Dayna Pidhoresky for the win in 33:20, back-to-back champion. First master Jim Finlayson in the background. Photo credit: Joseph Camilleri for Victoria Sports News

© Copyright – 2018 – Victoria Sports News

Good thing that the weather forecasters were wrong leading up to the 29th TC10K, Sunday. The rain held off and for the most part so did the wind, which is typically a big factor along Dallas Road from 5K to 8K.

A new winner was declared in Kenyan Haron Simra, who finished in the time of 29:49, 10 seconds ahead of defending champion Daniel Kipkoech, who won in 2016 and 2017. The third finisher and third Kenyan was Stephen Kersh stopping the clock at exactly 30:00.

The race was down to Kipkoech and Simra at 5K, the beginning of the only major hill on the course. Just two seconds back were Calgary’s Matthew Travaglini and Paul Kimugul. The race came down to the final kilometre where Simra pulled away for the win.

“Simra was faster. We were together until 9K, then he pulled away. He was stronger today,” shared Kipkoech.

Haron Simra for the win in 29:49. Photo credit: Joseph Camilleri for Victoria Sports News.

Travaglini was the first Canadian and fourth overall with a finish time of 30:25. One week prior at the Vancouver Sun Run, he finished under 30-minutes in a 10K race for the first in his career, clocking a 29:49. The former Windsor Lancer will now focus on the 5,000-metre distance for the spring and summer. Travaglini competed in the 2017 IAAF World Mountain Running Championships.

“It was a good race, I am pretty happy with it,” said Travaglini. “Same place as last year, fourth, but quite a bit faster, 43 seconds I think.”

Dayna Pidhoresky of Vancouver, the pre-race favourite and defending champion, was up against four-time champion Jane Murage of Eldoret, Kenya. At 5K, Pidhoresky led by 37 seconds and finished 1:17 ahead. Pidhoresky recorded a 33:20 finish time.

“Next year I will come back and try for the win,” said Murage. “I will come back more fit. Also, I have a bit of a knee injury, so hopefully I will be over that next time.”

Murage may return to the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon if her knee is better, to run the half marathon in October.

Pidhoresky ran a new personal best at the Vancouver Sun Run, the week prior recording a 33:11. She is gearing up for a pair of half-marathons including one in Indiana next week and the Canadian Half Marathon Championships in Calgary on May 27.

“I am pretty happy with the race. The weather was perfect, I wish I could stay a couple more days, it is so nice over here,” said Pidhoresky.

Asked if she will be looking for any particular time in Indiana, she said, “Well I don’t think I can run the current national record of 1:10:08, but maybe beat the previous record, which is 1:10:47.”

Lanny Marchant, the national marathon record holder (2:28:00) owned the national half-marathon record of 1:10:47; however, on March 3rd Vancouver’s Rachel Cliff bettered it in Woodlands, TX with her 1:10:08.

The Indiana race is called the 500 mini-marathon and is run ahead of the legendary Indianapolis 500. Pidhoresky will be leading a pack of 35,000 in the US’s biggest half-marathon event.

Pidhoresky won the historic Around the Bay 30K three weeks ago. She is the first woman to win it four times.

University of Victoria Vike Alison Hooper finished third in the time of 34:50, a 2:12 improvement over her 2017 performance and a 16 second improvement on her Sun Run from last Sunday.

The top three masters were Jim Finlayson, Shane Ruljancich and Craig Odermatt, all from Victoria. They finished in 33:23, 34:14 and 34:19, respectively.

Finlayson is coming back from an abdominal injury. It was his second race back, last week he finished in 34:02 in the Sun Run.

The top three masters women were Vancouver’s Catherine Watkins, who crossed the line in the time of 35:18. Heather McDonald finished second in 36:51. The third masters finisher, racing in the 50-54 age-group was Meghan Strothers, who finished in 40:30.

Missing was birthday girl and multi-time TC10K winner Lucy Smith, a 19-time national champion on the roads, track, multi-sport and cross-country. Smith is nursing a minor meniscus tear.

DOWN-AGING: Vancouver’s Jim Swadling took the provincial record for 70-74 age-group, finishing in 40:19. Swadling beat 7,699 other runners, finishing 111th overall out of 7,810. Also in the race was the legendary Maurice Tarrant, who at 87 finished every single TC10K to date. Right behind him was 80-something Lenore Montgomery, who finished in front of 2,702 other participants.

Full results are available, here>>

Post-race video interviews, here>>