South Surrey's Luc Bruchet runs ahead of the pack during the Canadian Cross-Country Championships last weekend at Jericho Park in Vancouver.

Bruchet runs away with national title

South Surrey runner crowned senior men’s cross-country champ

Luc Bruchet has a national championship to add to his resume.

On Saturday at Vancouver’s Jericho Park, the South Surrey runner slogged through the mud and rainy conditions to edge the rest of the field in the senior men’s division of 2013 Canadian Cross-Country Championships.

At nationals, Bruchet – an Elgin Park Secondary graduate who now runs for the Point Grey Track and Field Club – won the 10-km race, crossing the finish line in a time of 31 minutes, 38.39 seconds, nine seconds ahead of Vancouver’s Chris Winter, who won silver.

Aaron Hendrixx of Parkhill, Ont. took bronze.

Bruchet was considered one of the podium favourites heading into Saturday’s race, having represented Canada twice in 2013 – at the NACAC Cross-Country Championships in Jamaica, and at the IAAF World Cross-Country Championships.

And though he knew he’d have a shot at the podium, Bruchet figured his roommate, Kelly Wiebe, would be the man to beat. Wiebe, however, had been battling injuries heading into the race, and pulled out after the first of five laps of the two-km course.

“We’d both been training extremely hard, were both really fit. Even our coach (Richard Lee) told us before the race that he couldn’t pick one of us to win,” Bruchet said Tuesday.

“But unfortunately, Kelly was dealing with some injuries, and I was able to win it.”

And though he’s thrilled to have captured the title, Bruchet admits the race did not go according to the pre-race game plan he’d mapped out with his coach.

The original plan, Bruchet explained, was to hang back in the early stages of the race, conserving energy, before making a late push for the lead.

Instead, the fifth-year UBC student found himself in the lead early.

“I wasn’t trying to push it that fast, but it just kind of happened,” he said. “I had about a 25-metre lead on Chris (Winter), but by the six, seven kilometre mark I wasn’t feeling very good, and I knew the gap had closed. I thought I’d kicked (ahead) way too early.”

At that point, Bruchet said he slowed “almost to a jog” and let Winter catch up to him. The pair ran side by side for about a lap, before Bruchet, feeling energized, burst forward for the stretch run.

Bruchet, a middle-distance runner with a year of track-and-field eligibility left at UBC, said his track-and-field experience helped him on the final lap.

“We were running together, and I could tell Chris was breathing pretty hard that last kilometre.

“And being a 1,500-m guy (in track), I think I had a bit more speed than a lot of the guys, so I just went for it and pulled away.”

The national cross-country title caps an impressive year for the South Surrey runner, who has excelled on track as well as the trails. Last May, Bruchet won a gold medal in the men’s 1,500-m at NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Marion, Ind.

But despite his accomplishments – both on the trail and the track – this year, he said he’s still coming to grips with his championship run Saturday.

“(Winning) was definitely a goal at the start of the season,” he said.

“But it’s still kind of weird to call myself a national champion.”

Just Posted

Overdose deaths down in Surrey, but more than two people still dying a week

As of the end of August, 86 people died by illicit drug overdose in Surrey, which is a drop from 2018

Private school plans at expanded Surrey ice arena emphasize student ‘grit’

At Excellent Ice building, hockey among five sports to be offered at Glarea Elevated Learning

Contest lends focus to protected South Surrey forest

Sunnyside Acres Urban Forest at centre of photography competition

Surrey votes, Election 2019: What the parties are promising for seniors

Third in a three-part series on political promises and platforms, heading into the Oct. 21 federal election

Volleyball title hopes rest on shoulders of small Earl Marriott squad

No. 1-ranked EMS senior boys team finds strength in small numbers

VIDEO: B.C. man’s yard comes alive with grizzlies at night

Malakwa man has captured images of 12 different grizzlies on video

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

ICBC willing to loosen grip on driver claim data, David Eby says

Private insurers say claims record monopoly keeps them out

B.C. principal suspended for failing to help student who reported inappropriate touching

Principal didn’t remove student from the teacher’s class nor call the parents within a reasonable time

Port Moody mayor goes back on unpaid leave during sex assault investigation

Rob Vagramov said he intends to return as mayor in three or four weeks

UBC issues statement after instructor tells students to vote for Liberal Party

University says partisan messaging was not intentional

Cowichan Valley brothers win big in lottery for second time

Playing same numbers net big wins over a three year period

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

Most Read

l -->