Cross country is a unique experience. Unlike many other sports, it involves competing with one’s self. It also requires a very rigorous training regimen and mental preparation.
The girls have to begin training as early as July to build up the stamina and strength to compete during the school year. Cross country training consists of eight mile runs on Monday, two-mile warm-ups with four-mile slams on Tuesday, hill sprints on Wednesday, timed runs on the track on Thursday and a workout with Head of the Sports Performance Program Lindsey Yocum on Friday. The runners also put in work Saturday mornings at the Santa Monica stairs and don’t have a day to rest on Sunday when they complete their individual long distance runs. Runners are individually timed and get more points for their team the higher they place during their three-mile races across rough terrain.
“You try and beat your last time and improve. There is a lot of room to grow and get faster by the end of the year. I usually set a goal for myself to get a minute faster each year,” Sonora ’21, who ran cross country both this and last year, said.
Assistant Coach Jackie Edwards has coached at Marlborough for seven years now.
“Confidence is huge. That’s part of [one’s] mental preparation, and you gain confidence from being able to execute something over and over again in practice,” Edwards said.
Sonora agreed that one’s mentality is an important aspect of the sport.
“Cross country is definitely one of the hardest if not the hardest sport because it takes such a strong mentality and it is not a team sport. It comes down to individual times and your personal growth,” she said.
Sofia ’21 has been committed to the cross country team for a few years now.
“Motivating yourself to run on your own is the hardest part of cross country. Perseverance is key. At first, it is really hard, but after a few weeks it comes automatically,” she said.
According to cross country team member Lily ’22, the sport can sometimes get competitive, but it helps to have a supportive team. Cross country is a time to bond and create long-lasting friendships.
“We are all really supportive of each other and I think we all just want the other person to succeed,” Lily, who just transitioned from the middle school to high school cross country, said. “There is no better feeling than knowing that you accomplished something.”