Vancouver, Canada-based runners Natasha Wodak and Dayna Pidhoresky will be seeking 2024 Paris Olympic standard in the Hamburg Marathon at the end of April.

In preparation for Hamburg on Sunday both raced the Comox Valley RV Half Marathon. They also improved on the previous course record by several minutes.

Wodak clocked one hour, 11 minutes, and 52 seconds to finish first and behind only five men.

“Yeah, I am happy with that. I was hoping for 1:11:40 to 1:12:00 and landed right in between at about 1:11:50,” shared Wodak. “It’s a beautiful day, the course scenic and it is a nice event, so it was all good.”

Wodak is a two-time Olympian and current national marathon record holder at 2:23:12.

Pidhoresky was, at first, reticent with her performance, but then came around to being satisfied with her 1:13:49 time to finish second and 11th overall including nine men and Wodak.

Taking third place was Victoria’s Patricia Roney clocking 1:20:02.

The previous record was 1:16:55 by Stephanie Andrews from 1998 on the same hilly course which takes place in Courtenay, BC on Vancouver Island.

Wodak and Pidhoresky will not start their marathon taper for at least three weeks. So, they entered the half-marathon with fatigue in their legs from training for Hamburg. The marathon will serve as a last-chance opportunity to qualify for Team Canada. Pidhoresky competed in the Tokyo Olympic Games, while Wodak raced in the Rio and Tokyo Olympic Games.

The men’s race

Locals Dusty Spiller from Duncan, BC and Aiden Anderson from the Comox Valley raced in a pack with five men which included masters athlete Andrew Russell as well as Logan Roots before separating before reaching the halfway mark.

Spiller and Anderson stayed together until approximately 16K. During the long downhill section, Spiller began to turn up the heat. He finished clear of Anderson in 1:09:08 to Andersons’ 1:09:48. Spiller’s performance was a new personal best.

“It was a good race and training day for the BMO Vancouver Marathon on Sunday, May 5,” shared Spiller.

Taking third place was Josiah Ney in the time of 1:10:34. Russell took fourth and was the first 40-plus master in 1:10:47.

Canada will send up to three women and three men to Paris.

On the team already is Malindi Elmore, from Kelowna, BC who qualified when she raced the Berlin Marathon in September 2023. She ran the second-fastest time in Canadian history at 2:23:30.

On the men’s side Cameron Levins from Black Creek on Vancouver Island, now living in Portland, OR qualified in March of 2023 in the Tokyo Marathon setting the North American record of 2:05:36.

The latest athlete named to the team is Calgary’s Rory Linkletter who became the second-fastest Canadian marathon runner in history with his 2:08:01 performance at the Seville Marathon last month.  

One spot remains open for the men and two for the women.

Race day offered clear skies, minimal wind, and seasonal temperatures around 12C.

The Comox Valley RV Half Marathon is the sixth race of the eight-race Vancouver Island Race Series.

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