The top two women at the West Van Run 5K were separated by less than a second in a thrilling finish.
Sabrina Wilkie, the 2016 B.C. marathon champion, and Catherine Watkins, who represented Canada at the 2015 Pan Am Games in the marathon, both clocked 17:00. Wilkie ended up getting the edge in the end as both averaged 3:24 per kilometre.
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The race, based in West Vancouver, begins at Marine Drive and 22nd Street and features portions along the Seawall as part of the event’s flat and fast course. The West Van Run proved to be one of the bigger races so far in 2017 for Metro Vancouver as snowfall has interrupted certain races, including the Vancouver First Half, this winter. Saturday’s 5K had, according to Race Day Timing, 608 participants with another 100 in the 1K.
Finish line photo
Per Twitter, Watkins raced for the first time since last June marking her return to competitive racing. According to her blog, she is averaging approximately 110K in training after overcoming injury that kept her out for the latter part of 2016.
“So much fun to be back out racing,” Watkins, who runs for Oiselle, tweeted. “A bundle of nerves before but felt so good and hard once moving! Haven’t raced since last June.”
Back in October, Wilkie, who represents Mizuno, won the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon in what was her 42K debut winning the B.C. Marathon Championships. Her 2:45:54 clocking is just off a qualifying time for the 2017 IAAF World Championships. (The newly-announced, at least for Canadian athletes, standard for women is 2:45:00.)
Wilkie’s 17:00 West Van 5K time was a course record.
In the men’s 5K, 2016 Canadian 10K bronze medallist Kevin Friesen outlasted Rob Watson, who, among others, coaches the popular Mile2Marathon group. Friesen ran 14:48 to Watson’s 14:55; Watson has the IAAF World Championship qualifying time in the marathon though it’s unclear whether he will race in London this summer.
A 10K is scheduled for Sunday morning as the city is currently under a snowfall warning with 5-10 cm of precipitation expected for today. The race will go on as planned, according to race organizers. (The below photo was taken this morning.)