(ISN) – VANCOUVER. Kelly Wiebe and Lanni Marchant recorded impressive victories ahead of a record-sized crowd of almost 1,300 runners at Sunday’s Modo Spring Run-Off 8K in Stanley Park. The event was “Opening Day” for Canada Running Series 2015, the country’s #1 running circuit, and drew runners from 7 provinces and 8 countries. It was also an important fundraiser for the Take-A-Hike Foundation.
Vancouver local, Kelly Wiebe, who will be representing Canada next weekend for the IAAF Cross Country World Championships in Guiyang, China, came out strong and led from start to finish posting an impressive time of 23:42. Wiebe was able to hold off second place finisher, Geoff Martinson who started off conservatively but left enough in the tank to overtake third place finisher Chris Winter.
“I knew it was going to be tough competition out there today,” said defending Modo 8K champion Wiebe, “I was looking to take it out hard.”
On the women’s side it was Canadian Marathon record holder Lanni Marchant who won the race with a time of 26:43. It was a great day for the BC Endurance project with local Vancouverite Rachel Cliff placing second and receiving bonus money for the top BC woman of the day. Dayna Pidhoresky, also from Vancouver, came in third.
“I ran with Rachel for the first 4 to 5K but I had a surge at around the 5K mark and really picked it up for the last 3K,” said Marchant,” The Vancouver girls seem to own the races around here so I am happy to have won one for Ontario.”
World Beer Mile Champion, Corey Gallagher, was hammered (not from alcohol) by the extremely competitive field placing 11th with a time of 25:47.
Participants today ran in support of Take a Hike, a unique combination of adventure-based learning, therapy and community service – all integrated into a full-time high school curriculum that works to empower ‘at risk’ youths in our community. The program teaches life skills and attempts to repair relationships between participants and their families. Take a Hike students volunteered at the event and together with Modo raised over $4,200 to support local school programs.
“We were thrilled with the turnout today and the fabulous level of competition,” said Canada Running Series President Alan Brookes, “What a fabulous launch into spring. We can’t thank everyone enough for making this event such a success. We are very proud to be able to race in such a beautiful setting like Stanley Park. Special thanks to the city of Vancouver and Parks Board for allowing us to race here”
Modo Spring Run Off 8K Male:
1. Kelly Wiebe 23:42
2. Geoff Martinson 23:58
3. Chris Winter 24:05
Modo Spring Run Off 8K Female:
1. Lanni Marchant 26:43
2. Rachel Cliff 26:55
3. Dayna Pidhoresky 27:13