Athletics Canada, in partnership with BC Athletics and the BC Endurance Project, announced updates regarding the Hertz Pacific Distance Carnival and Canadian 10,000-Metre Championships set to take place at historic Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, B.C., on June 18.
The Province of British Columbia is currently under a Provincial Health Order to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Under the order, high performance athletes who were not already training in B.C. are asked not to enter the province for the purpose of sport, including the 10,000-Metre Championships, therefore, making it difficult to host the event as originally planned. The province is expected to revisit the Provincial Health Order the week of May 25, and Athletics Canada will issue an update shortly thereafter about the status of the event for non-residents and those who were not training and/or residing in B.C. at the time the order was issued.
With COVID-19 safety measures and protocols in place at Swangard Stadium, the local organizing committee is hopeful to replicate the atmosphere that fans created in 2019 to heighten athlete performance and produce exciting results. This would include pyrotechnics, music and an entertaining group of taiko drummers who will help set the tempo for the athletes. Competing in front of a hometown crowd, Natasha Wodak narrowly held off Sarah Inglis and Rachel Cliff in a thrilling finish that saw Wodak set a new Championship Record of 32:09.69. On the men’s side, Ben Flanagan stormed home to win his first National Championship title in 28:42.29 over Lucas Bruchet and Rory Linkletter who placed second and third, respectively, in the men’s race.
“Similar to the Tokyo Qualifier Series, we are hopeful that these Championships will give our distance runners an opportunity to solidify their spot on Canada’s Olympic team right here at home,” said High Performance Director Simon Nathan. “We anticipate that the women’s race could be one of the most competitive in recent years, with more women having already achieved the qualification standard in the marathon than there are spots available. Some of those athletes could look to the 10,000 metres to secure their place in Tokyo. I’m confident that our partners at BC Athletics will do everything possible to provide our athletes with solid competition, and hopefully the weather conditions are ideal for athletes to rise to the occasion.”
Registration for the Canadian 10,000-Metre Championships opened on April 26 and travel grants are available for Canadian athletes (four male and four female) located outside of B.C.’s Lower Mainland. As an added incentive, the top five finishers of each race will have the opportunity to take home up to $500.
The Canadian 10,000-Metre Championships, Canada’s first athletics National Championship since the fall of 2019 when Abbotsford, B.C., hosted the Canadian Cross Country Championships, will be broadcast live on SportsCanada.tv, Canada’s premier online amateur sports network, starting at 8:45 p.m. local time.
Athletics Canada and BC Athletics reserve the right to change, alter or modify the format of the Championships based on ever evolving restrictions and public health measures due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety of Canadian athletes, coaches, staff and volunteers will be at the forefront of every decision that is made regarding this event.