Despite being 4,196 kilometres from Whitehorse, Yukon had four runners at the Canadian Cross Country Championships in Kingston, Ont. last Saturday.
Lindsay Carson, Jack Amos, Joe Parker and Logan Roots took on the best in the country.
Not only was it a long distance to travel, it was Carson’s longest cross-country race. With a push for gender equality, the senior women ran the same distance as the senior men — 10 kilometres — this year.
“The Canadian field is quite deep this year so my initial goal was to come top 10,” said Carson, 27. “I’m definitely disappointed with the race, but we have a very deep women’s field in distance running.
“It was my first time doing a 10K cross-country race.”
Carson, a two-time member of Team Canada at the world championship, placed 14th with a time of 35:27.7, about a minute and a half behind winner Sasha Gollish of Ontario. By not cracking the top six, Carson didn’t qualify for the biennial worlds next March in Uganda.
“For my race, I just didn’t remain aggressive enough in the second half of the race,” said Carson. “I was good for about halfway and then after that I just lost focus. I stayed with the lead pack as long as I could but eased off a little bit. Our race went out quite quickly and so I tried to scale back so I wouldn’t have too fast of a pace, but I think scaled back too much.”
Amos, who is from Dawson City, competed up an age group in youth men at his first nationals last week. He placed 85th out of a field of 211, completing the six-kilometre course in 20:36.7. Amos was also the 16th 15-year-old to finish.
Whitehorse’s Parker, 17, placed 170th in youth men at 21:47.6.
“It was a mass start, so it was the first time they really had to think about positioning and placing at the start,” said Athletics Yukon head coach Don White.
“(Carson) was saying when she lived in Ontario she had probably half a dozen to 10 races during the cross-country season to get geared up for it. We traveled down to B.C. and competed there and had the local Yukon championships, so they had two races to get ready for the nationals, opposed to upwards of a dozen.”
Roots didn’t travel with the Yukon team; he was already there. The 23-year-old Whitehorse native represented the Royal Military College in Kingston, where he is a first-year officer cadet. The three-time winner of the Yukon River Trail Marathon placed 67th in senior men with a time of 33:06.2.
“It was nice being part of a small but mighty Yukon team there,” said Carson. “We all had good running experiences, but probably not the best races that we hoped for.
“The course conditions were good — a little bit muddy. But the wind, which is normally a problem at this race course, was calm.”
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org