By Lethbridge Herald on September 28, 2023.
By Justin Seward
For the first time since 2018, the Lethbridge College Kodiaks cross country teams are hosting an Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference Grand Prix tomorrow at Nicholas Sheran Park.
There will be 10 ACAC teams coming to Lethbridge to compete for medals at the third Grand Prix of the season.
“Preparations have been going really well,” said Kodiaks head coach Simon Schaerz.
“We’ve had lots of good training sessions on the race course at Nicholas Sheran (with) really good weather of course in the last couple of weeks as well which has really helped, not a lot of snow, which in the past couple of years we’ve always had to contend with. So, yeah, preparation has been going really well and we’re excited to compete at home.”
Schaerz considers Nicholas Sheran to be “flat and fast,” compared to the other ACAC courses.
“The other courses tend to have a bit more up and down,” he said.
“We have some of that, certainly on the back end of the course, but not as much elevation as some of the other courses. So, we’re expecting some fast times and fast running ,which is… all sorts of different challenges, right. So you just have to be able to put in a consistent, strong, fast effort throughout the course and you don’t really have the downhills or the up hills to really sort of help you along , or also I guess kind of act against you. And yeah, so it becomes more of a track event rather than a cross country event but that’s kind of our thing here in Lethbridge. That’s what we’re known for is having fast courses and so we’ll see how that goes.”
Schaerz thinks runners need consistency throughout the race when on a flat and fast track.
“And so, not banking on downhills to maybe catch someone, but then also not having to stress about losing spots on the up hills,” he said.
“Just really fast running throughout the entirety of the race , and certainly we’ve been working on that ,and working on speed work and stuff like that here over the last couple of weeks. So(I) feel that we should be ready to go.”
The course is a two-kilometre loop starting across the bridge from Nicholas Sheran School, then runners will head towards the picnic shelter, up the hill before doing a couple of up and downs on the hill and run back along the other side of the park to the finish line.
The men will be running eight kilometres and the women will run six kilometres.
The women’s race starts at 11:30 a.m. and the men’s starts at 12:30 p.m.