Canada's loss is Nelson's gain as Malindi Elmore tops 2012 Cyswog'n'Fun
Women’s long course second place finisher Sarah MacArthur of Calgary probably wishes she had attended the 2012 Canadian National Track and Field Championships in her hometown in late June, run onto the course during the women’s 1500 meters race, and given Malindi Elmore an extra push across the finish line.
The kind gesture most likely would have knocked a second off Elmore’s winning time of four minutes, 13.58 seconds and sent the Speed River Track Club competitor to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England, allowing MacArthur to register a first place finish in Nelson.
Fact is had Elmore knocked that elusive second off her time she would have represented Canada in the women’s 1500 meters Monday in London instead of winning the women’s overall title at the Nelson Cyswog’n’Fun race Sunday at Lakeside Park.
“I won nationals (in Calgary in June),” Elmore explained from inside the transition area at Sunday’s race, “ but the girls who finished second (Hilary Stellingwerff) and third (Nicole Sifuentes) got to go because they had (run) the Olympic standard.”
Sunday’s win for Elmore came in only her third triathlon.
A track specialist, the Kelowna native spent the past dozen years training for the 1500 meters.
The hard work paid dividends in 2004 as Elmore represented Canada at the Summer Games in Athens. Elmore finished 32nd in Athens.
In 2008, Elmore missed the standard by a minuscule .07 of a second.
This year at Nationals, one simple snap of the fingers and Elmore would be in London running for Canada.
“It’s been really tough,” Elmore admitted. “I put pretty much my whole life into track the last eight years. I really felt like if I had made it to London I felt I’d do quite well.
“But the Canadian standards are very stringent just to make the team.”
Still admittedly a little disappointed, Elmore had decided to turn the page on her competitive career to triathlons.
And at the tender age of 32 years, which is young for triathlons, Elmore hopes to better her swimming to be able to compete with the best in the sport.
“My goal all year was actually to be running (Monday) in the 1500 meters in London,” said Elmore. “So this is kind of, if I’m not there I might as well do something so I’m transitioning from being a track athlete to a triathlete. But I need to work on my swim so I can take advantage of my running strength.”
“I’m at my peak age for track, but I should have a few good years ahead for triathlon because it’s an endurance sport you can do into your late 30s,” Elmore adds.
Which doesn’t bode well for MacArthur and Company in the Nelson Cyswog’n’Fun women’s field.
You see Elmore loves the Nelson course, maybe except for the dreaded Johnstone Road hill.
So she probably will be back in Nelson a few more times to compete, and if the swim gets better, watch out Cyswog’n’Fun and watch out Canada.