Yesterday, a few of the cross country team members and I packed off to Glasgow to participate in the SSS XC Championships. In the three races I have participated in this season, this was by far the most challenging; not due to hills, not due to distance, but because of mud. There was also a really difficult back section to the course, into the wind, and through a marshy bog. Though it appeared as a straightforward piece of terrain, one’s feet only sunk deep into soggy, squishy grass. How tiring!
These races, though, are what I look forward to on my weekends. I enjoy the opportunity to spend time with some kindred spirits, being outdoors, and competing once again. I also take pleasure in observing how each adventure unfolds in a very similar way. We all start out a little quiet and shy on the ride there, but as the day progresses, we end up bonding and having a great time.
Joining the cross country team here has been one of the best decisions I have ever made since I arrived at St Andrews. Though I am still competitive at heart, the fact that these races are for fun, without the pressure of points, varsity places, and school records is very liberating. Everyone is simply in for the fun of it, and the chance to make some new friends.
Originally written 18 November 2012