READY TO RUN
Alex Cyr gets chance to compete in Winnipeg tonight
Team P.E.I.’s Alex Cyr gets chance to compete tonight in Canada Summer Games.
Alex Cyr has been in Winnipeg for eight days. Tonight, he gets to pull on the Prince Edward Island singlet and compete at the Canada Games.
The Abram-Village native, who turns 22 on Aug. 13, will run the 5,000 metre at 8:25 p.m. Atlantic.
“To be there with the P.E.I. colours is going to make me proud because I will be there knowing that I am as good as anybody on that line,’’ Cyr said Wednesday afternoon.
While the rest of Team P.E.I.’s Week 1 athletes have been competing, Cyr has been waiting for his opportunity.
In fact, he’s been waiting for more than five years for this chance.
Cyr attended the 2013 Canada Games in Sherbrooke, Que. The distance events were at the end of the week and it was thought a nagging injury might be healed by race day.
It wasn’t and Cyr didn’t get to run. He was later diagnosed with having a stress fracture in his left fibula, which required three months of rest to heal.
“This time is very different. The last time, I got all of the other stuff (like trading pins) out of the way,’’ he said. “This time, I’ve come here to race.”
Cyr is confident in his ability, but also realistic.
“The goal is to win a medal, for sure. That’s been the goal forever,’’ he said.
“To win a medal would be an overachievement for me for sure. My best time doesn’t rank me in the top three, but it’s all about what happens on the (race) day. I’m going to give it my all and hopefully finish on the podium. If that’s not the case, I hope I can at least run a personal best.”
Cyr grew up playing hockey in West Prince. He was a small
centre who ended up with the Charlottetown major midget Islanders, but realized his strength might be better suited in another sport.
“By the end, I was training for hockey and was still more successful in running. You kind of follow what you’re good at,’’ he said.
Cyr ran his first cross-country
meet in Grade 4 without training. He’d continue running them, but concentrated on other sports until about Grade 10. He would go for a threekilometre run the day before the race just to ensure he was ready.
He has been a mainstay on Island track and field teams for years. After graduating from high school, Cyr left the province to attend St. F.X. University in Antigonish, N.S., where he was part of the X-Men track and cross-country teams.
He finished second and third in the 1,500 metre at the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) championships in 2016 and 2015, respectively, and this year broke through to win the title. It gave him the opportunity to race at the U Sports national championship.
Cyr has also attended two national cross-country meets.
“I grew up in the (P.E.I.) school system, ran well there, got to go to the Games, didn’t perform, didn’t race,’’ Cyr said. “I’ve had great years at St. F.X. I won an AUS championship title, I was on winning teams for cross country, but I still feel like I would like to be able to represent my province in that way as well.
“That’s kind of the opportunity of this weekend.”
Cyr worked out Friday, Monday and Wednesday for tonight’s race. He also had two little runs on the track to familiarize himself with the venue and ran once on a trail near the University of Manitoba campus.
“I haven’t been doing much, laying low. I watched a couple sports, but a lot of it is playing crib with the boys,” Cyr said. “Most of the hard physical work is done, so now it’s a matter of finding the discipline to just kind of set back and know and be confident that my body is ready to do what it’s suppose to do.”
“I’m going to give it my all and hopefully finish on the podium. If that’s not the case, I hope I can at least run a personal best.” Alex Cyr
Alex Cyr will run the 5,000 metre tonight at the Canada Games in Winnipeg.