What it Means to Run Cross Country


Henry Horne, Staff Reporter

I am on the cross-country team, and cross country is something that means a lot to me. I originally joined the cross country team because I wanted to do a sport year round, but then it became about the community. It has a good community full of people who are willing to help and encourage you.    

In high school cross country, you run about 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) per meet, and the goal is to run that as fast as possible. It may not seem like a long run, but it is challenging, which is one of the reasons I like it.

Practices are also a lot of fun. Practice runs are generally about 3-4 miles minimum, and on Wednesday we play games. For example, we have a game we call the sock game that originated because the cross-country made socks for funding. Afterwards, we had socks left over, so we wrapped them in duct tape to make balls and played dodgeball. And that is when we make progress as a community. The most important progress, though, is made in my head when I decide that I can do this. Because it is so easy to give up, but when I don’t give up, I cross the finish line and know that I left all of my hard work on the course. It gives me a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. I know if I do give it my all I will not be left behind. If I start to lag behind my goal I can improve outside of practice, and I know the coaches will always be happy to give me a workout that I can do on my own. If I have the time  I can always just go out and mountain bike or hike.  Cross-country is not just running for a long time, it is about being a strong athlete all over.

Coach Wilcox once told me,“Cross-country is about pushing each other and supporting each other.”

The team is like one big family, everyone that is there because they have chosen to be there. I know that I have chosen to be there too. When I do, the whole team is there to support me, and I support them. Everyone is supporting everyone, and  we all grow as people and as athletes, as well as make lifelong friends. That is what it means to be on the cross-country team.