Global Running News  Global Running News
Injuries and Treatment  Injuries
Nutrition Information  Nutrition
Running Training Information  Training
Running Information Forums  Forums

   Running Information      USA Running      Running South Africa      Running New Zealand      Running UK      Running Ireland      Running Ireland      Deutsch Laufzeit      Copenhagen Marathon      Suomen Juoksu      Sverige Löpning      Tel Aviv Marathon      Running Australia      Running Kenya      Running Europe      Running Malta      Running Namibia

Canada World Cross 2004 by Emilie Mondor

Feedbacks and Looks on an historical year for Canada at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships 2004. By Emilie Mondor

Personally, this year was a very different experience going to the Championships, a heavier load of pressure maybe, but also higher expectations for myself and for my team mates. For the first time, I was coming into a World Championships as a known contender for a top-ten placing and even be for a medal depending of the calibre of the race that is always very variable every year.

This year, well, it happened to be one of the highest ever in the women senior races both in the long (8 km) and the short course (4 km) maybe due to the fact that all around the world people understand that the winter cross country season is a very efficient bridge towards the summer track season for the runners doing 1500m to the marathon. This summer being an Olympic one, pretty much everyone was present on the start line of the first race, the 8km on Day 1. Many of the most experienced runners had planned to also take part in the second race, the 4km on Day 2, but the horrible weather conditions and the challenging course made them changed their mind Saturday night.

I myself was registered for both senior women’s races. It was my first time racing over a distance like 8km and my experience on this year’s Championships in Brussels happened to have been one of the best and also one of the hardest of my life.

Finishing 8th in the first race (8km) was a very rewarding performance for me, as I knew that the competitors I beat expressed the strength of that performance, and also by the closeness to the top finishers. It was a very hard race physically and mentally, we had to fight the deep mud, the rain and the 100km/h wind to be able to still run that hilly cross country course in 3:15/km. I finished that race totally empty and tired. Looking back at it, I now believed that the 8km and 12km cross-country races are one the most painful events in the world. But I didn’t have much time to think about how I was feeling after the first race, as I had confirmed my participation also on the 4km of the next morning and I was now focusing on recovering to help Team Canada as much as I could.

Well, by the next morning, I felt pretty good waking up, anyway, I never gave myself any choice about racing or not that second race. I had teammates that were counting on me for a team performance and I was committed to do it for my country and them. That morning was at least sunny, so I felt excited to be racing again. It would be the first time I would race back to back at that level of Championships and I had no idea how my body would react.

Canada had put up a very good and young team this year on the 4km race. There was me (Emilie Mondor) just coming from a victory in the Belfast International Cross country, Carmen Douma (2nd in the 1500m at the World Indoor Champs few weeks before), Malindi Elmore (ran 9:00 for 3000m indoor in January), Tina Connely (half-marathon BC record holder), Courtney Inman (a 4:10/1500m runner) and Leah Pells (4th in the 1500m at the 1996 Olympics).

Going into the first 2km of that 4km race, I had half my own teammates ahead of me and my legs were really feeling the effects of the accumulations of hill work from the previous race. I was the “weakest” link of our team as the only one of the 6 who had raced the 8km before that important race. I happened to come back on my teammates and on other strong competitors in the last 1km of the race and ended up finishing 13th in that second race. My other Canadian fellows had raced with all their heart too and were following me closely with Carmen in 17th and Malindi in 22nd. Our last marker was Tina in 35th who almost ripped out her calves on that race. Courtney did the race of her life in 37th and Leah was well placed in 57th.

I got sick after the race and it is only once I came back to the changing tent that my teammates told me about the team result. We were 3rd, having displaced all the habitual super-powers of cross-country, except Ethiopia and Kenya. It is the first cross-country medal for Canada since a team medal in 1983 at a time when the African countries were not yet racing the event. It was a wonderful day for all of us and I now believe that the double was worth.