Provincial OCAA XC 8K!

Posted: October 28, 2013 in Robert Brouillette

On Saturday October 26th 2013, I ran the Provincial OCAA 8K cross-country race in Ancaster, Ontario for Conestoga College. The day before though, my teammate Brendan Hancock and I went to a hair salon in Kitchener called Teknik to get hair tattoo’s and I decided get a maple leaf on both sides of my head with designs around them and a mohawk down the middle once again. Brendan then invited the men’s and women’s team over for a big pasta carb loading dinner which was noodles with a delicious tomato sauce and meatballs, salad mix, garlic bread slices, and chocolate milk to drink of course. Brendan, Payton, Zak, Steve, and I, ate our faces off till we were stuffed because it was so darn good. That night I went to a Halloween party but with a water bottle in hand and CEP compression socks on my legs before getting home not too late to rest up for the big day. Training for this race dates all the way back to the end of June, when I went to Kenya to train in the high altitude with some of the worlds best runners for over 2 months doing a lot of base training. Then for September and October I have trained with my Conestoga College Condors cross-country team with coach David Sharratt, as well as assistant’s Brian and Jenn. As I was laying in bed trying to get enough sleep, all I could think about is how lucky I am to have such a huge support team from my family, friends, Kenyan/Canadian training partners, my coaches, College teammates, and all the followers through my social media. In the morning I woke up and thought to myself this is my big day that I have waited for and nothing is going to stop me, except maybe this crazy rain storm and super hilly XC course that I will tackle in just a few hours. I got my bag packed, spikes cleaned, track suit on, and headphone in till we pulled into the parking lot of the OCAA Championships. The team hid inside the nearby ice rink building as it continued to pour all morning but regardless of the weather the boys and I all went out for our warm up before coming back inside to do some dynamic stretches. We started our warmup process a little too late and were running to the start line but even before that I couldn’t help but put on and tie my spike lace’s ever so perfectly because of my OCD. Anyways, with my full track suit on and rushing to the start line I made it there with less than a minute till the gun goes off so I thankfully got all my extra clothing off, gloves on, and was up at the front of the line just in time. I was kind of disappointed with my lateness and not getting my sprints in but it’s not the end of the world as long as I made it there. So the race starts and I go out with teammates Liam Smith and Ahmed Ahmed in about top 15 place with a pack of 10 just a few meters ahead on the grass field as we enter the big downhill into the forest. Ahmed takes off ahead of us, but Liam and I hold back to save our energy and not get overly excited on the early downhill. At the bottom of the hill at about 1K into the race, I easily catch up with Liam and we decide to battle this race out together and that’s exactly what we did for the most part. The next 5K is all in the forest, with pouring rain storm, massive puddles, slippery mud everywhere, and lots of ups and downs as we go through the rolling hills. Liam would always muscle up the hill ahead of me and then I would speed up after I crested the top of the hills so we stayed on pace together. At the second biggest hill of the race it was very steep and uneven but I decided to go leave my group to charge the hill alone which was a mistake. I am not going to lie so I’ll admit I am a very weak hill runner but fly fast on the flat sections so once I neared the top I was really feeling the burn in my legs as they turned to stone and I couldn’t keep my legs turning over as they felt like jello. Then suddenly I feel this hand on my back with a push and the words “you can do this buddy” and it was my teammate Liam who hadn’t given up on me and gave me that little boost to get me up the last bit of the hill. After I was at the top I had some places to take back so I began to pick my pace up as it was either a slight downhill or flat trail for the next bit of the race. I lost Liam again so I was running ahead of him alone until I hit that large hill that I initially ran down at the beginning of the race and of course dreaded running up it now. I ran up the hill the best I could but I knew it looked bad as I had lost my form and began grunting my whole way up. Surprisingly, I had created a small gap before I entered the hill so I wasn’t passed going up but once I was at the top with 1K to go, it was now game time. The field was full of water but it didn’t matter after what I had just gone through it the forest with being soaking wet from head to toe and covered in mud. I was so tired and it showed in the field section to the finish line but I was closing in on teammate Ahmed so I just focused on that and let nothing else matter. I saw Ahmed cross the line just ahead on me and then Liam flew by me 1 second in front making that Conestoga College’s 1-3 finishers all seconds apart. I was 27th overall in a time that does not matter at all on a course like this. As soon as I crossed the finish line I collapsed beside Liam and I think we high-fived or something as we lay in the messy field not caring what we looked like and just being thankful it was now over. All season we were looking like a 3rd place medal finishing team but due to the race conditions, some injuries, and one of our top runners out for the season, the men’s team finished 7th overall. It is what it is so I needed to accept that but I sure did learn a thing or two for the future of my cross-country career. All in all, I’m just happy that I completed that deadly course, came top 30 even though I would have expected better, and am now on a fine line of going to Nationals in two weeks in Toronto or not. They’re is always the 5K community run but that will be a big tease with the CCAA Nationals happening before. XC running has never been my strength but I’m learning more and more every race so I thank my supporters for sticking with me and I promise to give you a performance you will like in the near future.

SUMMARY
Race = OCAA XC (Provincials)

My School = Conestoga College
Distance = 8K cross-country
Time = 31:38 min.
Pace = 3:58/K
Overall Place = 27th/109
Team Place = 7th/18

SOCIAL MEDIA
Photo album of race = https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151974045953874.1073741851.511403873&type=1&l=e820e5f0d9
Race results = http://www.trackie.com/track-and-field/Results/2013-ocaa-cross-country-champs/2358/

My Facebook = https://www.facebook.com/RunnerRob4Life
My Twitter = https://twitter.com/RunnerRob4Life

– Robert Brouillette

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