Over the next few months, we will be featuring Q & As with our sponsored RRAC (Running Room Athletic Club) athletes . Today, meet Vanessa Trofimenkoff!
Vanessa, far right. Photo: Jess Kaiser
Name: Vanessa Trofimenkoff
Years of competing: 8
Biggest accomplishments to date:
Winning a CCAA XC Team National title (2012), 2x CCAA All-Canadian (2012-13), CIS All-Canadian (2014), CCAA XC Silver medalist (2013), Alberta XC J. Runner of the year (2013), MacEwan University Athlete of the year (2013), New Balance XC Series Champion (tied for first in 2018)
Occupation: Kinesiology student and Lifeguard / Swim Instructor at MacEwan University
Tell us something not many people know about you.
I am currently training to become a Firefighter!
What advice would you give to someone considering taking up elite running?
Find a knowledgeable coach and a solid training group! Also, don’t believe everything you read; what works for one runner may not work for you. Also I am a huge advocate of strength training.
Who in the sport today do you look up to?
My coach Matt Norminton and his wife Jen Norminton. Ever since I have joined RRAC they have been so supportive and always willing to help me in every aspect of my life.
Matt is a very accomplished runner and very knowledgeable about training. He is open and easy to talk to; I learn so much from him just by talking to him and bouncing ideas off of him. I also love how Matt is so flexible with training and open to new ideas. He realizes that what works for one athlete may not work for another. He puts so much time and effort into coaching his athletes and he cares about every single one–no matter what their goals are, he supports them in the process of getting there. He is also a huge part of the running community; he volunteers so much of his time to coaching, writing training programs, hosting races, travelling, attending races and much more…he does it all out of the goodness of his heart and you can tell he is passionate about the sport.
Jen is also a very accomplished athlete who is good at any distance you put her in. She strives at it all because she has such a strong work ethic and she is passionate about the sport. She is also one of the most level-headed individuals that I know. She has helped me through some really tough times in my life and I have learned so much from her in the process. I admire her physical and mental strength on and off the track. I also admire how kind and compassionate she is toward others.
I look up to Jen and Matt because they are great people who are very passionate and work hard in every aspect of their life. They both possess qualities that I strive to attain in my own life.
If you could have anything running-related named after you (shoes, gels, a race track, a race itself), what would it be?
I think having a pair of shoes named after me would be pretty cool. Having people be like “Hey, have you tried the vtrof’s? or “Whoa, are those the vtrof’s? those are some nice shoes.” A track would be cool too… “Hey, where do you train?” “Oh just at the vtrof oval.” No big deal.
What do you do to get a boost of motivation?
My motto has always been “look good, race good” so I always make sure my racing outfit is on fleek so I feel confident and strong going into the race.