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Canadian runners racing for position on World Half-Marathon team this weekend

Seven BC runners will race this weekend in hopes of securing a position on the World Half-Marathon team

IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships

Would you believe it if we told you that there’s a World Championship scheduled for five weeks from now? Because there is. On October 17, 2020 the World Half-Marathon Championships are set to run in Gdynia, Poland. Several countries have already named their teams, and Canada is set to select on September 21. The original date for the championship was March 29. 

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There are several Canadians in the running, and Athletics Canada has said in their criteria that they will select up to five runners for each of their men’s and women’s teams. Runners have to prove fitness by Sept. 20, which can be done in a time trail or race. (The qualification period for this event was revised to June 1 through September 20.)

RELATED: Andrea Seccafien breaks Canadian half-marathon record

Updated Olympic qualification rules

Based on the Olympic qualification rules, unless a runner is looking to qualify for the Games on their World Ranking in the marathon, there’s nothing to be gained from attending this championship in terms of Olympic qualification. The track qualification window remains closed and runners can only qualify for the marathon based on their finish in a full (and not a half) marathon. Tristan Woodfine will attempt this at the upcoming London Marathon, which will run just 13 days ahead of this championship. He ran his personal best 2:13 at the 2019 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. 

Tristan Woodfine on his way to a 2:13 personal best at STWM19. Photo: Todd Fraser/CRS

Runners time trialing for position

This weekend, the BC Endurance Project, which includes Justin Kent, Rachel Cliff  will be running half-marathon time trials, vying for positions on this team. Kent and Cliff will be competing alongside five other runners (Erica Digby, Kristen Lee, Catherine Watkins, Luc Bruchet and Theo Hunt) on a closed course in the Comox Valley. The current course record on the men’s side is held by Olympian Jon Brown in a time of 1:03:57, and the women’s record is held by Stephanie Andrews in a time of 1:16:55.

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These runs will be proof of fitness in order to be selected for the team. Athletics Canada has said they will name their squad on September 21, the day after the qualification window closes.

RELATED: Natasha Wodak becomes first Canadian woman to run under 1:10 for half-marathon