Runners show school pride at CQSB Cross Country Run

Photo: Cassandra Kerwin

Pre-mosquito girls leapt off of the starting line, for the second race of the day at Central Quebec School Board’s 21st Cross-Country Run. Alexane Gauthier of Valcartier Elementary School led the pack all the way to the finish line.

The Central Quebec School Board (CQSB) held its 21st Cross Country Run on September 30 at the Base de Plein Air de Sainte-Foy. It was a gorgeous day with great temperatures for the 400 runners from 12 schools. 

Under a bright blue sky with little wind, young boys were lined up ready to launch from the starting line for their 1-km run at 10 a.m. When they were given the go, they leapt off the starting line and tore around the track. As they crossed the finish line a few minutes later, they resembled happy, proud and tired Olympian sprinters. Luckily for them, volunteers and organizers had placed piles of bananas, granola bars, juice boxes and water bottles near the finish line. 

Unlike the youngsters, the teenagers and adults wisely paced themselves until the last few hundred metres of the 2-km. They knew that if they gave it their all from the get-go, they would have little energy left for the end of the race. As they crossed the finish line, some proudly realized that they had beaten their personal best time. 

“We hold this event every year because it is a qualification round to the regional competitions for our high school students,” said Peg Giddings-Philip, retired CQSB principal. She walked the 2-km open event along with her colleagues and friends. “This is a great community event,” she said. “We have volunteers from each of the schools.”
Annie Aubé, coach of the Quebec High School (QHS) jogging club, said about 10 per cent of the QHS students have joined the club. “Besides this event and the regional competition, they also participate in a 5-km and the Pentathlon des neiges [a winter sporting event with five sports in one race: running, snowshoeing, biking, cross-country skiing and speed skating], and we finish the year in May with a 5-km or a 10-km. Every other year, they run the Pierre-Lavoie Challenge.” 

Aubé was also part of a unique daughter, mother and grandmother trio who competed on Saturday. 

“It was a challenge that we decided to do together because it was my daughter’s and my mother’s first run, a 1-km,” said Aubé, who was the first QHS teacher to cross the finish line with a time of 10:05. “We’ll be back next year. I am really proud of the students and of my daughter, my mother and myself. I am so happy to see that youth are aware that running and working out are so important.”

The winners of the six categories are as followed: Pre-mosquito girls – Alexane Gauthier of Valcartier Elementary School; Pre-mosquito boys – Noah McKinnon of St. Vincent Elementary School; Mosquito girls – Adèle Maltais of St. Vincent Elementary School; Mosquito boys – Matt Lemay of St. Vincent Elementary School; The Administrator’s Cup – Caleb Awashish of MacLean Memorial High School; and the Ford Cup (for family, teachers or staff) – Alain Bélanger representing Holland Elementary School with a time of 6:43.8. Katherine Bleeker, representing Everest Elementary School, was once again the fastest female finisher in the Ford Cup open race with a time of 8:12.3. To see all runners’ results, visit 
Annie Aubé (centre) of Quebec High School ran the Central Quebec School Board’s 21st Cross-Country Run with her mother Suzanne and her daughter Manolie; three generations participating in one event.