Haron Kiptoo Sirma. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

© Copyright – 2018 – Victoria Sports News

There may be at least two very exciting duels on the streets of Victoria during the 29th annual TC10K, Sunday.

Once again, Kenyan Jane Murage will be up against a very strong Dayna Pidhoresky of Vancouver.

Murage’s four consecutive win streak was broken by Pidhoresky in 2017, can she repeat? Murage won in 2013 – 2016 and she finished third last year behind Pidhoresky and Cold Lake’s Emily Setlack.

Murage has run as fast as 33:07 at the 2015 edition, while Pidhoresky recorded a 33:42 for the win in 2017.

Last Sunday, Pidhoresky ran a new 10K personal best time of 33:11 during the Vancouver Sun Run, crossing in fifth position, to set a new best by 24 seconds. Three weeks before, she became the first Canadian woman to win the historic Around the Bay 30K four times. She is on a roll.

Murage finished uncharacteristically in seventh position during the Sun Run clocking in a slower – by her standards – 34:55.

“I am going to do my best, that’s all I can do,” said a smiling Murage, who is from Eldoret and has a young daughter.

Murage has made friends on the west coast and hosted BC Athletics’ Jim Hinze and his wife Mary at home in Kenya this year – it was her turn. The Hinze’s are in Victoria to watch Murage race.

Pidhoresky is coached by her husband Josh. She has run the marathon as fast as 2:36:08, which is fast, but she wants more. Asked tongue-in-cheek if she is going to avoid the race due to a cool and rainy weather forecast, she said, “I don’t think I am allowed. I already packed my rain suit.”

Pidhoresky seems to run well in inclement weather, at least two of her ATB30K wins came with heavy winds and cool temperatures.

She will be racing the Canadian Half Marathon Championships in Calgary on May 27.

On the men’s side, two-time winner Daniel Kipkoech will toe-the-line, however, so will Haron Kiptoo Sirma. He is fresh off his win at the Around the Bay 30K. Simra finished in the time of 1:35:10.70, over three minutes ahead of Kipkoech, who crossed the line in the time of 1:38:35.30.

Simra owns a 10K best of 29:06 from Gdansk, POL 2015. It has been nearly a decade since Kipkoech ran his bests of 28:41 and 28:27 in the southern US. Kipkoech will have his hands full with Simra on Sunday.

“I hope to win and finish under 30-minutes, but I guess it depends on the weather,” shared Simra.

Calgary’s Matthew Travaglini may throw a spanner in the works. He finished in 29:49 for third place at last week’s Sun Run.  It was his first ever sub-30, 10K performance.

He finished fourth at last year’s TC10k with the same time as the third-place finisher. Finishing fourth at last week’s Sun Run with the same time as the third-place finisher is ironic; however, he has been assigned bib number M4. It appears that he also finished fourth in a virtual tie (0.3 seconds) with a third positioning at the Toronto 5K in the fall.

Stephen Kersh from Flagstaff, AZ, who Travaglini tied with last week has bib M5 for Sunday, so it could be an exciting race, if not numerologically interesting.

Five University of Victoria Vikes will be racing. They will be among the top-10 finishers. Derrick Evans, Ben Weir, Matt Noseworthy, Alison Hooper and Chloe Hegland are toeing-the-line.

Noseworthy finished 26th at the Sun Run in the time of 31:39, Hooper finished in 18th position among the women with a 35:06 clocking, nearly a minute faster than her 2017 TC10K performance.

She won the Bazan Bay 5K two weeks prior in the time of 16:47. Weir finished first overall in the time of 15:08, three seconds up on Evans, who he outsprinted during the final 200-metres.

Chloe Hegland set a new personal best finishing second in the time of 17:16 at Bazan.

The top masters men will be local favourites Jim Finlayson and Craig Odermatt, who was just named to the University of Victoria Vikes Hall of Fame inductions. While the top master woman will be Vancouver’s Catherine Watkins.

The race goes at 8:00 am Sunday beside the Legislature on Government Street. Registration closes Saturday at 5:00 pm and is available at the race expo at the Crystal Gardens on Douglas Street.

There are over 8,000 runners, walkers and kid’s run competitors expected to join in on the annual event.