For the second time in three weeks, the winner of a Metro Vancouver road race has been decided by a photo finish. Ross Proudfoot and Dayna Pidhoresky won Saturday morning’s BMO St. Patrick’s Day 5K in what is one of Canada’s most competitive road races.
Proudfoot, the back-to-back Canadian cross-country champion, ran 14:40 capped off by a sprint finish with 2016 Olympic Luc Bruchet, who also clocked 14:40. Bruchet, who ran for Canada in the 5,000m in Rio, had the edge rounding the final corner near the Stanley Park Pavilion and appeared to let up ever so slightly. Proudfoot, who was in second just ahead of Geoff Martinson with metres to go, seized the opportunity and nipped Bruchet, who holds the course record at 14:22, at the line breaking the green winner’s tape.
— BC Athletics (@BC_Athletics) March 18, 2017
“Always run through the line,” Bruchet wrote on Twitter after the race. “A lesson I should have learned long ago. As always, another great St. Patrick’s Day 5K, one of BC’s best road races.”
Always run through the line! A lesson I should have learned long ago. As always, another great @stpatricks5k, one of BC's best road races
— Lucas Bruchet (@lucabruca) March 18, 2017
Proudfoot, who relocated to Victoria from his longtime training base in Guelph, Ont. in recent months, will not run the IAAF World Cross-Country Championships nor will Bruchet. Back in the pack, Kieran Lumb, who will run for Canada in Uganda next week, finished seventh in 14:54.
Vancouver’s Pidhoresky made her first road racing appearance since running the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October where she placed third among Canadians in 2:40:38. (She took seven weeks off because of a sacral stress fracture.) She’s one-for-one when it comes to victories in 2017 races as she won in 16:28, six seconds clear of U Sports standout Regan Yee. Rebecca Bassett was third in 16:49 on what is traditionally a relatively fast course though the final stretch is uphill.
Pidhoresky will run the Around the Bay 30K in Hamilton next weekend.
The St. Patrick’s Day 5K is one of many Irish-themed races this weekend and featured a loop of Stanley Park. According to Startline Timing, there were 1,220 finishers. Saturday’s race doubled as the British Columbia 5K championships and was one of the 12 events as part of the BC Super Series, a circuit of high quality road races.
The race also incentivizes runners to go out at a strong pace with $150 going to the leader through the first mile (1,609m) of the 5K. The catch: the runner, if first across the one-mile mark, must finish within one minute of the overall race winner. Proudfoot and Yee went home with the one-mile bonus.
Another interesting tidbit from the race: a Maserati acts as the pace vehicle. Full results from the BMO St. Patrick’s Day 5K can be found here.