2023 Mascenic Team Blog #1

By Amelia Smith

Cross Country started at Mascenic as it always does. At 10 A.M. on August 14th, the returnees hopped on the famous dirt track to kick off the classic 10 Lap Time Trial. A whopping 8 people showed up to run on this unfortunately warm day. Even as uneventful and generally miserable as the time trial was, it was exciting to see our girls team perform well, and was especially cool to watch our top girl beat almost all of the guys. The rest of the week went by in a breeze; downhills on Tuesday, cross country hills on Wednesday, a long run on Thursday, and a negative split on Friday. Before we knew it, Week 2 was upon us. 

Week Two began with hills we forgot were even an option. Hills that might now be my least favorite. Basically, it’s a mile (maybe a lil more) run to the hill where repeats were done—a hill that can only be described as “too long” by Emma and on a dirt road full of slippery pebbles—that happened to take place on another ridiculously hot day.

As it was a rather short workout, day 2 of week 2 was a long run day. As the heat persisted, we made our traditional run to Bankee where about ⅔ of the team took a dive off the bridge. Feeling the need to give our newbie the full experience, the girls took the pipeline back to the base of Mascenic Hill. As the pattern goes, day three was another workout: 300’s. It was hot, it was hard, nothing much else to say about it. Race prep precedes the race day and we end the week with a 2 mile run at Hinsdale. As a big fan of not running fast, I have very little commentary on the actual race itself (You’ll only get race details if Emma is writing or it’s something goofy); however, I will say, the Hinsdale people were really nice and cool, and the race was fast and flat. 

So begins the third week with another fan favorite, Dipsea Hills(I swear we spell these different every time). A really good workout, but not much fun. Personally, I (Amelia) had a not so good time, as I fell after the first hill and rolled my ankle like a fool. Nevertheless, we persevered. Day 2 consisted of our long run for the week, a fairly boring endeavor until we were chased by ferocious mud wasps that had been accidentally run near. Three of our teammates got stung, though(luckily) no one stung was allergic.

On day 3 of that week, we took on a 3 on/3 off tempo workout, completed on our cross country course. The most interesting result of this run was the bloody nose one of our girls acquired mid run. Day 4 was a race prep day that included an easy run that previewed the course for our upcoming Valhalla Rising relay meet. Day 5 was arguably the most interesting day this week as we headed to Hinsdale for the HillBilly relays. Bus-less, we made our way there in our cars. Due to a rather unfortunate happenstance in the year prior, our teams were each forced to choose a color to represent our team name and theme. This only worked to pacify our craziness slightly, as we still saw people in SPAM socks and tutus. The race itself resembled that of the week priors, following the same course simply in reverse in a Relay format. I would write of the results, however, it was in the past enough that I do not recall them…

Now that we’re back on track, let’s talk Week 4. The most important thing to note about this week is that it was ridiculously hot, averaging high 80’s that felt like low 90’s every day. Thankfully, we had no practice on Monday (Labor Day), though for some unexplainable reason many of us still chose to run (likely to prep for the horror of cross country 800’s that were the next day’s torture). To start our ever so sweaty week was a measly max of five 800 meter repeats on the cross country course (as opposed to the usual 6). I say measly, but after 3 you wanna die, after 4 you feel like you’re dead and after 5 you have perished. Thankfully, the next day was simply a short long run, which luckily for us, happened to end at a local’s pool. Though the run was miserable, watching the team belly flop as they tried to dive or flip off the diving board was quite entertaining. Wednesday ended with a sketchy ride back to the school in Smith’s iconic blue hippie van.

Back to the grind on Thursday with Stallone Hills, named after Sylvester Stallone. There’s a reason for the name, and Smith will spend 5 minutes just explaining it, however I tune out after about 30 seconds and thus do not know his motive. Though the hills (because they are hills) were wildly unenjoyable, we found some fun in the sprinkler Smith set up to keep us cool (because he was feeling nice or something). On that Friday came our third meet. Though the thunder and lightning threatened to cancel the meet, we remembered that we’re not the golf team, and raced anyway.  (To be fair, the weather cooperated and we got a window of opportunity to get the race in without any thunder or lightning.) Joined by Kearsarge, Hinsdale, and Wilton we raced the 6 lap 2 person relays on the Valhalla Rising course. Lacking a full boys team for any school, no team award was given, however, Kearsarge took the individual win. Mascenic girls won their race, though potentially from lack of other full teams (I’m unsure) and also claimed the individual win as well. 

That is all the current weeks recapped so happy Cross Country season y’all.