Cochrane Endurance Project athletes have arrived in Abbotsford, B.C. to warm up for the cross-country national championships.
Jake White, Koover Schmidt, Jack Bentley, Holly Moores, Miranda Hobbs, Brendan Macguire, Nick Hooper and coaches Jessica Kaiser and Pam Moores will all be hitting the course tomorrow (Nov. 30)
Endurance Project head coach Travis Cummings says the warmer temperature, elevation drop, and nerves are all factors.
"They're going to feel really good the first k and it's going to easy for them to bite off a little bit more than they can chew at sea level. What I want them to do is to make sure that feeling good is channel into some positive vibes moving through the field in the last k."
He's encouraging them to have a conservative start and position themselves well for the finish.
The elevation change is minimum on this course. It's mainly flat and includes a series of rolling hills and muddy sections. The club changed its training venue to simulate the Abbotsford course as best as possible.
He believes preparing in the snowy conditions here will work in their favour.
"It's been really crappy weather here the last few weeks, so it's going to feel really nice for them."
Nerves will be a factor. Today, they are focusing on some mental training to help them relax. It takes a few of these races to figure them out, he says, and anything close to a season-best performance is gravy.
"They're in good shape, they're all ready to go. There's no sense in putting extra pressure on them when it's already a nerve-racking enough weekend. We're just going to go and have some fun, lay it all out there, and see how it plays out
"I think if we do that and they're enjoying what they're doing, they'll have some results that might surprise them."
Competing at the nationals follows on the team's success at their first provincials in Wetaskiwin, Nov. 2.
The club is only 13 months old and has come far in a short period of time.