It’s been a few weeks since the last blog was written. Initially the plan was to recap NAIA’s separately, but now it’s going to be mashed in here.
For UBC the NAIA championships went extremely well. The girl’s team couldn’t have done any better. Coming into the race ranked first and finishing the race that was is pretty awesome. I’m sure most of them were nervous, but they lived up to the expectations and performed. Having 4 All
Canadians was an impressive feat. That being said all the girls ran well and
should be congratulated on their team title!
Coming in ranked 5th, I think the men’s team definitely had a chance to get on the podium. The conditions really played to our strengths, and with it being cold and mucky it was the kind of weather we are used to training in. When the gun went off, it was the last I saw of our team until the finish line. I wanted to situate myself in the front group of runners and see how it played out. I knew I was at a new fitness, but I wasn’t exactly sure were that would put me. There was a few points during the race where I kind of though ‘alright, when are these guys going to drop me?’ That point never came. There were a few guys in the front group that surged here and there, which thinned out the group over the first 3 laps. Every time they would surge, they would gap me, however I would just increase the pace ever so slightly and would real them back in when they slowed. I made it to about 800m to go before they broke me, however I was able to finish hard, picking off one of the guys on the last hill and confirming a medal spot. Immediately after crossing the line my thoughts reverted right back ‘TEAM’ my head was immediately turned to see where our next guy was. Tim Hueby Booby was our next finisher in 26th, getting one of them All-American plaques. Kudos to you sir, quite and exquisite run. The team ran well and adding in the rest of the score we had 201 points total, 87 points better than last year. That would have placed us 3rd last year, this year 6th, which is obviously disappointing but what can you do. It was definitely a nice consolation winning the overall combined score and beating them San Marcos people.
The bus ride wasn’t too bad; Marek definitely lightened it up when he contradicted his no alcohol rule in a matter of minutes by popping the champagne bottle. We made it home in one piece, and were able to cap the whole trip off with a little team rendezvous at the Coppertank for a couple of adult pops.
For some people the season was over after NAIA’s, but for the real men and really manly women they chose to buck up one more time for the Canadian cross country nationals. Most people actually ran as it was at Jericho, which for those of you who may not know (like the 5 people not on the team that are reading this) is basically our home course. The week leading up to the race felt like and eternity for me, I just wanted to get the weekend and race. The combination of nerves and XCitement kept building over the course of the week and I really just wanted to get out there and finish off the season. The majority of my thoughts this week were of making the Senior national team, which before NAIA’s I have never seriously considered it.
The race it self was brutally painful. To look at 10km as just a distance, is not that daunting we run much farther than that on our off days. But for me racing 10km is another story; that is far! I’ve always done well at cross but I’m used to racing 800’s and 1500’s on the track, there is a gap between those race and running 10, 000m. Luckily running the race didn’t turn out to bad at all. I was able to stick with the front group for the better part of 7km and was able to hold on the last 3 to secure a top 5 finish and sport on the national team. In doing so I equaled my personal best through 8km and almost broke 30 minutes for 10km.
If somebody had told me that I would do something like this at the start of the season I would have just laughed. When we gathered for our annual training camp in Whistler at the end of August the coaches always hand out goal sheets, mine at the start of the season was top-15 at both NAIA's and Canadian Nationals. Things turned out much better than I thought, it proves that if you stay healthy and work hard the performances will come. Hopefully everything will go well the next few months, and this upward trend will continue on.
Thank to everybody that made it out both meets, especially everyone that made it down to Vancouver (Wa.), it was like running a race at home. Hopefully the recent performances by the UBC team will motivate them to strive further. There are many talented runners and as long as you put in the mileage the times will start rolling come the spring.