Du It Gazelle Girl

Stacey Chesnutt races across the MacDonald Bridge in Halifax.

Written by Michelle Kempton
Published in Sportstream

Next week in Gijon, Spain over 1100 of the world’s strongest triathletes will compete in the Duathlon World Championships. 30 countries are sending their strongest contenders to this race. Dartmouth resident, Stacy Chesnutt, will represent Canada. Chesnutt (world-ranked triathlete) was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. She spent much of her adult life in New York City, then transplanted to Halifax to be with her Canadian husband in 2006 and now proudly refers to herself as an Americanadian.

Chesnutt’s 5’10” stature is a common figure on race start lines around North America. With her gazelle-like grace, Chesnutt is renown to leave onlookers in awe of her fast, long strides. Though, her competitors see Chesnutt much differently. They know inside her tall slender physique is a fierce jaguar spirit and if she’s got her sights set on you, watch out!

With her endurance and speed, Chesnutt is most likely going to “take down” most runners. But unlike a wild animal, this Southern Bell won’t attack, instead she’ll encourage you by saying “good job”, but forge ahead without mercy. Chesnutt admits she’ll never look back at the other contenders, her focus during the entire race is on the finish-line and making it there first. Though once she’s caught her breath, she waits by the finish line to cheer through the others, proving her strength in character matches that of her skill in running.

There is no question this Americanadian has developed strong roots in Nova Scotia, as she supports local racing throughout the province. Regardless of the race size, distance or the prizes, she’ll run the race because Chesnutt likes to compete. You only have to take a quick glance at her impressive medal collection to see, if there is a race in town, she’s probably there! Last week, Chesnutt ran two small community races.

Saturday the Cole Harbour Harvest Festival 6 mile race (where she placed top-female overall), the next day she competed in the Shubie Dooby Triathlon race in Shubie Park as a practice run for her upcoming race on another continent. Now she’s off to Spain, competing at the Duathlon World Championships.

Earlier this year, Chesnutt finished the Boston Marathon with an impressive time of 03:07:41, despite running the race with a stress fracture in the hip. Since Boston, Chesnutt has been advised to dial-back her training in order to heal from this injury. Most of the summer she volunteered at local races and eased back into training in the last month.

Her medical team has given her the green flag to compete again, just in time for Spain and she’s expected to have a strong performance in Gijon.

Michelle Kempton is a half-marathon runner, that co-founded the Heart & Sole Running Club (www.heartandsolerunningclub.com) in Dartmouth. Follow her on twitter @runindartmouth or visit her website: www.michellekempton.com