Maurice Wilson, BC Athletics
The weather gods smiled on the BMO St Patrick’s Day 5K, as the forecast wind and rain did not materialize, the sun breaking through to provide perfect conditions for the BC 5K Championship and the third race in the BC Super Series in Vancouver’s Stanley Park on Saturday morning.
A large group pursued the Masarati pace car off the start line, and after the initial downhill rush Lucas Bruchet moved to the front to control the race. Passing the mile in 4:24 he was 25 meters clear of the chase group of Chris Winter, Justin Kent and Kevin Friesen, with Thomas Riva 10 meters further back.
Bruchet never let up, extending his lead around the rest of the course, storming back up the hill to the finish in 14:22 to break Geoff Martinson’s course record time by 2 seconds. The race for second remained undecided until the final strides, as Winter just held off Kent, both clocking 14:34. And Friesen was not far behind in 14:36.
Rachel Cliff dominated the womens race from the start. By the mile, reached in 4:50, she had created a gap of 50 meters over Dayna Pidhoresky and Erica Digby, who were running together. She too did not let up around the rest of the course, coming home in 16:05 to break her own course record by 9 seconds. Pidhoresky pulled away up the hill for second in 16:40, with Digby third in 16:51. Anne-Marie Madden, who was only 11th at the mile, snatched 4th place from Catherine Watkins, 17:02 and 17:03.
With their overall wins, course record bonuses, mile bonuses and BC Championship titles, Bruchet and Cliff each profited by $900.
Watkins had the consolation of finishing top master. While on the men’s side Kevin O’Connor was top master in 15:37. With his run O’Connor will have kept second place in the BC Super Series. Series leader Rob Watson, who ran 15K warming up today as he prepares for the London Marathon, was 7thtoday.
Former national champions Nancy Tinari and Thelma Wright won their respective age divisions. And many more were rewarded with Irish stew, beer and a jig at the finish.
Complete results at https://www.startlinetiming.com/en/races/2016/stpat
The BC Super Series returns to Stanley Park next Sunday for the Modo Spring Run-Off 8K, for which online registration closes on Monday. Series rankings will be updated once today’s results are finalized.