at

The Modo Spring Run-Off 8k is part of the Canada Running Series, Canada’s largest and most-prestigious running circuit with 8 events of varying distances in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. We are dedicated to the sport and the neighbourhoods we run in. Building Community through Running is what CRS is all about. To register and learn more about Canada Running Series events, please visit

The Music Heals Charitable Foundation raises awareness and fundraises for music therapy programs across Canada. Their mission is to increase patient access to music therapy for children, seniors, palliative care, burn units, bereavement, rehabilitation and more. Music Heals donated $250,000 to music therapy programs in Canada in their first two years.

Modo is a true Vancouver original and the only local, member-owned carshare. Founded in 1997 in Vancouver’s West End, Modo now serves over 13,000 members across the Lower Mainland and Victoria. With a diverse fleet of sports cars, sedan, trucks, SUVs, hybrids and electrics – why own a car when you can share more than 400? Modo is a mission-based, not-for-profit co-operative, helping communities all over the world reduce consumer dependency on car ownership by donating its booking software to new carshare start-ups. Learn more at

Why I Run.

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VANCOUVER March 23rd 2015. Digital Champion Elinor Warkentin has been running for 10 years, taking up the sport at 44 after facing several health issues. After crossing her first finish line, she was hooked! Goal oriented and a lover of travel, Elinor combined her passions and has run 41 races in Canada and around the world, including her first marathon in Iceland to celebrate turning 50. Yesterday, Elinor ran a Personal Best time at the Modo Spring Run-Off 8K in 52:15.

Why I Run. By Elinor Warkentin. 

I love to run. Currently, I’m running about 3 times a week. Mostly on my own, mornings, in my hood, Vancouver’s West End, a block from Stanley Park. I’ve run a lot of races, from 1 milers to a marathon. Yesterday was my 43rd race – the Modo Spring Run-Off 8K. It was a blast!

Modo8K Digital Champs

People always ask me if running is hard on your knees, and maybe it is. I’ve been running for 11 years, maybe it’s taken a toll. But my 2010 tumble down two rock hard granite steps, bashing bones, bruising ankles, feet, landing on knees, did much more damage. And while in recovery, when I didn’t know if I would ever run again, I’d sometimes put on my running gear, and immediately feel better. It still works. If I’m feeling down, or I’m off running for some reason, I can simply put on a race t-shirt, my running skirt, and voila! I feel calmer, happier, and more fit.

When I first started running in 2004, it was for my health. My parents were both dying, I was overweight, out of shape, and unhappy in my marriage. I started with a running clinic: 30 seconds running, 4.5 minutes walking. I wondered how I would double that to 1 minute running, then 2, then 4… but somehow I managed. My determination kept me going. Plus I would call my parents every week, keeping them posted on my progress. My dad seemed impressed. He was 80. Then I got “The Call.” My father only had a little time left. If I wanted to see him, I had to get there fast. I got on a plane to Manitoba. By the time I got there, it was my stepmother who was on her deathbed. She was taken off life-support shortly after I arrived. Three weeks later my dad died.

I ran my first race shortly after. And I wrote “running for love”, with the names of my parents on long ribbons, which I pinned to my shirt. I only cried for a few km’s, but I was proud of myself the whole way. I’d run for them.

Since 2004, I’ve had a serious fall, deaths in the family, and a divorce. But I kept running. I’m competitive, always timing myself. I rarely let go of my desire to run faster. I set goals and aim higher. I ran my first marathon in 2009 in Iceland, to celebrate turning 50.

Running thrills me. It’s helped me to have a healthier body, mind and spirit. It’s good for my soul. It’s solace and comfort. And it has helped me build confidence and increase my self-esteem.

Elinor Modo8K Image

Then there’s the running community. I joined Lions Gate Road Runners in 2013, when I had to take a break from running due to osteoarthritis in my hip. I’m happy to hang out with runners and ex-runners. I volunteer at races, enjoying the energy. I was tickled pink to be invited to be a Digital Champion for Canada Running Series. Having my image used for the 2015 medal was triple thrilling! In fact, a few times before today’s race, I was near tears, so happy, high-fiving the other Digital Champions who have become virtual and real running friends. It was a very special race for me and it was an extra-special medal to receive.

Running keeps me fit.

Running reduces my stress, helps me cope with grief.

Running takes me to a place where I have the best creative ideas.

