The Student News Site of Belfast Central School

The Belfast Beacon

The Student News Site of Belfast Central School

The Belfast Beacon

The Student News Site of Belfast Central School

The Belfast Beacon

Six Reasons You Should Join Cross-Country Next Fall



Cross-country is a really fun sport, albeit a sport that isn’t as popular as others.  I was originally going to do soccer for my fall sport, just like I do every year. But I had a sudden chance of heart. I loved my first time doing track & field last year, and I had friends from track & field that were doing cross-country as well. I was unsure about my decision at first, but it was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made regarding sports. I have enjoyed cross-country, and soon you’ll see why. 

  1. Supportive teammates

One of the things that I really love about this sport is how supportive and encouraging my teammates are. Even if you’re not having your best day, or aren’t quite as good as you’d like to be, your teammates will still be proud of you, no matter what. Often, they’ll come cheer you on as you’re running your race, or nearing the finish, encouraging you to go just a little faster, or pass the person in front of you that you’ve been tailing. It really motivates you to take that extra step and try to better yourself further. 

2. Supportive crowds 

Even if you’re from an opposing school, everyone will still be encouraging and cheering for you! And I know what you’re thinking; this part isn’t very different from any other team sport. And in that regard, you may be right. Mostly. Although the cheering of onlookers may seem similar, there’s more to it in cross-country (this also applies to sports like track & field). When you’re racing, no matter what team you’re on, there will always be onlookers cheering for you, with let’s go’s and you’re doing great! You’re almost there’s. It’s not like soccer or basketball, where the ref seems to always be making unfair calls and parents are always complaining about the team or the coach or a specific player. It may not seem like much, but sometimes that can give you the motivation to break your personal record, or even get first place.  

3. It’s an individual sport 

In sports like this, it’s a lot more about the individual than the team when you’re racing. When you’re running, you’re running against yourself just as much as you’re running against other people. Each race, you are trying to better yourself; get that new PR, or maybe you’re trying to do something as simple as run the whole race without stopping. Either way, these are things that you’re doing for yourself. There’s less pressure on you to perform well for your entire team because they’re all focused on bettering themselves as well. I know this may not go for everyone, but for me, I’ve never really enjoyed the pressure in team sports. So it was a little relieving when I started doing cross-country and track & field and realized things here a bit different. 

4. Beautiful scenery 

 This is one of the things that really takes the cake compared to other sports. Often, the courses that we run are partially in scenic trails in the woods. It really makes the 5k meters, or 3.1 miles, (that’s what varsity, 9-12th grade, runs. If you are 7-8th grade, you run somewhere around 1.5 miles) a lot more engaging and bearable to run. This is one of the things that makes me enjoy cross-country a little more than track. It’s so much easier to run 3.1 miles on fields and trails than it is to run two miles on a track, where you have to run eight laps around and around. For example, you get to run courses like Letchworth state park and Lakeshore (Evengola Park to be exact), which are both absolutely beautiful. 


 5. You don’t need a bunch of pricey gear 

Running is the name of the game in cross country, and that’s about it. You don’t need cleats or shin guards or mouth guards or knee pads. Really, all you need is a pair of shoes that you can run in. As it stands, running in general is a pretty inexpensive hobby. And as such, cross country is a “simple” sport, you don’t need a ton of things to do it. 

(Side note: the shoes featured here are the exact pair that I have. They’re trail running shoes. They work great.) 

 6. You build your endurance 

Even if after all of this, you’re still not crazy about wanting to join cross country, I feel this is something to consider if you’re not doing a fall sport and would like a way to stay in shape for winter sports. In cross country, we naturally run a lot and build a considerable amount of endurance and stamina as the season progresses. I remember when I used to not be able to run the length of a soccer field without stopping. Now I can run 3.1 miles, with little to no stopping.  

(Throughout the season, I’ve gone from somewhere around 35:00 minutes for the 5K, which is my worst time, to 27:04, which is my new personal record, or PR. I’ve acheived my goal of getting under 29 minutes for my final meet!)

So, with all that being said, I highly suggest that you give cross-country a try!

P.S., if nobody else joins cross country next year, ill be the only person from Belfast. so pls join me or ima cry y’all :((((((

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