There are a few Canadian storylines from Boston Marathon weekend that don’t involve the marathon itself. On Saturday, April 15, Charles Philibert-Thiboutot of Quebec City will look to defend not only his crown at the Boston B.A.A. 5K but also his Canadian 5K record of 13:35.
The title and record defence won’t come easy; Philibert-Thiboutot will be challenged by Canadian 10K record holder Ben Flanagan of Kitchener, Ont., who holds a 5K best of 13:38 from the 2022 Canadian 5K Championships in Moncton, N.B. Flanagan, 28, has had a lot of success in the state of Massachusetts. He is a three-time Falmouth Road Race champion and broke the long-standing Canadian 10K record of 28:17 at the B.A.A. 10K last June.
Flanagan has shown off his fitness early in the 2023 season, setting a 5,000m best of 13:11.12 at the John Thomas Terrier Classic at Boston University in January. With the uncertainty of the Canadian men’s 5,000m team for the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Flanagan is eager for a Team Canada spot, chasing the world entry standard of 13:07.00.
Philibert-Thiboutot also had a stellar 2022 season, winning the national championship over 5,000m and reaching the semi-final at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in the 1,500m.
“Boston has been good for the both of us,” says Philibert-Thiboutot. “I am the Falmouth Mile record holder while he (Flanagan) is a multiple Falmouth road race champion. It’s a great storyline that the defending champ at the B.A.A. 5K will go up against the Canadian 10K record holder from the B.A.A. 10K.”
This time around, Philibert-Thiboutot and Flanagan know that Saturday’s race won’t have a storybook ending for the both of them. “I feel confident as the defending champion,” says Philibert-Thiboutot. “I want to defend my B.A.A. 5K title at all costs.”
After a minor setback to begin 2023, Philibert-Thiboutot shares that his training has been going well. “Ben or anyone can throw Canadian record pace at me,” he says. “I’m ready, and I have come here to win.”
The B.A.A. 5K kicks off the start of the 2023 Boston Marathon weekend. The men’s and women’s races will begin on Saturday at 8:00 a.m. E.T. The women’s race features Canadians Julie-Anne Staehli and Charlotte Prouse.
Canadian Running will be your home for the 127th Boston Marathon, with live-tweeting for April 15th’s B.A.A 5K and the Boston Marathon. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for news and updates.