Portage Collegiate graduate Hailee Morisseau learned a lot from her experience at the Canada Summer Games. Last week the runner represented Manitoba in the 5000-metre race in Niagara, Ontario. Morisseau finished in sixth place out of 16 competitors, which she says she was proud of but notes, she wasn't as locked in as she wanted to be.

"I think, physically, my time was okay considering the circumstances. It was a pretty hot day, and I spent a lot of time in the sun waiting all week to compete. I think that took a bit of a toll," Morisseau explains. "But overall, it was a great race to be a part of. I really enjoyed my experience, and I'm looking forward to taking a bit of a rest before I start cross country soon."

Morisseau, in recent years, has started to participate more in shorter distance races as they are available more often in Manitoba, however, she says this event showed her how big of a difference her preparation needs to be depending on the distance.

This was Morisseau's first experience at the Canada Summer Games, and she adds they have a different protocol than she's used to pre-race. Morisseau says she typically spends 30 minutes before a race stretching, getting ready, and getting in the proper head space but this time, she had to meet with officials.

"I was very nervous to have to go to the call tent before the start of my race just because I wasn't sure how it all worked. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to move around in there, and there were a lot of unknowns with it that played the biggest part. I'm used to warming up right until the minute that I'm racing. So, to stand around for 15-20 minutes is definitely not what I've been used to."

With this experience now under her belt, Morisseau believes she will go into her next major event with a lot of confidence.

"It's nice to compete at the national level and have a lot of competitors to work with and against. While 16 competitors is a big race for track, in cross country there are usually around 60 leading up to the national competition, and then there were over 100 competitors at the USports event last year. It's a big crowd, and it's nice to get that experience of a big race at the national level."

The track athlete says she won't be resting for too long.

"I took a couple of days off after getting back from Niagara, and I'm just doing some base building this week. I'll be getting back to workouts next week," Morisseau continues. "It's a pretty quick turnaround to cross country season, we have our team time trial on September 13, and our first race I believe is the weekend afterward. It's all coming up pretty quick, so I won't be taking too long of a break."

Morisseau will be running with the University of Manitoba this season.