Whether it’s the burning of her legs midway through the race or the rush of excitement during the last 100 meters to the finish line, Sonora ’21 experiences many ups and downs during a single cross country meet.
Not many Marlborough students have experienced a three-mile journey through rough terrain. Only three students are on the cross country team this fall season. Because the majority of athletes at Marlborough focus on other sports such as tennis and volleyball, cross country is not recognized or well-known.
Cross country involves different rituals, adversities, and triumphs. Before each race, the team goes over a map of the course to strategize how they will complete it. They have to think about hills, when to conserve energy, and when to give 100% effort.
“It’s pretty hard because the race is super long, and there’s sometimes no markings on the trail,” Sonora said.
Right before the race, the runners line up at the starting mark with their team. They usually do a cheer by yelling their school mascot or singing a song.
“The scariest part is standing at the start line,” Sonora said.
Then, the gun goes off and the runners find their pace. Sonora doesn’t pay much attention to what the coaches or parents are yelling from the sidelines. Instead, she pays attention to her teammates and runners from other teams.
“Whenever you pass someone, you usually say, ‘Keep going!’ or ‘Good luck!’” Sonora said.
For Sonora, the most difficult part is to not think about the pain in her legs and the cramping in her shoulders. She tries to keep her head up and think about the outcome.
The last 100-meter bit is the best part of the race for Sonora. She sprints to cross the finish line, even if her legs feel like jelly. The huge clock counting up motivates Sonora to keep going.
“Crossing the finish line is the best thing in the world,” Sonora said.
After a meet, Sonora loves to eat pizza, pasta, or a burger. Pretty much anything with carbs will suffice. The ride back home is the best part for her because the nerves have settled and the race is over.
“When the race is over, I just feel really proud of myself for finishing, even though it is hard at times,” Sonora said.