Gen Lalonde and Luc Bruchet took the senior women’s and men’s titles in Kingston, Ont. at the Athletics Canada Cross-Country Championships. Both dominated the races, leaving the rest of the field behind them early on. 

Luc Bruchet, senior men’s champion. Photo: Maxine Gravina.

By the time at the senior men and women were due to run on Saturday, Fort Henry was a muddy slip n’ slide. The hairpin turn took lots of people down, everyone ate some mud from the runners in front of them, and if bad conditions weren’t your thing, you were probably miserable. 

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Cross-country running is about more than aerobic fitness. You can be fit but hate cross-country, and Saturday was a great day for those who thrive on difficult conditions. 

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Lalonde hasn’t raced cross-country in five years, but came back strong. She’s booked a ticket to worlds and was excited to take the win today. Post-race the 2016 Olympian said, “The steeplechase is kind of the like cross-country of the track, so maybe that’s why I like it so much.” The 2018 champion said she felt strong through 5K and decided to push, evidently it was a good choice as she handily won the women’s event. 

Gen Lalonde. Photo: Maxine Gravina.

Second place in the women’s race went to Natasha Wodak, and third place to 2017 champion Claire Sumner. Sasha Gollish, who was expected to place well, didn’t finish the race as she was stepped on in the first kilometre of the race and forced to withdraw. 

Bruchet has now won two ACXC national titles in a row. The two-time champ said post-race, “I’ve been working hard all fall. This one was important to me after missing six or seven weeks in the summer.” Bruchet suffered an injury this summer that took him off of the track for most of the season. 

Second place in the men’s race went to Mike Tate of Speed River, and third place went to Evan Esselink

Complete results can be found here

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