Galt gold medal­ist loves to run

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier, Barn­ston-Ouest

Alexan­der Galt High School was well rep­re­sented at the RSEQ Provin­cial school cross-coun­try cham­pi­onship that took place in Amos, Que­bec, on Oc­to­ber 24th and 25th. The an­nual com­pe­ti­tion gath­ered to­gether more than five hun­dred of the prov­ince’s

top stu­dent ath­letes. Not only did three of Galt’s stu­dent ath­letes qual­ify for the event, sis­ters Amelia and Jus­tine Provencher and Perry Mack­in­non, one of them came home with the gold medal for the six kilo­me­ter run.

“I knew most of the other com­peti­tors so I wasn’t sure what to ex­pect; there are al­ways dark horses. But I knew I was pre­pared and that I would ‘peak’ for my race. In a month train­ing cy­cle, your per­for­mance goes up and down,” ex­plained gold medal­ist Perry Mack­in­non, of Barn­ston West, in an in­ter­view with the Stanstead Jour­nal. Un­der run­ning coach Jean-Pierre Lemelin and school coach Mr. Gau­thier, Perry cer­tainly was pre­pared for his ‘golden’ mo­ment, train­ing six or seven days a week, run­ning far­ther than sixty kilo­me­tres a week, and cross-train­ing too! The dis­ci­plined train­ing paid off with a fin­ish­ing time of 21 min­utes and 30 seconds, a full 23 seconds ahead of the sil­ver medal­ist.

“Right from the start I de­cided to go to the front like I nor­mally do, and I thought the pace seemed a lit­tle slow. So I took the lead and thought I would try to start putting some dis­tance be­tween my­self and the other rac­ers after the first turn, but my lead just kept get­ting big­ger even be­fore the turn,” said Perry who started run­ning se­ri­ously a lit­tle more than a year ago, hav­ing to give up com­pet­i­tive school hockey so he could re­ally ex­cel. “I was in the provin­cial fi­nal last year and I came sev­enth. It was after that when my coach and I de­cided to just con­cen­trate on the run­ning. Last year I played hockey and it slowed down my run­ning – it’s not as much of an en­durance sport as run­ning and the move­ments are dif­fer­ent, you’re not us­ing the same mus­cles,” he said, con­tin­u­ing: “When I started run­ning again in the spring, I saw that I had lost some­thing. I clued in to the fact that I had to choose be­tween hockey and run­ning so I thought about it all sum­mer, even play­ing some hockey in the sum­mer. I al­ways man­aged to do well at run­ning since I was at el­e­men­tary school. I liked it and it came nat­u­rally to me, and I was al­ways rec­og­nized as a fast kid. So I thought I’d give it a se­ri­ous try.”

De­cid­ing to stop play­ing hockey wasn’t an easy decision for the speed­ster, but also one that he doesn’t re­gret. “I re­ally like team sports but the beauty of run­ning is that you can al­ways get faster and bet­ter; your per­for­mance doesn’t de­pend on oth­ers. It’s also nice that you can train any­where and when­ever it fits into your sched­ule. I’ll be go­ing on an ex­change trip to Mex­ico in Jan­uary for two months; that will be a good place to train with its high al­ti­tudes.”

Perry also finds that run­ning fits in well with his school­work. “Go­ing for a run is a nice way to re­lax after a day at school. I can run and then go and do my home­work as op­posed to other sports where you have to stick to a rigid sched­ule. And when we’re run­ning, it’s a nat­u­ral move­ment for the body, so you can just think of other things while you’re do­ing it. Some­times I come up with good ideas while I’m run­ning, like choos­ing a good topic for a school project,” said Perry.

This young ath­lete has set his sights even higher after win­ning the provin­cial cham­pi­onship. “I hope next year to qual­ify for the na­tional track meet in cross coun­try and I’ll be train­ing in track and field all win­ter. I con­sider my­self lucky that I can walk and run, not ev­ery­one can. And since I’m good at run­ning, I’d like to pur­sue it and see how far it goes. Run­ning is a lot more than just putting one foot in front of the other.”

Photo cour­tesy

Perry Mack­in­non was happy to be break­ing the rib­bon after the six kilo­me­ter run at the RSEQ provin­cial cham­pi­onship.

Pho­tos cour­tesy

Galt stu­dent Perry Mack­in­non after re­ceiv­ing his gold medal on Oc­to­ber 25th, in Amos.

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