Last week Ottawa hosted the 2017 Canadian Track and Field Championships. Since my track was the host – I was able to take part in the meet! I did volunteer for two shifts, but I was also there to watch a few events as well. We are hosting again in 2018 – so if volunteering/spectating did not happen this year, make it a plan for 2018. All the adult volunteers I talked to said they had a blast and would be back next year. The younger volunteers had an AMAZING time and I’m sure they will be back too. Some of them might even get to compete next year (there is an age limit).
For volunteering, I was at the front gates for Thursday evening’s races. I got to see quite a few familiar faces, both local runners and elites. I was handing out those Run Ottawa Headbands which was fun. There were many children in attendance and I had quite a bit of fun chatting with them and ‘checking their passes’ (I kept saying “hey, I know you!” and they seemed to like that). I even saw a former student-athlete from my very first track team coaching experience when I worked in Toronto. After my shift, I was able to watch the 5000m Finals. Some great races!! The Women’s 5000m was stacked as the runners present were competing for spots for this year’s World Championships team. In order to be selected you have to run champs and place top 2 for an auto spot. The 5000m was the mandatory race for (obviously) the 5000m, but also the 10,000m. So in that race we had: Lanni Marchant, Natasha Wodak, Jess O’Connell, Andrea Seccafien, Sasha Gollish, Rachel Cliff and a few other speedy Canadian ladies. What a great race.
On Friday, I brought P and Max with me to watch the 100m and 800m semis. A few big name Olympians were there including Andre De Grasse and Melissa Bishop. I’ve never been able to watch Melissa Bishop race, so even though it was a semi, it was fantastic to see her run. I also chatted with Lanni in the Ottawa Lions tent for a bit – she was really the only athlete I was able to talk to at the meet. I was a metre away from Andre De Grasse and *could* have asked for a photo, but honestly, the athletes need to concentrate/work and I didn’t feel like bugging them.
On Sunday, I helped for a bit with the hammer throw, which was a treat since we do not have hammer throw in high school track and field. I was the person who was putting the measuring tape-stick in the ground. Nothing more fun than watching a heavy object being hurled at you and running towards it (after it landed…). Then I watched some more track at the Ottawa Lions Alumni tent to finish off a fun couple of days.
I cannot wait for next year! I’m planning on volunteering again, but also maybe even run a master’s race? Who knows….