Karine Belleau-Beliveau of Montreal is currently one of Canada’s top 800m runners, rounding out a strong group of women at the distance, which include Olympians Melissa Bishop and Jessica Smith as well as Rachel Aubry and Lemlem Ogbasilassie to name a few.
She has a short history with the sport and a quick progression towards international-level competitiveness. She is now taking her running to the next level, having moved to Guelph, to train with the Speed River Track and Field Club under Coach Dave Scott-Thomas.
Her personal best at the 800m is 2:01.13. In just a few short years, she has moved from beginner to IAAF World Track and Field Championships competitor.
Christopher Kelsall: You have had an interesting start to your running career, with no college or high school running. How did you figure out that you have talent at the 800m distance?
Karine Belleau-Beliveau: Before 2008 I was training at the gym sometimes, but nothing serious. I started running on a treadmill and then I was looking at running a marathon, so I tried a 5K just to see if I would like it and I really enjoyed the experience. I then joined a club and I started training seriously. After five months of training, I did 2:08 in the 800m. I was then full of hope and very motivated to keep training.
CK: How did that first 5K go?
KBB: Yes, good for then. I ran 19:06.
CK: Which club did you end up joining?
KBB: I joined club Les Vainqueurs and my coach was Jean-Yves Cloutier. He coached me from the beginning to the Worlds Championships.
CK: I assume you did not end up doing the marathon, yes?
KBB: No, I never did a Marathon, ha-ha, but I would like to try after my career for sure! But just for fun!
KBB: It was one of my dreams come true. I am really excited to run with the best runners in world and also proud to be one of them.
CK: You have run the 1500m including a Berlin meet, where you ran 4:14.54. Any chance you will further explore your ability at that distance?
KBB: I really love to run the 800m, but I am always open to try, if it fits with my progression in my training.
CK: How many serious 1500m races have you been in? Have you explored your talent there much?
KBB: I think I have a lot to explore and I am still learning. I have good experiences in the 800m and I like to do 400m and 1500m sometime as well.
CK: Will you be running cross-country this time of year?
KBB: Right now I am working on my endurance in cross-country training, but I am not going to race in a cross-country.
CK: Did you grow up in Montreal? What sports did you play as a child?
KBB: Yes I grew up in Montreal. I used to play basketball at school and I was always participating at the little Olympics at school. The sprint (100m) was my favourite!
CK: Will you compete in the indoor season?
KBB: I don’t focus on the indoor season, but I like to race two or three races just to keep me sharp.
CK: It seems that several athletes just moved to Guelph; they are continuing to grow as a club and be even more competitive. You must have your choice of training partners, yes?
KBB: Yes, there are a lot of very talented runners to run with. It’s an inspiring environment! I have the chance to run with Rachel Aubry, one of the best 800m runners in Canada also having access to all the great resources is a motivator. And to be on a great team, that Speed River provides, which also gives me good motivation?
CK: Will you be coached by Dave Scott-Thomas?
KBB: Yes, he is my new coach.
CK: Have you had a chance to look at your upcoming training schedule? What if anything is different about it?
KBB: We are working on it right now. But for sure Dave and I are working to plan something it fit with my progression and what I have done in the past.
CK: What are your goals for the 2015 season?
KBB: My goals are to participate at the Worlds again and Pan-Ams, do my personal best and win the nationals. And also… the most important: have a lot of fun 🙂 …and especially, I just moved to Guelph this week and I started training with the group and I have good feelings about how they are very organised. I feel this situation is what I need if I want to achieve my goals.