Considering that the physical fitness of students is always a hot topic, it worth noting that another district cross country season wrapped up Wednesday at Kin Park. Thanks to Principals Doug McCracken and Donna Holland for keeping this athletic activity going by hosting events this year. There were over 140 runners at the event at Upper Pine and over 130 at Ambrose. All this from basically only 6 schools. Imagine the size of events the district could host if all, or even just most of the elementary schools participated.
An interesting thing about x-country running is that it needs virtually no equipment, costs next to nothing to run and involves as many kids are as willing to show up. The skills involved are simple - move your feet, left, right repeat, breathe - and have fun. The whole event Wednesday ( three different age groups - 6 different races) was completed in about an hour, presentations and all! Transportation was the only real cost. It's also an activity where rural schools can compete on par or better with town schools. All you need is access to a little bit of geography! And....... running is good exercise for everyone!
If other schools are interested in getting on board, or even hosting their own event next year its easy to do. There are lots of resource people available within the community willing to help you organize a race! Just ask your local running club! If you have questions as to how hard it is to run such an event just ask the administrators who ran this year's events. Until recently neither of them had extensive experience with this sport. Now they are both savvy veterans!
There is a perception out there that running is hard work, but really, running is what kids do! Anyone who has supervised an elementary playground or even been in a middle school hallway at break, knows that student energy is not the problem. Running is a life time sport - one that people can continue well into their adult years, and one that gives an instant sense of accomplishment. Whether a runner is the first or last across a finish line they've still successfully completed a challenge - instant positive feedback.
Thanks and congratulations go out to all the coaches too. Even in this interesting time several teachers, parents and administrators came out to assist with this sport! At a time where everyone is looking for ways to keep kids active without breaking the bank or clogging up the calendar, it amazing that cross country running is not more popular! Given the success of this year's events I'm already looking forward to next year. I'm betting I'm not the only one!