The Augustana Cross Country Running team showed up with impressive numbers and took to snowy trails on Saturday, October 15, 2016. The last of 5 qualifying races for the Cross Country Running championships was hosted by the University of Alberta Augustana in Camrose. A total of 19 brave Augustana Vikings took to the Stony Creek Cross Country trails that just one day prior, received 6.6 mm of fresh white snow. On race day, the Vikings braved the cold with the weather sitting somewhere between a high of 9 degrees and a low of -1 degrees Celsius.
Prior to the women's race start, Cross Country Running coach Gerhard Lotz addressed the runners, reminding them to pace themselves throughout the race. This advice was much needed as it came with a warning that the 5km women's loop would feel like a 6-7 km run and the 8km men's loop would feel like a 10km run in the present conditions. After a final team warm-up with the iconic Vikings chant, the runners took their places at the starting line pumped up and ready to brave the treacherous trails. Despite the mixed track conditions of snow, slush, and the occasional patch of grass, all runners finished the race safely.
Despite the sudden weather shift, there was quite a large turnout of runners for this event. Runners from all ACAC member schools showed up along with community members. The top 3 male runners on Saturday were Trevor Hofbauer (TAC), Royden Radowits (U of A), and Gareth Hadfield (open). The Vikings were lead by Matt Martin (AUG) who placed 29 overall with a time of 30:47. The top 3 female runners were Maria Bernard (UCAC), Alecia Kallos (RRAC), and Jennifer Norminton (RRAC). Emily McIlroy (AUG) lead the vikings placing 46 overall with a time of 24:15.
As race day came to a close, runners started bundling up and refueling with bananas, cookies, and juice as they huddle around the race results. Cooling down from their run with a recovery jog or the winter chill, runners start piling into their vehicles for warmth and a ride home. Even the runners who started the day wearing only tank tops and shorts threw on an extra layer! The Vikings eagerly await ACAC Cross Country Running championships that will be held in Grand Prairie this Saturday, October 29, 2016.