Men’s win­ner Wiebe brings it home for Canada

Times Colonist - - Front Page - CLEVE DHEENSAW cd­heen­saw@times­

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.

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