BY BAILEE COFER
The telltale signs of an ending summer are beginning to appear on Drake’s campus.
First-year students roam the hallways wondering where room 212 is, one or two people have contracted pink eye from the foam party, the Drake squirrels are tying on their dinner bibs and the ever-present background noise of coaches on blow horns drifts in from the stadium. Many a student dreads this time of the year—but not the cross-country runner.
The cross-country runner has spent the past three months rolling out of bed before dawn, lacing up their shoes and plodding out into the dark and empty streets to get in a bout of training before the heat hits. For the past three months, the lonely dirt roads and their own shadow have been the cross country runner’s only companions on these largely solo runs, save the blessed days that some brave soul has stepped forth to join them. For the past three months, the cross-country runner has watched the summer drip slowly on by, patiently waiting for its end.
It is important to note that the cross-country runner does not dislike the summer months, though they may be tedious and oftentimes treacherous as the runner reteaches their body how to move fast and far. Rather, the summer months are similar to the weeks leading up to Christmas that a child experiences— anticipation of the joy that awaits, if only he or she can be good for the next few weeks.
So too does the cross country runner anticipate the beginning of the season in the fall, all while putting in mile after mile in chase of a stellar season, which will surely be had if only they can stay healthy these next few weeks.
The weeks have now passed and the time has finally come. It is the cross-country runner’s long- awaited awakening.
Each week this column will discuss the riveting happenings of the Drake University men and women’s cross country teams as we train, pace and race. Our first meet is next Friday at the University of Iowa—a low-key opener to gauge the team’s fitness levels and a starting point for creating goals and plans to reach them.
The teams have been fortunate to add on a large group of freshmen and are also in the middle of a search for a new head track and field coach. It shall be a year of many changes and new beginnings.
We aspire to get better each meet, and after each meet we will share one athlete’s new best mark, so be on the lookout for those once the racing gets underway.