Home > Runs & Races

Canada’s Thomas Fafard wins silver at Pan-Am XC Championship

Canada's men's and women's XC teams both finish second to Brazil at Pan Am XC's

Photo by: Pan American Athletics

Twenty-two Canadian athletes travelled to Brazil to compete at the Pan American Cross-Country Championships in Espirito Santo on March 27.  Thomas Fafard of Repentigny, Que., led the Canadian contingent, taking home the silver medal in the men’s 10K race. (This competition filled the void left by the postponement of the 2022 World XC Championships due to the pandemic.)

Fafard mixed it up early with the lead group, managing to gain some separation from the pack on the final two laps of five. Wendel Jerónimo Souza of Brazil broke away from Fafard late, winning the Pan-Am XC championship in 31:46. Fafard shortly followed in 32:03, while Peru’s Rene Champi rounded out the podium for third behind the Canadian in 32:07. Fafard qualified for the Canadian Pan-Am team after his sixth-place finish at the Canadian XC Championships last fall.

Fellow Canadian athletes Thomas Nobbs, Phil Parrot-Migas, Connor Black and Joshua De Souza rounded out places six to 10 in the 23-man field, helping Canada place second to Brazil in the overall standings.

A group of runners at the 2022 Pan American XC Championships. Photo: Pan-Am Athletics

In the women’s 10K race, Jessy Lacourse, who’s had a breakout fall XC and winter indoor season, finished fifth as the top Canadian (37:23). Lacourse’s University of Laval teammate, Catherine Beauchemin, finished 10 seconds behind her for seventh in 37:34. Toronto’s Alexandra Lucki placed eighth in 37:52.

The host nation of Brazil set the pace early in the race, taking the first three places with María Lucineida Silva winning gold in 36:21, Nubia de Oliveira was second (36:48) and Simone Ponte Ferraz taking the bronze in 36:51.

In the final race of the Pan-Am XC championship, University of New Brunswick runner Ivy Bialowas raced to a sixth-place finish as the top Canadian in the U20 6K (24:00).

Canada’s Ivy Bialowas and Caroline Ash at the 2022 Pan-Am XC championships. Photo: Athletics Canada

Canada’s U20 men’s team was the only one to win team gold at the Pan-Am XC Championships, placing five runners in the top eight.

The temperature in Espirito Santo was warm as all three races ran ahead of schedule due to heat, which reached highs of 30 degrees C by 9 a.m., making conditions tough for the entire Canadian team, who have mostly been training in sub-zero temperatures this winter.

The postponed World Athletics Cross Country Championships will take place on Feb. 18, 2023, in Bathurst, Australia. This will mark only the second time ever that the event will be held in Oceania. Canadian athletes will get the chance to qualify for World XC at the 2022 Canadian Cross Country Championships in Ottawa this November.

Check out the latest buyer's guide:

Father’s Day gift ideas for your favourite running dad

These apparel items, shoes and accessories make great gifts for the running dad in your life