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Inaugural Canadian 5k Championships success

jessica o'connell

Toronto – The Bang and Olufsen Yorkville Run hosted today the inaugural Canadian 5k Championships in Toronto’s Yorkville district. Pierre-Olivier Laflamme of Quebec, Que., and Jessica O’Connell of Calgary, Alta., won the first ever 5k road race national titles.

With their victories both Laflamme and O’Connell secured their spots on the Chiba Ekiden road relay national team that will travel to Chiba, Japan in November.

Laflamme, with a time of 14:34, edged Kyle Jones of Milton, Ont., 14.36.60 and Sami Jibril of Toronto, Ont., 14:38.30 to take the men’s Canadian Championship title. “The race went well, I knew I had a chance to do well, but there were a lot of strong athletes like Andrew Nixon who entered the event with fast times,” said a still overwhelmed Laflamme. “I didn’t really know how I would do, I was hurt earlier this summer so this is only my second race this season. My plan was to stick with the guys at the front and sprint hard at the end to take the win, and I was able to do just that.”

Laflamme spoke very highly of the Band and Olufsen Yorkville Run, “This is a great event, very well organized and the setup is awesome right in downtown Toronto. It’s a classy organization, events like this will help encourage people to keep running, help keep road running in Canada strong and growing.”

O’Connell, who recently represented Canada in the 5000-metres at the Commonwealth Games, won the women’s national 5k title in 15:54.10, ahead of Rachel Hannah of Toronto, Ont., 16:04.60 and Rachel Cliff of Vancouver, B.C., 16:37.50. Up next for O’Connell is the IAAF Continental Cup next week in Morocco.

“I had a great morning,” said O’Connell. “The race was a great final tune-up (before the Continental Cup) as I haven’t raced since the Commonwealth Games, feeling as strong as I did is a great confidence booster. It’s refreshing to dapple in another discipline when most of my races are on the track.” O’Connell adds, “The road racing atmosphere is so different from the track, there is overwhelming community support. The event was very fun and well organized, I will definitely be back!”

Canadian Championship – Women’s top 5

Gold. Jessica O’Connell, Calgary, AB – 15:54.10
Silver. Rachel Hannah, Toronto, ON – 16:04.60
Bronze. Rachel Cliff, Vancouver, BC – 16:37.50
4. Victoria Coates, Newmarket, ON – 17:05.10
5. Chessa Adsit-Morris, Vancouver, BC – 17:28.50

Canadian Championship – Men’s top 5

Gold. Pier-Olivier Laflamme, Quebec, QC – 14:34.00
Silver. Kyle Jones, Milton, ON – 14:36.60
Bronze. Sami Jibril, Toronto, ON – 14:38.30
4. Maxime Lapierre, St-George, QC – 14:50.90
5. Stéphan St-Martin, St-Nicolas, QC – 14:52.50