Mooney’s Bay Park in Ottawa provides just about every challenge possible for a cross-country course.
Run Ottawa, who put on the Ottawa Marathon, and the Ottawa Lions teamed up to host the Capital Cross-Country (XC) Challenge, a two-day event on Friday and Saturday. The cross-country event featured the Eastern Ontario Elementary School Cross-Country Championships, a high school meet as well as the open Jim Howe Memorial 6K cross-country races.
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The cross-country course wasn’t simply a few grass loops with hills and rolling terrain. The final stretch was held on the Terry Fox Stadium track (which hosted the Canadian Track Championships in July) with terrain including sand (the beach at Mooney’s Bay), wooded areas, a sizeable hill and a portion of asphalt in case any athletes needed to second-guess how long their spike pins should have been. Plus, organizers added in a curve ball in the form of hay bales. (And not just one.)
McGill’s Meggie Dargis and Laval’s Keven Bédard won the Jim Howe 6K in 21:58 and 19:23, respectively.