Whitehorse’s Lindsay Carson placed 10th out of 6,759 women runners at the Canadian 10-Kilometre Road Race Championships on Saturday in Ottawa.
She was also fourth out of 764 runners in the women 25-29 category.
But what really is a point of pride for Carson is placing fourth out of Canadians in the championship.
“I don’t really go by age divisions, so I was mainly going for the Canadian placing,” said Carson.
“This was my second time racing the Ottawa 10K and both fields – guys and girls – were extremely competitive this year,” she added. “This race goes on every year, but this year it was designated as the national championship. So it was a great opportunity to compete against the best in the world with some Kenyans in the race, and also the best in Canada right now.”
Carson cruised over the finish line with a time of 33 minutes and 57.2 seconds. The 25-year-old came in 3:02 behind the race’s winner, Gladys Cherono of Kenya, and 2:09 behind Canadian champion Lanni Marchant, who placed third.
“So I really got up for the competition and had a good group of girls to race with: a lot of familiar faces, which for me is really important. I race well with girls I know because then I have certain expectations – if I want to beat them, if I want to stay with them. You try to run your own race, but you also try to rise to the occasion and push the limits.”
Carson, who recently spent a couple weeks training in Kenya leading up to the world cross-country championships, out-paced Canadian teammate Natasha Labeaud in a sprint to the finish. Carson squeaked in front of Labeaud – and into the top 10 – by just 0.04 seconds.
Carson beat Labeaud by just two seconds at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Guiyang, China this past in March, to finish 59th.
“Going out we had a headwind, so I knew the only way to survive that was to run with a pack of girls. So I ran with the lead chase-pack – not the leader women … I ran with that group for probably half way, but unfortunately our little chase-pack separated after half. There’s a little bit of an uphill right at the five-kilometre mark and that’s where I let some of the girls ahead of me go.
“At the finish I caught one of the girls, Natasha Labeaud, and that moved me up in the Canadian standings.”
Carson was less than 10 seconds off of her personal best 10K time, which she set last year in the Vancouver Sun Run, in which she took second out of 19,377 women runners.
She placed sixth at the 2014 Canadian 10-kilometre Road Race Championships and took second at the 2014 B.C. 10-Kilometre Championship.
“I was hoping to run faster, but I’m still learning the 10K distance,” said Carson. “Trying to stay focused for over 30-minutes of work is tough. So I’ll take this in stride. It’s a learning experience. I know I have what it takes in my legs to run with some of the top girls, but I’m still learning with the longer 10K distance.
“I’ll use my strength in the 10K to help with my five-K, which is what I’m focusing on now with the summer track season.”
Carson also took eighth at the Canadian Cross Country Championships last November, which landed her a spot on the worlds team that competed in China. But now she’s gearing up for track season. The Ontario native will compete at track meet in Portland, Oregon next month and expects to set qualifying times for the Canadian Track and Field Championships this July in Edmonton.
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