By: Karen Karnis
Mizuno is excited to add Kelly Wiebe to the Mizuno Racing Team. The 23-year-old runner from Swift Current, SK has shown versatility, scooping up wins in cross country, on the track and on the road.
For the past several years, Wiebe has run with the University of Regina Cougars under coach Graeme McMaster. His recent accomplishments include winning the 2013 CIS cross country championships setting a new course record, a fourth Canada West gold medal in the 3,000 metres, being named 2013 Cougar Athlete of the Year by the University of Regina, and is a nominee for the 2013 President Award for best athletic and academic accomplishments.
Outside of school, Wiebe placed third individually while representing Canada at the 2013 NACAC Cross Country Championships in Jamaica, and he has just returned from the World Cross Country Championships in Poland. Last year, he managed a spectacular sprint at the end of the Vancouver Sun Run to come from behind for a surprise win.
Now that he’s finishing up his degree in Environmental Engineering, Wiebe plans to move to Vancouver to train full-time under coach Richard Lee, who also coaches Mizuno-athlete Dylan Wykes. “Being in Vancouver, I will be able to train all year round, which I am extremely excited about. Also, I know Richard Lee is a very smart coach, and I believe that he can take me to the next level that will allow me to compete with some of the best runners in the world,” he says.
Arnold Tse, Business Unit Manager for Running, manages Mizuno Canada’s Elite Athlete and Brand Ambassador Programs. He is happy to have Wiebe on board and says, “Kelly is a very talented runner who has a great work ethic. His dedication and commitment is what impresses me the most. He is a great fit for our brand and he will be a great addition to our roster as an elite athlete and ambassador.”
“Mizuno is proud to support Kelly and we look forward to seeing him compete in Canada and internationally,” adds Tse.
“I can’t explain how thrilled I am to be a part of the Mizuno Racing Team,” says Wiebe. “I have always loved Mizuno for running shoes and running apparel. I knew that when I completed University I would need a sponsor to keep on running, and I really wanted that sponsor to be Mizuno. Lucky for me, Dylan Wykes was aware of the fact that I needed a sponsor and he put a good word in for me to his rep. I guess I got a little lucky!”
While Wiebe hasn’t had a chance to sit down with his new coach to set out a plan for the next few years, his goals include running at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, and perhaps chasing down some Canadian records on the roads.
“I think with the support of Mizuno (which has already astounded me by how much they care), and the fact that I will be training under one of the best coaches in Canada in one of the best training locations in the world, I have no doubt in my mind that I can achieve my goals,” says Wiebe. “The main factor that will determine my degree of success in the sport is consistency. Involving things like running on soft trails year round, and not being constricted to a 200m indoor track in the winter will help me stay healthy and consistent with my training. Also, having a fresh pair of shoes whenever I need them will be huge factor in staying injury free!”