Red Hawk cross-country runners Nick Phippen and Isaac Little travelled to snowy Sudbury for the OFSAA cross-country championships Saturday Nov. 2 held in Kivi Park. After getting hit with a snowstorm Thursday night and the snow and drizzle that kept falling all day Saturday runners faced gruelling trail conditions trudging through snow and slush for the 4k 5k and 6k courses.
Both runners encountered challenges during the run and neither raced to their potential. Phippen got spiked early on and the cold conditions resulted in Little’s calves freezing up during the race. Despite this both runners retained their grit completing the course the best they could. Phippen finished 144 in a field of 258 junior boys. Little was 110 out of 270 in the senior boys division.
Many runners lost footing and shoes in the snow and mud and were seen carrying them to the finish line.
Phippen and Little remained positive about the experience acknowledging it was an accomplishment to make it there and even be a part of an event so big. They took it in stride as another exercise in resiliency and are instead focused on the future and looking forward to running distance again in the track and field season in the spring.
Other runners with local ties to compete at the meet included Campbell Smith who finished 117 in novice girls and Evan Armstrong who ran a strong race to place 68th in novice boys. Campbell now attends I.E. Weldon and Armstrong runs for Lakefield College.