We are only into our fourth week of the program and it’s amazing to see the smiles on these kids as they see the progression they are making! More importantly, they are having a blast! Many who thought running was not fun are now so excited they don’t want to stop!
Our youth team (1st to 6th graded), as well as the middle school and high school teams, spent the last three Thursdays optionally participating in the Heideman Cross Country Series at Goodyear Metro Park. Races ranged from the 1 and 2 mile runs to a 5k. I have had many emotional events in running, but nothing compares to seeing the smiles on these kids faces after completing the race and seeing them come up to me and tell me their times!! Witnessing their excitement as they share their stories and racing highlights is priceless to me. I had so many kids running up to me and telling me how they ran faster this week than last week it was amazing!! They are seeing their own improvement which is more important than the time itself. I had one tell me he took took 4 minutes off his two mile time, and another said she ran 6 minutes faster this week than last week! Incredible!
The Middle School team and infamous Coach Andrew Berwa were there participating and sharing in on all of this excitement!! Coach Berwa’s energy is phenomenal and even more empowering than described to me by all the parents!! I don’t think there was one kid who didn’t run up to him and high five or hug him after the race!
Here are some pictures of the youth team practicing from the past several weeks. Parents, feel free to share more pictures if you would like!!
We have had a great turnout this year for the first ever season for grades 1-6. The parents help in coaching has been wonderful. I am confident that next year we will be able to enroll more students as we continue to grow this program. We have even had help from previous college cross country students who are excited to share their time!