Cross Country races occur at courses all over the state, some nearby and some further away. I enjoy the road trips that get me to the courses and I’ve found plenty of pretty parks in the process. Last week, JT’s team completed against a local school at Natirar Park, a lovely, hilly park that was a former estate. JT has run here before and that’s an important thing in cross country because it’s hard to lead a race if you don’t know the path to run.
Natirar has wide swathes of green grass, woods, and hills. The race starts in the middle of a big field, and then sweeps through the woods and up the hill seen here. From there, the course rolls up hills in and out of the woods.
JT started strong and as I glimpsed him running in and out of the woods, he moved into first place. That’s where he finished the race.
He didn’t run a personal best time, but it’s his first race with a first place finish and he was best pleased by that development.
Cross Country fans are the best. They cheer for everyone; it’s not a sport with contact or personal fouls and the fans reward effort as much as they cheer victory. We stay until every runner crosses the finish line. I’ve spent plenty of time cheering my son as he finished a race in the back half of the crowd and always I've been proud of his effort. But I have to say the first was pretty damn sweet as well.