By Paul Gains
Canadian Olympian Natasha Wodak heads a strong women’s field for the running of the Under Armour Eastside 10k, in Vancouver on Saturday September 16, though she is cautious about being considered the favourite.
Photo: Natasha Wodak winning the 2015 Vancouver Eastside 10km. Photo credit: Chris Relke / Canada Running Series
The 35-year-old is coming off an excellent 10,000m performance at the 2017 IAAF World Championships - she finished 16th in a season best 31:55.47 - and then proceeded straight into a well-deserved rest period.
"I took a week off after the world track and field championships and have been doing some easy running." she reveals. "It has been going well. I have been listening to my body and it is feeling good right now."
Foot surgery last December left her playing catch up throughout the spring and summer leading to inconsistent performances. To add to the mix, she switched coaches and is now being guided by one of her heroes, 1984 Olympic 3,000m bronze medalist, Lynn Kanuka. In London she was inspired by the surprise appearance of Kanuka at the warmup track on the day of the 10000m final. The coach had only arrived in London hours before the race.
Two years ago, Wodak set an Eastside 10k event record of 33:04. She has a best 10k road time of 31:59 (Ottawa 2015) and also holds the Canadian 10,000m record of 31:41.59 which qualified her for the Rio Olympics. She was 22nd in the Rio 10,000m final. When she looks over the Eastside 10k field she points out that along with the ‘usual suspects’ there might be another surprise.