Lindsay Carson selected for cross country world championships

A season of hard work has paid off for Whitehorse runner Lindsay Carson. Big time. The 25-year-old has been selected to represent Canada at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Guiyang, China.

A season of hard work has paid off for Whitehorse runner Lindsay Carson. Big time.

The 25-year-old has been selected to represent Canada at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Guiyang, China, at the end of March, Athletics Canada announced Friday.

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 was then added to the six-person women’s roster after two runners who finished ahead of her forfeited their spots.

“I was pretty happy. I knew top eight qualified, but there were only six spots on the team and I kind of knew two girls ahead of me didn’t want to go,” said Carson. “But I was really excited about my race. One of my goals was to make the worlds team.

“When they announced the team, I guess it wasn’t really a surprise but it’s always good to make things official.”

Athletics Canada is sending a team of 23 runners, including junior squads, to the world championships.

Carson is on the senior women’s team with runners from Ontario, Newfoundland and three from B.C.

March 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 has also competed at numerous worlds at the junior level. Her top finish was 31st in junior women at the 2008 worlds in Edinburgh, Scotland.

To prepare for the worlds in Guiyang, which sit about 1,000-metres above sea level, Carson is travelling to training camp in Kenya’s Rift Valley – the home of many of the world’s best long-distance runners – in the New Year.

(Whitehorse’s Logan Roots, who placed 46th at nationals in senior men, is also heading to Kenya to train.)

“(High altitude) is a major deterrent for athletes,” said Carson. “You want to train at that altitude … That’s why I’m going to Kenya before.

“I’ve been to China before in university for field biology course, unrelated to running, but I do feel a connection to that country, especially where we’ll be racing. It’s more of a southern agricultural part of China that is quite beautiful.”

Carson, who placed third at the 2014 B.C. Provincial Cross Country Championships in October, will also represent Canada at the Pan-American Cross Country Cup in Barranquilla, Colombia, in February

She is grateful she is able to take time off work from Golder Associates Ltd. in Whitehorse where she is an environmental engineer in training.

“I’ve been in Whitehorse about a year now and I’ve actually gotten quite a substantial amount of time off work to train in Kenya leading up to China,” said Carson. “That wasn’t really an option last year when I just started with my company. But this time around I have enough vacation time and banked overtime, and I’m using it to live and train with the world’s best runners in the Rift Valley in Kenya, and that’s high altitude.”

“A lot of athletes won’t be training at altitude before China, so hopefully that will give me a bit of an advantage,” she added.

This season Carson has proved she is fast on trails and on pavement.

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 women runners at the Vancouver Sun Run in the spring and took second for open women (first for women 20-24) at the 2014 B.C. 10-Kilometre Championship in July.

“Everything was in preparation for qualifying for the worlds at the national championships,” said Carson. “I was able to do that and that’s kind of my highlight.

“I’ve been training quite hard through the summer and the fall, and now it’s time to take a bit of time and get strong for my long training stint in Kenya.

“I took a couple weeks off after Jericho Beach and now I’m starting to get back into workouts now.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

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