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Luc Bruchet, Rachel Cliff begin 2017 with wins at Pioneer 8K

B.C. Endurance Project members Luc Bruchet and Rachel Cliff won their respective divisions at the Pioneer 8K on Sunday outside of Victoria.

Pioneer 8K

Pioneer 8K

Three Rio Olympians kicked off their 2017 racing seasons at the Pioneer 8K outside of Victoria on Sunday.

Olympic men’s 5,000m competitor Luc Bruchet won the event in 23:24, defeating B.C. Endurance Project teammates Justin Kent and Geoff Martinson. Rachel Cliff, who this summer was notably left off the Olympic team in the women’s 5,000m despite hitting the necessary standard, won the women’s race in 26:51.

Bruchet’s time is believed to be the second fastest ever on the course, behind only Jon Brown’s 23:18.

Two-time Olympian Hilary Stellingwerff, who has transitioned to racing on the roads after an illustrious track career, was second on Sunday in 27:51. She is expected to race the Vancouver First Half in February. Jen Millar was third in 29:21 as six women broke the 30-minute barrier on Sunday. The race began at 11 a.m. PST with cool temperatures and minimal wind.

Chris Winter, who represented Canada in Rio in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase, finished fifth in 25:07. The 30-year-old is retired from competitive track and field, a decision he made this fall

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The Pioneer 8K, hosted by the Prairie Inn Harriers, a local running club based in Victoria, featured 489 finishers on Sunday, according to Raceday Timing. The Pioneer 8K is the site of the Canadian women’s 8K record, which Natasha Wodak set in 2013 running 25:28. The Vancouver resident is currently recovering from foot surgery.

Sunday’s event was the first of 12 races as part of the B.C. Super Series, a collaboration between B.C. Athletics, the province’s governing body, and some of the area’s top events. The Pioneer 8K was held in Saanichton, B.C.

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Top-10 results


1. Lucas Bruchet – 23:24
2. Justin Kent – 24:06
3. Geoff Martinson – 24:38
4. Theo Hunt – 25:06
5. Chris Winter – 25:07
6. Matt Noseworthy – 25:26
7. Josh Kozelj – 25:34
8. Tyler Dozzi – 26:08
9. Ian Searle – 26:21
10. Nick Walker – 26:40


1. Rachel Cliff – 26:51
2. Hilary Stellingwerff – 27:51
3. Jen Millar – 29:21
4. Kirsten Lee – 29:34
5. Heather Macdonald – 29:37
6. Marilyn Arsenault – 29:59
7. Bailey Haugan – 30:19
8. Melissa Ross – 30:36
9. Brittany Therrien – 30:48
10. Lauren Babineau – 30:48

Full results.

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