© Copyright – 2018 – Athletics Illustrated

Canadian Olympian, Natasha Wodak will be competing in the 2018 Vancouver Sun Run on Sunday, April 22. The 36-year-old is likely to win the event, something that was completely out of reach for the three-time champion last year due to recovery from surgery.

Asked about her recovery and fitness in 2017, she said, “I am very happy just to be healthy and racing at all!  I spent the majority of the fall and winter injured (I ran a total of 472kms in all of Sept, Oct and Nov., which is about what I would normally run in one month). Surgery on my foot in December had me off running for all of January, the build back up to getting fit started in February and it’s been slow going.  But, I am running mostly pain-free now, which is awesome!”

This year is a different story altogether, as she is coming off of an impressive performance from the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 10,000-metre race, where she closed fast to finish in fifth place with her second fastest 10,000-metre performance to date of 31:50.18.

The season-best performance was less than five seconds from a gold medal and less than a half of a second from bronze.

She owns the national record of 31:41.59 from the 2015 Payton Jordan invitational. She has also run as fast as 31:59 on the roads, which she accomplished that same year in Ottawa.

In 2017, Wodak finished the Sun Run in the time of 34:08. The winner was Karolina Jarzynska-Nadolska from Poland, who crossed the line in the time of 32:39.

During the 2015 race, Kenyan Risper Gesabwa took the win in the time of 32:28. Wodak was second, crossing the finish line in the time of 32:34.

In the 2013 edition, she won the event in the time of 32:42, the year before she won in 34:12. She didn’t run the event in 2014 or 2016.

Should the weather be favourable, she may be in position to run sub-32:00 – an impressive benchmark.

The fastest Canadian to date was Angela Chalmers, who ran the (different and faster course) in 1996 in the time of 31:05, while Emilie Mondor won in 2004 with a 31:10 finish time.

The Vancouver Sun Run is Canada’s largest 10K road race and the 3rd largest timed 10K in North America. The Vancouver Sun Run is open to international elite competitors, recreational runners, joggers and walkers, wheelchair competitors, teams, schools and children.