With strong runs in Saturday night’s Canadian 10 km Championships, Lanni Marchant of London, Ont., and Eric Gillis of Guelph, Ont., each took home national titles. Athletes and spectators were treated to great weather and fast times in Ottawa.
10km Canadian Championship – Women
Gold > Lanni Marchant – 31:48
Silver > Natasha Wodak – 31:58
Bronze > Laure Batterink – 33:33
10km Canadian Championship – men
Gold > Eric Gillis – 28:57
Silver > Kelly Wiebe – 29:07
Bronze > Matt Loiselle – 30:26
Lanni Marchant and Natasha Wodak of Vancouver, B.C., took up residence in the lead pack from the start and were not intimidated by the strong international field. After finishing second in the Canadian 10 km Championships last year, Marchant was able to gain a gap on Wodak that helped her secure the victory.
“Don’t let Natasha (Wodak) kick you down,” Marchant explained were her thoughts as she raced down the homestretch. “I broke away from her a little on an uphill as we went over Bronson Street bridge. After that, I was running scared.”
Marchant’s time of 31:48 was only 4 seconds shy of the Canadian 10 km record set by Lynn Williams of 31:44. Wodak also dipped under 32 minutes, finishing with a time of 31:58.
In the men’s race getting out fast proved to be a winning strategy for Eric Gillis as he successfully defended his Canadian 10 km Championship title with a time of 28:57. Gillis was able to gain an advantage early and the Canadian field wasn’t able to chase him down.
The two-time Olympian enjoyed the support he received out on the course and at the finish. “It was like a noise tunnel coming down there. I couldn’t hear myself think, but I did speed up for the crowd. I definitely heard their support out there,” said Gillis.
Recent Canadian 10,000-metres champion, Kelly Wiebe of Swift Current, Sask., ran virtually the exact same pace over the final 5 km as Gillis, but couldn’t close the gap. Wiebe crossed the line in 29:07 to finish in the runner-up position.
To watch a video replay of the Canadian 10 km Championships visit AthleticsCanada.tv
Full race results from Ottawa Race Weekend can be found here: http://www.sportstats.ca/display-results.xhtml?raceid=26001&status=results