By James Clarke, Parksville Qualicum Beach News
It was only a matter of time — and her time came out of left field.
Local runner Melissa Ross has been rewarded with her first international assignment, being named to the Canadian National Team bound for the 2011 World Mountain Running Championships in Albania.
Canada will be taking a team of 10 runners (six men and four women) to the 27th annual running of the WMRCs, which will be played out September 11 in Dajti National Park, situated 26 km east of the capital city of Tirana (pop. 800,000). The park, which encompasses 29,216 hectares, includes the Dajti Mountain (1353m), site of the championships.
The course is 4.49 kms in length and climbs 281 metres.
“I have to do two loops,” Ross, 27, said as easily as if she was talking about a walk along the seawall. “I’m really excited. I wasn’t really expecting it (to make the team). I’ve done cross-country, I made it to the nationals last year, so yeah, I have that under my belt, but it’s not like mountain running … that’s a lot more challenging.”