Running helps me see beautiful places, whether in my own back yard or across the globe.

I’m happy when I run. I still run for my health. The knees will just have to put up with it.

Thank you Canada Running Series West and Modo for yesterday’s run!

Kelly Wiebe, Lanni Marchant win Modo Spring Run-Off 8K. Record crowds turn out for Canada Running Series opener.

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VANCOUVER. March 22nd, 2015. Kelly Wiebe and Lanni Marchant recorded impressive victories ahead of a record-sized crowd of almost 1,300 runners at Sunday’s Modo Spring Run-Off 8K in Stanley Park. The event was “Opening Day” for Canada Running Series 2015, the country’s #1 running circuit, and drew runners from 7 provinces and 8 countries. It was also an important fundraiser for the Take-A-Hike Foundation.

Wiebe, who will be leaving tomorrow to race for Canada in the IAAF World Cross Country Championships next Saturday in Guiyang, China, came out strong and took no prisoners in a stacked men’s field.

I knew it was going to be very tough competition today, so I was looking to go out hard. I made sure the first couple of kilometres were really, really honest! After that I just tried to maintain the gap to the Finish. The race was an important sharpener for World Cross. I just wanted to feel good and build confidence.”

Kelly Wiebe winner Modo8K Horizontal

Returning Champion Kelly Wiebe takes the win in 23:42

Kelly passed 1km in 2:45 and never looked back, crossing the line in 23:42, 40 seconds faster than his winning time in the race last year.

Geoff Martinson was very pleased with second place. “”It was better than I expected,” he said.

I went out a little bit conservatively. I kept my eyes on Kelly and Chris [Winter] ahead and slowly tried to reel them in. Kelly went out very fast. I knew I couldn’t hold that pace. I just went with what felt good for me. Then, with a K to go I found a bit more in the tank and got by Chris”.

In the women’s race, there was a really tasty battle between Canadian Marathon record holder Lanni Marchant [London, ON] and Vancouver’s Rachel Cliff. Marchant eventually prevailed, 26:43 to 26:55 ,but not before a thrilling duel around the Stanley Park Seawall.

Lead Women Modo8K

Dayna Pidhoresky, Lanni Marchant, and Rachel Cliff battle it out on the Modo8K course!

I just ran with Rachel the first 4 or 5km,” said Marchant. “Then I really tried to pick it up and run strong the last 3k. Rachel made a surge around 4k and I had to hang on. Then I got a second wind around 5k and moved away the last two K. I think I knew I had it by 6k. I’m really happy to come out here and win. The Vancouver girls really seem to own the races out here, so it was nice to represent Ontario!” From here I’m going to Payton Jordan and do some track in April, before switching back to marathon training for the Pan Am Games marathon in July.

Third place finisher Dayna Pidhoresky [27:13] also threw down an important marker ahead of her Around The Bay 30k in Hamilton, ON next weekend. “I felt strong,” she said. “I’m ready for the longer races and this was a really good test.” Dayna went out with Lanni and Rachel for the first two kilometres, and although she dropped off a little then, the leaders never got too far away. “I really enjoyed watching the battle unfold ahead,” she said.

World Beer Mile Champion, Corey Gallagher of Winnipeg, got hammered (no alcohol until post-race) by the extremely competitive field placing 11th with a time of 25:47.

Cory Modo8K

World Beer Mile Champion Corey Gallagher.

Participants today ran in support of Take a Hike, a unique combination of adventure-based learning, therapy and community service – all integrated into a full-time high school curriculum that works to empower ‘at risk’ youths in our community. The program teaches life skills and attempts to repair relationships between participants and their families. Take a Hike students volunteered at the event and together with Modo raised over $4,200 to support local school programs.

“We were thrilled with the turnout today, and the outstanding quality of the field,” said Canada Running Series president Alan Brookes, “What a fabulous launch into spring. We can’t thank everyone enough for making this event such a success. The energy was superb! We’re proud and hugely appreciative of being able to race in such a magnificent setting like Stanley Park. Special thanks to the City and Parks Board for allowing us to race here.”

Modo Spring Run Off 8K Men:

1. Kelly Wiebe 23:42

2. Geoff Martinson 23:58

3. Chris Winter 24:05

Modo Spring Run Off 8K Women:

1. Lanni Marchant 26:43

2. Rachel Cliff 26:55

3. Dayna Pidhoresky 27:13

Complete results can be found at

For a complete list of Canada Running Series 2015 events see

Ready, Set, Go!

