— BC Athletics (@BC_Athletics) March 17, 2018
Natasha Wodak produced the fastest performance ever in Canada for a 5K road race, according to BC Athletics, clocking 15:39 at Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day 5K in Vancouver.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games-bound distance runner from Vancouver broke the previous course record (16:05) held by Rachel Cliff, who finished second (15:51) in the race, earning a $750 payday. The previous Canadian all-comers 5K record was from 2001, according to the Association of Road Racing Statisticians, a 15:42 performance by Carol Montgomery. Interestingly, Montgomery was in the same race Saturday, crossing in 19:57.
Wodak and Cliff will represent Canada in the 10,000m at the Commonwealth Games in early April.
Olympian and 2017 Canadian cross-country champion Luc Bruchet broke the men’s course record (14:22), which he previously owned, lowering the mark to 14:12. Rob Denault followed closely in 14:16 as 16 men ran 15:00 or faster while 75 runners broke 17:00, making it one of the deepest road race fields in the country. Eight women broke 17:00.
The race went out extremely quick – 4:18 through the first mile, which translates to 13:21 pace for 5K – as runners covered a single loop of Stanley Park. The race starts and finishes near Stanley Park Pavilion.
Saturday’s event doubled as the provincial 5K road race championships.