A fine weekend of racing

We had a nice bit of racing in our club this past weekend.

Amélie Kretz continued her absolute dominance over any other competitors (her closest rival was Gabrielle Edwards of Saskatchewan 41 seconds behind) in the National Junior Tri Series. Amé is training smart and heavily now to get ready for the world championships in October. The fact that she’s crushing people while still loaded up with training is a good sign. She’s a real pro, that kid.

Graydon Snider knocked down his PB by almost a minute and just missing out on one of the top 25 times ever at the prestigious Tely 10 in Newfoundland.

Ryan Noel-Hodge finally got the 10000m he was looking for, in a great battle with his friends and rivals Stephane Colle and Emmanuel Boisvert. Helped along by rabbits Monette and Bernard for 4k, the trio pulled away from the main pack (solid in it’s own right, see full results link below), and traded the lead, managing a decent pace until the final kilometer when Colle took over and pushed the throttle down. They went from 75sec laps to 70s for the first 600 of the last k, then closed in 63 for Colle, 65 for Ryan and probably about 66 for Manny.

This race was remarkable for a few reasons.

First, it was the first 10000m on Quebec soil since…well, I found results from 2007 where Laurence Cote ran 43:09 as a 16 year old. In 2005 Jean-Claude Nduwingoma ran 29:33.70, the 8th fastest Quebec time ever. In fact, that time is the only one in the top ten from the 2000s, and the next most recent is Janick Lambert’s 28:44.8 from 1996. So it’s been a while.

Second, even if the top times were a minute off the top ten all time, there is still a quite solid depth of 10000m running there. The Ontario Championships were about as deep, but they didn’t have anyone under 31:17 (though they had women racing, something this race lacked). So for Quebec to be ahead of Ontario in some aspect of distance running is, well, not what we usually see, but it’s a good sign!

Despite the relevance of this event, the FQA didn’t have the foresight or versatility to name it as the official Quebec 10000m championships. The need for process and transparency is understood. That said, when the race director, the coaches of at least the three top athletes and indeed most of the field, (not sure if Dorys or Joel were consulted), and the distance coordinator all inquired about sanctioning, it is unfortunate that the leadership at the FQA made the decision to hold the bureaucratic line and wait until next year (maybe) to hold an official 10000m championship.

Why not? Are Steph, Ryan and Manny not worthy of the recognition of provincial medalists for their efforts? Are the technical requirements to sanction this race as a championship too onerous, really? Or is it just a matter of breaking a pattern of inconsistent management and decision-making? If it’s the latter, I can accept that argument, I guess, even if it is slightly flawed. There is a difference between being a nimble and reactive federation, that responds quickly to the needs of its constituents, and being disorganized and all over the place. I don’t think it would have betrayed the excellent new direction of our federation to have named this race a provincial championship.

In any case, the athletes are ready to take the next step, and hopefully the federation will sanction a 10000m championship in 2013. Still, we need to do a better job of encouraging women to get out and race this event, too. The road race circuit has plenty of quick women to choose from. Perhaps a sanctioned championship would get them out to the track? I know the reason some of our ladies did not compete was because the road race series offers cash at the end of the year. There was cash available at the Rouge et Or meet, too, however.

Anyway, here are our club’s results from this weekend:
Soirée Rouge et Or
Ryan Noel-Hodge 30:59.40 (46sec PB)
Mahbubuzzaman Kazi 35:50 (29sec PB)

Didier Morelli 4:12 (stomach flu)
VFac Summerfast 10k in Vancouver
Simon Driver 33:07 for 2nd place (solo, 49sec out of first, 31sec ahead of 3rd)

National junior tri series Magog
Amelie Kretz winner by 41sec. 1:02:09.5 with a 17:11 5k
Phil Tremblay 14th 57:12 5k time of 17:33
Jeremy Obrand 51st 1:02:38 5k time of 18:32

Tely ten miler, St. John’s
Graydon Snider 51:10 3rd (79sec PB, 3sec out of top 25 of all time)

Dix30 10k
Dave Liu 35:27 6th overall, 1st in category.
Melanie Myrand 38:11 2nd overall, 1st in category
Sarah Bergeron-Larouche 40:33

Francis Dumoulin 18:26 a junior who will be starting with Concordia in the fall.