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by Katherine Moore (@RunningIntoYoga)

You have been training and preparing for the Modo 8k and these final few days before the race are very important. What you do 48 hours before the race can impact your results. You want to make sure you are prepared mentally, physically, and have everything you need for the race to go smoothly.


Hopefully you have been practising with what to eat before hard training sessions. Try not to steer away from what has worked. Focus on staying hydrated with water and electrolytes. The night before the race eat a carbohydrate rich meal. In the morning wake up 2-3 hours before the race to eat a simple breakfast (oatmeal, toast, granola). Your body will have enough time to wake up and digest before the start of the race.


A few days leading up to the race rest as much as you can. Any time you can get off your feet and relax, take it. All the training is done; now is the time to relax and restore the body before race day.  It is important to get a good night’s sleep 48 hours before the race.  Some athletes have a hard time sleeping the night before a race so try to get as much as you can two nights before.


Have you set goals for the Modo 8k?  To make these goals achievable, begin to visualize yourself reaching these goals.  You can also look back in your training log and remind yourself what you have already achieved in workouts and runs.  Look at the training sessions that you did not think you could complete and remember how you got through them.  It is also beneficial to know the course, your splits, and have a race plan.  Visualize yourself racing the course.

Last Minute Preparation

To make sure everything goes smoothly, make sure to look over the race details (start time, location, parking, washrooms,). To make sure you do not forget anything, prepare all your race gear the night before the race.

Race Day

Get to the race one hour before the race starts.  You will have time to use the washrooms, get warmed up, and finish your drills, strides and stretches.   Remember to stay relaxed, stick with your race plan and most importantly, get out there, Run Fast and Have Fun!


Take a Hike Student – Eden

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VANCOUVER, BC – March 17, 2015

Not every student fits into the mainstream school system, but that’s where the Take a Hike Program comes in. Each week leading up to the #Modo8k we’ll meet a new student and hear more about this fantastic program.

Meet Eden, a first year Take a Hike student.

03-17-tah-edenMy name is Eden. I’m a first year Take a Hike student. When I was in my previous high school, I was struggling to succeed. I ended up failing grade 9 twice. My friends were in worlds different than my own. I was left behind. I tried to catch up but I couldn’t. The teachers there couldn’t support me because they were too busy with everyone else.

I was failing because of my attendance, and the reason I didn’t go was… many things. I have lived on my own with my mother for my whole life. She had gotten very sick so I ended up having to take care of her and our home whenever she was incapable. I had barely any friends at the time. I was extremely stressed out all the time without any way to vent my stress. One thing led to another and I ended up failing twice. I didn’t have any more motivation to go to school left in me.

Finally my school counsellor recommended a change in schools. Specifically, an alternative program called Take a Hike. There is a stigma around alternative programs so I was hesitant to join. My desire to catch up in my grades however changed my mind. I joined Take a Hike, but I was still worried about what the other people there were like. Surprisingly, I saw some familiar faces and the people
felt normal.

I was extremely dedicated to get good grades. I never wanted to feel failure again. I ended up getting honor roll in the first semester, for the first time ever. That was pretty impressive for me since all I got before was 30% to 40% in almost everything. The teachers at Take a Hike support me through everything unlike before. The teachers are more like people trying to help me find my way instead of instructors forcing you to do everything their way. The mix of support, outdoor fitness and freedom helped me change my view on schooling and my future.

Now I get up early and I’m excited to go to school, every day.

We are excited to work with Take a Hike as our Charity Partner at the Modo Spring Run-Off 8k, taking place on March 22 in Stanley Park. Find out more about Take a Hike, plus how to start fundraising, right here.

NEW – Modo will now be matching all donations up to a total of $2,500!
Double the impact of your donations before the Modo matching funds run out!

The top 3 fundraisers will win a FREE entry into either the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k (June 28) or Vancouver Eastside 10k (September 19)!

