Running with Rachel

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Vikes Blog – Inside summer training with Vikes runner Rachel Francois – File Photo by Glenn Ivens (ISN)

June 8, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – My name is Rachel Francois, and I am an 800 m track athlete competing for the UVic Vikes. I’m going into my third year at the school and it is safe to say that so far my experience has exceeded my expectations.

I love being a part of this community, especially with my team. The Vikes cross-country and track team is a great group and every single person brings a little spice to the mix. The team is mostly comprised of distance runners, allowing the team to have more of a focus without field athletes or sprinters. I guess the ‘running’ joke (cheap pun), would be that I am the “sprinter” of the team because I do significantly less volume than the rest of the them, coming from a more 400 and 800 m background in terms of my training. The range of abilities on the team goes from “us” 800 runners, all the way to 5 km and 10 km runners. Distance runners are known to be eccentric, silly, and notoriously skinny. I guess, with all those laps we run, you have to be a little bit crazy. This is why I’d like to share our experiences throughout the summer season with this blog.

Rachel Francois
Rachel Francois, UVIC Track and Field – File Photo by Glenn Ivens (ISN)

In sport, it really is a case that the journey is just as important as the destination. While it is the final results which determine our success (the numbers, stats and finishing moments), what really makes the end result special and meaningful is getting through the hard work, struggles, lessons and small triumphs along the way. Track is more than just running around in circles as fast as you can. Through this, I’d love to bring a personal perspective on behalf of the track team, and in a more general sense, from the Vikes, on the adventures and journeys of these athletes throughout this summer.

The beautiful thing about track is as individual of a sport it is, the unity and friendships made between people from all teams, and all over, are incredible. They are the type of friendships that when you see each other, you always pick up right where you left off no matter how long you spend apart. One recent case of the track community showing this is through the passing of Danielle Kendall, a Calgary Dinos runner, whose life was taken last week while climbing in Ecuador. The whole track community, nation-wide, was affected like a ripple but everyone was able to come together and support each other. In the track meet last weekend, which had many Western Canadian athletes running, a large majority of the athletes raced in red bandanas in Danielle’s honour. It was an amazing tribute to her life.

So, what is coming up for the Vikes track team? The schedule is beginning to get busy for us. People are dispersing to various meets nation wide. This weekend, majority of the team will be racing in Coquitlam. This is the Canada Summer Games trials for team BC and a number of athletes will be looking to try out. On the other side of the country there is a big track meet in Halifax, part of the National Track League (NTL) series. A few of our athletes are also racing there. The NTL is a series which features high performance elite runners from not only Canada, but international athletes as well. There is a prize purse, with money to be one for top performances both in each meet and in the series overall. This year the meets start in Halifax, and work their way west: Halifax, Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver, and lastly ending in Victoria!! The Victoria meet is July 5th at Centennial Stadium so be sure to mark your calendars.

These next few meets are preparing us for the big one – nationals is only two weeks away! This will take place in Moncton, NB and this meet is the trials for both the World Championships in Moscow and the Russia and Francophone Games in Nice, France.

So follow along as I provide updates on the adventures and performances of the Vikes track team throughout or summer season!