Sunday, June 09, 2013

Sonia & The St. Albert Challenge

Last weekend my niece Sonia visited Edmonton for the St. Albert Challenge track meet. Sonia is a 'newer' participant to track and field and has recently caught on with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies running team.  I have never got to see her run before so I volunteered to be the chauffeur to and from the track.

Sonia is more of a distance runner than a true sprinter and for this 'open' track meet she was running in the 3000M and 1500M distances.

On the sunny Saturday of the meet she was scheduled for the 3000M.

Christina and Sonia pre race
Sonia had never run a race at this distance before so going into the event it was pretty up in the air how she would do.

She finished the race strong for 5th place against a group of experienced runners. Pretty impressive I thought.
After a quick change of clothes we headed back to Edmonton for some Irish re-hydration.

Where Saturday was ideal for running; Sunday was less so as the rain came pouring down.

A cool feature that Fowler Athletic Park has is an elevated track for runners to use for warm-ups. On this day it doubled as a rain shelter.

Once again Sonia was lined up against a group of experienced runners for the 1500M.

Her first lap around the track looked good as she was running strong and had good form. By the second lap she had slowed a touch and her form got a little looser as her shoulders/arms started working against her.

Her final lap was solid as she held back a challenger from behind to once again finish 5th.

She remarked afterwards that her limbs felt heavier during this race then she was used to. I'm guessing it had to do with the track conditions and the general chill of the rain. Either way I think racing in these elements was a good learning experience for her.

Although she didn't win any of her races, as a new runner and my niece I was pretty proud of her performance. With some more training and some refinement through repetition at these distances I am sure she will be front running soon.

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