Six local runners were rewarded for their hard work and exceptional seasons recently at a special camp in Nanaimo headed up by a legend in the sport.
Earning an invite to the Gary Reed, Future Stars of Canada Middle Distance Camp, held in Nanaimo April 20-22, were OTFC’s Miryam Bassett, Noah Elliott, Peter Oxland, Thomas Oxland, Taylor Chestnut and Rebecca Bassett, along with OTFC coaches Kim and Randy Longmuir.
“It was,” said Kim, “an outstanding experience.”
According to Kim “only 30 accomplished competitive middle distance runners from around the province had the opportunity to be a part of the camp,” and the fact that six of them were from Oceanside certainly says a lot about the local club.
Those invited to the camp put in 7.5 hours on the track, two hours in the gym and 2.5 hours in lectures. They also had the opportunity to watch some of Reed’s most memorable races on the screen.
Reed was Canada’s top 800m runner for many years, and still holds the Canadian record at 1:43.68. Many will remember Reed for his heartbreaking fourth in Beijing and second at the World Championships in Osaka in 2007. He is a six-time Canadian 800m champion, and ran in two Olympic Games and five World Championships. He retired in December 2010 and upon his retirement started the Reed Athletics Fund, a non-profit organization for Canadian track and field athletes.
“Gary is an exceptional person on so many levels, not just his gift as an athlete, but in his genuine support and encouragement of up and coming Canadian athletes. One really nice man,” said Kim.
IN OTHER TRACK NEWS
Kim and Randy were in Nanaimo for the North Island High School Track & Field championships on the weekend. According to Kim the meet was given the green light last week “after much back and forth all week due to job action. Ballenas is one of the fortunate schools because Randy and I have coached the high school team there for six years, so no teacher conflict at this time for that team. Many teams are scrambling,” she said.