After a tense 10-minute delay on the start line, the 2017 Canadian 5K Road Race Championships got underway.
Andrea Seccafien held off Jessica O’Connell in a thrilling finish as the two IAAF World Championships qualifiers clocked identical 15:51 times on Sunday morning in Toronto. Seccafien won by 0.6 seconds in 15:51.1 to defend her Canadian 5K Road Race title and add the off-track championship to her 5,000m victory from the Canadian Track and Field Championships in Ottawa back in July.
Canadian 5K Road Race Championships 🇨🇦
🥇 Levins (14:20)
🥇 Seccafien (15:51)
— CanadianRunning (@CanadianRunning) September 10, 2017
In the men’s race, Cam Levins, a rather unfamiliar face when it comes to racing in Canada recently, headed a leading pack of nine through the 2K mark in 5:45. Kyle Grieve, who ended up finishing third, held the lead in the closing stages before Levins, who no longer runs for Nike or the Oregon Project, prevailed. Evan Esselink, the Canadian 10,000m champion, was second in 14:23.1 to Levins’ 14:20.2.
Levins, who has raced rather frequently in recent months, mostly on the east coast of the United States, hinted at the possibility of running cross-country this year. He says he’s back in Portland, Ore. after a brief stint in Cedar City, Utah where he was reacquainted with his Southern Utah University coach Eric Houle. He had ankle surgery last July.
Grieve and Sasha Gollish rounded out the podiums as the winners took home $2,500 for their efforts in the late-year championship.
The event was run in unison with the B&O Yorkville Run, which features one of the fastest road courses in the country. The race starts and finishes near Jesse Ketchum Public School in Yorkville, a neighbourhood near downtown Toronto, and passes through Queen’s Park.
An extra $2,500 would have been awarded as a land bonus if either the men’s or women’s Canadian all-comers records of 14:04.6 or 15:48 were bettered, times per Athletics Canada. (Note that according to the Association of Road Racing Statisticians, the Canadian all-comers records are 13:56 and 15:42.)