When you hear the words cross country, what feelings and emotions come to mind? Cool/cold/calm day with drizzle or light rain. Can’t wait. This is going to be a blast.
In your career, which courses did you find to be the most difficult? On the other hand, which courses stand out as your favorites? All the courses are difficult if you run them hard. Never ran on a cross country course that I didn’t like.
Which cross country races stand out to you the most in regards to overall experience? Winning the National JUCO championship in Florida, USA trials in San Francisco, AAU championships in Chicago.
What would your ideal cross country course look like? What would you prefer the weather be like on that day? Rolling hills. Toss in some hay bales and stretches of mud. Uphill finish. Cross country should never be held on a golf course.
Obviously cross country is an immensely individual sport; however, the team component is even more important. Discuss any of your favorite team experiences you have been a part of. Junior year at Colorado when we placed 5th at the NCAA meet. Oregon won it and were led by a guy named Prefontaine. I had never been injured until this season and it seemed as though there was always something. Had I run where I should have, we might have ended up 3rd.
Do or did you have any pre-race rituals when it came to cross country? What was being said in those pre-race team huddles? Run smart and don’t back down. Know who you have to beat.
If you were to speak to a high school cross country team, what would be your points of emphasis for those kids? Avoid the wimp factor. Don’t be a wimp in training and don’t be a wimp when it comes to racing. Respect the race, but don’t be afraid of the race or the course.
Last but not least, Port-o-potty or just go in the woods? Woods every time. No lines. Be aware of what poison ivy looks like if you don’t have TP. Not identifying poison ivy can cause you to consider the wimp factor.