Hometown Fave Natasha Kodak wins RNR Oasis Vancouver Half Marathon

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Here is a piece on the RNR Vancouver Half Marathon that happened earlier today. Part of the RNR series, it continues to show the growth of our sport.

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PRESS RELEASE

Hometown Favorite Natasha Wodak Wins the Rock 'n' Roll Oasis Vancouver Half Marathon

Cunningham Seawall 10k celebrates 45 years as the oldest race in British Columbia

Vancouver, BC - October 25, 2015 - One of the North America's most-scenic cities did not disappoint on Sunday at the Rock 'n' Roll Oasis Vancouver Half Marathon. Thousands of runners lined up at the start of the race amid chilly fall temps in the high 30s and under partly cloudy skies. But once the starting gun sounded, things warmed up as the music and crowds energized participants who were afforded a spectacular visual treat as they ran along Vancouver waterfront with stunning views of the mountains and the ocean.

First to break the tape in Vancouver was Paul Kimugul, who clocked one hour, five minutes, and 25 seconds for the 13.1-mile distance. Kimugul's victory was decisive as second-place finisher Kelly Wiebe was a full 24 seconds behind. Third place went to Bernard Ngeno (1:07:30).

"The race was good," said Kimugul who also won last year's race. "I like the race--especially the fans all along the river--very fantastic. I love the Rock 'n' Roll races. I came here from Kenya and want to follow all the Rock 'n' Roll race cities."

Hometown favorite Natasha Wodak won the women's race in 1:18:53. And like the men's race, her victory was commanding. Second and third place went to Jane Ricardi (1:20:02) and Sabrina Wilke (1:21:04) respectively.

For Wodak, who was in Las Vegas on Friday, the last 48 hours have been a whirlwind. "I'm pretty tired," Wodak said with a chuckle. "You know what? You only live once." Wodak had been in Vegas with a friend and arrived home Saturday morning. "I got a little jog in and I was fine," she said. "I can rally."

For Wodak, 2015 has been a banner year. She represented Canada at the 10,000m event in the World Championships over the summer and says she's been building her mileage up after a break in September. "Today, my coach said I could race as long as I took it more as a tempo. The goal was to try and run 1:20. I ran under 1:19 and I felt good doing it, so I was able to run it."

Wodak admitted the views and the beautiful fall weather helped her along the course. "You can't beat running here in Vancouver," she said. "I'm always happy to race at home with my friends and family."

The diversity of participation at the Rock 'n' Roll races impressed Wodak who said she was surprised to meet so many people from all over the world as the race expo the day before. "I thought that was really cool," she said.

Wodak is training for the world half-marathon championships next year and then will focus solely on the 2016 Olympic games in Rio.

The 45th annual Cunnigham Seawall 10K was held on Saturday and Geoff Martinson was the men's winner who led from wire to wire and clocked 29:52.

"We had beautiful conditions," said Martinson who ran the half last year in Vancouver and placed second. Martinson is a local who runs for the B.C. Endurance Project. "The 10K course is very scenic," he said. "It's the best the city has to offer."

Kimberly Doerksen, also a Vancouver resident, won the women's 10K in 36:29. She recalled she was "running scared" from the second-place finisher during the race. "I ran what I expected," she said. "I'm really happy with the effort. You can't beat the views of the ocean and the mountains on this course. It's spectacular."

The John Volken Foundation, a non-profit organization that operates the John Volken Academy, a long-term residential drug and alcohol treatment center, returned as the official charity of the race. The energy was electric as the finish-line festival in Stanley Park as Canadian indie band Yukon Blonde jammed to the crowds full of finisher-medal wearing runners and their loved ones.

The 2016 Rock 'n' Roll Oasis Vancouver Half Marathon is set for the weekend of October 22-23 and limited presale registration is open online through Friday. For compete results, photos and more, visit www.RunRocknRoll.com/Vancouver.

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Start of the Rock 'n' Roll Oasis Vancouver Half Marathon (Credit Robert Shaer)

Results - Rock 'n' Roll Oasis Half Marathon

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Men

1. Paul Kimalyo Kimugul, Kenya, 1:05:24, $1,000

2. Kelly Wiebe, 1:05:48, Canada, $500

3. Bernard Ngeno, 1:07:29, Kenya, $250

Women

1 . Natasha Wodak, 1:18:57, Canada, $1,000

2. Jane Ricardi, 1:20:01, Seattle, WA, $500

3. Sabrina Wilkie, 1:21:04, Canada, $250

Results - 45th James Cunningham Seawall 10k

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Men

1. Geoff Martinson, 29:52, Canada, $250

Women

1. Kimberly Doerksen, 36:29, Canada, $250

About Rock 'n' Roll Oasis Vancouver

The second annual Rock 'n' Roll Oasis Vancouver Half Marathon & Cunningham Seawall 10k benefiting the John Volken Academy will run through downtown Vancouver and around Stanley Park over the weekend of Saturday, October 24 to Sunday, October 25, 2015. The race will feature live bands and entertainment, motivating fanfare and themed water stations along the scenic course. A free two-day Health & Fitness Expo kicks off race weekend. The event concludes Sunday afternoon with a finish line celebration and concert in Devonian Harbour Park at the entrance to Stanley Park. For more information, please visit RunRocknRoll.com or follow @RunRocknRoll on twitter.

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