It can’t be easy going from frozen Whitehorse to hot and humid Colombia to race in an international event.
But Lindsay Carson did it, and she cracked the top 20.
The Whitehorse runner placed 18th out of 51 top international runners at the Pan-American Cross Country Cup in Barranquilla, Colombia, on Sunday.
“It was a really tough race. The conditions were comparable to running in a sauna,” said Carson. “So I had to execute a more conservative race plan in order to place for my team and think about finishing … These races can be risky because of the likelihood of heat exhaustion and just blowing up.
“But, yah, I’m happy with just a solid performance and to help my (senior women’s) team place second overall, which was the main goal there.”
The 25-year-old finished the roughly seven-kilometre course in 22 minutes and 24 seconds, 1:06 behind the winner from Peru. Canadian teammate Rachel Hannah took third with a time of 21:34.
Temperatures exceeded 30 Celsius, “with probably 100 per cent humidity,” said Carson.
“It was very strange terrain. We were pretty much running in a desert,” she added. “(And) we ran through a forest that looked like they recently macheted short. So we were running over lots of dust and stumps. It was a very interesting experience.”
The race was Carson’s last event before she represents Canada at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Guiyang, China, at the end of March.
Carson made the Canadian senior women’s team with an eighth-place finish at the 2014 Canadian Cross Country Championships at Jericho Beach in Vancouver, at the end of November.
She spoke to the News from Toronto Pearson International Airport on Tuesday, about to hop a plane to Kenya where she will train at high altitudes for three weeks in preparation for the worlds, which will be at about 1,000-metres above sea level.
“That race will be, not high-altitude, but mid-altitude where people could kind of feel the effects,” said Carson.
“I’m just going to train hard in Kenya and hopefully that will bring me added confidence going into China.”
Next month will be Carson’s second time competing at the cross-country worlds as a senior competitor. She raced for Canada at the 2013 championships in Poland, placing 60th and helping the Canadian women’s team place eighth out of 15 countries.
Carson also took third at the 2014 B.C. Provincial Cross Country Championships in October and has also had fantastic finishes on pavement last year.
She was the top female in the eight-kilometre race at the Victoria Marathon in October and took sixth at the 2014 Canadian 10-kilometre Road Race Championships in September.
Carson, who moved to Whitehorse last year from Cambridge, Ontario, placed second out of 19,377 female runners at the Vancouver Sun Run last spring and took second for open women (first for women 20-24) at the 2014 B.C. 10-Kilometre Championship in July.
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