Q. I have been doing a lot of road and trail running lately, but what is this I hear about Cross Country? Is that really something that non-competitive athletes can participate in? What should I expect?
A. I’m sure it comes as no surprise, but a season of XC sets me free! We ‘squatches were all born running through the woods and up and down hills, so any time I get off the roads or track, I feel at home. The same goes for you humans too. We were meant to tread upon raw earth, rocks, and grass. It’s in our DNA. So when I say that cross country (also known as XC to many) is for everyone, I mean it. One great series for adults is the Stumptown Cross series organized by the Red Lizard Running club. Lots of fun and lots of encouragement from all levels of athletes.
If you have little ones looking to get started and develop their LOVE for the sport, Foot Traffic organizes some of the most welcoming and non-intimidating programs in the city. Tell your 5th grader that they are going to go for a 3 mile run, and they may cringe and RUN…the other way! Add in a few games and dial back the pressure about 50%, and you suddenly create confident future runners that start to feel like they are part of something and feel like they belong. It’s a magical experience and an awesome thing to witness. It’s why the program usually has anywhere from 50-100 young athletes per season!
For those athletes that are starting to RACE a bit more (whether it’s high school or youth races), Foot Traffic offers a wide selection of racing spikes and also offers special fundraising opportunities for schools and programs. They offer 10% off AND donate 10% back to the program for schools that set up a “team night” at any one of the Foot Traffic stores. You don’t need to be a coach to inquire about this! Sometimes the coaches need help organizing these efforts. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org and they will set you up with details to make it easy!
Happy running this fall!