Athletics Canada named 24 athletes from across the country to represent Canada at the 2020 Pan American Cross Country Cup, which will be held in Langford and Victoria this winter.
The event takes place at the Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa on Feb. 29 marking the first time the event is being held in Canada.
Genevieve Lalonde, originally from Moncton, won her second straight national cross country title in Abbotsford last weekend and says she can’t wait to test her skills on Canada’s team at the competition. Lalonde says she’ll use the race to help prepare for the Olympic season ahead.
Bruce Deacon, general manger for the event and two-time Olympic marathoner, says a good portion of the senior athletes will and should use the championship to help push forward their running careers. His biggest piece of advice to athletes is listen to your coach and stay healthy.
“[Basically] it’s a game of training hard and not getting hurt,” he says.
He says Canadian athletes have a big advantage just by not having to travel across the world to compete, adding that a number of the athletes have already asked to see the course prior to the competition to really seal that “home-field advantage.”
Canada is the first team to announce its athletes. The United States is likely to announce its team after the U.S. Championships next weekend. Brazil is the only other country that has announced they’ll be sending a team of athletes but Deacon says 19 to 21 countries are expected to participate.
Currently, Deacon and his team are working on creating a website and declaration page translated into Spanish to help Spanish-speaking countries with the process. Countries have until Dec. 20 to declare participation.