Bellemore, who will turn 20 in the new year, is not your typical criminology student or even a typical trackie: he broke the Canadian junior indoor 1000-metre record at the Blue & Gold meet on December 3rd. The meet, held at Windsor's St. Denis Centre, was meant to be an early season warm-up for the Lancers. But Bellemore bested both the five-year-old previous record held by Jeremy Rae of Notre Dame (2.25:39) and the more recent 2.25.60 from Laval's Alex Bussières. It was a phenomenally fast time for Bellemore with the season so young, and it comes after a fourth-place finish in the 800m at the junior Pan Ams.
Bellemore took the time to sit down with The CIS Blog and talk about his career and the upcoming season with the Lancers.
Q: You broke the Canadian Junior Indoor record for 1000 metres in the first meet of the season for the Lancers. Can you take us through the race and what it feels like to run such a great time at this point in the season?
"Earlier that day, I decided I was just going to go for a fast time and hopefully get the meet record (2.27) at the same time. I told my teammate Alex Ullman that I was going to take it out hard and I said, 'If I die trying, do your best to pull me through.'
"So right from the gun I took it out pretty hard and although I felt like I was dying, I held on pretty decently and stayed strong. I was unfamiliar with the exact time of the Canadian record so I wasn’t even thinking about trying to capture it.
"After cross-country season, I took just over a week off running and I had only been running for a week before this meet. I only did one tempo, one hill workout and one small track session.”
Q: In an article about your victory, one commenter compared you to former 800-metre gold medallist and world record holder Alberto Juantorena. What is it like to be compared to one of the giants (literally) of the sport?
"That’s pretty funny, we do have similar structures. Alberto was an amazing runner back in the 1970’s so to be compared to him is unreal. I don’t really like to compare myself to other runners because each runner has such different strengths, but that’s very cool. I love looking up to certain runners and aspiring to be as good as them someday, so Alberto is definitely someone for me in that sense."
Q: Something I ask all student-athletes; how is it juggling competing and school?
"First year was a huge adjustment for me, but this year has been much easier. It’s obviously not easy to any degree, but it’s something you get used to. I think it’s important to work just as hard in your school work as you do in your athletics.”
Q: Why did you decide to go to the University of Windsor and what has it been like working with Dennis Fairall?
“Some people have questioned my decision to go to the University of Windsor, but it was the best fit for me. First off, my main concern was getting an education and Windsor had the program I wanted. It was also a place I found I fit in really well and the talent within the team is comparable to many U.S. schools. Working with Dennis Fairall has been awesome; he’s a very knowledgeable coach and a guy that makes practices fun and enjoyable. Dennis, Gary Malloy and our team manager Rich [Johnston] have all been amazing figures on the team to help me get where I want and need to be.”
Q: Is there one event that you are striving to better yourself in this season?
“This indoor season I’m really trying to improve my speed and strength. I haven’t really decided if I will focus on the 600m or the 1000m yet but I would like to definitely run fast times for both nonetheless.”
Q: You mentioned you have some cross-country experience so do you prefer running on the track or out on the trails?
“I love them both in very different ways. I think I am more of a ‘track guy’ but I love the challenge cross-country presents. Also XC builds great strength for the indoor season.”
Most CIS teams have stopped for the exam break. Here are some of the remaining meets in 2013:
- McGill University Holiday Classic – Montreal, QC
- Dino Opener – Calgary, AB
- Dome Super Saturday Series 1 – Ottawa, ON