Matthew Beaudet has had a successful cross-country season, to say the least. On top of winning an invitational and being named RSEQ athlete of the week, Beaudet won gold at the RSEQ Championships on Oct. 30 and was named rookie of the year. Although fairly new to competitive running, Beaudet has quickly found his stride on the Redbirds cross-country team.
“In high school, I played more team sports like hockey, football, and soccer, and during the winter we would have speed and agility training. Once I got into my last year of high school, I was enjoying that more than […] going to the gym or playing football,” Beaudet said in an interview with The McGill Tribune. “So I decided that I was going to continue in CEGEP. I started with sprints, but […] I think I have a better aptitude for long-distance, so now I run the 1500 metre [for track] and five kilometre for cross-country.”
With all the running he does, Beaudet finds that listening to artists such as Arlo Parks or Ninho helps the kilometres go by a little easier.
“I know some people say it is better if you don’t, but I find that it is so much easier to get through the run listening to music,” Beaudet said.
Although races can be very difficult, Beaudet uses post-race rewards as motivation. He often stopped at Lemaire, a traditional poutine restaurant, on his way home from races in Quebec City this past summer.
“They make the cheese curds there and it’s fresh and really good,” Beaudet said. “So if the race was good, it is a celebration to get a poutine, and if it was a bad race, to console myself I would also stop to get a poutine.”
As a second-year student studying electrical engineering, Beaudet has a busy schedule. Despite this, he often runs twice a day—before and after a full day of challenging courses. Outside of running, however, Beaudet also finds time to make a difference in his community. After a long-term injury forced him to take a six-month running hiatus, Beaudet started coaching and found the experience extremely gratifying.
“A lot of kids find running track and field pretty difficult, so it’s nice to see them become more confident,” Beaudet said. “It’s nice to see and to know that you might have played a small part in that.”
In his free time, Beaudet likes to read. One of his favourite books is The Emperor of All Maladies, which looks at the history of cancer from the perspectives of patients, physicians, and government lobbyists. He also enjoys books about spies during the Cold War.
“I read this book recently called Agent Sonya about this USSR agent who was the greatest female spy,” Beaudet said. “Her life was crazy—you couldn’t make it up.”
For anyone looking to start running, Beaudet sees patience and consistency as key to overcoming the initial hurdles of training.
“You are definitely out of breath on your first runs, but you improve really quickly in the first month and you surprise yourself,” Beaudet said. “Discipline and consistency are the most important things because you are bound to get stuck at some points. But if you keep going, it could be three months, it could be six months, but you are going to break through at a certain point.”
And if you want an extra boost, Beaudet swears by drinking beet juice the week of a race to enhance his performance.
For now, Beaudet looks forward to the U Sports Nationals, which will take place on Nov. 20 in Quebec City. And one thing is for sure—win or lose, he will be getting poutine after.