The trip included lost Team Canada uniforms, a daunting course and a field of runners from 30 different countries, which created a memorable experience for Canmore’s Lea McCroy.
The teenage mountain crusher clocked a time of 45:14 to finish 54th in her age group at the 2017 World Mountain Running Championship, Sunday (July 30) in Italy.
It wasn’t her best run of the year, but it definitely brought a smile to her dad’s face.
“She finished one of the hardest courses I’ve ever seen – comparable to running Ha Ling for 430 metres and down again. One of my proudest moments as a father was to see her top out with this smile on her face,” said Heath McCroy.
“A world championship, an elite field of Africans and 30 countries from around the world – I’m proud.”
Heath McCroy ran for Canada at the world mountain running championships 10 years ago. His daughter trained extremely hard this year to match that accomplishment.
The trip started out unexpectedly, as the airline lost the men’s Team Canada uniforms en route to Italy. Race organizers weren’t going to let them race without uniforms, but then softened, and said they could race if they wore matching shirts. The would have to either run in women’s singlets, or cotton T-shirts – less than ideal for world championships.
Fortunately, Canadian running fans contacted the Running Room, team Canada’s uniform sponsor. They were able to get the uniforms to Calgary running fan Marie Grenon, who flew the singlets to Milan in time for the race.
Lea and Heath are now off to recover in the Italian countryside.