VICTORIA – Diane Cummins, former Victoria athlete, 7-time National Champion and 5-time world championship qualifier, will officially announce her retirement to her track career at the 26th Annual Victoria International Track Classic next week.
“Diane has been an inspiration to many and a Track Classic favourite for many years,” said Brent Fougner, President of the Victoria International Running Society, the organization behind the event. “She is the type of runner that has always showed immense determination in her racing. If Diane was racing for a certain qualifying time or championship she was ready and would usually surpass her own and everyone else’s expectations.”
Cummins began her coveted career back as a long jumper and sprinter in the late 90’s at UBC. Shortly thereafter, she quickly grew into a running demon in the 800 meter distance leaving others working hard to keep up to her pace. Her legacy spanned almost 15 years through international competitions that placed her on Canada’s Olympic team in 2004, and more importantly, five times at the World Track and Field Championships. She is Canada’s 800-meter record holder in a time of 1:58.39 and just last week received a bronze medal in the event in her 18th appearance at the Canadian Championships in Moncton at the age of 40.
“It’s crazy to think about my relationship with Diane,” said Vicky Lynch-Pounds, former Canadian 800 meter rival and teammate in Missoula. “At first we were fierce rivals but it was hard to be friends with someone that you wanted to beat so bad because she was just so darn nice. Now we are friends for life”
Cummins’ 800 meter race will be the final race of the evening on July 8th and expectations are that her supporters and many fans will be there to cheer her on and celebrate her retirement.
The Victoria International Track Classic kicks off with a tailgate party at 4:30 p.m. followed by the Community Mile Relay Challenge at 6:00 p.m. and the Main Event featuring Olympians and international competition at 7:00 p.m.
The Victoria International Track Classic is one of two events the Victoria International Running Society operates, the other is the TC 10K, one of Canada’s largest participating 10K events.
Tickets for the Victoria International Track Classic are available on-line at www.trackclassic.ca or at Centennial Stadium’s gate on July 8th starting at 4:00 p.m.