Thursday, 5 October 2017

Still on the Run - Cross Country revisited!



A superintendent's day can get busy. It can often feel like any number of issues are chasing you or trying to run you down. Once again this week  I had literally more than 2oo challenges behind me and it felt pretty good.  Our district held the final run of the cross country season and, as I have in past seasons, I was the rabbit leading the runners onto the  course. Admittedly I  have a bit of an advantage riding my mountain bike, but its still more than a little intimidating hearing the starter call go and hearing the thunder of hundreds of little feet charging on to the trail behind you.

I enjoy ferrying the leaders through the course, but I also like to make sure everyone finishes. A student once told me, "For the leaders you're the rabbit, but for us at the back, you're the dragon!" I was taken a little a back by this fearsome description until I realized what she was saying was that I was the person who literally gets to "drag in" the back of the pack. Every year those at the front push me a little harder to stay ahead, but its often the conversations I have with those runners at the back of the pack that provide the greatest humour and inspiration. Over the years I've seen falls, nosebleeds, side stitches and other bumps and bruises, but in almost every case, the affected runners have bounced back and determinedly completed the course, finishing to the cheers and support of their team mates, parents and coaches. 

Cross country is a great participation sport. It allows the fastest runners the competition of racing against their peers and the clock, and it also allows others to challenge themselves against a distance. I have experienced acts of tremendous spirit, enthusiasm and sportsmanship at both ends of a race.  The smiles at the finish line, are ample evidence that every finisher feels the thrill of completing a race well run. 


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