BY THE LUNG Staff Writer
Cumberland County College’s Cross Country team gathers after race at Lancaster Bible College (photo by The Lung)
If you love to travel to exotic nature parks, want to live a healthy lifestyle and love to run, then you are not unlike the students who comprise the Cumberland County College Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Teams.
What is cross country you may ask? “Cross country is a pursuit in which runners race over courses set on natural terrain as opposed to a running track or road,” according to SportsDefinitions.com. A college cross country race for men, measures out to 8km, which is equivalent to about 5 miles. The women’s race is 5km which equals about 3.1 miles. Training for cross country takes hard work and dedication. Practices consist of stretching and running, running and stretching, and running some more!
Sophomore Amanda Grissman, a veteran runner on the women’s team, reveals that she runs approximately 3 miles a day, Monday through Friday, which concludes an “insane week” of practice. Josh Loew and Nick Flukey, freshmen runners on the men’s team, say they run an average of 35-36 miles per week. As the season progresses, coaches Dave Sheridan and Courtney West will steadily increase the workload of the runners on both teams in preparation for the National Junior College Athletic Association Cross Country meet taking place on Nov. 12, in Lake Canadaigua, NY.
An underrated aspect of running, which appears to be greatly appreciated by Duke runners, is the ability to run in a myriad of elegantly structured nature parks throughout the United States. Prior to joining the Dukes, freshman Daniel Chavez-Lopez was ecstatic to have the opportunity to run through swamps and battle against sand fleas in a race on Paris Island, SC. Additionally, freshman Oliver Ojeda-Celaya once ran in one of the most renowned destinations for runners around the world, New York City’s Central Park.
As for college races, the majority of Duke runners savored the scenic visions of Penn State-Abington’s home course in Lorimer Park in Huntington Valley, PA. “We had to jump over streams and run up mountains,” Loew recalls. Running cross country is definitely not a walk in the park.
Why do you run? is a peculiar question posed to runners by non-runners. When presented with this question, Duke responses range from, “just knowing that it’s hard to do, and being able to do it,” to “it’s a stress reliever.” “When I run, I feel like everyday problems go away,” states freshman runner Anthony Johnson. He also acknowledges that running pushes him to be a better person physically and mentally. Cinthya Leon, Anai Duran and Sara Woodruff are three members of the women’s team who concur with Johnson’s sentiments.
The Dukes Cross Country team has two major goals in their sights; to place top 5 in Nationals and to reach their fullest potential in life, as students and human beings, with the help of running to guide them down that glorious path.