© Copyright – 2013 – Athletics Illustrated

by BC Athletics and Christopher Kelsall

Canadian Olympian Dylan Wykes and Toronto’s Lioudmila Kortchaguina, the current Canadian Women’s Marathon Champion, recorded impressive victories at Saturday’s inaugural Vancouver Eastside 10K, a Canada Running Series event. Wykes and Kortchaguina each collected $1,000 bonuses for their new course records of 29:42 and 33:57 respectively, on top of the $800 first-place prizing. Wykes told Athletics Illustrated, “The course was tough; a few good hills in there, but big open roads for the most part, which allowed for good running. It was a unique course, I’ve never run in the downtown east side, and probably won’t until this race next year!”

Wykes has had trouble with injuries recently. In terms of expectations going into this race, he said, “I tried to keep expectations pretty low. It’s nice just to be healthy again and back racing, I tried not to take that for granted by setting big goals for the race that might leave me disappointed afterwards.”

The race attracted more than 1,500 competitors from 5 provinces and six countries. Dylan showed he meant business from the outset, in his first competition since the London 2012 games, by passing the 1km mark in2:52, immediately opening up a gap of 50m. He hit 5k in 14:32 before slowing a little on the way home. “This was a great rust-buster for me”, he said after finishing. “It was nice to get back out there and post a positive result. I am looking forward to racing next week.” Wykes will head to Toronto to race the National 10K Championships at the Oasis Zoo Run next Saturday. Richard Mosley from Coquitlam (31:34) came off best in a 5-man dust-up for 2nd and David Jackson from Abbotsford was third with a time of 31:55.

Kortchaguina had an equally convincing win on the women’s side. The Canadian Marathon Champion used the Eastside 10K as a “hard training run and a speed workout”, at the end of a 190km week en route to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 20th. Rachel Cliff who raced so well for Canada at the World Cross Country Championships in Poland last March came in second in 35:16 on her 10K debut. “It was tough. It’s the farthest I’ve ever raced so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I loved the atmosphere and it was great to have the Eastside charities involved.” Sabrina Wilkie from Vancouver was third with a time of 35:31

The event supported three very important community charities in the Vancouver Eastside; the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, Watari Support and Counselling and the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.

“We were thrilled with the turnout today,” said Canada Running Series president Alan Brookes, “What a fabulous first edition. We can’t thank everyone enough for getting the inaugural Vancouver Eastside 10K off to such a wonderful start. We are very proud to be able to race the Eastside and look forward to building this event into a big, national 10K.”