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Canadian 10K Championships preview: Natasha Wodak returns to Ottawa looking for a three-peat


For the previous 9 years, the ultimate weekend of Might has been a vital date at the calendar for lots of of Canada’s height distance runners, who head to Ottawa to combat it out at the roads for the Canadian 10K Championship. Remaining yr, Moh Ahmed got here with regards to beating Ben Flanagan’s nationwide report at the banks of the Rideau Canal, surging previous Canadian report holder Cam Levins within the ultimate kilometre to win his first nationwide name at the roads. Two-time Olympian Natasha Wodak ruled from gun to tape to win her 2nd consecutive name at the girls’s aspect. Now, Wodak is aiming for a 3rd instantly Canadian 10K name, which might put her in a league of her personal and make her the one lady to three-peat in championship historical past.

Natasha Wodak Worlds
Wodak (centre) on the 2023 Global Athletics Championships. Photograph: Kevin Morris

Wodak is coming off her 3rd marathon construct within the ultimate 365 days. 4 weeks in the past, she took her ultimate shot on the Paris Olympic usual of two:26:50 (on the Hamburg Marathon), however got here up 3 and a part mins shy. After a couple of days off, Wodak returned to coaching in hopes of successful her 3rd consecutive 10K name. “It appears like my coaching for this has been temporary,” laughs Wodak. “I’m hoping there’s some residual health within the legs.”

The Canadian report holder within the marathon has competed on the ultimate seven editions of the 10K and received on 4 events. “It’s our nationwide championships and I come right here annually to compete,” says Wodak. “I haven’t any false expectancies of successful, however I do know I’ll combat exhausting for a top-five spot.”

The ladies’s box this yr is deeper than it’s been lately, with (soon-to-be) three-time Canadian Olympian Malindi Elmore additionally shedding down in distance to problem Wodak for the nationwide name. Elmore made it transparent at Friday’s press convention that she’ll be racing on a complete week’s coaching load and the use of the race to kick off the following degree of her Olympic marathon construct.

2023 Ottawa Marathon Malindi Elmore
Elmore competing on the 2023 Ottawa Marathon. Photograph: Victah Sailer

Out of doors of Elmore and Wodak, former nationwide champion Lanni Marchant returns to Ottawa, coming off a forged efficiency on the Night time of the ten,000m PBs in London ultimate weekend, the place she ran 33:24. Marchant ultimate received right here in Ottawa in 2016. Eliyah Brawdy of Smithers, B.C., is also a marvel winner. Two weeks in the past in Coquitlam, B.C., Brawdy received her first nationwide name over 10,000m (at the observe), clocking an excellent 33:37.

Rory Linkletter vs. Ben Flanagan

Calgary’s Rory Linkletter had two targets for his 2024 season, and he’s already achieved one among them: punching his price ticket to the Paris Olympic Video games (his 2nd Olympics). Now, he objectives to reach his 2nd objective: successful his first occupation Canadian nationwide name. Linkletter got here shut two weeks in the past on the Canadian 10,000m Championships in B.C., completing 2nd to Toronto’s Andrew Alexander in a wild dash end, however now he’ll get that opportunity as soon as once more on Saturday evening in Ottawa, with just a few males status in his approach—together with one among Canada’s best possible street racers and the 10K report holder, Ben Flanagan.

ROry Linkletter
Photograph: Kevin Morris

Those two males know every different rather well, having competed in opposition to one any other for the ultimate 10 years (courting again to their collegiate days within the NCAA). Being only one yr aside in age, their careers have taken other paths. Flanagan has racked up a number of nationwide titles over 5K and 10K and located luck at the observe over 5,000m. By contrast, Linkletter jumped as much as the marathon, reducing his private best possible via 8 mins since his debut in 2019. “The Ottawa 10K shall be a just right check of the place I’m at,” says Linkletter. “I stay up for racing greater than anything else, and I really like doing it—I all the time wish to win.”

Flanagan has received the Ottawa 10K in his ultimate two appearances and ruled the race from begin to end when he received two years in the past in 28:39. “That is my first street race of the season earlier than gearing up for the Canadian Olympic Trials,” says Flanagan. “I’m excited and keen to look the place my health is at. I wish to placed on a display.”

Ben Flanagan
Photograph: Victah Sailer

Tips on how to watch

You’ll be able to circulate Saturday’s Ottawa 10K (Canadian 10K Championships) survive YouTube. Protection starts at 6:15 p.m. E.T., with the ladies’s race up first, and the boys’s race to practice at 6:30 p.m. Observe Canadian Working on Twitter and Instagram for up-to-date protection.



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