What it’s like to be a cross country runner?


Photo by Destiny Angel

Haily Mervine and her sister Paige Mervine warm up at cross country practice. The two sisters trained hard at practice so they are prepared for their meet. Haily Mervine said, “When I first started running, I tried to pace myself off of my older sister, Paige, who is also a runner with me.

Do you ever wonder what it is like to be a cross country runner? Blood, sweat and tears are put in this sport. Running multiple miles seems impossible, but not for Sophomore Haily Mervine.

Haily Mervine said, “As a cross country runner, it’s more about yourself rather than your teammates and the teams you’re running against. If you’re not taking care of yourself and not stretching properly or eating properly you aren’t going to grow as an individual runner.”

Eating healthy takes part by staying in shape. Drinking water is always important for cross country runners because it is important to stay hydrated.

Haily Mervine said, “I personally don’t eat breakfast in the mornings because I almost never give myself time before school. I worry more about what I eat for lunch and dinner, I also make sure not to snack a lot. I mostly drink water to stay hydrated and I try not to have many sodas or other carbonated drinks throughout the week.”
Going along with the staying hydrated and eating healthy but stretching is also key.

Haily Mervine said, “ The best thing to do after a hard workout is the stretch and drink water. There’s a lot of breathing techniques you can use to if your having a hard time catching your breath or if you have asthma. It’s really easy to get sick when you’re running as well so you have to pay attention to where you eat otherwise you’re going to be sick during or after a run.”

At Pottsville Area High School, cross country consists of many miles per practice to keep the same endurance as in a meet.

Haily Mervine said, “My coach tries to have us do around 25 miles a week so we work on keeping our same pace for different periods of time so by the time we have a race we can push ourselves harder because it’s a shorter distance.”

You may think to become a cross country runner you already have to be good at running, but you are wrong.

Haily Mervine states, “I’ve only been doing cross country for three years. I mostly do cross country to stay in shape but it’s a lot of fun to go on different routes and courses in different areas. It doesn’t take much to be a runner other than just putting in the time to come to practice. If you’re new the hardest part is just finding your own pace because a lot of people based themselves on others. Which isn’t a bad thing but sometimes it’s hard to keep up. When I first started running I try to pace myself off my older sister, Paige Mervine, who is also a runner with me. It was hard because she has been running a lot longer than me and she was a lot better. I ended up getting tired sooner and a lot more sore.”