#Modo8k – Race Weekend FAQs

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We’re busy getting ready to kick off the 2015 Canada Running Series and the big day is almost here! Below are some quick tips on what you need to know this week to have your best run at the Modo Spring Run-Off 8k:

Package Pickup Details

  • Dates: Saturday, March 21 – 10am to 4pm – Running Room – 679 Denman St
    or Sunday, March 22 – 8:30am to 9:45am – Stanley Park Pavilion.
  • We strongly recommend picking up on Saturday to give yourself more time and cut down on that race-day stress. Shirt sizes are also distributed on a first-come-first-served basis.
  • You must bring a printout of your registration confirmation OR a piece of photo ID
    More details here.

srov-parkingmap-lgGetting to the Start Line

  • Location: Stanley Park Pavilion – 610 Pipeline Road, Stanley Park
  • Transit: the start line is right next to the Stanley Park Bus Loop, serviced regularly by the #19 bus, and is the best way to get to the event.
  • Biking: there will be additional bike racks on site, but these will not be monitored racks, so remember to bring your own lock.
  • Parking: if you choose to drive, we recommend carpooling due to limited parking in the area. The Rose Garden Lot off Pipeline Road is the best place to park. The parking metres in the Park are also incredibly slow, but you can use the PayByPhone app with lot code 3696 (covers all lots in the Park) to skip the line. Note that parking is $6/day.
  • Translink Trip Planner | Parking Map | More Details

Gear Check – $2 Donation to Take a Hike Foundation

  • Gear Check will be open from 8:30am until 12pm – just look for the big white tent.
  • A donation of $2 to the Take a Hike Foundation is required, so bring some change.

Start Corrals

  • To reduce congestion on course, all runners are asked to start in their appropriate Start Corral (RED sub 40m / YELLOW 40m to 47m / BLUE 47m to 55m / GREEN 55m +)
  • Your bib number will indicate your starting corral you have been assigned (based on your predicted finish time), so just line up behind the corresponding flag in the Start Chute.
  • Corrals are self-seeding – if you feel that you need to change your corral, don’t worry, just line up closer to the start line.

srov-routemap-lgOn Course

  • Two water stations are located on course – one just before the 4km mark and one at 7km. Both will have water and Gatorade available.
  • A roving medical team will be out on course, so look for them or let one of our volunteers know if you need assistance. There will also be medical tents at the start/finish line and the 4km water station.
  • There will be washrooms at the start/finish, plus public washrooms are available at Second Beach (2km) and Lumberman’s Arch (7km).
  • Each kilometre will be marked along the course. Remember that your last kilometre, from Lumberman’s Arch to the Finish Line, is mostly uphill, so save some energy for the final spring to the finish!
  • Remember that NO baby joggers, strollers, or pets are permitted in the event.


  • Come celebrate in Stanley Park Pavilion!
  • Enjoy the Modo Community Fair and bring some money for breakfast wraps ($5 – proceeds going to Take a Hike) or a post-race beer.
  • Water, snacks, Gatorade, and PowerBars will be available in the Finish Chute.
  • After you receive your medal, make sure to get your photo taken!

west-02-24-15-volHelp us Run Green!

Modo Spring Run-Off 8k continues to be one of Vancouver’s most sustainable events and follows guidelines provided by the Council for Responsible Sport. You can help us by:

  • Only take what you need — a lot of uneaten food is thrown away at events.
  • This applies to the water stations too — only take a cup if you need a drink.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle.
  • Recycle, recycle, recycle! Clearly labelled recycling stations will be located on the route and in the finish area. They will be supervised by friendly and knowledgeable volunteers. Take all your waste and recycling to these stations — don’t litter on the course!
  • Don’t forget to recycle all items that you take home from the event. All materials are compostable or recyclable! If you’re unsure simply ask our volunteers before you leave!
  • Bring your small hard-to-recycle items from home for recycling. Green Chair are offering all runners and spectators free recycling for batteries, cell phones, small electronics, lightbulbs, and old running shoes.

Feel free to read our Race Etiquette Details as well. See you on Race Day!

#Modo8k 2015 Elite Starting List

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VANCOUVER – March 11, 2015

The competition is heating up for one of the best elite fields ever at the Modo Spring Run-Off 8k in both the Men’s and Women’s races! Some of the top contenders are profiled here, with the full Elite Fields listed below.

See you on March 22 in Stanley Park!

