It seems like every weekend this spring, another couple of Canadians run into the spotlight with incredible performances down in the U.S., and this weekend was no different. On Friday, Andrea Seccafien broke the Canadian 10,000m record with a 31:13.94 at the Sound Running Track Meet in California, and on the same track a day later, Kate Van Buskirk smashed the 5,000m Olympic standard with a phenomenal 14:59.80 run. With those runs, other Canadian times and more international results, here is the weekend recap.
Seccafien now owns two Canadian records, as her new 10,000m national best joins her half-marathon record of 1:09:38. Her run on Friday not only shattered her 10,000m PB of 31:45.95 (which she ran in Australia earlier this year), but it also crushed Natasha Wodak‘s previous Canadian record of 31:41.59 and it was well under the Olympic standard of 31:25.00. Seccafien ended up winning the race in California by a whopping eight seconds.
Van Buskirk hits standard
Going into Saturday’s race, Van Buskirk (who hosts The Shakeout Podcast) owned a 5,000m PB of 15:16.34, a time she ran in 2018. Due to the pandemic and injuries, she hadn’t competed since running a one-mile race in September 2019, and her last 5,000m race came a full year before that.
Although she had a long break from racing, Van Buskirk certainly wasn’t rusty, and she ran the fourth-fastest 5,000m time in Canadian history with her 14:59.80 finish in California. She placed fifth, just ahead of fellow Canadian Julie-Anne Staehli, who ran yet another PB (she has now run three 5,000m PBs in May), crossing the line in 15:01.85. Staehli had already run under the Olympic standard of 15:10.00, but this was Van Buskirk’s first time doing so, and it gives her a great shot at being named to the Canadian team headed to Tokyo this summer.
Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands dominated the 5,000m race, taking the win in a world-leading time of 14:35.34. Second place went to American Josette Norris in 14:51.42 (which was a 28-second PB), and her compatriot Rachel Schneider finished in third in 14:52.04 (a 14-second PB).
Other Canadian results
In the men’s 10,000m at the Sound Running Track Meet, Ben Flanagan broke 28 minutes for the first time in his career, running to a seventh-place finish in 27:49.09. This result puts him at sixth all-time among Canadian men in the 10,000m, and it brings him closer than ever before to the Olympic standard of 27:28.00. Rory Linkletter also raced the 10,000m, and he finished in 25th in 29:18.85.
Melissa Bishop-Nriagu continued to demonstrate tremendous form, and after two straight weeks of hitting Olympic standard in the 800m, she jumped up to the 1,500m in California. She ended up smashing her 1,500m with a time of 4:04.42, earning her fifth place. This time is just off the Olympic standard of 4:04.20. Lucia Stafford finished in ninth in the same race, running 4:07.28.
Also in the 1,500m were Natalia Hawthorn and Cameron Proceviat, both of whom won their heats (with Hawthorn hitting a five-second PB in 4:07.12). Gabriela DeBues-Stafford ran the 800m, finishing sixth in her heat in a PB of 2:00.03. Also in the 800m was Madeleine Kelly, who won her own heat in 2:01.11. Finally, Moh Ahmed won the men’s 5,000m race in 13:18.49.
For full results and more Canadian runs form the Sound Running Track Meet, click here.
Nate Riech breaks another world record
Also racing in California (but at a different meet) was Canadian Paralympic hopeful Nate Riech. Riech raced the 1,500m at the Azusa Pacific University Last Chance Twilight meet, and he broke his own world record in the event. Riech competes as a T38 athlete, which is a division of para athletics for athletes living with co-ordination impairment, and he ran an amazing time of 3:50.47. This shattered his previous PB of 3:52.56, which he ran in March, and it’s only further proof that he is the man to beat in the T38 1,500m heading into the Tokyo Games.
Moving onto the road, there were a couple of big runs this past weekend. First up was in Italy at the Generali Milano Marathon, where Kenya’s Titus Ekiru and Ethiopia’s Hiwot Gebrekidan broke the Italian all-comers’ marathon records. Ekiru won the men’s race in 2:02:57 and Gebrekidan won in 2:19:35. Both results were huge PBs and world-leading times for 2021. Ekiru’s run is just the sixth sub-2:03 marathon in history, and he now sits in the top five of all time in a tie with fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto.
In the U.S., Molly Seidel raced the New Boston Half Marathon. She finished in 1:11:36, and while that’s well off her 1:09:20 PB from earlier in the year, it won her the women’s title and placed her at third overall in the event.