The Athletics Canada 2021 Canadian 10k Championships

By Jenn Tuthill

The daylight coming up from behind the condos and the iconic CN Tower peeking out from behind them on Lakeshore Rd began to reveal the faces of everyone already hard at work, setting up pylons, putting up banners, welcoming the elite athletes to the staging area where they could stretch, warm up and wait for the call to line up in the starting area.

The cool grey morning could not lessen the electric feel of the start line when the Athletics Canada Canadian 10K Championships began at 8:00 am Sunday, October 17. Ottawa’s very own Josh Cassidy started the event by crossing the start line just before the elite women, as the sole wheelchair racer.

The female elites lined up next and as the starting horn sounded, they flew down the out and back course with Leslie Sexton and Sarah Inglis staying close throughout the race, then going toe to toe in the last three kilometres. Inglis, who is Scottish, won the elite women’s race in 31:59, however Inglis isn’t a Canadian citizen and was ineligible for the national title. Sexton took the title of Women’s Canadian 10k Champion and ran a personal best, with a time of 32:04. Cleo Boyd, who also ran a personal best, and Natasha Wodak, who placed 13th at the 2020 Olympic marathon with a time of 2:31:41, placed second and third respectively with times of 33:21 and 33:33.

With the fall air coming off of Lake Ontario, it was a cool 9C when the male elites were called up to the start line for 8:13am. They readied themselves and they were off as the horn sounded with the field breaking into several packs and eventually Ben Flanagan and Luc Bruchete pulling away and battling it out in the last two kilometers. Flanagan, who was making his 10K road race debut, managed to keep Bruchet at bay and take the Men’s Canadian 10K Championship title with a time of 28:41. Bruchet, coming off of his Canadian 5K championship win in September with a time of 13:49, took second with a time of 28:49 and Ben Priesner, top Canadian male at the 2020 Olympic marathon in Sapporo with a finishing time of 2:19:27 (46th place over all), rounded out the top three crossing the finish line in 28:53.

Olympian Evan Dunfee, who brought home Canada’s first Olympic race walking medal in almost 30 years completed the course in 41:34.

The Canadian 10K Championships had originally been scheduled to take place at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend 2021 which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Run Ottawa is excited to be welcoming the Championships home to Ottawa for Race Weekend 2022 on May 28.

The Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend 10K course records are currently held by Deriba Merga of Ethiopia in 2009 with a time of 27:23.9, and Gladys Cherono of Kenya in 2015 with a time of 30:56. The winners of the last in-person Canadian 10K Championships that took place at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend in 2019, were Natasha Wodak crossing the finish line in 32:30.8, eighth place overall and Dylan Wykes in 29:55.5 sixth place overall.

Run with the elites by registering for the Ottawa 10K at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend 2022! Join the fun and the excitement on May 28! 

Jenn Tuthill is Run Ottawa’s Social Media Manager and was thrilled to report on the Canadian 10K Championships in Toronto this year. Connect with Jenn on Instagram and/or Twitter to share in her running adventures.