The 10,000m women’s race (section 1) at the Payton Jordan Invitational tonight lived up to its billing, as reported by Athletics Illustrated in a pre-race article. In fact it exceeded expectations. There were many excellent performances by Canadians on the day; however, this race was historic for Canadian running as Vancouver’s Natasha Wodak took down the Canadian record of 31:44.74 as held by Courtenay Babcock from the 2003 Payton Jordan Invitational. Wodak finished in eighth positon in the time of 31:41.59. She told Athletics Illustrated, “I am so completely overwhelmed and so happy! I never thought this was possible.”
This performance provisionally qualifies Wodak for the 2015 Pan American Games taking place in Toronto this summer, as well as the IAAF World Track and Field Championships that will happen in Beijing, China and finally, the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. For the Rio games the top-three Canadians under 32:00 are selected.
There were other notable performances by Canadians in that race including a personal best by London, Ontario’s Lanni Marchant, who finished three positions behind Wodak in the time of 31:46.94. She also qualifies for the Pan Am Games, World Championships and Rio Olympics with this result. However, as Marchant is the current national marathon record holder, she may not race this distance at World’s or the Olympics. Her record is 2:28:00 from the 2013 Toronto Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon. She also owns the Canadian record for the half-marathon distance with her best of 1:10:47. Marchant’s previous 10,000m record was 32:11.06.
Wodak’s previous 10,000m best was 33:09.57, although she has run much faster in road events over the 10K distance, including a win at the 2013 Vancouver Sun Run in 32:42. Wodak also owns the 8K national record from the 2013 Pioneer 8K that took place in Victoria, BC. In that race she finished in 25:28 and was sixth overall.
Other noteworthy races by Canadians included Rachel Hannah of Toronto finishing in the time of 32:36.17, Vancouver’s Rachel Cliff in her debut at the distance – moving up from 5,000m to finish in 32:54.70 and Natasha LaBeaud of Montreal with her time of 33:15.87.
The top three performances were:
1 Susan Kuijken Global Sport 31:31.97
2 Buze Diriba Adidas 31:33.27
3 Jip Vastenburg Global Sport 31:35.48
In other races, Toronto’s Justyn Knight set a huge personal best time of 13:34.86 in the 5,000m distance. His previous best was 14:08.93. Knight is having an excellent year having won the national cross country championships and running well as a freshman at Syracuse University.
Toronto’s Peter Corrigan ran a new personal best time in the 5,000m distance with his performance of 13:46.01, which represents a personal best of more than 12 seconds.
Geoff Martinson currently living in Vancouver ran well with a sub-14 performance in his race (section 4), where he finished in third position with a finishing time of 13:56.39.
Although Mo Ahmed did not achieve a personal best time, he did run well in the 10,000m event with his performance of 27:46.90. His best is from the 2012 edition of the same meet where he crossed the line in 27:34.62.
University of Victoria’s Kendra Pomfret ran what appears to be a new personal best time in the 1500m distance by winning her section in the time of 4:18.89.
To see all performance from the 2015 Payton Jordan Invitational, click here: