Laura Batterink runs third-fastest 10,000m in Quebec history

Laura Batterink raced Sunday's Pacific Pursuit 10,000m, running the third fastest time in Quebec history despite being a last-minute entry.

Laura Batterink

Batterink had just 10 days to prepare for the race after entering on the final day of registration

Laura Batterink

December is generally the off-season for many runners after a season-long grind of cross-country racing.

For Laura Batterink, Dec. 6 was an opportunity to sneak in a final track race before the beginning of the indoor season by the Pacific Pursuit 10,000m in Sacramento, Calif. There, she ran the third fastest time in Quebec’s athletics (FQA) history.

The Evanston, Ill.-resident (pictured second below, black top, red shorts) ran a personal best of 33:00.89 representing McGill Olympic Club.

Batterink signed up for the race on the final day of registration (Nov. 25) and had just 10 days to prepare for the race after taking time off from an October half-marathon performance.

“At the end of October, I had run a half-marathon time [1:13:13 chip time, 1:13:15 clock time] that was equivalent to about a 32:50 and knowing that my training hasn’t gone too downhill since taking a bit of time off, my aim was to run sub-33:00,” Batterink said on Monday.

RELATED: Rising star Laura Batterink ready for fall season.

Batterink, on a research scholarship at Northwestern University, usually fits her runs in before work, but has a flexible enough schedule to continue training at a high level. That’s not bad for an athlete who didn’t get into the sport until after high school and university.

Ironically, Batterink spent more than five years at the University of Oregon, considered by many the home of running, but didn’t begin racing consistently until she moved to Illinois. Now, Batterink trains remotely under John Lofranco.

When asked about pursuing a top-three spot for the world half-marathon championships, Batterink told Canadian Running, “I’m ranked fifth now after Sasha Gollish’s race this weekend so it seems less and less likely. I’ll be focusing more on 10Ks in the spring but I’m still open to the possibility.”

Sunday’s 10,000m was put on to allow American Kim Conley and Jordan Hasay a shot at the U.S. Olympic standard (the top three in the race hit standard). The meet featured exclusive men’s and women’s 10,000m races with stringent entry standards.

Speed River Track Club’s Barry Britt and Katrina Allison also raced in Sacramento, running 29:49.09 and 34:10.53, respectively.

Cover photo: Mike Hensen/The London Free Press/Postmedia Network.