Although Cross Country didn’t meet during the fall as it usually would, and there will not be formal practices or competitions this year, U.S History teacher and Cross Country coach Cal Trembath is hosting an online running club this semester.
“Getting outdoors and staying active are more important than ever these days,” Cal said in an email to Eastside students and staff on Jan. 6. “It’s vital that we get away from the computer, raise our heart rates, breathe fresh air, and challenge ourselves everyday.”
During this pandemic, being in virtual classes all day adds too much stress to students’ lives, and many are not taking any breaks. Freshman Angela Hernandez took notice of that and decided to take advantage of the virtual running club.
“I joined Cross Country because I thought that it would be a good way to keep myself motivated and accountable to my health,” she said.
Cross Country officially started on Jan. 19, with a roster of 30 students from all four grades, and three coaches — Cal, History teacher Jasmine Kelly-Pierce and Math teacher Hai Tran. Team members are using an app called Strava, where members record and post their runs. Each member met with Cal individually to discuss their goals for the season.
Every Friday, the team meets virtually to discuss weekly runs and progress. For those who are interested, Cal also organizes small groups in the local area to run together in person. Those groups observe social distancing rules, like staying six feet apart and wearing masks, even while running. At first, participation was low — only one person showed up to the first small group run — but it’s been growing, with four students at the second meeting.
“One of my favorite things about Cross Country is community,” coach Jasmine said. “When we’re not in person, running together and racing together, it is hard to do that.”
Students who were part of Cross Country in previous years are excited to be back running this spring. Sophomore Yoanfranco Ochoa, who joined the team last year, said that last semester he felt very angry over stress with school. But once he heard that Cross Country was back he felt relieved.
“For new runners, I wish for them to feel improvement in their running,” he said. “And to feel the excitement of being in Cross Country!”
Students are still able to join Cross Country and earn Physical Education credit if they run three times a week. To join, students should, contact Coach Cal at [email protected] .