Why I Love Cross Country: Responses From Runners


Welcome to the second post of the “Why I Love Cross Country” series! In the first post, I wrestled with the question: why do you love cross country? Afterwards, I reached out to several high school and collegiate runners and asked them the same. Here are their responses:

Cross country is the best because of the people. We are a bunch of wacky distance runners, [and] people think we are crazy for what we do. The people on your cross country team [are] like your second family. You’d do anything for them. Nothing is better than grinding out some high mileage in the early mornings of summer to all reach that same goal during the fall. In high school I probably spent 75 percent of my time with our cross country team, and now in college it’s pretty much 99.9 percent since we all live with each other. Running is a major portion of it but the people, the people [are who] made me fall in love with the sport.” — Reno Law, Wichita State University

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Photo courtesy of Reno Law.

“I love cross country because no matter how fast you are, you have a special place on the team. Being apart of cross is like being apart of a family. You are loved whether you get first or last. When you cross that finish line, there is always someone there to say ‘good job.’ And it’s such a good feeling to be accepted like that.” — Tianna Wald, University of Sioux Falls

Photo courtesy of Tianna Wald.

“It’s one of the most difficult sports, and it really helps you know yourself mentally and helps you push yourself to do things you didn’t think you could. It also has created an amazing community of people and has brought me some of my best friends, and it’s amazing how we can all relate to this sport and to each other. And the feeling of family in this sport is incredible; you finish the race and everyone is so supportive no matter what team you’re on. After the race is over, you’re all in the same boat and you’re all happy to be there.” — Kate Schoening, Lincoln Northeast High School

Photo courtesy of Kate Schoening.

“I love cross country because it makes me feel like I’m a part of something so much bigger than just running. I’m inspired to work hard for my teammates because I know that they’re doing the same for me, so we can all strive to be better together.” — Taylor Somers, Oklahoma State University

“I love cross country because my team is like a family but also because there’s nothing like running on a crisp fall day.” — Taryn Ceglowski, University of Sioux Falls

Photo courtesy of Taryn Ceglowski.

“Cross country is more than a sport. Cross country is a lifestyle, a support system, an outlet, an opportunity and a family. The connections that I have made within the sport are unique and different than any other athletic team. With running, each person, no matter how fast or slow they might be, knows the pain and effort needed to finish that race. Finding people to help you get through the workout are those people I am proud to call my brothers. I’m so thankful that I have had this experience.” — Corbin Hubbell, Doane University

” [I love cross country] because of the team dynamic. Yeah, track is a team sport too, but you get closer as teammates in cross country because you know what [your teammates are] going through and feeling, and you depend on each other for support and a good team score.” — Jadyn Agee, Nebraska Wesleyan University

Photo courtesy of Jadyn Agee.

“It’s a way that I am able to let go of what I don’t want in my life and truly be alive as me. It is a way in which I can live out my unique purpose and remember to love everything a little more.” — Jaedan Bunda, Skutt Catholic High School

Photo courtesy of Jaedan Bunda.

“I love cross country because of the bond [among] the team that is created. The cross team becomes a family during the season from the long runs to the tempo runs. When you and the boys are all exhausted and wanna quit, you motivate each other to keep going and get better. You race for the boys who you grind with, and it’s such an amazing experience. I love it.” — Josh Klein, Wichita State University

Photo courtesy of Josh Klein.

“I really love to run, especially with my friends and amazing teammates. I love [cross country] because I love meeting new people and hearing all of their stories about their journey and how they became runners. I also love watching races and competing in races because I love the rush of adrenaline that I get. And I love it because it is the greatest sport invented.” — Brandy Kent, Millard South High School

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Photo courtesy of Brandy Kent.

“The biggest [reason] for me is rather cliche, but it’s where I’ve found my greatest friends, because we’ve all suffered together and all know how much pain it takes to be the best.” — Trevor Lockman, Colorado School Of Mines

Photo courtesy of Trevor Lockman.

“[Cross country] gathers people together around the shared love of running. Relationships with teammates start with a common interest but can deepen immensely as you get to support one another through highs and lows of running and life. [Secondly,] God has used cross country in beautiful ways in my life to make me more like Him. There’s something about being pushed to my physical limit in a race or being limited by an injury that humbles me and makes me look to Him. He’s taught me to persevere, to trust Him with everything (including my physical body), to recognize that all I have belongs to Him (including my ability to run), to rejoice and give thanks in all circumstances, to love my teammates to the best of my ability, and that He is good and loves me more than I can comprehend.” — Sophia Becker, Wheaton College

Photo courtesy of Sophia Becker.

“Cross country is bringing together people to become a supportive family. It has brought wonderful people into my life. It makes me excited to wake up each morning and [brings] a sense of incomparable satisfaction afterwards.” — Abby Cawley, Lincoln Southeast High School

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Photo courtesy of Abby Cawley.

“I love cross country because it has brought me all across the nation. I’ve gotten to meet so many great people including both teammates and competitors. It’s cool because everyone is working towards a similar goal. It could be winning races, getting a new PR or just getting through the season healthy, but we all are just trying to improve from where we are at.” — Steven Brown, University of Sioux Falls

Photo courtesy of Steven Brown.

“I fell in love with cross country originally because I enjoyed the competition and work required, but I have stayed in love with it because of the people it has brought me to. Outside of my family, the most important people in my life have come to me through cross country, including my best friends and mentors. Cross country has enriched my life outside of the sport itself so much that I honestly don’t think my life would be as great as it is now without cross country.” — Anthony Patton, Morningside College

“While I love track, cross country has so much more of a team aspect…I know that our team can only succeed if everyone reaches their potential, so it’s really humbling in cross because I run more for my team than for myself. I love feeling the togetherness when we all fight together in workouts and in races. The bonds forged through the struggles of cross country are so strong and pure I think, and I like how it brings together people of different track event specialties…[I also love] the outdoors aspect. I love running courses through trees and grass and [in] the elements. I have always been a nature lover, and one reason why I love running is because I get to be outside…I feel more connected to the earth when I run cross.” — Elsa Forsberg, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Photo courtesy of Elsa Forsberg.


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