Elite runners lead a nomadic lifestyle. Fast races and good weather typically dictate their location. For Canadian 3,000m steeplechase record-holder Matt Hughes, Leuven, Belgium was his home for a couple of days in between the Rabat and Monaco Diamond League races. 

Hughes was fifth at the Rabat Diamond League following an easy win at the Canadian Championships on Thursday July 5th. He’s now looking forward to Monaco on Friday, where he hopes to score enough points to secure a place in the Diamond League final in Zurich, Switzerland on August 30th. Hughes said, “I’ve currently got four (Diamond League) points, and I’m hoping to get another four this weekend. Seven or eight total points should get me into the final.”

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If Hughes doesn’t score enough points this weekend, he will race once more in Birmingham in hopes of securing a position in the final. 

Hughes’ season likely won’t end post-Diamond League, as he would like to make the IAAF Continental Cup team and represent the Americas at the September meet. Selection will be based on all IAAF-recognized performances up to August 3rd. If Hughes makes the team, he will represent the NACAC region, which comprises North American, Central American and Caribbean athletics federations. 

Hughes speaks very highly of Leuven. “It’s the perfect small town. You’ve got the track, trails and good food. I love it here.”

RELATED: Chatting with Olympian Matt Hughes

For the steeplechaser, a typical day in Leuven is:

8 a.m. – Breakfast at a cafe 

9-10 a.m. – Warm-up 

10-11 a.m. – Workout at the track

11:30-12:30 p.m. – Physio and massage with Athletics Canada staff 

1 p.m. – Lunch 

4 p.m. – Afternoon run

6:30 p.m. – Dinner time

Everything in Leuven is very close, so athletes can access the track, treatment, restaurants and groceries within minutes of leaving their homes. 

After Hughes’ season, the Oshawa, Ont. native plans to come home and spend some time with family and friends in the Toronto area. Hughes is one of seven children, so getting the whole family together can be difficult, but he’s hoping to get the whole group together in the off-season. 

Catch the Monaco Diamond League on cbc.ca. The 3,000m steeplechase goes at 2:35 p.m. EST this Friday. 

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