Regan Yee, 24, shattered her 5,000m personal best in a time trial on Saturday, running under the Olympic standard of 15:10 to finish in 15:08. The Vancouver native says she is really happy with her spring training block and even happier with Saturday’s run. Even though her time won’t count for qualification (the window doesn’t open until December 1, 2020) it’s a huge confidence boost. It wasn’t only Yee who ran well, her three teammates Sarah Inglis, Natasha Wodak and Natalia Hawthorn also had great runs, with Inglis and Hawthorn running huge personal bests as well.
Yee says the group ran a successful 3K time trail two weeks ago. “John Gay [2019 World Championships competitor] paced us. Both Sarah and I ran under nine minutes and it felt hard but manageable. After that, we knew we could run a good 5K.”
Yee says Saturday was perfectly paced and actually felt really smooth. While road runners can race in co-ed events and have their results count for qualification for any Canadian team, on the track, a co-ed race isn’t considered valid. Yee says having a male pacer is a luxury. “Caleb de Jong [their pacer] was great, and pacing was easy for him. It’s basically his tempo pace. He was really calm and encouraging, which rubbed off on me I think. There’s something nice about the person pacing you running at a comfortable clip. It makes the pace feel more comfortable for you as well.”
But Yee didn’t have just one pacer, she also had teammate Alicia Butterworth with her for 3K, Inglis next to her who finished in 15:15 and her coach Mark Bomba on a bicycle. “It was a super controlled environment. In that way, it felt way easier than a race. I put at lot of pressure on myself in a race setting, but there was way less stress on Saturday. I could just shut my mind off and run. We wanted to run 73-second laps, and that’s exactly what we did.”
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33rd at the World Championships. I didn't hit my Qatarget, but I'm Dohungry for more. Although I'm not yet where I want to be, just making that starting line was a huge milestone for me. I tried my best to soak in every minute of my first Worlds and I'm excited to build on this for the 2020 Olympic year! I owe a GIGANTIC thank you to everyone who tuned in to my race and supported me, and especially to my coach who came all the way across the world to be here for me… I don't know if it's humanly possible to express the amount of gratitude I have for you ⭐️ #doha2019 #bombasquad #punoftheday @athleticscanada @mustangs_endurance
Throughout July, Yee says she wants to run a little bit of everything. “I think we’ll do a 1,500m, a 2K steeplechase, maybe even throw an 800m in there for fun. I don’t really have a lot of speed in my legs right now, but I like to run an annual 800m. I don’t even know what my PB is, but hopefully I can run a 2:05. I haven’t run anything faster than 66 seconds in a 400m, but I think I can do it.” Yee will take August as a rest month before she gears up for her 2021 season and (hopefully) qualification for her first Olympic team.
Saturday’s TT results
Regan Yee – 15:08
Sarah Inglis – 15:15
Natalia Hawthorn – 15:30
Natasha Wodak – 15:33
Alicia Butterworth – 9:18 (3,000m)
Mikayla Tinkham – 9:30 (3,000m)