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A true Fanshawe hero

Credit: ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF FANSHAWE ATHLETICS

Seth Marcaccio won Fanshawe's first-ever CCAA individual gold medal for men's cross country.


Chris Orth | Interrobang | Sports | November 21st, 2016




You can sum up how you describe Seth Marcaccio in one word: champion. This title is easily given to him after Marcaccio won Fanshawe's first-ever Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) individual gold medal for men's cross country.

“I was definitely happy with my individual performance, [but] it was a bitter-sweet moment because I wanted to get the team gold,” the London-native said about the win.

His sentiments are regarding the men's team's finish at the CCAA National Championships, where they finished second overall.

Marcaccio, who spent the last two years taking the gas technician program at the Fanshawe Woodstock campus and who is now studying fire safety systems, improved from his finish last year.

In 2015, Marcaccio finished second in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA), a silver medal that allowed the team as whole to finish third in the country and continue on to the CCAA National Championships. Once there, Marcaccio finished second, missing the gold by a mere three seconds.

“Cross country is about small improvements. I wanted to help get the team the win. Last year we lost by four points but it was still an improvement [from the year before], ” Marcaccio said.

Rather than small however, Marcaccio made major improvements from that point onwards. This year, Marcaccio finished the race in 25 minutes and 39 seconds, a course record and a full 20 seconds ahead of the second place finisher. He was also named a CCAA All-Canadian.

Marcaccio believes that 2016 was his breakthrough year since he is consistently placing in the top three in competitions and only improving from there.

With the CCAA National Championships behind him, Marcaccio has set his sights on yet another feat.

“I want to try and run 7,200 kilometres in 2016,” Marcaccio said. “That's about 20 kilometres everyday.”

According to Marcaccio, he has been on top of his training since setting this new goal.

“So far I've been averaging 22 or 23 kilometres everyday.”

During our interview, Marcaccio took Interrobang through a practice run routine.

He would try and get out and run twice a day, nothing strenuous, usually easy running. Other days, his workout routine is much more strenuous, resembling an actual race. They would either work at the specific race pace or some days they would run shorter, but faster than their race pace to help with their speed.

“I run a fair bit with Clint Smith who was [at Fanshawe from] 2010 to 2013 and came second three years in a row. He messaged me the night before the race and he said go out there and do your own race, don't listen to anyone else and you will win.”

Marcaccio considers himself to be a silent leader and according to the head coach for the cross country team, Ashley Vandervecht, she could not agree more.

“Seth is very much a natural born leader,” she said. “He's earned that role and the team looks up to him as a role model for life, academics and for sports.”

But how can someone perform so well? We asked Marcaccio this and he gave us an insider's tip on how to succeed.

“I usually like to wake up early, it gives my body a chance to be fully awake,” he said. “I pretty much have the same thing for breakfast [and] I drink a lot of coffee.”

In addition to coffee, Marcaccio has a secret food that sits well in his stomach for race day and is just delicious.

“I'll have two slices of [bread] with Nutella; I find Nutella sits best in my stomach.”

Specifically on race days, Marcaccio said the team does a walkthrough of the course they will be running to know what to prepare for.

“About 15 minutes to a hour before [the race] we would go for warm-ups. A few minutes before we would do some light stretching and change into our racing spikes and go out there and try our best,” he said.

Marcaccio said that he doesn't like to think he's superstitious, but he admits to wearing the same pair of socks for races.

According to Marcaccio, what separates him from his competitors is that he runs about 160 to 180 kilometres and said that he doesn't think there is anyone running quite as much as that.

“To sustain the high mileage without getting tired or injured is a huge advantage.”

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