September 29, 2022

Our First Cross Country Race of the Season

Things have been so out of order lately that I can't remember what I've posted about and what I haven't! It's hard to believe that we're five weeks into cross country season already.

Our first meet was scheduled for September 20th. It was at a school that's about 45 minutes away, and I've always loved that particular race for some reason. Usually it's at the end of the season, but it was scheduled first this year.

Jerry was off work and he knew that I was excited about the meet, so he came with me. The school is kind of in the middle of nowhere, so we have to drive the back roads to get there. Unfortunately, we came to a railroad crossing with a train at a dead stop. So we turned around and went to yet another road--and the same train was stopped there as well. I was starting to get worried at that point--not only that *I*, the coach, would be late, but that the kids wouldn't get there in time either.

I messaged the kids' parents to let them know about the train, and Jerry and I finally found a road that we could cross the tracks. I was glad we'd left early so I could get there in time. I started pinning the race bibs on the kids as they arrived and we watched as the high school girls' race started.

At that point, out of nowhere, it started lightening in the distance and the sky started getting dark. I'd checked the weather right before we left the house and it didn't show a single drop of rain coming.

Midway through the high school girls' race, the director canceled the rest of the meet; the girls didn't even get to finish their race. Our kids were only about five minutes from the starting time--it was such a bummer. I told them I at least wanted a team picture before we left, so we rushed together and got this picture... about three minutes before the rain just started pouring down hard.

So, needless to say, our first race was a bust. 

The second race was last Saturday and thankfully, the weather was great! It was at the park that I am super familiar with (because I used to run it all the time). The race is split into boys' and girls' races--we have 17 kids on the team and only 5 of them are boys.

I *hate* that I am terrible with names, because it takes me pretty much the whole season to learn all of the kids' names, and I feel so bad about it! Renee and I have always split the race up, with one of us taking the boys and the other taking the girls--and with only five boys on the team this year, I took the boys because I know all their names ;)

Such a fun group of boys!

I got the boys pinned and ready to go, then we went over the course and I explained my "race rules" for the millionth time:

1) Don't ever look behind you because you will lose time.
2) Never ever ever slow down until AFTER your feet have crossed the finish line. (I stress this at every single race, but I still see kids who slow down a few steps before the finish and then get passed at the very last moment.)
3) When you hear me yelling "CHEETAH!!" that means go as fast as you possibly can (because they are close to the finish line). Cheetah is a word that we use for "sprint" at practice.

I heard the announcer say that we could choose our starting line boxes (most of the time they are assigned). As soon as I heard that, I rushed to pick the closest to the center that I could, which ended up being perfect.

Everyone lined up and then off they ran!

I made my way toward the finish line and found a spot about 100 meters away from the finish so that I could yell at them to sprint. I'm normally a very shy, quiet person, but I get VERY loud at races, haha. I yell at the kids to pass the person in front of them or I yell to them that someone's about to pass them (whether it's true or not).

It's my favorite part of the race because you can see the instant that they hear me and pick up their speed to a sprint and it's exciting! All of the boys did an amazing job and I was thrilled when they finished. I love asking the kids how they feel when they're done with the race, and then if they say anything other than "Like I'm going to throw up" or "Like I'm going to pass out" or something like that, I tell them they didn't run hard enough and they'll just have to go faster next time ;) 

The girls did great as well. I was shocked when I got home and looked up the kids' finish times. Every single one of them had taken at least a minute off of their mile pace, and most took more than two minutes off. I cropped their names out, but you can see the difference on this:

Some of those times make me wonder if they just weren't trying their hardest at our time trial on the first day of practice, hahaha. They have the same course for our next meet, so it'll be interesting to compare their finish times on the same course.

I had planned to write about practices on here, too, because some of the kids are so cute about working hard to reach their goals (they love the awards you donated!), but this is long enough already--I'll save that for later. I just got home from practice, so I want to eat some dinner!

1 comment:

  1. Great work! You're such a fabulous role model for these kids.


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

Featured Posts

Blog Archive