Tomorrow (Friday) I journey off to compete in the Athletics' Ontario provincial championships. This journey will require a 5:30am wake up, drive to Ottawa and then catch a 6 hour bus with the Ottawa Lions track club to Sudbury (of all places) where the championships are being hosted by Laurentian University. I race the 800m on Saturday afternoon, followed by the 1500m on Sunday morning and then will return on the bus with the Lions to make it back to Ottawa by about 10pm for a Ktown return around midnight.
Why do I make this trek to get in a few races at the end of what has been a very long season (now at 10 races since May)? Well, mes amis, there are a few reasons - in no particular order:
1) Money - while this trip is costing me a packet for travel and accommodation for around 5.5 mins of racing (and less if I'm good!), my appearance at the meet helps qualify me for Quest for Gold money, which is Ontario's system of funding elite athletes. I have run fast enough times and placed well at Nationals to help my cause, and now an appearance at these championships is all that is left, not to secure the funding, but to put me on the list. This money (don't ask how much you nosey parker cos I'm not telling even if I did know!) will help go toward training and racing expenses in the coming XC season in the fall as well as track seasons in the winter and summer of '11.
2) Mix and Mingle - I need to continue to rub shoulders with not only the athletes that I compete against, but also officials and coaches who may be able to help me with my journey. There is plently out there about training and racing that I don't know and need to find out. I need to find out how to create an environment around me that is conducive to positive development. I need to know how aspiring Olympians live and train, and there are coaches out there who have seen, helped or done it themselves.
3) Unfinished business - I have not yet broken 1:50 for 800m nor do I believe that I have run as fast as I can in the 1500m. These are things I would like to do this season. One or both of these things may or may not happen but we won't know until we try.
4) Supporting local athletics - I think it is important that athletes of all calibre go to their provincial and (especially) nationals championships. It improves the quality of the competition, gives them exposure, and inspires the younger generation who can see them in the flesh. Not saying that I am doing any of those 3 things, but one day I might and until then I should do my part and at least add another body to the starting line!
Another thing that I think is important is that I go to bed now. Goodnight and I will blog again on my return home.