Two-time Class B XC champion Lila Gaudrault opts to train for a half-marathon instead of defending her title.
Cape Elizabeth senior Lila Gaudrault has been the best cross-country runner in Class B the last two seasons. Gaudrault captured the state individual title as a sophomore for the first time running 18:42.82 at Belfast, her margin of victory was 37 seconds. A year ago at Twin Brook, she raced away from the competition again winning by 48 seconds with her 19:19.62 winning effort.
This fall Gaudrault would be shooting for a third consecutive Class B title. No other runner in Class B history has ever accomplished the feat. Without a spring track season and with COVID-19 restrictions in place gave Gaudrault plenty of time to reflect on why she runs.
Gaudrault thought, "While watching races get canceled was tough, I felt fortunate that I could still get out and train every day. I know the pandemic has been devastating for millions of people, and if not running races was my biggest worry, then I have nothing to complain about!"
"I really enjoy pushing myself at longer distances, and I want to see how that would carry over to racing," she said of her reflection and decision.
She has always been drawn to longer distances because her strength is the ability to hold a pace for a long time. So as a result of her reflection she has decided to forgo her senior cross country season in favor of training on her own for longer races.
With COVID-19 shutting down all in-person races when and where Gaudrault races remains to be determined. Lila was originally looking at the Maine Half Marathon or the MDI Half but both races have been recently canceled.
"I'm still holding out hope for a couple of other fall races that haven't yet been canceled, but also know that nothing is certain right now."
Lila has been focused on upping her mileage this spring and summer and lowering the overall intensity of her training. Her training has consisted of a lot of miles, as well as some moderate-intensity long tempo workouts.
Gaudrault says she is not a fan of virtual races, "So as soon as real races start happening again, I will be on the start line!"
As for next year when she'll be in college Lila doesn't plan on running in the NCAA.
"It was a tough decision to make because one of my favorite things about running is sharing it with others, and the amazing community that this sport has."
Her goal in college is to focus on longer distance races instead of competing on an NCAA team. While her long term goals are to compete in marathons, ultra-marathons, and mountain races.