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Race Manager Joe Dixon

With files from sister publication, Victoria Sports News

The long-running TC10K race that takes place in Victoria, BC continues to herald in changes to the event with the latest announcement being that popular local running stores Frontrunners Footwear are no longer a sponsor of the event. Instead the Victoria International Running Society that owns the race as well as the Victoria Track Classic of the National Track League has switched to the Running Room; a national chain of stores, 117-strong.

In a statement released Wednesday, Owner John Stanton said, “The Running Room is pleased to be a corporate partner with the iconic TC10K. The TC10K is an exciting opportunity for The Running Room to connect with our athletes, fans and spectators.”

The Running Room is a past sponsor when the event was known as the Garden City 10K.

VIRS announced in November that they hired Race Director and Executive Director Joe Dixon to manage both the TC10K and the Victoria Track Classic.

At that time, Dixon told Athletics Illustrated, “We are going to run the event this year and learn from it. I get the best feedback from customers immediately after the race. I am interested in knowing how the runner feels about the event as soon as they have finished.”

Dixon is tasked with restoring the event to its recent glory as Canada’s third largest 10K (in 2010) event behind the enormous Vancouver Sun Run and the Sporting Life Toronto 10K. The Sun Run did atrophy for a few years before having an against-the-trend rebound in 2016 with 41,138 finishers.

The TC10K/Garden City 10K started in 1990 with 1,851 participants. The event grew to include 10,850 finishers in 2010 and had 10,743 in 2013. The past three years the event has shrunk as have most large races in North America.

In 2014 there were 9,116 participants. There were 8,297 in 2015 including visually impaired, wheelchair, walk and half-marathon categories. The following year, there were 7,272 in total, with the half-marathon removed and a Nordic walk added, which represents a loss of 1,005 participants.

Asked about the decision to move to the Running Room, after four years with Frontrunners, VIRS President Chris Siver said, “Our needs are to make the race and race experience as great as it can be. We look for each partner to bring their strengths to our race to meet those needs.”

Joe Dixon will continue to exam the event including looking at the city-wide clinics, in-person, as well as visit events that take place in other cities, to see what can be done to improve the race-day experience.

The first winner of the event was Gary Barber, who won in the time of 29:28. Barber represented Canada in the Commonwealth Games and was a world-class middle-distance runner, who today continues to hold the British high schools mile record.

The first women’s winner was Debbie Scott (Bowker), who finished in the time of 33:39. She was also a world-class middle-distance athlete who is known for winning the prestigious Fifth Avenue New York Mile in 1982. She competed in five IAAF World Cross Country Championships and twice represented Canada at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships.

Kenya’s Simon Chemwoiyo holds the event record at 28:47, while Poland’s Karolina Jarzynska holds the women’s record 32:56.

Lucy Smith has the most wins at five, while fellow Victoria runner Ulla Marquette (Hansen) has won the race four times.

There are two three-time winners in the men’s division, they are Victoria’s Bruce Deacon, who is a two-time Olympian and Fort Langley’s Steve Osaduik (Nanaimo), who was best known for breaking the Royal Victoria Marathon course record in 2006.

The event will take place Sunday, April 30th.

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