Rising star Laura Batterink ready for fall season

Laura Batterink
Laura Batterink
Photo credit: Todd Fraser / CANADA RUNNING SERIES

Laura Batterink never ran in high school or university but has become one of the rising stars in the Canadian road running community, recently finishing fourth at the Canadian half-marathon championships.

Originally from Toronto, she spent time in Eugene, Ore., a capital of distance running in the United States, while completing her PhD in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Oregon without realizing her potential as an endurance athlete. After finishing graduate school she moved to Evanston, Ill., where she is a postdoctoral trainee in the neuroscience of human cognition program at Northwestern University. She had taken up running ten years prior, but never considered herself an exceptional runner. She only ran a few times each week and entered the Eugene half-marathon each year she lived there.

Upon moving to Evanston, the 29-year-old joined a local running club and was quickly told she should take up training more seriously. After entering a few local road races and doing well, she ran the Canadian half-marathon championships in Montreal, finishing fourth in 1:16:49.

Two weeks ago Batterink competed in the Bix 7 in Davenport, Iowa, which doubles as the US seven mile championships, where she finished an impressive 10th behind a field of elites.

Batterink says her training has gotten more serious since joining the team in Evanston. She does more tempo and fartlek training, as well as the occasional track workout and her mileage has drastically increase, but she has always been someone who enjoys the outdoors. All the trails around Eugene made it easy for her to enjoy running recreationally, although she estimates she never ran more than 40 or 45 kilometres per week. She now runs nearly triple that, though that’s still a relatively low number by the standards of some of her competitors.

Excited to see how she fares in the mud, Batterink will run her first cross-country race at the end of November in the national championships, but is first up to race the Canadian 10K championships on Sept. 20 in Toronto at the Zoo Run and the Big Sur half-marathon on Nov. 16.