2013 Year in Review

What a year! I guess the year is not quite over yet, but we’ve taken our post-track season break, with a couple of exceptions for folks who are rolling through some marathon training, or who got a late start on the season and are looking for one last performance at the 5k Endurance in a couple of weeks. So where were we in January, and where are we now?

Well, for starters, we’re in a new club. We moved from Montreal Endurance, a plucky independent start-up distance club with tons of street cred, to McGill Olympic, a venerable, institutionally-backed, full-service track and field program, also with good street cred. After some repairs were carried out on the field, we got to move into Molson Stadium in June, and benefit from a great environment in which to do workouts. We shared some great performances with our teammates from the junior/Tuesday-Thursday group. We’re also going to be on tv! Our episode will air sometime in December, probably. We’ll definitely let you know!

So what about the numbers? Well, with a tight crew of 14 athletes, we had 20 PB performances in 2013. I’m going to list them all. If I’ve forgotten anyone, it’s because they haven’t updated the google doc with all their performances yet!

Bertrand Montel: 1/2 marathon 1:36:17 (down from over 2hrs in 2011), 10k 43:54 (5sec pb), 5k 19:20 (1:48 faster than in 2012)
Mahbubu Kazi: 10k 35:10 (35sec PB), 5k 16:36 (36sec PB), 1500m 4:33 (3sec PB)
Elizabeth Mokrusa: 10k 38:17 (51sec) 5k (9sec) 1500m 4:56.79 (5sec)
Julien Pedneault: 1500m 4:02.4 (2sec) 800m 1:57.3 (2sec). Julien started his track career with us in mid-summer and debuted with a 1:59 and a 4:04. Not bad for a swimmer in a shortened season!
Stephanie Vairy: 5k 21:45 (24sec from 2009)
Ryan Noel-Hodge: 10k 30:41 (18sec) 5k 14:26 (7sec) 1500m 3:56 (1sec)
Jacques-Sylvain Lecointre: Marathon 2:31 (debut), Half marathon 1:11:37 (debut) 5k 15:27
Misia Kowanda: 5k 19:26 (34sec)

Others had some nice performances as well, even if their prolific youth prevented them from marking PBs. Brenna Walsh brought her 5k from a 20:57 xc time in 2012 down to 18:56 this summer. Her 1500m season’s best was 4:55. Melanie Myrand was only 5sec off her 5k PB. She ran 18:02 in June, which is the fastest she has run since 2002 when she ran 17:57. Dave Liu ran 16:38 for 5k, just 8sec off his best from 2007. Jonny Thewlis visited us from England, and though he had some impressive PBs coming in (sub-14 and sub-30) he managed a pair of excellent races at the provincial championships to not only win the titles in the 10000m and 5000m, but run 30:08, just 9sec off his best, and 14:26.41, which is well off his best, but significantly .02sec faster than Ryan Noel-Hodge’s time for the fastest in Quebec this year. Thewlis and Noel-Hodge ranked 1-2 in the 10k and the 5k for overall times in 2013. Hodge was also 5th at the Canadian championships in the 10000m, just seconds back of a medal. Ryan was training in London, Ontario, where he’ll go to school next year, and he benefited greatly from coaching and training partners at the London Runner Distance Club.

Speaking of championships, Elizabeth Mokrusa won her first provincial championship with her 38:17 10k, running an excellent tactical race to outlast her friend and training partner, Melanie Myrand. In the provincial 5k, Mel held off a hard-charging Liz, though in a strong race with 4 women under 18min, they would not challenge for the title.

Jacques-Sylvain Lecointre’s marathon debut is worth mentioning. He set a goal and he achieved it, crushing the 2:34 time that his training buddy back in France threw down as a challenge. For a former 1500m runner, who battled through some serious achilles and foot trouble, this is a fine result. His half marathon of 1:11:37 was an excellent race as well, placing him 9th at the Canadian championships.

So what do we have to look forward to in fall 2013 and winter-spring 2014? Ryan Noel-Hodge will freelance his xc season, free from the CIS schedule, so he’ll also make an appearance at the Zoo Run in Toronto, the Canadian 10k road championships. In the winter, he’ll flip it and make a return to CIS, running indoors for the Western Mustangs. This fall the senior women will run 6k at the provincial cross country championships. We think that might be good for our ladies who tend to get stronger the longer the race lasts. Looking forward to fall 2014, we might see Melanie Myrand make her debut at the marathon, and with the way training is going between her and Liz, both ladies will surely have a shot at running under 3 hours. We’ve added quite a few new faces to the group, and with a full season of training under their belts, we can certainly expect more PBs! And maybe even the coach will run a race…