Calgary, AB (Nov. 7, 2014) — More than 220 athletes from across Canada have gathered at SAIT Polytechnic to race for gold in the 2014 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) National Cross-Country Running Championships this weekend.
The SAIT Polytechnic national team is primed and ready for the course in Confederation Park, fresh off winning silver (women) and bronze (men) at the ACAC Championships in Fort McMurray at the end of October.
“We have a really good group going into Nationals, says Jamie Grant, head coach of the SAIT Trojans cross-country team. “They all performed well in Fort McMurray and there are a couple of girls on the team waiting for their breakout race — I think they’re ready to do it at Nationals. And the men are all hungry to go in and race well. We’re pushing for a medal.”
The National Championships is the pinnacle event of the season, after athletes have spent the last two months racing in grand prix events around the province.
Teams from as far away as Quebec will take on the challenging Confederation Park course — a 5 km circuit for the female athletes, while the men take on an 8 km loop.
The grass course is undulating with a larger hill on each 2 km lap, with runners crossing pathways and wooden bridges.
Races start on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 12 pm with the women, followed by the men at 1 pm.
CCAA athletes aren’t the only runners who will be tackling the tricky course. A Citizen’s Race will take place at 2 pm on Saturday afternoon — an opportunity for the public to lace up their shoes and run for a personal best. The Citizen’s Race entry is by donation, with proceeds going to Mito Canada in support of Mitochondrial disease.
The prestigious CCAA All-Canadian awards will be handed out Friday evening at the opening ceremonies. The race awards and wrap-up celebrations will take place at the CCAA banquet on Saturday.