TC 10K SPECIAL SECTION, 8 PAGES OF STORIES, PHOTOS AND RESULTS
Men’s winner Wiebe brings it home for Canada
Thrice was nice as Jane Murage won her third consecutive women’s title Sunday in the 26th Times Colonist 10K through the streets of the capital.
“People know me now and were shouting: ‘Go, Jane, go,’ ” said the 28-year-old professional runner from Kenya, who won in 33 minutes and seven seconds.
“The crowd was so supportive, and that motivated me to move.”
Meanwhile, men’s winner Kelly Wiebe of Vancouver found that besting Kenyans in running can be famishing work.
“I’m really hungry and going to eat a lot of food for brunch,” Wiebe said after winning the men’s Times Colonist 10K championship in 29:08.
Wiebe could be excused for thinking about post-race replenishment. Running 10 kilometres that fast can really take it out of you, especially when you’ve just outpaced an elite field from the world’s greatest running nation, Kenya. Leonard Kipkoech was second in 30:02, Willy Kimosop third in 30:18, Benard Ngeno fourth in 30:24 and Dancan Kasia fifth in 31:08.
“The Kenyans are tough runners and I didn’t know what I was going to get out there … so I took it out conservatively and then powered home,” Wiebe said.
“This is a huge confidencebooster for me.”
It also makes up for last week, when Wiebe finished a disappointing sixth in the 45,000-participant Vancouver Sun Run.
The 2012 Sun Run champion was hoping for Sunday’s kind of run last weekend in his hometown. He got it a week later across the strait.
The win in Victoria was worth $3,500 for Wiebe — $2,500 for men’s champion and $1,000 for top Canadian. But he missed out on the $1,000 bonus for breaking the race record, as Simon Chemwoiyo’s time of 28:47 from 1995 still stands.
Wiebe said the Sun Run and Times Colonist 10K provide a double opportunity unmatched in this country
“You don’t see this [running culture] anywhere else in Canada — everyone cheering along the course,” said the University of Regina engineering graduate, who trains full-time, and heads next to the Okotoks 10K, Canadian road race championships and Calgary Half-Marathon.
Meanwhile, Murage, who missed Karolina Jarzynska’s standard of 32:56 from 2011 by 11 seconds, let her third consecutive title sink in.
“I was trying to break the course record, but there was nobody to push me, so I decided to go by myself at about three kilometres,” Murage said. “I feel so happy to win again.” Lindsey Scherf from Scarsdale, New York, was second behind Murage in the women’s race at 33:31. A six-time NCAA all-American while competing at Harvard, Scherf has targeted the marathon for the U.S. Olympic trials next year for Rio 2016. Lioudmila Kortchaguina of Markham, Ont., was third in 34:10.
Victorians Lemlem Ogbasilassie and Marilyn Arsenault rounded out the top-five women at 35:10 and 35:12, respectively. Ogbasilassie has represented Canada at the IAAF world track and field championships and came close during the Canadian Olympic trials for London 2012. Arsenault has earned repute as an opera singer, runner and coach.
Ogbasilassie said the cool morning affected her knees. “I like racing on the track more than the road — I love my speed and I love my spikes,” said the runner, who has performed internationally for Canada.
Arsenault said her race followed an unusual trend. “Every time I feel dreadful in warm-up, as I did today, I have a good run,” she said.
The crowd helped lift all who may have felt sluggish to start.
“When you got onto Johnson Street, it was whack-a-doodle and you could barely hear anything above the crowd,” Arsenault said.
Of the 10,527 runners who registered for Sunday’s event, 8,973 signed up for the 10K race, 538 for the half-marathon and 1,016 for the kids’ run.
Kris Swanson of Victoria, who is preparing for the IAAF world mountain-running championships in Wales, won the men’s halfmarathon in 1:12:11. Triathlete Karen Thibodeau of Victoria won the women’s half-marathon in 1:23:35 as preparation work for Ironman Brazil in four weeks, with the goal of qualifying for Ironman Hawaii. She was third in 2012 at Ironman Canada.
Thousands of non-elite athletes had their own stories to tell.
Darlene Hicks hugged son Gavyn after crossing the line in just over an hour. Her sweatband read: “Sweat is my fat crying.” This was a family affair, as she did the race with Gavyn and husband Russ Pendergast.
“I could have happily rolled over [in bed] this morning,” she said. “But it’s fun to drive ourselves.”
More than 20 participants completed the 10K while Nordic polewalking. It’s a group coached by Linda Schaumleffel, who rowed for Canada in the 1976 Montreal Olympics.
“[Pole-walking] looks lovely, elegant and flowing and you go like the wind … but you are using 90 per cent of your muscles, compared to just 45 to 55 per cent running or walking,” Schaumleffel said of an activity popular in Europe and growing in North America.
“It also takes the pressure off the knees, and that’s a whole demographic right there.”
Times Colonist 10K race director Cathy Noel said she was pleased with how the day transpired.
“It was chilly early in the morning, but the rain held off and there were lots of happy faces along the course,” Noel said.
Traditional road races, such as 10Ks and marathons, are now facing challenges from events such as off-road foot racing that incorporate obstacles and mud.
“Our numbers are a little down overall from last year, but not much,” Noel said about competition from new off-road and ultra events.
But it all leads to the same outcome: healthier living.
“We want people to be moving and active. If they are, it’s all positive,” Noel said.
Runners hit the street at the start of Sunday’s Times Colonist 10K. There were 8,973 registered for the 10K race, 538 for the half-marathon and 1,016 for the kids’ run.