Local long distance runner, Cole Dinsdale, helped the University of British Columbia (UBC) Thunderbirds claim the 2019 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championship in Gulf Shores, Alabama last week (May 23-25).
His third place finish in Men’s 3000 metre Steeplechase earned six points for the men’s team total, which propelled the Thunderbirds to their second NAIA title in three seasons.
Dinsdale finished the race with a strong kick, running the fastest bell, or last, lap out of his competitors to clinch the podium finish.
He says it was a great experience under very difficult conditions.
The temperature was hovering around the 30 degrees Celsius mark the whole week he was there and the humidity was very high as well, sometimes reaching 75 percent.
“Managing that was kind of the main issue and the one thing on everybody’s mind,” Dinsdale says. “I did all I could to make sure I didn’t get overheated or suffer from heat exhaustion, so through the whole week I was trying to stay indoors.”
He enjoyed overcoming the challenge and helping to contribute to his team’s big win.
“For my race it was nice to be in a steeplechase where I was looking to get a place and looking to score points for a team,” Dinsdale says, “I’ve never been in that position before, where I’ve been going for place instead of looking for personal bests, so it was a new realm for me.
“It definitely made it a lot of fun just focusing on one race and doing everything to prepare for that.”
Both the men’s and women’s Thunderbird teams won banners at the Alabama event, so the spirits are high for his team mates.
“Everybody was there cheering the whole team whatever event it is, so it was a great atmosphere in that sense,” Dinsdale says. “Everyone was pumping up the rest of the team.”
The long distance runner is planning on competing in an event in Portland, Oregon this weekend and wrapping up his successful season in early July.