Alex Howells can go the distance
Runner breaks SAIT speed records
Alex Howells dominated at the indoor track championship last month, earning three gold and one bronze to contribute to the team’s collective 11-medal win.
On top of the multiple wins, Howells broke the Trojans’ record for the fastest time ran in a 3,000-metre race by over 30 seconds.
“Track is really just as much of a mental sport as it is a physical one,” Howells said.
This is the civil engineering student’s first year with the Trojans, and he has already formed solid connections with his teammates and coaches.
“We all have a tight relationship. It’s tighter than any other team I’ve ever been on,” Howells said.
The indoor track team is basking in success this season, with head coaches Ryan Edgar and Bre Langely winning indoor track coaches of the year.
“They know what they’re doing and are always motivational,” he said about his two coaches.
Howells emphasized the irony of being a member of an indoor track team, and how races tend to be perceived as individual competitions rather than collective teams battling against each other.
“People think of track and field as an independent sport, and in some aspects it is, but it’s very much a team sport as well. When we’re out there we may all be racing separately, but we’re all in it together.”
Howells was born in Germany. His father was in the air force and he has travelled and lived in different parts of the world throughout his life.
He inherited his passion for running from his mother, an avid runner, who introduced him to the sport at a young age.
When the German-born athlete moved to Canada at ten-years old, he tried out some different sports, but always came back to running.
He ran a road race shortly after coming to Canada and was recruited by a track club in Calgary.
Although he has vast experience being on different teams, he feels most at home with the Trojans.
“We’re all at the same school, we’re all competing for the same team, we’re all on the same schedule, so we’re a collective.”
The three-time gold medal champion said that he always feels a little bit tense before stepping onto the track, but that he can use that adrenaline-fueled energy to give him an extra edge.
“I personally get really nervous for races.
“If you ask anybody, they’ll say I freak out; so I was freaking out as per usual, but it was good, I was happy,” he said.
Aside from keeping injuries at bay, Howells said that the most challenging part of running is keeping his momentum up when the race drags on.
“I run the 3,000-metre race, so when you’re about half way through it starts to really hurt. The biggest physical challenge is to keep going when it hurts.”
The summer will be an exciting time for the distance runner, as he will be taking place in some training at the University of Calgary.
He also looks forward to running in some track events throughout Calgary, followed by competing in the Junior nationals in Ottawa in mid-July.
After summer ends, Howells will be back at SAIT to set new records for himself and the school.
“I’d like to congratulate all the indoor track and cross country teams for doing so well, and all staff at Trojans for making my first year so memorable.”