Pidhoresky had a very strong spring with a win at the historic Around the Bay 30K in Hamilton, ON, becoming the first woman to win the event four times. She also ran a new personal best on the roads with a 10K win at the TC10K in Victoria in April, finishing in the time of 33:20. It was her second consecutive win in Victoria. She most recently ran the Canada Run Series 10K in Toronto, finishing in what she referred as a race where she, “left it all out there,” but crossed the line in fourth place in the time of 33:39. She will be seeking a better outcome on Sunday.
It’s been a long time, but Pidhoresky has run the half-marathon distance as fast as 1:11:46 from 2011 in Niagara, ON. At the time, it was the second fastest half-marathon performance for a Canadian. Her most recent half-marathon best is a 1:12:46 from her race in Indianapolis, one week after her 2018 TC10K win. Her 33:20 and 1:12:46, according to the IAAF scoring tables, suggest fairly comparable performances. Scotiabank Vancouver, with its point-to-point course and long flat and downhill sections may contribute to Pidhoresky running another fast time, perhaps under 1:12:46.
“This is the last race of the season for me,” said Pidhoresky. “If I feel good, I’d like to run a fast time. If I don’t feel peppy, I’ll work hard to fight for the win. I am a good downhill runner, but that might make me dread the up-hills, more. Either way, I am going to use this race as another chance to practice focus – especially during the latter stages of the race. The aim is to work hard right to the finish.”
Setlack is coming off of a win at the national Mountain Running Championships, which qualifies her for the IAAF World Mountain Running Championships taking place in Andorra, a tiny principality between France and Spain known for mountain biking and skiing. At nationals, she finished in the time of 1:16:49.7, which doesn’t indicate much due to the straight up 10-to-11K course that competitors raced, going up Kicking Horse Pass with over 3,000-metres of elevation gain, however, she did finish over two minutes ahead of her nearest competitor, Emma Cook-Clarke (1:19:16.4). The third place finisher was Karissa LePage recording a 1:24:08.5.
This is a strong performance for an athlete that regularly trains on the flat prairie. Setlack had a rough go at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia, Spain, so the mountain race was a bounce back. Her best performance at the half-marathon distance took place in 2017, where she ran 1:13:28 at the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon on May 7th.
Gollish is coming off a 1:11:52 performance at the Valencia event, which is her personal best at the distance. She has shown range as she has run as fast as 4:07.08 in the 1500-metre event as well as 15:24.12 in the 5,000-metres, which matches her half-marathon performance in Valencia at age 36.
“Sunday’s half-marathon is just meant to be a feel good race; to run at marathon pace, attempt to feel great through the half and finish strong,” shared Gollish.
SHOESTRINGS: Natasha Wodak was initially expected to race, however, she is not, and instead she will be competing in the 1500-metre event at the Harry Jerome Track Classic. Apparently, Wodak has been running workouts that should see her run 4:10 +/- which is very strong for a distance runner in her mid-30s. She currently owns two Canadian records, one in the 8K on the roads from 2013 in Victoria, which she ran in 25:28 and her 10,000-metre best which she ran at Palo Alto in the Payton Jordan Invitational two years later in 31:41.59. Her best recent performance was an outstanding showing at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 10,000-metres, where she finished close to a medal for fifth in a near personal best time.
Lethbridge, AB’s Kip Kangogo, at age 40, will toe-the-line. He may be the favourite in the men’s division.