Road race will help runner on trails
Okotoks: Annual Sheep River 5km/10km runs on Labour Day
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Aug 28, 2013 06:00 am
Sometimes you have to hit the pavement before you can get back to the country.
Claire Thorimbert is using the Big Rock Runners’ Sheep River 5/10km Road Race this Monday as part of her preparation for the upcoming high school cross-country season.
“I have not ever ran the Sheep River Road Race,” said Thorimbert, a Grade 12 student at Holy Trinity Academy. “I thought it would be a good lead up to the cross-country season. To be honest, I have never ran a race except for the races with the schools.
“I thought it would be good experience.”
Thorimbert is entering the 5km event at the Sheep River race as it is close to the 4km she will have to run in cross-country this year.
“I am just trying to use the Sheep River Road Race to see where I am at and then start setting goals for cross-country,” she said after going for a run on Sunday. “This will be totally new to me… someday I would like to run the 10K.”
Thorimbert admitted it is going to be different to be at the starting line at Foothills Composite High School on Labour Day.
“One difference for me will be just the people I will be racing against,” she said. “In cross-country, I have known who to expect because it has been the same faces every year, but this is going to be different because you are racing against runners of all ages.
“Of course, the terrain is going to be different. I am used to running on grass, gravel and hills. This is going to be a smooth race, I believe.”
Although she hasn’t set a specific goal for the Sheep River Road Race, she has for the upcoming cross-country season.
“I just want to improve on my times from last year and I would really like to have a top 10 finish at provincials — if I get there,” she said. “Last year, I finished 11th. I was only about two seconds behind a top 10 finish and that was disappointing for me.”
Thorimbert is also a member of the Knights’ girls soccer team — which will start in September — as well as the school’s basketball team, both of which are defending Foothills Athletic Council champions.
She knows pounding the pavement and the trails in preparation for the Sheep River Road Race will do her nothing but good in her other sporting endeavours.
“It helps my fitness so much,” Thorimbert said. “I can play a 90-minute soccer game and a 40-minute basketball game without having to come off for subs. It definitely gives me that level of fitness that I need to perform in the other sports.”
She has also noticed other runners wearing the ultra-cool Sheep River Road Race shirts when she’s out training in Okotoks. You know the technical running shirts with the mountain goats bounding over the Rockies, which is given to the Sheep River Road Race participants.
As nice as they are, Thorimbert isn’t running to make a fashion statement.
“I have always wanted to do the run, but I have never really considered the shirt,” she said with a laugh.
The Sheep River Road Race 5km/10km run will start at 9:15 a.m. on Monday at Foothills Composite High School. There will be a Kids Run at 8:30 a.m.
The Big Rock Runners are a group of sociable runners ranging from joggers to ultra-marathoners. For more information on the club or to register for the Sheep River Road Race go www.bigrockrunners.com. Participants can register on line until midnight of Aug. 31.