UCI Junior Expert Men winner Kendall McLean and mountain biking identity Brett Tippie.  Kimberley Vlasic/The Free Press

UCI Junior Expert Men winner Kendall McLean and mountain biking identity Brett Tippie. Kimberley Vlasic/The Free Press

Meditation keeps racers on course

The ancient practice of meditation is keeping one of Canada’s top junior downhill racers on course.

Kendall McLean was among about 160 racers competing in the Canada Cup/BC Cup at Fernie Alpine Resort on the weekend.

The 18-year-old from Victoria revealed he uses meditation to help him focus before a race.

“I think lots of racers do, to clear their mind,” he said.

“You want to not think when you do a run and that’s what works for me.”

McLean finished with a time of 2:51.09 to take out the UCI Junior Expert Men (17-18) division on Sunday, despite crashing on the course.

That put him in 12th place among the elite racers in the Canada Cup Series.

McLean visited FAR two years ago and was excited to return.

“It’s pretty awesome here, just the whole energy of the Valley and everything is amazing,” he said.

McLean is competing on the World Cup circuit and heads to the national championships at Panorama Mountain Resort this weekend.

He revealed what it takes to race at that level.

“Lots of gym training in the winter and then just eating properly, and getting your mind right and building sick tracks to train on,” he said.

“Before your run, you do a 20-minute warm up to really get the heart going and the muscles firing then do a little meditation to clear the mind then send it down the mountain.”