Sheets of rain, a chilly wind, and a challenging course didn't slow down Justin Ralph at the B.C. Cross Country Championships Oct. 27 at Clearbrook Park.
Justin, who attends Grade 6 at Langley Fundamental Middle and Secondary School, ran to top spot in the 11-year-old boys (2001 birth year) two-kilometre race.
The 10-year-old crossed the finish line in 8: 13.33, a full two seconds ahead of runner-up Nate Seaman from Nanaimo.
"I was thinking, 'Keep going, don't stop," Justin related. "Second place is not for me; first place is for me.'"
Vancouver's Gavin Boothroyd finished in third place, 13 seconds behind Justin.
Justin wore a full-sleeved shirt during the championship, and said the persistent rain made him arm-weary.
"My arms started to get a little bit heavier than nor-mal," he said.
This marks Justin's second consecutive gold medal at this meet.
He won the provincial 10-year-old race last year in "I Aldergrove.
Those results mirrors this year's race, with Justin edging out Seaman for first place.
Justin is no stranger to cross country success.
At the Langley district championships, he placed second among Grade 4 boys' runners and did one better the next year, winning the Grade 5 race before repeating winning first for the Grade 6 race.
Cross country is good fit for Justin, who enjoys running in the elements.
"I like the hills, the off-road, the rocks. that stuff," Justin said.
At Langley Fundamental Elementary, Justin trained as a member of the kilometre club, which he started taking part in when he was in Grade 1.
"The kids would run the track, which was great exercise for them, and they just ran, ran, ran," Justin's mom Karen said. "There was a pack of boys who all ran together."
Since his middle and high school doesn't have a kilometre club, Justin branched off into soccer to stay fit.
"Just for the cardio aspect of it," Karen said.
He also captains his peewee A4 hockey team.
Further down the road, Justin wants to simply "keep going as far as I can and keep winning."