Athletes dominate fun run
Where else in this nation does a Canada Day Fun Run attract dozens of prospective Olympians bent on crushing a meandering 8 km course in less than 27 minutes?
Only in Canmore, you say?
Budding ski star Graeme Killick’s 26:31 8 km run was fast enough for the July 1 win. He pulled away early and was able to fend off attacks from his Alberta World Cup Academy teammates.
“Today I was in the pain locker,” Killick said.
For Killick, Canada Day runs are a part of family lore. His brother Anthony was born on July 1, so back home in Fort McMurray, they’d head to the Canada Day celebrations, eat pancakes, run, eat Canada Day cake, then head home for birthday cake.
“It was an all-day party,” Killick said.
This was his first Canmore Canada Day run, and he edged out fellow cross-country skiers Kevin Sandau and Graham Nishikawa for the win.
“We just had a huge testing week. The last few days have been hard,” Killick said. Training with the Alberta World Cup Academy, his last week has included plenty of double pole work up Canmore’s big hills.
He was surprised by the win.
“In the last year I’ve become a better runner,” Killick said.
Reflecting on his home country, he lists Devon Kershaw’s near medal in the 50 km event at the Vancouver Olympics as his favourite Canadian moment.
“To see a Canadian right up there was something special,” killick said.
Another skier, Brittany Webster, was the fastest woman on the course. She finished the 8 km in 31:35.6. She looks forward to the Canada Day run every year as a great chance to run with teammates and the community.
“This is such a good race. It explains the community of Canmore. You have the same number of people out here that come to watch World Cup races,” Webster said.
Although she was two minutes slower than her personal best, she still managed to beat second-place finisher Hilde Haakenstad and retired cross-country skier Madeleine Williams.
Webster is just beginning a tough week of training after spending time home in Toronto. She still holds fond memories of Canada Day in Ontario.
“Every year I think of the Canada Day I spent in Ottawa. It was just such a great atmosphere,” Webster said.
More than 550 runners participated in this year’s event, including several families. Jillian Stewart, Tawnya Wilde, Kourtney Branaga and Anna Parent grabbed the top four 3 km spots in the women’s category. Michael Manka, Reid McKay, Aaron Wilde and A.J. Williams won the men’s race.
The race acts as a fundraiser for the Canmore Nordic Ski Club. This was the 23rd time the race has been run in Canmore.
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