Winter Running Has Earned Its Spot as a Sport


Members of Williston’s own Boys Cross Country team feel that they deserve representation in the winter in the form of a winter running activity after a historic season for the XC program in the fall.
To continue upon their success of the fall, many in the cross country program would like to stick together in the winter and keep running without the burden of having to focus on another athletic/artistic activity. This past fall, ten of the team’s runners grinded their way into a spot on the prestigious Williston honor roll for a top fifteen time in Williston course history; this achievement unfortunately seems to be going unnoticed.
While it is true that it’s possible to run during their free time, it’s getting darker earlier, and the team often finds themselves scrambling to get runs in if they have practices right after school. By the time practices are over it’s already pitch-black outside.
The proposed winter running group would be similar to the AP program, but for athletes who want to prepare for the track season in the spring and future cross-country seasons. This group would promote all the things that Williston’s athletic/artistic programs seek to instill in their participators; those values would be sportsmanship, positive collaboration, and hard work. All it would require is a coach to oversee that these runners are on task.
The wintertime is also notable for its below freezing temperatures; a couple weekly visits to a local indoor track to get runs in, similar to how the skiing team goes off campus to practice, would surely take care of this.
Junior Calvin Klumpp, one of next year’s captain of the cross country team, believes that in order to have a successful track season, it is necessary to get an early start. He also took note of the difficulty to devote time to one activity he’s required to do, while also having the time to get in running workouts.
“Going into a track season without sufficient training tampers with both individual and team abilities as you are then forced to spend time ramping up [for track meets during the spring],” Calvin said. “Without a true running option in the winter, there is almost no time to run with your sport taking up a lot of time and there being very little daylight in the afternoon.”
The cross country team flaunted their depth after placing fifth in the varsity NEPSTA DII XC Championships, and first in the JV portion of the competition. With this victory, the JV team completed an undefeated season, going up against some of New England’s best competitors. After all of this success, members of the team wished to continue to run in the winter as a means to stay in good form.
“This early part of winter is the best time to build your aerobic base and set an important foundation upon which spring speed and endurance will be built,” according to the Canadian Running Magazine.
Junior member of the XCTF programs, Jackson Estes, noted on how it can’t be too difficult to put together a stable winter running program; all that’s needed is an adult to supervise. He also sees a sufficient sum of runners who would be interested in taking part of the activity.
“There are lots of kids who want a winter running program,” Jackson said. “It wouldn’t be that hard to organize/coach.”
After inquiring about the possibility of a winter-running activity, members of the team were denied this opportunity and told to choose one of the other winter programs offered at Williston. While this verdict was completely understandable, as it is a request that has never been made due to the very recent rise of Williston’s running program, it was still a bit upsetting.
Fellow junior runner, Jeffrey Warner, an All-NEPSAC honorable mention recipient, wants to continue his rigorous training, but has found it challenging to get in runs with his busy routine in the afternoons. He feels the winter running program would generate enough popularity between cross country and track athletes to become a sufficient afternoon program. Jeffrey also notices a need to make it an official program with a coach as well, as a means to mitigate getting hurt.
“Williston has two popular and successful running programs (Track, XC) that take place in the spring and fall. The believers in these programs have it tough in the winter, where runners have to fit their miles into another sports schedule, like AP or basketball. A formal winter running option would get rid of a lot of this awkwardness,” Jeff said. “And as much as Williston runners are committed to running regardless of the program or not, a little coach oversight is helpful to injury prevention.”