High school cross-country in B.C.’s north central zone is kicking off with the season’s first race this weekend in Prince George — the Cottonwood Island Run.
With a one-month season that culminates with the B.C. high school championships which will take place on Nov. 7 at Vancouver’s Jericho Beach, cross-country runners are already training daily after-school practices, said NVSS’s cross-country coach Brian Nemethy.
Nemethy explained that he approaches training mathematically by adjusting lengths and time targets of practice runs according to charts, so that runners can train to push their limits and still have time to recover.
Though strong overall, the team has only four to five fast runners so far, he said.
“We’re still working on the speed.”
With 28 runners, this year’s cross-country team is comparable to last year’s 31, with nearly half of the team comprised of newcomers — 10 runners graduated last year.
Including four in Gr. 7, the team is comprised of runners from all grades, with half in total from grades eight and 12.
Most of the team also trained in other sports such as hockey, basketball, and wrestling.
In his fourth cross-country running year, Matthew Ebert juggles training with soccer, biathlon, and speed-skating — his focus this year.
“Every day of the week I’m doing something, sometimes two,” said Ebert. “But it’s fun.”