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2022 Canadian XC Championships changes locations for safety reasons

Athletics Canada made the decision to change the location to Ottawa's Mooney's Bay following a post-event feedback survey from athletes in 2021

Photo by: Maxine Gravina

On Aug. 11, Athletics Canada announced that the 2022 Canadian Cross Country Championships will be moved to Ottawa’s Mooney’s Bay, and will not take place on last year’s course at Wesley Clover Parks in Kanata, Ont. due to safety hazards on the course.

ACXC in 2018. Photo: Maxine Gravina

The local organizing committee and Athletics Canada decided to change the location following a post-event feedback survey from athletes that indicated competitors were not happy about having to battle through snow, ice and mud as freezing temperatures reached the nation’s capital in late November.

“It was a swamp,” one athlete, who wished to remain anonymous, said. “It was impossible to gather footing, which resulted in me tearing my hamstring.”

“The course was not safe,” one coach said. “There were massive puddles that went from being skating rinks to swimming pools.”

Gen Lalonde (left) and Maria Bernard-Galea at ACXC Nationals 2021 in Ottawa. Photo: Sean Burges

Two-time Olympian and Canadian women’s steeplechase record-holder Genvieve Lalonde and Tokyo Olympic steeplechaser John Gay were the winners of the 2021 Athletics Canada Cross Country Championships.

Mooney’s Bay is located in South Ottawa, and easy to access from downtown. The athletes will run alongside the Rideau River, across grass fields and through wooded trails. The course is a common setting for Canadian university and high school cross country meets in the fall.

A look at Mooney’s Bay, which looks onto Ottawa’s Rideau River

The 2022 Canadian XC Championships will be the biggest cross-country event ever to be held at the park and will feature national championship races for U18, U20, Open and Masters runners.

The championship is still scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 26, and the registration window for the event opens on Sept. 7.

You can find out more information on the 2022 Canadian Cross Country Championships here.