Two Mac runners step up to bigger world stage

McMasterHer setting will be familiar on March 24, but McMaster’s Lindsay Carson will enjoy a new role when she and teammate Maddy McDonald travel to Bydgoszcz, Poland for the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Cross Country Championships.

That’s because – while she has a wealth of experience at the national level – Carson will be competing for the first time at the senior level in Poland. She was a part of the Canadian contingent at the 2008 World Championships, where she competed as a junior.

“I’ve represented Canada many times before, but this is my first senior event with the national team, so it’s very special to me,” said Carson. “The girls who go to the World Championships and the Olympics are here, so it’ll be an eye-opening experience.”

Maddy McDonald (Photo: McMaster Athletics)

Maddy McDonald (Photo: McMaster Athletics)

For both Carson and McDonald – who will make her debut at the World Championships – preparing for the event involved sacrificing their indoor track season with the Marauders. Carson explained that the discrepancy in distance between the upper limits of the indoor circuit and the eight kilometre standard of the senior race at the World Championships was too great to allow training for both.

“It was a very tough decision not to compete indoors,” said the veteran Marauder. “But if I had, I would have been training for the 1,500m and the 3,000m. The crossover between those two distances and an eight kilometre race is huge. You’d have to train on almost an entirely different energy system.”

Carson remembered her previous international experiences as a junior fondly, and indicated that McMaster’s rookie McDonald will gain valuable insight over the course of their joint voyage.

“On the trips, the great thing about the World Cross Country Championships is that the seniors and juniors are mixed,” said Carson. “In most track races for example, you would just go to the World Junior event.

“It’s a really cool experience, as I can attest from my time as a junior. You go to these cool places and you have the seniors with you who offer a wealth of knowledge. There’ll be a lot of mentoring, not just by me, but by the other seniors as well.”

Where her own performance is concerned, Carson was confident that she can compete with the very best that the world has to offer, and has crafted a plan of attack that should see her fulfill her potential.

“I know what I’m capable of and I’m just going to try to stick to a concerted game plan that will get me across the finish line in those eight kilometres,” said Carson. “It’s definitely a longer distance than what I’m used to, so I’d rather have a new plan rather than run it like a five kilometre race and die for the last three.”

The Canadian team takes part in a short training camp in the Polish city of Walcz before travelling to the site of the event at Bydgoszcz.