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Harris competing in the 2015 Christie-Phoenix Insurance Victoria Run Series – Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

© Copyright – 2016 – Victoria Sports News

London Olympian, Geoff Harris of Halifax will be competing in the 800-metre event on Saturday, June 4th at the Christie-Phoenix Insurance Victoria Run Series track meet. He specialises in the 800-metre event; arguably the most competitive race distance off all.

The 800-metre race is the only run distance where the most effective strategy to employ is to run the first half slightly faster than the second half; to run a positive split. Harris will be going hard in this race as he will need to be racing tactically well (eventually) and get himself to a fine edge of sharpness, to make the Rio Olympic Games.

“I am using it as a bit of an experiment leading into a Portland [track meet] on the 14th of June,” said the 29-year-old.”I am going to get after it though. I want to go through 600m at Olympic standard pace!”

The Olympic standard is 1:46.00. His personal best is 1:45.97; the stuff of fine edges and smart tactics and being pushed along. He ran that personal best during the Olympics.

So far, Canada has just one male athlete who has run fast enough in the 800-metre event during the Rio qualifying window, to be on the Athletics Canada Rio Athlete Tracker list.

On Saturday, April 30th, Windsor native Brandon McBride ran the fastest 800-metre race in the world so far for 2016 in a meet that took place in Starkville, Miss. He ran a personal best time of 1:44.63.

Running under that time in advance of the July 15-16 TrackTown Canada, Rio Olympic Trials – Edmonton has dubbed itself TrackTown Canada – or at the trials, plus finishing first or second will ensure inclusion. Also a third place finisher could, in theory go too. Canada can send up to three athletes per event.

Harris has just six weeks of time to play with. Harris’s tactic of racing at Olympic standard pace through the first 600 metres should make for an exciting race to watch.

The Christie-Phoenix Insurance Victoria Run Series includes three track meets at the University of Victoria and three non-track races during September, as well as a year-end fun silent auction and awards party.

The series is open to all abilities and beginners. Non-elite runners have the only opportunity to run track on Vancouver Island during the series and compete in their own events.

The charity-of-choice is KidSport Greater Victoria. They will be on-hand to help with registration answer questions about KidSport and take donations.