11 Sep My Last Cross Country at Woodstock
Shikhar, Grade 12, covers his last cross country at Woodstock school as a student and gives us a complete picture of what it feels like to run or not to run – in order to stretch the moment and gather memories as the end of his senior year becomes a reality.
Woodstock School has an extensive outdoor programme. Students have many options to get some exercise here, including swimming, hiking, playing basketball or just working out in the gym. However, once a year, we like to leave our individual favourite activities to partake in an all school cross country race.
Cross country is a race that takes place once a year on the chukkar. This is a ‘house’ event so everyone wears their house colours and heads up for the race. In Upper Years, 9th and 10th graders run together and 11th and 12 graders race together.
I asked some people what they thought about the race. My roommate Chaitanya said that he is “usually very excited about the race”. This year, since it’s his last year at Woodstock, Chaitanya wants to “give it all he’s got” and run seriously. Paritosh, my other roommate has very different views. He thinks that cross country “is the most fun with friends”, and has a more relaxed attitude toward the race. Like some students, he just likes to jog the entire race.
Running isn’t the only cool part of cross country. Cheering friends on and students from other grades is always a fun job too. As Suryansh, says “This year I couldn’t run because of an injury, but being a spectator was just as fun. Seeing everyone running was entertaining because I could cheer on my friends. I enjoyed it even though I did not run, which shows what a great event cross country is.”
Kelloggs church is a good vantage point from where we can watch runners make their way around the chukker. In the 11 years I’ve been at Woodstock, spectating has always been the second best thing about cross country (running being the first).
Cross country is special because teachers get to run with the students, so this is actually what you would call an ‘all school event’. Not only does this promote some friendly competition with the teachers, it also helps students have a better relationship with the teachers.
I enjoyed cross country this year and ran the race with some friends. We took it pretty lightly, and jogged and walked most of the way, because we wanted to cherish every moment of our last cross country. Cross country is probably one of the things we will remember many years down the road. I think my friend Rhys summed it up well when he said “I thought cross country was amazing. Running 6 kms (especially high in the mountains) is no easy task. However, when I was running, I did not feel tired at all. Instead; I felt very alive and felt like I was living in the moment. This was my third cross country and I have enjoyed all of them”.
-Shikhar, Grade 12