It breaks my heart to write this.
Our cross-country season has come to a close. Last weekend, on Nov. 4, the cross-country athletes of Quesnel Junior School and Correlieu Secondary School competed in the very thing we have been training for the entire season: Cross-country Provincial Championships.
On Thursday, Nov. 2, most of our team went down to Vancouver on a bus with the rest of the champs from the northern zone. Fifty athletes is a lot to keep in a confined space for a long period of time. I am glad my family drove down, or else the smell alone may have been enough to put me out of the race.
The team arrived two hours behind schedule due to a collision blocking the highway through the canyon; but at least everyone had ample time to get acquainted.
The following day we all met up at Jericho Beach, to check out where the race was to be held. There couldn’t have been a better time; the day was falling off the tail end of autumn and riding along the brink of winter. The only leaves to be seen were those covering the ground in orange mounds. The air was cool but the sky still bright, a perfect day for running. I’m just sorry that I can’t say the same for race day.
It was not that the weather was horrible on Nov. 4; the morning forecast indeed looked quite promising. But looming clouds and even light overcast clouds weigh heavy in the back of any racer’s mind.
Most of the team arrived between 9 and 9:30 a.m. The first race – junior girls – began at 10 a.m. sharp, with 45 minute segments between each age group. By the time the first heat started coming across the finish line, it had begun to snow.
Now, at first we felt surprise, perhaps a little excitement; but then came the dread. It was hardly -1 degrees Celsius; we were dead certain the snow would melt (and therefore melt into our shoes and wreck the trail and… oh my, the stress sure settled in nicely).
But something was on our side that day. Whether, Chance, or Karma, Beginner’s Luck, perhaps just natural thermal dynamics; whatever made it so, the snow stayed. And oh, it was beautiful.
I am proud once again to say just how fantastic our team is. So many different young adults, so many different strengths and weaknesses, different body types and pain tolerances. We are diverse at the least, and I couldn’t wish for a better team. We worked hard to get to provincials, and we didn’t let a single person doubt our place amongst the crowd. Every one of us that crossed that finish line did so with a sense of closure. We were all happy to be finished the race. As relieved as we were to be done with the cold season, I think there will be a lot of familiar faces returning next year. I don’t regret a thing, and nothing will keep me from coming back.
I had the pleasure of witnessing, first hand, the growth of team as a whole and as individuals throughout the season. And oh, it was beautiful.
This is a column written jointly by Abby Fisher and Katherine Osmond, both Correlieu students. Abby and Katherine both have a passion for writing and hope to learn and improve their skills over the course of this year.