Halifax runner rebounds from 'terrible' year

After a summer where everything that could go wrong did go wrong, Geoff Harris is back on track.

After a summer where everything that could go wrong did go wrong, Geoff Harris is back on track.

The Halifax runner has rebounded from an injury-plagued year and is coming off the best two 800-metre clockings of his career. He is riding high into this weekend’s Canadian track and field championships in Toronto and the Aileen Meagher international track classic in Halifax on Canada Day.

Last summer, he admittedly had a “terrible” year after accidentally cutting the bottom of his left foot on broken glass and blowing out his right Achilles tendon shortly thereafter.

“I spent last year trying to recover, getting into as many races as I could, but never really running fast,” Harris said. “This year, I had no injuries and was really smart about recovery and getting therapy. I’ve had a way better year.”

Harris’s recovery is good news for his quest to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.

The 22-year-old has dropped everything to achieve his goal, leaving school at Dalhousie — where he was named Canadian Interuniversity Sport rookie of the year in 2007 — to commit to full-time training for the foreseeable future.

“If I wanted to push this to the fullest and train and compete at a high level, it was really impossible to take all of my classes,” said Harris, who works part-time at the hospital and has financial support from sponsors and family.

“It became one or the other.”

Harris is hoping for a podium finish at nationals and can’t wait to go head-to-head at the Aileen Meagher with Haitian Olympian Moise Joseph, the defending 800-metre champ.

The meet features eight Olympians, including a star-studded men’s 100 featuring Jared Connaughton of New Haven, P.E.I. Although the Aileen Meagher usually draws several hundred fans, Harris hopes more will attend next week.

“Every year, there’s always amazing talent here,” he said. “You go to Europe, they have less of a field than this and the place is sold out. It’s going to be exciting to watch.”

 
 
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