Varsity running making a comeback at RMC
By Captain Paule Poulin
“The return of the RMC varsity running team means that I can focus more on improving my running with constant mentorship from a first-hand coach,” stated II OCdt Jacob Thivers who is trying out for the team.
RMC is bringing back its varsity running program after six years of absence. The new team started training on 23 January and its first major competition will be the Ontario University Association (OUA) Cross Country Championship in the fall of 2008.
“I am personally delighted to see varsity running make its way back to RMC’s sports program,” states Lieutenant-Colonel Tony O’Keeffe, RMC’s Military Director of Athletics. “Running and cardiovascular fitness is core to military training for operations. The Canadian Forces is a huge supporter of competitive running, at all levels, and this initiative will provide a great opportunity for the future leaders that we train and educate at RMC. RMC and the CF enjoy a proud history and tradition with the running community of the City of Kingston and it is great to be back.”
If the attendance at the information meeting given by the coach, Lieutenant (N) Trevor Davies, is any indication, the team will be able to select the best runners out of a pool of close to 50 cadets.
“I know there is a lot of interest in running amongst our students and I share their excitement in seeing the return of this sport at the varsity level,” stated Darren Cates, Director of Athletics.
The coach, Lieutenant (N) Trevor Davies, holds both an undergraduate degree (1997) and a Master’s degree (2007) from RMC, and is now part of the mechanical engineering faculty. Lt(N) Davies ran competitively through high school, and as part of the RMC varsity cross-country team (1993-1997). Lt(N) Davies has also raced competitively in numerous running and triathlon events over the past 10 years, including qualifying and competing at the 2002 Boston Marathon, 2004 International Triathlon Union World Championship and 2005 Lake Placid Ironman. While posted to Halifax, he was a founding member and running coach of the Trident’s Triathlon Club, a military-run tri-sport team that competed on provincial, national and international levels.
“I’m looking forward to leading the college’s newest varsity team. To be successful, a team needs to have keen and committed athletes. What better place than RMC to find these qualities.”
The goals of the team as explained by Lt(N) Davies are to be competitive at the level of universities of the same size, to have fun, and to develop its members into role models in terms of fitness. The team will focus on improving their athletic base and develop the team logistics this winter, while taking part in the McGill Track Invitational in February, the Ottawa 5 km Road Race in March and the Limestone Road Race is April.
The team will ideally be composed of 24 Cadets, 12 men and 12 women. The selection of the final team will be made by February 4, and will consist of a time trial.
The program will consist of numerous challenging cross-country and track events at the OUA level against the best university and college teams in Ontario starting in Sep 2008. The team will also have the chance to compete at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) level against teams across Canada. RMC team members will also have the opportunity, if selected, to compete internationally with the Canadian Forces team against other military forces in the Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM) various competitions.
RMC had a varsity running program until 2001, dating back on a continuous basis to the 1970s. Records indicate RMC runners competed as far back as 1907. This renewal of RMC’s varsity running program will continue the competitive tradition at RMC and the program will help shape future leaders of the Canadian Forces, where physical fitness is crucial.
The RMC Running Club, which had kept running going at RMC in the absence of a varsity level team, will be conducting some joint training sessions with the varsity group and is collaborating with Lt(N) Davies in his recruiting efforts. “The varsity team will give athletes in the Running Club something to work towards,” stated III Naval Cadet Ewen MacKillop, who is in charge of the Running Club.
If you know of a cadet or a high school athlete that would be interested in varsity running, have him/her contact Lt(N) Davies at 613-541-6000 Extension 6097 or at [email protected] . The team’s website will be found at