A 7 a.m. wake-up call to torrential rain hammering against the window was how Concordia’s men and women’s cross-country teams woke up on the morning prior to their race in Quebec City on Saturday, Oct. 6.
The three hour drive to the province’s capital was not any more uplifting. However, by 1 p.m., the intensity of the rain had calmed to a drizzle.
The course was soft and wet. It started with a tight curve with some back and forth on the flat. This was an easy way to scatter the runners early on. A steep downhill followed with a quick turn and the monster hill to the top.
The men’s side repeated this loop four times for a total of eight kilometres, while the women’s team totaled four kilometres.
Ryan Noel-Hodge was the first Concordia man to cross the finish line. He finished second out of 55 runners with a time of 25:12. Noel-
Hodge was three seconds behind the leader. Simon Driver was the second best Concordia runner. He finished in 12th place with a time of 27:07. Francis Dumoulin and James Coulton finished 29th and 31st respectively. Ryan Ruffner was in 52nd spot.
Noel-Hodge felt confident, followed his plan and executed it near-perfectly.
“It went well,” he said. “There was good competition up front. I know what I have to work on to win provincials now.”
As for the women’s side, Elizabeth Mokrusa was the first Stinger to finish the run. She came in 16th place and posted a time of 15:52. Val Sicard-Thibodeau, Molly Howes and Chloé Rochette finished within minutes of Mokrusa. Andriana Farias was the last Stingers runner to cross the line with a time of 19:41.
“Prior to the race, I wasn’t feeling as fresh as I have for the previous races this season,” said Howes. “It may have affected me in the last kilometre, but otherwise I felt relatively strong.”
Farias felt the weather didn’t affect her negatively. She was however, unable to attain her goal of beating her time from the previous race.
“Every race is different so I guess I shouldn’t compare times between races,” she said. “I still feel accomplished, and motivated to keep training.”
The Stingers’ next event will be Saturday, Oct. 13 at the AUS Interlock in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The men’s team will complete another eight kilometre race, while the women’s side will participate in a five kilometre race.