After hosting the Canadian Cross-Country Championships (ACXC) in 2019, Abbotsford, B.C., missed out on the 2020 edition of the race due to COVID-19. Athletics Canada has announced that, after Ottawa hosts the event for the next two years, it will return to Abbotsford in 2023. The 2021 championships will be the first time that the nation’s capital has hosted the event, which is slated for November 27.
— Ottawa Tourism (@Ottawa_Tourism) January 22, 2021
Back to Ontario
ACXC was last held in Ontario in 2018, when Kingston closed out its two-year hosting stint. The championships then went out west, to B.C., where they were supposed to be held for 2019 and 2020. The 2019 event was a huge success, with exciting racing from juniors, masters athletes and senior elites. Gen Lalonde won the women’s championship, defending her title from 2018 in Kingston. On the men’s side, Mike Tate took home his first senior ACXC win. Assuming the event can go ahead this fall, the pair will likely be back in action looking to defend their titles from two years earlier.
The November race date is almost a full year away, but with COVID-19 still raging across the country and around the world, no one can be sure if ACXC will go ahead this year. Athletics Canada cancelled the 2020 edition of the championships in August of last year, so there is still a lot of time to go before organizers have to make a final decision regarding the fate of their race.
Hundreds of runners compete at ACXC every year, and even more spectators line the race course. While this field size is nothing close to a major marathon, it’s still big enough to make social distancing difficult. For now, at least, the event is a go, and runners from across the country can add ACXC to their calendars as a potential light at the end of the tunnel.