MEDIA RELEASE – Champions Return to Defend St Patrick’s Day 5K Titles

(Vancouver, BC – March 12, 2024) Last year’s champions, Thomas Broatch and Glynis Sim, return to the St Patrick’s Day 5K presented by BMO in Vancouver’s Stanley Park on Saturday, March 16. But it will be no easy task for them to defend their titles, against a host of Olympians and national team members. The race also serves as the 2024 BC 5K Championship, and the second race in the Lower Mainland Road Race Series.

Last year the top 80 finishers ran under 17 minutes, making this Canada’s premier 5K race. This year’s race should be no less competitive, while also being a memorable experience for runners of all abilities.

UBC graduate Thomas Broatch won last year in 14:34, before going on to claim the 2023 Canadian Marathon Championship in his debut at the distance last October. Vancouver’s Broatch improved his marathon time to 2:11:51 at the Houston marathon in January. But his recent focus on the longer distance may test his speed against shorter distance specialists.

No such question about Kelowna’s John Gay, another UBC graduate, who set the course and BC All-Comers record of 14:06 in 2019. The Tokyo Olympic steeplechase finalist missed much of last year due to injury, but a recent sub-4 minute mile indoors in Seattle suggests he’ll be ready to represent Canada again in Paris this summer.

Another in-form athlete is the recently crowned BC 10K Champion Andrew Davies, who moved to BC from Ontario last summer to study law at UBC. He’ll be using the St Patrick’s Day 5K as a final tune-up before representing Canada at the World Cross Country Championship in Serbia in two weeks time, after competing in the same Championships in Australia last year.

An intriguing entry, more accustomed to running following a swim and a bike ride, is triathlete Tyler Mislawchuk from Manitoba. The race will be a step along the way to his third Olympic appearance in Paris.

Not to be overlooked are last year’s third placer John Perrier, and Cole Dinsdale, both having sub-14 minute 5,000m PBs; and another national triathlon team member, Liam Donnelly.

Glynis Sim, another product of the UBC endurance program, won last year in 15:51, and could have eyes on the course record of 15:26, set by Scotland’s Sarah Inglis in 2019. Sim, from Canoe BC, went on to represent Canada at the inaugural World Road Mile Championships in Latvia last October, where she placed 12th. Like Davies, she recently won the BC 10K Championship, and will be wearing the maple leaf again at the upcoming World Cross Country Championships.

Three other members of the Canadian Senior Womens team in Serbia will also be on the St Patrick’s Day 5K start line, as well as a team reserve. All are transplants to BC from Ontario.

Leslie Sexton was runner-up to Sim a year ago, and narrowly missed the Olympic marathon qualifying time earlier this year, after placing 13th at the World Championships in Eugene in 2022. Recently married Katelyn Ayers-Murray was Canada’s 4th scorer at last year’s World Cross Country Championships. And Katie Newlove will be making her national team debut after winning the USports Cross Country title for UBC last fall.

Kiana Gibson won’t be competing in Serbia unless one of the other team members has a misfortune. Gibson placed 5th in the PanAm Games steeplechase in Chile last November, a race in which Parksville’s 2016 Olympian Alycia Butterworth won silver. Gibson and Butterworth will undoubtedly give the cross country team members a good final work out on Saturday.

The joker in the pack however may be Toronto’s 800m specialist Jazz Shukla. Recently returned from contesting the World Indoor Championships, last year’s World Outdoor Championships semi-finalist will be making her debut on the roads.

Also entered is Tokyo Olympic marathoner Dayna Pidhoresky, as well as former Olympians Chris Winter and Thelma Wright.

In addition to the overall and BC Championship prize money, $150 is up for grabs courtesy of RunGo for the first male and female through the mile, provided they continue and finish within 1 minute of the race winner. And Saucony will pay $250 if either of the course records are broken.

While the serious athletes may have the BC Championship as their goal, many more will come dressed in costume, and will stay for the Irish themed after-party. Proceeds from the event benefit the Canadian Diabetes Association, with more than $100,000 donated since the first race in 2006.

The race starts at 9:30am on Pipeline Drive, and circles around Park Drive via Brockton Point, before finishing back up Pipeline to the Stanley Park Pavilion.

Late registration is available in person at the Robson Street Running Room on Thursday and Friday.

Complete race information at


For more information contact:

Steve Mattina – Race Organizer