Runner Luc Bruchet nearly hits Olympic standard at 10,000m race in B.C.

Four Canadian runners set personal-best occasions in an official 10,000-metre race on a cool Saturday evening in Burnaby, B.C., led by Luc Bruchet, who was 49 ½ seconds shy of the Tokyo Olympic qualifying standard.

The Vancouver resident’s time of 28 minutes 17.33 seconds at Swangard Stadium is the quickest 10,000 on Canadian soil since Jeff Schiebler ran 28:07.06 at the 2001 world championships at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium.

“It’s still a long way to the standard but I know I can give the 28-minute barrier a good crack in a bigger race,” mentioned Bruchet, who was 37th in the 5,000 in his 2016 Olympic debut at Rio. “It’s still possible to get [on the Canadian team] on the ranking system. I’ll be trying to run as fast as I can over the 5,000 and 10,000.”

Bruchet, 29, ranked 62nd and 123rd in the world throughout these distances earlier than Saturday’s occasion, the second in the Saturday Night Lights Endurance Series organized by B.C. Athletics.

His 2019 season better of 13:30.36 in the 5,000 is a bit more than 16 seconds above the 13:13.50 Olympic standard.

‘Nostalgic place to race’

Finishing behind Bruchet on Saturday was Vancouver’s Kieran Lumb (28:17.55), John Gay of Kelowna, B.C. (28:18.10) and 2016 Olympian Charles Philibert-Thiboutot, who led early on and clocked 28:45.42, three seconds off Alain Bordeleau’s Quebec report.

“There were a couple of coaches but not another soul in the stands,” mentioned Bruchet, a three-time Canadian cross-country champion. “It felt pretty weird being in a large venue like Swangard [with a capacity of 5,000 to 7,500]. It was cool we had 20 to 25 fans along the back straight.

“For me it is a nostalgic place to race because the B.C. highschool championships used to all the time happen there. With all of the craziness in the world recently it felt superior to run an actual race.”

Lumb, Gay and Bruchet are confirmed for a third SNL race in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic on Dec. 5 at Swangard, complete with a timing crew and officials.

Justin Kent, who qualified to represent Canada at the half marathon world championship in Poland before Athletics Canada withdrew its team days before the October race, did not compete Saturday. He is focused on preparing for his marathon debut in Arizona next month.

Former University of British Columbia runner Theo Hunt ran 3 km as a time trial while Burnaby’s Cam Proceviat paced the foursome through 3,000 metres.



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