The Gees have two weeks until the RSEQ championship. Photo: Andy McInnis.
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Gees get opportunity to compete at home before RSEQ meet

On Oct. 14 the Gee-Gees cross country team competed in the Capital XC Challenge here in Ottawa. The meet was a two-day event that featured a high schoolers’ meet on Friday, Oct. 13, and an elementary school meet on Saturday morning. The Gee-Gees competed on the Saturday afternoon in a race that featured a number of universities and the general public.

Third-year Gee-Gee Rebecca Brennan said that having races for elementary and high schools as well as opening the main race up to the general public make it a unique event during the year.

“I think what sets it apart is that it’s a huge community event and it really encourages the younger generation of cross country runners to get more excited about the sport.”

With the majority of cross country meets happening on the road, the event allows the athletes to be able to sleep in their own beds and race on a familiar track.

“Racing at home is always nice,” said Brennan. “It’s a really cool course. We have hills, they throw in some hay bales throughout the course, and you get to finish on the track, so it’s awesome.”

The main Capital XC Challenge race is run in honour of Jim Howe, a doctor and long-time runner in Ottawa.

Brennan feels that the cross country team has been performing well this year. For the girls, a change in the race length has been an adjustment.

“I think that it’s been an interesting season for the girls because they just increased the distance in cross country for the girls from 6 km to 8 km, so last weekend (the Rouge et Or Invitational on Oct. 7) was our first time doing that and it definitely takes some getting used to,” she said.

The Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) meet will take place on Oct. 29. Brennan said that the biggest thing for the team ahead of the meet is to make sure they’re mentally prepared.

“Cross country, distance running in general, I think is a very mental sport. And I can tell—I’ve been on the team for a couple of years now—and there’s a lot of talent on our team. We’re a younger team and there’s a lot of depth to our team so I think that it’s going to be a matter of everyone getting that confidence.”

While the cross country season is not a long one, Brennan thinks the team just might be hitting its stride at the perfect time.

“I definitely can tell that everyone wants it and I think that attitude is great this year. Everyone is very positive and I think it’s a good sign that we haven’t peaked too soon. I think we’re saving it for the end there.”