Letourneau wins ‘test run’Published 11:12pm Friday, October 11, 2013
Allyn Letourneau, a senior cross country runner at Nansemond River High School, has weathered injury and the elements during his development as a runner.
In the recent Neptune 5K, he returned from an injury to finish first in the male 15-19 age group, running against the wind and five other runners at the oceanfront in Virginia Beach.
“That was like my test run,” Letourneau said after sitting out two races with the Warriors due to a calf strain.
He actually did not think it was a very good run due to the wind and the cold, but he said he was able to adjust to the challenging environment.
“I definitely overcame it,” he said. The race went from 24th Street down to the loop at the end of Atlantic Avenue and then back to 24th Street. “It was more coming back that was windy, but on the way there, it was just getting used to the weather.”
He finished with a time of 20:56.
His coach at Nansemond River High School, Kurt Straub, also competed.
“Well, he beat me, for one,” he said. “He’s come a long way. He was running 24s, 25s when he started, and now he’s all the way down to 20.”
Letourneau began running in his sophomore year, and Straub said he’s watched the young man’s work ethic improve. “He’s more of a team leader now,” Straub said.
In district meets, Straub can run as many people as he wants on the Warriors team, but in the upcoming conference run, he will be limited to seven. With only a few races to go before then, he said three runners are in range of the final spot.
“By the end of the season, if (Letourneau) can get down to the high-to-mid 19s, he could be No. 7 for me,” Straub said.
Letourneau is setting his sights even higher.
“I’m trying to go for No. 6, actually,” he said.
He said cross country is more of a mental sport than a physical one, citing the challenge posed by the Neptune 5K of running against the wind as a mental one.
“I have the physical stature to run,” he added. “It’s just I need to get my mind set to run this pace and this time.”