Best Ever Finish for Team Canada at 2014 International Chiba Ekiden

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(ISN) – Team Canada recorded their best ever finish today at the International Chiba Ekiden in Japan. The mixed gender relay team placed seventh overall and recorded the fastest time in Canadian history covering the 42.195 km course in 2:09:28. The overall competition was won by Japan in 2:05:53.

Lucas Bruchet (White Rock, B.C.) led off the team running 13:35 for 5k and handed off to Jessica O’Connell (Calgary, Alb.) with the team in third place. O’Connell clocked 15:33 for the third fastest women’s 5k of the day, followed by a solid 10k leg from Kelly Wiebe (Swift Current, Sask.). Natasha Labeaud (Kelowna, B.C.) covered her 5k leg in 16:20 passing off to Sami Jibril (Toronto, Ont.) for a 10k leg. Canadian marathon record holder Lanni Marchant (London, Ont.) anchored Team Canada home to their best ever finish at the annual co-ed marathon relay.

In the 5000-metres race held for team alternates, Rachel Cliff (Vancouver, B.C.) won the women’s race and Pier-Olivier Laflamme (L’Ancienne-Lorette, Que.) set a new personal best finishing 5th.

Team Canada Results
International Chiba Ekiden
Leg 1 (5k) – Lucas Bruchet – 13:35 – 3rd
Leg 2 (5k) – Jessica O’Connell – 15:33 – 3rd
Leg 3 (10k) – Kelly Wiebe – 29:14 – 7th
Leg 4 (5k) – Natasha Labeaud – 16:20 – 4th
Leg 5 (10k) – Sami Jibril – 30:37 – 9th
Leg 6 (7.195k) Lanni Marchant – 24:09 – 4th

Alternate 5000m Track Race
Rachel Cliff – 15:58 – 1st
Pier-Olivier Laflamme – 14:10 PB – 5th

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