This month' London Runner interview features Aaron Hendrikx, who since joining the London Runner Distance Club in grade 8, shortly before he began attending North Middlesex District High School, has progressed to being a Nationally-ranked Junior (19 & Under) middle distance runner.
LondonRunner.ca: Aaron, you came away with the WOSSAA XC Championship title this past Thursday; how did that race play out for you and how has the season gone so far?
Aaron Hendrikx: I felt pretty confident going into the race. It was a cool, dreary day so my race plan worked out for the best. I felt relaxed during the race and everything went as planned. The season has gone good so far, WOSSAA was my first harder race of the season. It felt good to see what I could do at this point in the season.
LR: As we enter the November Championship season, what are your expectations for OFSAA and Canadian XC?
AH: For Ofsaa, I would be very happy with a top 8 (ribbon) placing. And for Canadian XC, I want to improve on my placement from last year;, top 35 is my goal for that race.
LR: Despite joining LRDC way back in grade 8, you've made your most noticeable improvements over the past 12 months. Why do you feel that's the case and what changes have you made to allow this jump in performances?
AH: Those first years of dedicating myself to following my training schedule closely is what I think to be the biggest reason for my improvement. This past year I have made some changes: I used to play hockey and soccer and I stopped those sports to focus more on running. I found myself being constantly injured before and not feeling my best for important runs and races. Since I quit hockey and soccer I have been almost injury free and feeling good. This probably triggered the improvement that was waiting to happen.
LR: What are your plans and goals for 2011? Any chance we'll be seeing a sub-3:50 in the next year or two?
AH: Being my last year of OFSAA track, I would love to finally see a medal at the Ontario high school level. I will also be going to Candian Juniors again and will be looking to improve on my placings from last year. Going sub-3:50 would be awesome to have happen next track season. I will definitely be training hard to achieve that goal within the next two years, although it would be great to see it earlier rather than later.
LR: Let's hope you can stay healthy and achieve these goals; thanks for your time, Aaron.
AH: No problem Steve; keep your running shoes on the trail.