March 11, 2013, Ottawa, ON (INS) – Twenty-three Canadians will travel to Bydgoszcz, Poland for the 40th International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Cross Country Championships taking place Sunday March 24.
The Canadian contingent will depart March 16 for a training camp in Walcz in Poland before heading to Bydgoszcz on March 22.
The event will get underway with the junior women’s 6-kilometre race at 12:00pm local time (6:00am eastern time) on March 24. The junior women earned their spot at the World Championships by winning the team title at the North America, Central America and Caribbean (NACAC) Cross Country Championships in February.
At 12:30pm local time (6:30am eastern time) the junior men take off in the 8-kilometre race. Kingsville, Ont.’s, Ryan Sleiman led the junior men at the NACAC Championships with an individual 4th place on their way to a team title.
The senior women will be led by a couple of World Cross Country Championship veterans in Maria Bernard of Calgary, Alta., and Lindsay Carson of Cambridge, Ont. Bernard competed in the junior category at the 2011 edition while Carson ran as a junior at the 2008 World Cross Country Championships. The senior women’s 8-kilometre race begins at 1:15pm local time (7:15am eastern time). This same group took team gold at the NACAC Championships led by Natasha Fraser of Port Moody, B.C., and Rachel Cliff of Vancouver, B.C., who won individual gold and silver respectively.
The senior men’s entry is led by a pair of 2012 Olympians in Mohammed Ahmed of St. Catharines, Ont., and Cameron Levins of Black Creek, B.C. These will be Ahmed’s fourth World Cross Country Championships, notably he competed as a junior at the 2010 edition which was also held in Bydgosccz. Ahmed isn’t the only member of the senior team who brings World Cross Country experience; Lucas Bruchet (2010) of White Rock, B.C., Levins (2011) and Kelly Wiebe (2011) of Regina, Sask., have all run at cross country Worlds. The senior men’s 12-kilometre race begins at 2:10pm local time on March 24 (8:10am eastern time).
Follow Team Canada leading into and throughout the event on Facebook and Twitter. You can also follow these World Cross Country team members on Twitter: Mohammed Ahmed (@Moh_Speed), Maria Bernard (@maria_bernard), Lucas Bruchet (@lucasbruchet), Rachel Cliff (@Dangerous_Cliff), Jillian Forsey (@jillianforsey), Natasha Fraser (@tasha_fraser4), Rachel Hannah (@RachelHannahRD), Cam Levins (@CamLevins), Gabriella Stafford (@GabrielaMariaS), Mathew Walters (@WaltersM17), Chris Winter (@cwinter3).