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Cochrane track athletes sweep first southern Alberta cross country event

“I love how they’ve created a community, a community of people that can support each other through everything. All of our coaches have worked really hard at putting events together for us to challenge each other, just have fun together. I fell like that really helps us out when we race.”

CALGARY— The Cochrane Endurance Project gathered its members for a track meet at Canmore Park in Calgary on Saturday (Sept. 12).

The athletes from the club all ran well, with members placing first and second in the women’s open, second place in the men’s open, and third in the high school boys event.

The Southern Alberta Cross-Country Race #1 featured four categories— A men’s open, women’s open, high school boys, and high school girls.

The competition brought out runners from the University of Calgary Athletic Club, the Trojans Athletic Club, the Calgary Warriors, Calgary Spartans, the Lethbridge Track and Field Club and others.

After an early end to the Track and Field season in March, many of the racers were excited to get back to competitive running.

“It feels really good to have a structured event again, where you can let yourself be competitive,” said Nicholas Hooper, a Grade 10 student at St. Timothy Jr./Sr. High School in Cochrane. “Some people really miss that feeling, or they have a craving for it. It’s really nice because they worked hard to get something together for us so that we could keep racing.”

St. Timothy Grade 11 student, Holly Moores, said that the competitive events give her motivation to work out harder than she otherwise would.

“It’s something to look forward to. I’m going to run for 20 minutes longer so maybe my kick at the end of the race will be better,” she said. “To see your competition and everyone, it’s just, like, a great feeling.

“After the race, even, it’s a good feeling. Even if you didn’t have a great race you still did it, you came out here,” she added.

Both of the runners have been training under the guidance of Travis Cummings, the track and field and cross-country coach at St. Timothy and the founder of the Cochrane Endurance Project, since Grade 7.

Over the summer, the runners in the program would have had a formal program put together, but the training was done mostly on an individual basis this year.

Cummings still managed to put together a loose training regimen that kept the runners in the club motivated, Hooper said, which involved a mock track season, where athletes would run a 5-kilometre time trial every two weeks.

The program ran through June and July, and then the runners were mostly training individually through August, he said.

Both Nicholas and Holly said that their participation in the Cochrane Endurance Project has elevated their running.

Nicholas said that the supportive nature of the athletes and coaches in the program help push him to bring his running to the next level.

“I love how they’ve created a community, a community of people that can support each other through everything,” Nicholas said. “All of our coaches have worked really hard at putting events together for us to challenge each other, just have fun together. I feel like that really helps us out when we race.”

The next competition for the club will be in Calgary on Sept. 24 at Confederation Park.