#ACXC2018 elite profile – Get to Know… Claire Sumner

  • 2017 ACXC result: 1st place, 34:48.9
  • Queen’s University alumnus
  • Kingston, Ont., transplant who hails from Calgary
  • Canadian Champion – 2017 Canadian Cross Country Championships
  • Gold – 2016 USPORTS Cross Country Championships
  • Has represented Canada in cross country and on the track


Heading into ACXC 2018…

Hot… cold… rain… sleet… mud… snow! We have seen it all in Kingston. Which would you choose? Why?
I am a big fan of summer and sunny, warm days. But we all know perfect weather is rare in XC. I’d choose the rain and mud – it makes the race more tough and fun.

What are your favourite/least favourite sections of the course in Kingston?
My favourite part is the quiet back section of the 2.5-kilometre loop. But then, I also love when you come back into the front section and get all the support from the crowd (plus it’s downhill!). My least favourite part is probably the hairpin turn in the front section of the course – it’s VERY slippery. Or, the first stretch where it is deceivingly hilly.

Do you have a pre-race routine (night before or morning of)? If so, what is it?
A pasta dinner with my favourite Physi-Kult/Queen’s Gaels crew the night before.

Favourite post-race snack:
Pizza (especially from Score Pizza in Kingston!) and/or ice cream.

My go-to XC outfit is
Singlet and shorts whenever possible! When it gets cold, I put on my bright pink arm sleeves.


Get to know Claire even better…

What is your most unusual talent?
I’d say the ability to seek out the best bakery/coffee shop in every city I travel to (with the help of friends!).

What cheesy song do you have memorized?
Actually, I’m known for not knowing the lyrics to any song. But, if I know one cheesy one, it’d probably be Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen.

If you joined the circus, what would your circus act be?
I’d hope to be a trapeze artist.

You meet a Genie and they offer you three wishes. What do you wish for?
1) The ability to travel anywhere in the world at the snap of my fingers.
2) Summer/fall weather all year round.
3) To live in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for one day.

Would you rather be a famous singer/musician or the next Edison/Einstein/Gates/Jobs?
Both are tempting! I’d go with being a famous singer/musician. I’ve always wished I had musical talent. Plus, it means you get to go on tour around the world.


Join us in Kingston on Saturday, Nov. 24, to watch Claire go for the title of National Champion at the 2018 Canadian Cross Country Championships or tune in to if you can’t be there in person.

For more on #ACXC2018, including the race schedule, visit

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