Monday 23 May 2016


Reader Elena loves the sport of cross country running - read on and find out more about it all!

Elena says:
I first got involved in cross country running with a race at my school. I really enjoyed it, so I joined the local running club to give it a go. I now go along every Tuesday and Thursday after school, every week. The coach does a warm up routine consisting of lots of stretches to get your muscles warm - this is important so that you don't get injured. I wear my running leggings and a fluorescent jacket to run, but if I'm in a competition I wear my club vest or my PE kit. I love doing cross country because it's a great way to exercise and stay fit, and you make so many new friends. It's fun even when it's cold and rainy! I have represented my school and also my club, and also my county.

A competition can be a bit scary if there are lots of people running - there were almost 500 at the National Championships! You do get a bit nervous at the start, and you have to watch out for 'pushers'! Once I start running, the nerves go away - I usually have an upbeat song in my head, like 'Fight Song' by Rachel Platten. The races for my age group are 1500 m long, but next year I will be running 3000m races. I just try to beat the person in front of me and sprint at the end, and beat my best time. Each race is on a different course with different terrain; some have hills to run up and ponds to run through! I like running through mud, but sometimes I have to put duct tape round my shoes to stop them coming off in the mud! Really warm or really cold are the two worst conditions to run in. I actually like it when it's raining - I stick my tongue out to catch the raindrops and pretend I am in an action movie doing crazy stunts! In competition races I wear 'spikes' rather than regular trainers, which help make sure you don't slip or fall. The right trainers can be expensive, but Mum tries to get them in the sale! My ambition for next season is to either win a race or beat my friend, because she's well good!

My advice to others who want to have a try at cross country running is definitely to go for it. It's a lot of fun and there are loads of running clubs around Britain so it's easy to get involved!

Cathy says:
This sounds amazing - and a far cry from my memories of crashing about in the muddy woodlands doing cross country running at school! Do YOU follow a cool or unusual sport or hobby? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

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