Fiona Benson headed to the IAAF World Championships in Beijing

By on July 6, 2015
Fiona Benson winning the 800 metre final at the Canadian Track and Field Championships on June 5. Photo: Jim McDannald, Athletics Canada

Fiona Benson winning the 800 metre final at the Canadian Track and Field Championships on July 5. Photo: Jim McDannald, Athletics Canada

DAWSON CREEK – Tomslake runner Fiona Benson compares the past month to a roller coaster ride: the successive wins and personal bests which she’s achieved since her surprise 800 metre win at a May 30 meet in Victoria, where she blew away expectations and finished seconds away from Olympic qualifying standard.

“It twists and it goes so fast, like the momentum just carries you right through, but all of a sudden you’re facing a different direction than you were before . . . it feels a little bit like that,” Benson told Northeast News on the phone from Calgary, Alberta.

Benson has just won yet another vital race: the 800 metre senior women’s event at the Canadian Track and Field Championships on July 5 in Edmonton.

Her win has qualified her to travel to Beijing in August to represent Canada in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships.

“I’m still not exactly sure how this is all going down, but it’s great,” said Benson, who until the race in Victoria has traditionally competed in the 1,500 metre and cross-country events.

After a strong training run and a long break this spring, Benson’s coach Mark Bomba decided to try the runner in the 800 metre Victoria race, and it has been a quick climb to the top since then, including a near qualification to the Pan Am Games in Toronto which was nixed due to administrative rules.

True to her down-to-earth, quietly competitive spirit, Benson is taking her sudden stardom at a runner’s steady pace.

“You don’t even try to wrap your head around it I guess, you just go with it,” she said.

“I think that being around the same people as before really helps, it just keeps everything in perspective and it reminds you that this still isn’t everything. It’s an opportunity for running now, and who knows what comes afterwards, but it’s okay to take that opportunity, and no matter what happens, the same people and some of the same things that I really like about life will still be there.”

After a training session in South Korea, Benson will be in Beijing to compete in the 800 metre IAAF heats on August 22.

See www.iaaf.org for more schedule details.

Stacy Thomas

news@northeastnews.ca

2 Comments

  1. Ocean

    July 7, 2015 at 10:44 am

    The caption under the picture needs to be edited to say July 5. Right now it reads June 5…

    • NorthEast News

      July 8, 2015 at 2:53 pm

      Thanks for letting us know. We’ve corrected the date. -Northeast News

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