Langford hosts ‘most prestigious international cross country event’

Can Am Masters Cross Country Challenge comes to Bear Mountain Feb. 29

A February event will take a run at increasing Canada’s rivalry in cross country racing with our neighbours to the south.

The Can Am Masters Cross Country Challenge, which takes place at Bear Mountain Golf Course in Langford on Feb. 29, will feature competitors from Canada and the U.S. in five age categories over 30 years in a 5 kilometre race. The event will be held in conjunction with the 2020 Pan Am Cross Country Cup featuring teams from more than 40 countries, including North, South and Central America, and the Caribbean.

Canada currently leads the challenge series 18 to 14, and has never lost the event on Canadian soil, noted event general manager Bruce Deacon. “What makes this event so special is that it gives all masters a chance to represent Canada,” Deacon said in a media release. “Anyone over 30 can run the race and count in the scoring against the U.S.,” Deacon said in a media release. “For the average runner there are few opportunities to race for your country.”

RELATED: Canada names 24 athletes to compete for 2020 Pan Am Cross Country Cup

This will be the most prestigious international cross country event that B.C. has ever hosted, and the first time that the Pan Am Cross Country Cup has ever been held in Canada, Deacon added.

This will mark the 33rd running of Can Am Masters Cross Country Challenge, which was established in 1977 by Canadian Don Farquharson, the founder of Masters Athletics in Canada. He also served as president of the organizing committee for the first World Championships, which took place in Toronto in 1975.

The dual meet was held every year from 1977 to 2007, with the exception of 2000, the year Farquharson passed away, said Deacon, who competed for Canada in the marathon in the Summer Olympics in 1996 and 2000.

For more information on the Can Am Challenge, visit panamxccup2020.com/events/can-am-xc-race/. Check out panamxccup2020.com for more on that event.

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com

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