Cross-country runners always face grueling courses, tough competition and mental and physical exhaustion.
But sometimes they face other challenges as well.
Mountain View senior Alissa Fielding headed to the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships at Balboa Park in San Diego on Dec. 9, hoping for a strong showing.
The race got put into perspective, however, when she found out her grandfather had died.
“My race today was a little rough,” Fielding said after the race. “My family had a hard weekend, an event that was unexpected. I figured I just had to push through and cross that finish line, so that is what I did.”
She ended up finishing 39th but said that even with the strong emotions she was glad she completed the race.
“I’m pretty proud of myself,” Fielding said. “I figured my grandpa would want me to go through it, so I did.”
Lone Peak senior Justin Hartshorn ended up 32nd in the boys and said he was pleased with how he did.
“I didn’t want to go out super fast,” he said. “I wanted to stay back and see as the race went on if I could move up. I moved from the back to middle of the back but at the end I did all right, so I was happy.”
He said he enjoyed being around all of the other runners from across the country. He recommended that anyone who gets the chance to go to the championships to see it as a great challenge.
“Don’t breeze through it thinking that since you made it there you can just forget about the race and enjoy the weekend,” he said. “My advice is to keep focused and be ready to run like it was any other race.”