JOHN DONALDSON SHARES WHAT IT WAS LIKE WINNING CROSS COUNTRY 2014
CariFin News interviews 2014 male cross country winner John Donaldson from First Citizens. This is the 2nd time John has won this event in his career, and CariFin News is quite excited to find out from him how it felt, as well as find out how the four running events in the series went for him.
CariFin News: You must be feeling a lot of pride knowing that you have won the most prestigious event in CariFin Games for the 2nd time and as a result brought honour, fame and glory to your institution First Citizens Bank
John Donaldson response: I enjoyed the race. The overcast weather conditions , made it a comfortable run and I was satisfied with my performance, especially as I did not prepare, as well as I would have liked.
CN: Leading up to the final event at Sevilla you had some mixed results. How was your feelings leading up to the 3rd event – The Chancellor Challenge.
JD: Since I was “edged out” by the first and second finishers at the very end of the One Lap Savannah race, I was left with the feeling that I could have won it with a little more effort. I thought that perhaps I could have opened up a bigger distance between myself and the other frontrunners which would have prevented them from outsprinting me at the end. My performance in the Green Mile contributed to my understanding that my sprint training was my weakest point in preparing for the 2014 CariFin season. I felt the way I felt in the One Lap Savannah race, at the end of the Chancellor Challenge in which I was similarly beaten into second place.
CN: 3rd in the one lap Savannah, 4th in the Green Mile and 2nd in the Chancellor Challenge, what was your strategy going into Sevilla Final stage?
JD: I believe I actually finished sixth or seventh in the Green Mile. My understanding that my speed training was my weak point influenced my aggressive start and my successful effort to quickly create a lot of distance between myself and the other frontrunners early in the final event at Sevilla.
CN: Would you say your strategy worked?
JD: I would say that it worked.
CN: On what lap of the 3 lap event did you know you had this thing ‘sewed up’ , and how did that feel coming in to cross the finish line knowing you were the 2014 male champion?
JD: I did not assume anything until I was within one hundred meters of the finish line because I was not sure how close the second finisher was to me.
CN: What are your plans for after CariFin Games and how could you translate this victory into other success in other events?
JD: I hope not to lose too much as I continue to have difficulty putting in enough training time. I recognize the need to work on my speed training and increase the amount of weekly miles of training I put in.
JD: I was satisfied!
CN: During the course of this year’s event did you see any new talent emerging on the scene that should blossom in a few years?
JD: The person who won the one Lap Savannah race, and came second in the final event at Sevilla has natural talent. It seems to me if he were properly trained he would be in a different category, and I would not be in a position to think about beating him.
CN: Now that you are in that illustrious position of winning more than one cross country events, what are some of the things you think we as a community need to do to improve our running as a whole group?
JD: To begin with, I encourage running at least three times a week throughout the year and participating in other races besides the CariFin events, like the 5K’s, and other events that various organizations put on, throughout the year.