January 20, 2021

Canadians Natasha Vodak and Ben Braisner host Olympic qualifying times

“I had to travel here and the weather was good. Everything worked in a year where nothing seemed to work and everything seems to be canceled.

“I am so happy and relaxed that I was able to monopolize this opportunity and put down a very strong time.”

In his first marathon in seven years, Vodak crossed the finish line in two hours, 26 minutes and 19 seconds, a personal best of almost 10 minutes.

This is the second fastest journey by a Canadian woman to cover a distance of 42.195 kilometers, surpassing the Canadian record of Malindi Elmore 2: 24.50 at the beginning of 2020.

2: 29.30 Vodak easily beat Tokyo qualifying time for women.

Canada’s Ben Breisner also finished eighth in men’s Olympic qualifying time at 2: 10.17.

Ben Rosario, head coach of the Hoga Northern Arizona Elite Track Club, organized Sunday’s race for about 100 elite runners a year for Olympic qualifying times, which saw every major road race destroyed by the Covit-19 virus.

Conditions are ideal. A starting time temperature of 3C rose to about 7 inside the coating, with no cloudy skies and almost no wind.

The women’s pitch split early, so Vodak – wearing bright pink knee-high socks – ran alone with male crackers Nick Hilton and Will Baldwin.

The trio chatted as they went early.

“I can chat beautifully. But I know I shouldn’t talk because it’s energy consuming, ”Vodak said.

“But in the first half of the race, you feel good, you feel relaxed, so it’s natural for you to want to sort out the speech, so yes, I talked to them a little bit, you know, ‘Where are you from?’ And blah, blah, blah. “

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In the women’s race, American Sarah Hall won 2: 20.32.

Five Canadian women – Vodak, Elmore, Dana Pitoreski, Rachel Cliff and Lindsay Desire – have all reached the Olympic qualification criteria, but only three women and three men can enter the Tokyo Marathon.

This is a good issue for Canada.

“There have never been more than two who came to the standard in marathons, so it is unbelievable that there are five now,” Vodak said.

She is the Canadian record holder in the 10,000 meters on the track, so she will play by ear what distance she will run in Tokyo.

“I hope to take the time to rescue 10,000 people this spring and then run faster, and then see where we are with the marathon, faster than I ran if any other women ran,” she said.

Vodak should be isolated when she returns to BC, but she can train in an ellipse in her apartment. She will retire for the first few days well earned.

“I’m moving very slowly, making a lot of moans and screams,” Vodak said with a laugh from his hotel room in Chandler.

Breisner, 24, from Ont Milton, made his marathon debut and was the only Canadian to run the men’s under 2: 11.30 qualifying time.

The other two Canadian men – Tristan Woodfine and Trevor Hofver – had previously met the eligibility criteria.

It was another heartbreaking day for Canadian record holder Cam Lewins, who was back at the national record pace through 35km.

Levins ran with the lead pack before dramatically retreating to finish 15th at 2: 12.15.

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He broke Jerome Drayton’s 43 – year – old Canadian record when he ran 2: 09.25 in Toronto in 2018.

Two months ago at the London Marathon Lewins was subjected to cold, rainy weather, never finished.

He has not yet reached the Olympic standard for Tokyo.

This report by Canadian Publishing was first published on December 20, 2020.

Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press