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Legs for Literacy a
homecoming for Lalonde

Olympian taking part in 5K race on Sunday

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
Oct. 19, 2017

MONCTON, N.B. – She’s competed at the Olympics, and in international competition around the world. But, on Sunday, Oct. 22, Genevieve Lalonde will race at home.
   The Moncton athlete, who holds the Canadian record in the 300m steeplechase and advanced to the finals in that event at the Rio Olympics last year, will take part in the 5K race at this weekend’s Legs for Literacy.
   Lalonde said she is excited to be running not only in front of the home crowd, but also with the home crowd.
   “I think the last time I raced at home was in 2014 at the Moncton Stadium, so it has been a few years,” she said.

Moncton Olympian Genevieve Lalonde will take part in the 5K race at Legs for Literacy on Sunday, Oct. 22, one of many exciting races scheduled for the annual Moncton event.

Photo courtesy of Genevieve Lalonde

   “The crowd in Moncton is one of my favourites, not only because I know so many people, but because everyone really gets involved and becomes a part of the race.”
   Now based in Guelph, Ont., Lalonde has traveled a lot in the past year, but still calls Moncton home. The autumn months have seen her away in either the Arctic community of Ulukhaktok, N.W.T. or on the sunshine coast of Australia for the last couple of years, but she always looks for opportunities to get home.
   “This year I was going to be around, and having recently graduated from my masters and focusing primarily on my athletic career, I had the time to come home,” she said. “What better time to come back then during New Brunswick’s biggest road race and run in the UNI 5K? I have always wanted to run in the Legs for Literacy, having both a passion for running and reading.”
   The 26-year-old has had quite an athletic career since setting the Canadian junior record for 3000m steeplechase at the 2010 IAAF World Junior Championships in front of the Moncton home crowd, a record of 9:57.74 that still stands today. She went on to win bronze in the event at the 2013 Jeux de la Fracophonie in Nice, France, and another bronze at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto. Her Olympic debut at the 2016 Rio games saw her finish 16th.
   She had set the national record of 9:32.17 in 3000 steeplechase at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon in May of 2016, and then lowered her on record to 9:29.99 at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London this past August, a 13th place finish in what has been described as the strongest field ever seen in the event.
   Will she be treating this weekend’s race as a serious competition, or as a fun run at home?
   “Every race is fun if you let it be,” said Lalonde. “I won’t be treading lightly, if that is what you are asking. My goal is to run it to the best of my abilities right now, keeping in mind that I am in the middle of my base season and working a lot on running longer mileage and less on specific speed.”
   She is considering running another road race in November or December, and will then switch her focus to the track, running a few times indoors before gearing up for the Commonwealth Games and the outdoor track season.
   The 5K is one of many races expected to draw excitement at Legs for Literacy on Sunday, as it will also be the region’s last full marathon of the year, and the half marathon will be Run New Brunswick’s provincial championship for the distance. Also taking place on Sunday will be the 10K, while a family run/walk will be held on Saturday, Oct. 21.
   For more on Legs for Literacy, visit here.