UPDATED Mar 21/15: Wodak, Seccafien, Doerksen late scratches

2015 Modo Spring Run-Off 8k – Men’s Elite Field

Bib Number Athlete City Province Twitter Handle
1 Kelly Wiebe Vancouver BC @kwiebely
2 Lucas Bruchet Vancouver BC @lucabruca
3 Chris Winter Vancouver BC @cwinter3
4 Rejean Chiasson Toronto ON @rejean_chiasson
5 Corey Gallagher Winnipeg MB @coreygallagher4
7 Geoff Martinson Vancouver BC
8 Theo Hunt Vancouver BC @huntheo
9 John Corbit Port Moody BC
10 David Jackson Abbotsford BC
11 Nick Hastie Vancouver BC @nehastie
12 Joshua Kozelj Coquitlam BC @JoshKozelj27
13 Richard Mosley Vancouver BC
14 Takanori Haraguchi Vancouver BC
15 Bryan Andrews Vancouver BC
16 Stan Jang Vancouver BC
17 Skeets Morel Coldstream BC
18 Chris Napier Vancouver BC @runnerphysio
19 Drew Nicholson Surrey BC
20 Aaron Weidman Vancouver BC
21 Stephen Ptucha Richmond BC
23 Mark Bennett Vancouver BC
24 Kevin O’Connor Vancouver BC @Superkrun
25 Mark Francis Port Coquitlam BC
26 Keefer Whan Mount Vernon WA
27 Man Kong Chan Vancouver BC
28 Carey Nelson Vancouver BC
29 Evan Dunfee Vancouver BC @EvanDunfee

2015 Modo Spring Run-Off 8k – Women’s Elite Field

Bib Number Athlete City Province Twitter Handle
31 SCRATCH Natasha Wodak Vancouver BC @tasha_wodak
32 Rachel Cliff Vancouver BC @Dangerous_Cliff
33 SCRATCH Andrea Seccafien Guelph ON @aseccafien
34 SCRATCH Kimberley Doerksen Gibsons BC @kadoerks
35 Dayna Pidhoresky Vancouver BC @daynapidhoresky
36 Catherine Watkins Vancouver BC @runmommaster
37 Jen Moroz Vancouver BC
38 Katherine Moore Vancouver BC @Runningintoyoga
39 Lissa Zimmer Vancouver BC @lissa2s
40 Melissa Ross Errington BC @melissaross929
43 Helen Ritchie Vancouver BC
44 Kristyn Webster Port Moody BC
45 Melanie Kassel Chilliwack BC
46 Tara Klassen Vancouver BC
47 Courtney Powell Coquitlam BC @Courpow
48 Jill Costantino Burnaby BC
49 Karen Warrendorf Vancouver BC @kwarrendorf
50 Sabrina Wilkie Vancouver BC @sabrinawilkie

Competitive Field to Race Modo Spring Run-Off 8k, by Paul Gains

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Kelly Weibe breaks the tape to take the "W" at Modo Spring Run Off 2014

Kelly Wiebe breaks the tape to take the “W” at Modo Spring Run Off 2014

Just eleven months ago Kelly Wiebe lay deathly ill in a Vancouver hospital bed, a blood clot embedded in his groin. In an astonishing display of resilience the 25 year old from Saskatchewan recovered and went on to claim the silver medal at the 2014 Canadian Cross Country Championships just four seconds behind Chris Winter.

On March 22nd Wiebe will defend his Modo Spring Run-Off 8k title in Vancouver’s picturesque Stanley Park against a field which includes Winter. The race kicks off the 2015 Canada Running Series.

It will also open the 2015 racing schedule for the majority of competitors and the general consensus is, therefore, that it’s not to be taken too seriously. But with pride on the line runners of this calibre will have a difficult time quashing competitiveness. Bragging rights are at stake here.

Wiebe spent a month training in Australia recently and reckons his fitness is at a new level.

“The Modo 8k is just intended to get me sharp and race ready,” he explains, treading the politically correct line. “I have only raced once since the National Cross Country Championships back in November, so I am just looking for that race stimulus that you can’t really get in training.

“It promises to be a competitive event this year. I expect there to be some good competition from Chris Winter and Lucas Bruchet, but at the same time I think all three of us are really just looking for something to break up training, and not really something to smash. The main goal is to walk away from the day feeling healthy, and ready to tackle 12km at the world cross country championships the following week.”

Neither Bruchet or Winter the 2013 and 2014 National Cross Country Champions respectively, will be joining Wiebe at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Guiyang, China March 28th. Despite their best intentions to use the Modo 8k as a fitness run it is more likely they will not want to lose in front of the hometown crowd. All three are living in Vancouver these days.

