File photo. Justin Kent from 2016 BC Cross Country Championships

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If there was ever a time to lean at the finish of a race, Vancouver’s Justin Kent ran into that moment during the Portland Track Festival 5,000-metre event, last weekend. He finished with a new personal best time of exactly 14:00.00.

It was a breakthrough of sorts for the former University of British Columbia Thunderbird athlete. The performance outshines his 10K and 3,000-metre bests of 30:16 and 8:09, respectively.

“I knew I was in the best 5K shape I’ve been in, workouts have been going well as of late so I just wanted to get in and run a fast time,” he said when asked how the performance went in comparison to his expectations.

Asked about specific pacing plans going in, he said, “I think the weather changed those plans a bit and Rich (Lee) just told me to compete and run for the win. “

He didn’t let the rain and cool temperatures affect him as he won the second heat by 2.26 seconds over Boulder Track Club’s Alex Baldwin. The third-place finisher was Ryan Mahalsky with the Hansons-Brooks Project, who finished in 14:02.90. It was a new personal best for Baldwin, but Mahalsky had run a 13:50.01 on May 17th of this year.

“I think there is still lots left in the tank for next time.”

Full results are available here: