January 14, 2014, Ottawa (ISN) – Athletics Canada is proud to announce that the first elite athlete to commit to the inaugural AC Indoor Open is Montreal’s own Karine Belleau-Béliveau.
Karine had a phenomenal 2013 season setting an outdoor 800-metres personal best of 2:01.18; she finished second at the Canadian Championships and earned a spot to compete at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia.
2013 World Championship It just so happens that Karine’s club, Les Vainqueurs, will be serving as host along with Athletics Canada for the 2014 AC Indoor Open.
AC: Since your home and training base is Montreal, how does it feel to have the opportunity to race in front of family and friends?
KBB: It’s a great opportunity to race with the best athletes in Canada and give a very good show to my family and friends. I am also proud that my club (Les Vainqueurs) is the host of the meet!
AC: You had a great 2013 season finishing second in the 800-metres at the Canadian Championships and earned a spot on the World Championship team. What did you enjoy most about last season?
KBB: The first time I entered the stadium in the first round of my qualification for Worlds in Moscow. In my heat was Mariya Savinova, the gold medalist from the last Olympic games. It was a big honour to have the chance to race against her and show the world who I am.
AC: You’ve shown gradual improvement and have been getting faster over the past few years going from a 2:08 PB in 2008 to 2:01.18 last year. It’s rare to see an athlete make their first national team at 29-years old. How did you stay motivated and convince yourself to keep putting in the work?
KBB: When I started athletics it was just for fun and every year my passion for the sport kept growing. It’s really interesting to learn the way to perform, I get a good feeling every time I start running and when I compete! It’s a great experience for me in many aspects and I think if you really enjoy something you are already a winner!
AC: How and when did you first get involved in athletics? What sports did you compete in before track and field?
KBB: I started athletics in March 2008 without really competing in any sports before. At first I was training to try a marathon just for fun! I was working at the hospital full time and I was doing some aerobic dancing courses occasionally at the gym but nothing serious. I decided to start training with coach Jean-Yves Cloutier in March 2008. He proposed that I not train for the marathon, but instead try shorter distances like the 800-metres. He was thinking that I maybe had a lot of speed and he was right. After five months of training I ran 2:08. I really appreciated the experience and I decided to pursue the challenge! And finally I decided not to try a marathon…
AC: After last year’s successful season, what are you working on in your training for 2014? What goals are you focused on for this year?
KBB: For 2014, my first goal is to hit the A standard (2:00.00) for the Commonwealth Games. A secondary goal is to win the Canadian Championship.
AC: Can you tell us a little more about your current training situation, coaching and training partners?
KBB: As of right now I am training in Montreal with my club, Les Vainqueurs and my trainer, Benoit Lussier. My new head coach is Wynn Gmitroski and I will be going to Arizona after the indoor championships to be with him. I still keep in touch with my first coach and my mentor, Jean-Yves Cloutier, from whom I learned a lot about athletics since my beginning in 2008!
I would like to take the opportunity to thank my principal sponsor LesPac, Jobboom and Réseau Contact (from Mediagrif) who give me the support I need to continue to train and hit my goals!
It’s such an honour to be surrounded with amazing people who believe in my potential and want to follow me to the next Olympic Games in Rio 2016!
2013 Canadian Championship & Worlds Trials
The 2014 AC Indoor Open will take place in Montreal, Que., March 14 – 16 at the newly renovated Centre Claude-Robillard. The event serves as a Canadian Championship for youth and junior athletes and will feature a number of Olympians and World Championship national team members in invitational events. For more information and to register for the inaugural AC Indoor Open visit www.indoors.athletics.ca