No Pain No Gain

It’s early fall, the leaves blow gently in the trees above, the sun rises on the horizon…then a gun goes off. Suddenly this amicable scene is interrupted by the thunder of hundreds of kids flying out of the gates. This is cross country season-the most painful, yet rewarding sport in the school.  

3.1 miles is the name of the game. How much faster can you go than the guy in front of you? In the words of Coach Stange, “You should not feel comfortable during a race.” Racing is all about finding your limits, and then shattering them, going until the brink of exhaustion.  

Understandably, this doesn’t sound like the most fun thing in the world, but there’s something special in constantly testing your physical and mental limits, to see yourself achieve goals and become a champion. Every day during practice you run with a sense of purpose, grit, and determination to improve your time in the next race.  

No accomplishment in school will feel more fulfilling and deserved than finishing a race, and beating not only other runners, but setting a personal best, which is the pinnacle of racing. Team comradery is off the charts between JV, Varsity, and other non-scoring runners. This makes for superb racing experiences- having your good friends and teammates cheering you on and congratulating you at the end of a hard race.  

Here at Towson we have a talented group of runners who are excellent on the course and off it too. A little-known fact is that both boys and girls cross country teams have won four regional titles in a row, going on a fifth this year. 

It takes the attitude of a winner and extreme toughness to win big races like regionals, as junior Claire Briglio explains: “It’s really taxing, mentally and physically, but the feeling you get when you cross the finish line is like nothing else.” 

The outstanding people and coaches we have here at Towson provide a very warm and welcoming team environment where personal development is of the utmost importance, and every team member, fast or slow, is praised simply for the fact that they decided to come out and preform.  

In the end, the apprehension, exhaustion, joy, mental and physical battles are the side effects of running, a sport with longstanding tradition and prestige that we continue by lacing up a pair of shoes and going out for a run every day.