What It’s Like to be a Cross-Country Runner at Page


Georgia Blekicki, Staff Writer

The High School Sport of Cross-Country

What is it like to be on the Cross Country team for Page High School? From a conditioning perspective, many say Cross Country is the most brutal sport. After a long day at school, you have to go to practice and run. Not to mention the ‘meets’ that can take up to 2 to 3 hours. A lot of students at our high school love cross country. So I interviewed 3 of the top Cross Country runners on the team, each from a different grade. What does it look like to be a Cross Country runner?  

How do you stay focused while you run?

The high school cross-country runners usually run for 30 minutes straight. This is exhausting mentally and physically. Most of the runners are running not only to win, but to beat their own previous times. As you can imagine, focusing is probably very difficult. When asked how they maintain focus, senior Will Abell shared “If I’m just jogging at practice I usually listen to music or talk to my friends. But if I’m running in a race, I’ll get some music out and try as hard as I can to focus on the end goal.” Junior Kaitlynn Lewis says “Haha, that’s a really difficult question because we just run through woods for 30 minutes, but mostly just the people around me. I’ll talk to my friends sometimes during my races but usually not cause you are out of breath but just the positive energy people around you are giving off is really encouraging.” Sophomore Allie Kinlaw, one of Page’s most celebrated runners, shared a similar response: “Being in a team environment really helps because yes, you are running to get YOUR best time, but you’re also running for the people on your team that are next to you.” These runners are running every day for an hour or more. So staying mentally in the game is crucial. 

What do you like and dislike about running?

There are pros and cons to every sport. The cross-country meets I’ve heard are fun. You get to hang out with your friends and see how you have improved over the past weeks of training. However, Cross Country training has been claimed to be the most difficult of all sports. Abell shared, “I like how it is easy to stay fit, easy to stay motivated because of your friends. You also don’t need any extra equipment. You can literally just go outside and run. One thing I do dislike about Cross Country is how consistent you have to be. If you skip two days of running, you can tell when you go running again.” Lewis says “There is nothing that I dislike about running. I like the team environment, and honestly just being able to go out and run.” Kinlaw shares, “I like the team aspect of running. And I dislike how easy it is to get injured. But if you stretch and run at the right pace and eat well the outcomes are all positive.” 

What do you hope to achieve from running?

What are these runners’ ultimate goals? What are they really running for? Some may want to run in college, while others just want to stay in shape. “I wanna stay fit. My ultimate goal is to be healthy,” says Abell. Lewis said “I want to achieve sportsmanship. Sometimes you’re running against your own team, so you have to work together to encourage each other.” Kinlaw shared, “I would really like to run in college one day and just continue to get personal bests throughout high school.” All of these runners had different goals to achieve through cross country. This proves that a team sport is a positive impact on these runners in all different ways. How and why you run is all up to you. 

What makes a good cross-country runner? 

When asked this question, Abell said, “Usually you have to have a lot of discipline. How much is that person willing to work?” Lewis says “There is a lot of distance training so someone interested in very hard conditioning.” Kinlaw had a quick response:  “Anyone motivated and will push through the hard days. So also a good attitude.” 

A lot of teenagers use the opportunity of high school sports to experiment and to find what sports they like to play the most. Cross country is a great sport to try out! The team environment is a great way to make relationships with new people, even from other grades. As you can see, Cross Country is a great way to stay in shape, meet new people, and have fun. Next fall, speak to the front office for more information to join. Page’s cross country team would love to have you!

Pic Creds: Chris Lewis