Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Part 3 - Kate Vaughan

Although I have followed the professional / elite running scene quite closely for the past two years and watched them in action from the sidelines, I have never had the privilege of actually running with someone at that level. Over the last year, I took a more serious approach to training and managed to chop some seconds off of my times. Not only was I running faster but I was running along side of and inevitably being defeated by Kate Vaughan [Note: two of her victories over me were by 2 seconds! One of these days I'll catch her I swear!]
Kate in orange, Me in red at 2.5k. Kate ran 26:42... me 26:44!

Kate and I both in orange (I tried to be fast by
association... but I got rocked by 20 secs)

Despite giving me grey hairs, it has been an absolute pleasure getting to know Kate personally as well as racing and training with her. Running seemed to come naturally to her when she ran the 1,500m in 5:19 in grade 12 on, from what I gather very limited - if any, training. She competed for the Memorial University XC squad during her post-secondary academic years to many noteworthy finishes as the Atlantic University Champtionships.

In 2009, she ramped up the training and made some huge jumps, taking off well over a minute on her 5km and 8km times, hitting 17:25 and 27:43 (5:34/mile or 3:28/km) respectively, 35:05 for 10km (5:37/mile or 3:30/km), and  59:00 for 10 miles (5:56/mile or 3:41/km). She was selected for her first National team for the North America, Central America and Caribbean (NACAC) Cross Country Championships in Florida where she placed 12th ! In the fall of 2009, she placed 8th for females at National10km Road Championships in Toronto!

2010 truly became her break out year where she really turned heads on the national scene. Once again she had a banner year of PBs in every distance. from 16:55 for 5km to a blistering 56:36 for 10 miles (over two minutes faster than 2009). Once again she headed to Toronto for the National10km Road Championships where she moved up to the 4th overall female (out of 1300) running 35:00 on a hilly course. A month later she was racing at the National XC championships and placed 6th behind the previously mentioned Megan Brown and Dayna Pidhoresky! This placing cemented a spot on her second National Team with another NACAC Cross Country Championships! The race was in Trinidad & Tobago in April 2011.

2011 might be the biggest year of Kate's life so far. Not only did she get married (to the ultra-talented runner Peter Bazeley) but her success in 2010 brought Kate a shoe/gear sponsorship from Saucony and an upcoming trip with the National team! Despite being relegated to the elliptical for the winter months to nurse a knee injury, Kate got back to her record setting ways on the roads: 16:44 for 5km and 26:42 for 8km (5:22/mile or 3:20/km). For the second time in the year, she wore the Red and White on an international scene as she was selected as an alternate for the Canadian Ekiden Relay team in Japan with Dayna Pidhoresky. However, she wasn't done there for 2011. On her way back from Japan she touched down in Vancouver to race at the National XC championships where she booked her trip to her 3rd NACAC XC championships with a 6th place finish!

2012 has already started off strong with a 9th place finish at the Houston Half Marathon (2nd non-professional female). I can't wait to chase Kate again this year on the roads as she is destined for some big results!

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