Many Canadian athletes head across the pond after Canadian nationals in search of fast races, good weather, and even better food. For most Canadians, the 28th Memorial Rasschaert in Ninove, Belgium is the last meet on their summer European racing circuit.
The European circuit is special because there are so many fast races in very close proximity to one another. This means runners can sharpen up, and toe the line several times before shutting down the season for the summer.
🎉Brevity is not my strong suit!🎉 When I have an underwhelming race, I have usually made a mistake that I have made many times before in past races. This will leave me feeling really frustrated, like I am stuck in a loop, like I am not growing as an athlete. But running this 3k reminded me quite dramatically that, I have grown a LOT as an athlete. There are some mistakes that I continue to make occasionally, but there are others that I make much less now. The last time I ran an outdoor 3km (World Juniors 4 years ago!) I was intimidated by the physicality of elite racing, I didn't have great self-talk, and I was not alert enough to cover a move that would have kept me in the race. 9 minutes felt like far too long to not feel emotionally and mentally exhausted. In contrast, in London, I defended my space, had good self-talk, and was composed and alert throughout it all (save maybe the last 800 😉). So yes, I still have a lot more to learn, but sometimes I handle myself pretty well out there – and it didn't always used to be like that! #BabySteps #SmallVictories #RunHappyCA #RunHappy #KleanAthlete 📸: @sebastian_frej_
In the women’s 1,500m, national champion Gabriela Stafford ran away from the field on Saturday to take the win in 4:08.92. Katelyn Ayers of Speed River Track Club was second in 4:10.43, just off her personal best of 4:09 which she ran a few weeks ago in Kortrijk, Belgium. Steeplechase national champion Gen Lalonde ran off-distance and placed ninth in 4:14.18.
If that famous "oval" track in #Leuven could talk, it would tell hundreds of legendary running tales. Glad to be a part of it's history with my first serious workout on it today. Thanks to my dawg @hassyhass35 for the company and @haasruns for the pics 📸 Next up: 1500m in Ninove 🇧🇪 this Saturday. #imoveme
In the men’s 1,500m, three-time national champion Charles Philibert-Thiboutot was the first Canadian across the line in 3:38.50. Corey Bellemore was the next Canadian in 3:41.07 and Cole Peterson was right behind Bellemore in 3:41.80.
Samuel Vincent was the winner of the men’s 5,000m in 13:55.85.
Incredibly inspired and proud of my teammate and friend @Jessica_Furlan !! A shaky two years, primarily on the sidelines, but she’s kept fighting to get back to doing what she loves and opened her season today in 9:45! 💗#wynners #backontrack &congrats @_YeezyDoesIt on 9:37!🔥 pic.twitter.com/b1aa4GluZs
— Kendra Pomfret (@kpomfret800) July 28, 2018
In the women’s 3,000m steeplechase, Regan Yee and Jessica Furlan went 1-2. Yee finished in 9:37.31, and Furlan was just behind her in 9:45.79. Furlan is the former 3,000m steeplechase Canadian record holder, and today was her first race back after nearly two years on the sidelines.
In the women’s 800m, national silver medalist Jenna Westaway was second in 2:02.37. In the men’s 800m, 2017 Olympian Anthony Rominaw was fourth in 1:48.63.
You can catch many of these runners in two weeks at the NACAC Track and Field in the 6ix Championships at Varsity Stadium in Toronto.