Leslie Sexton flies to second straight Vancouver Sun Run crown

A star-studded lineup of runners raced the 2023 Vancouver Sun Run on Sunday, producing a pair of exciting 10K races won by John Gay and Leslie Sexton. Gay won the men’s race in a tight battle with 2019 Sun Run champion Justin Kent, crossing the line in 29:40. Sexton successfully defended her title from 2022, winning in 32:22. The race was a massive success, as more than 30,000 runners took to the wet and rainy streets of Vancouver to test their limits. 

Two in a row for Sexton 

Sexton won the 2022 Vancouver Sun Run in 32:27, and this year she not only repeated as champion, but also improved on her previous winning time by 15 seconds. As she told the Vancouver Sun after the race, “I tend to run well in the rain. I saw the forecast and I knew this was a strength for me, and I’m just going to roll with it.” 

Sexton ran near identical splits over the two halves of the race, running the first 5 km in 16:12 and the second in 16:10. This even pacing and negative split helped her catch Olympic marathoner Malindi Elmore, who got out to a hot start, passing through the 5 km checkpoint in 16:04. Over the closing 5 km, Sexton didn’t panic or force things as she attempted to draw Elmore back in, instead sticking to a regular pace and trusting in her fitness. 

“Last year, I went out too fast,” Sexton told the Sun. “The course really chewed me up over the second half [in 2022] and, this year, I just let the top three go and they gapped me a bit. I just worked my way past people as it went on.” By 7 km, Sexton had caught Elmore, and she made her passing move on a slight uphill around a kilometre later. 

Sexton continued to pull away in the final couple of kilometres, ultimately crossing the line in 32:22, 13 seconds in front of Elmore. Cleo Boyd rounded out the podium with a final time of 32:55. 


posted Wednesday April 19th
by Running Magazine