Winter leads Wiebe in the battle of the "W's" at the Canadian National Cross Country Championships. Photo: Rita Ivanauskas

Winter leads Wiebe in the battle of the “W’s” at the Canadian National Cross Country Championships. Photo: Rita Ivanauskas

Winter spent five years at the University of Oregon before joining Speed River Track Club in Guelph, Ontario. [see VIDEO “Chasing Rio 2016”]. After three years in “The Royal City” he and his fiancee, Rachel Cliff, have moved back to B.C. He continues to receive his training program from Speed River coach, Dave Scott-Thomas.

“Dave and I continue to work together,” he reveals. “It was a bit of gamble to move away from the great program Guelph has built but the relationship works great. We correspond mostly via email, but if something pressing comes up Dave’s always available to chat. It’s definitely not the “ideal” scenario, but I am a senior athlete and both Dave and I know very well what I need to get me where I want to be – and it appears to be working.

“My (track) racing schedule has been such that I haven’t been able to do too many road races in the past couple of years so I am excited that the Modo 8km fell at a great time. I love racing on the roads and training has been going really well. I am looking forward to what promises to be a great, fun event on a beautiful course here in Vancouver.”

Wiebe, Bruchet, Winter and Canadian Olympic marathoner Dylan Wykes, who is also planning to run easy, all live within five blocks of each and see each other training occasionally. Winter represented Canada at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2013 IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Moscow and trains alone except on easier days when he and Cliff run together.

“I fully expect that I should be able to mix it up with those guys,” Winter says. “Kelly is a little more experienced on the roads and over the longer distances but Luc also ran a great road 5km (at the International Ekiden) in Chiba late last year. It’ll be fun to see how it plays out.

“I really just want to put myself in the mix early and try to be the first guy across the line at the end of it. I am not putting a lot of pressure on myself for this race. The important races are coming up later in the spring but I do want to run hard and give my legs a good test. It should be fun.”

The men’s event record was set in 2008 by Ryan McKenzie at 23:40. With the strength of the field being what it is there is every chance that time could be challenged.

Natasha Wodak and Rachel Cliff battle it out on the Stanley Park Seawall at Modo SRO 8k 2014. The re-match is on!

Natasha Wodak (left) and Rachel Cliff battle it out on the Stanley Park Seawall at Modo SRO 8k 2014. The re-match is on!

The women’s race will pit Cliff (profile), who will marry Winter on September 11th of this year, against defending Modo 8k champion, Natasha Wodak. A year ago Wodak set a women’s event record with a brilliant 26:37 (see Race Report). But it’s 24 year old Andrea Seccafien who could provide an upset if the other two think they can wait and kick.

A member of Athletics Toronto she is a training partner of Commonwealth 1,500m bronze medalist, Kate Van Buskirk and surprised many with her consistency over 5000m on the track. Her personal best of 15:52.06 ranks her 6th in Canada. But it is a very fit Wodak who will command the most attention.

“I am racing Modo 8k the weekend after the United NYC half marathon, and the weekend before the world cross country championships, so I’m not going to be hammering it,” Wodak declares. “I really love the Canada Running Series events, so I didn’t want to miss Modo 8k, even though it’s not an ideal weekend for me. I’m treating this race as a hard workout, in preparation for World Cross Country Champs the following weekend which is also 8km.”

At the same San Diego training camp where Wiebe took ill, Wodak developed a case of plantar fasciitis which curtailed training for most of 2014. Like Wiebe she had a good result at the Canadian cross country championships to salvage the season. Her bronze medal performance was just nine seconds behind Cliff.

“I don’t feel any pressure (to defend the Modo title). I just want to have some fun and enjoy the race,” says Wodak. “It’ll be great to have Rachel Cliff there again this year- we always have great battles. I’m feeling fit and ready to roll.”

Wodak volunteers every Friday morning at the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association and continues to wait tables at the Boathouse Restaurant on Kits Beach two or three nights a week to help with her living expenses.

“I have been serving for over 10 years now, all the while training every day. I’m pretty much used to it now. When I used to work five nights a week, it would be pretty exhausting. But now that I’m only working two or three nights a week, it’s not too bad,” she reveals. “Also, my employers are pretty awesome and they allow me to wear Asics running shoes at work. That has been very helpful, especially this year while I was suffering with plantar fasciitis.”

With one of the deepest fields ever assembled in both the men’s and women’s races there is no doubt it will be a battle to get on the podium. What a start to the 2015 Canada Running Series!

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