Sometimes you can hear the trees cheering for you. Trail in Grand Haven, Michigan.
Up and away they go.
1. Survey the land.
2. Go run.
Grand Haven High School’s cross-country course finish. I’m a fan of track finishes.
Right: “I’m much more of a veteran now, like I understand pacing. The first year, I didn’t know how to pace. I just went out full speed ahead and just hoped for the best and tried to cling on. But now I understand that pacing is a big importance. You gotta distribute it, you know?”
“I go out by myself sometimes [on easy runs], and I’m just thinking through my mind like, ‘Why am I running? What keeps me going for this?’ I’m still really unsure about it. It’s weird—a weird feeling. But I like it. I like running, but at the same time, I don’t. It’s back and forth, like yin-yang. That’s what running is.”
“During my freshman year, which was last year, I didn’t know anybody since it was my first year coming into high school, and I didn’t have any friends who would run cross-country. It was weird, since it was mostly just focusing on myself. But then I got to meet some of the seniors, who were really kind to me and really cool, really nice to me and everything. I kind of joined their group, and I’m pretty sure that’s the reason why I’m still here today running cross-country—because of the team.”
“Turner Sale is the one that really influenced me in running, because my freshman year, it was my first time running, and he really just motivated me. He told me what to do, like how to get prepared for meets and all that. Whenever we had a race, he always pushed me to beat the guy in front of me. One time he was yelling at me [in the final 100 meters], and I beat about three or four guys.”
Left: “On the bus rides back, [the Trap House Runners] are hanging out, sitting with each other, talking about our race, giving each other advice, talking about injuries you might have, soreness. It’s kind of like a family among the team. … Couple of guys on the team, this is their first year, so it was the older guys giving them advice; don’t go out too fast your first mile, or make sure you have small steps going up the hill, or how to navigate a course that’s really tough.”
“The Trap House Runners started like end of June, beginning of July. On one of the team runs, we took a selfie and kind of just rolled with it from there, started calling ourselves the Trap House Runners. We started hanging out, going to Applebee’s, going to movies and stuff. It really helped bring a lot of the guys together and helped get a couple freshmen interested in what we’re doing. The group is growing.”
“Last season, I really wanted to break 17 minutes [in the 5K], but I didn’t run at all in the summer because I kind of thought I would do it without any work. I was just being dumb. And that definitely did not happen. I was kind of mad about that, and then during my track season, I actually worked in the winter, so I finally had a really good track season. I learned from that dumb thing I did that one summer. So now this season, I’m coming back really strong. I ran a lot this summer.”
“In my freshman year, when I had a really bad race, and after I just came off of like four good races, I was really mad, and [my former coach] was like, ‘It’s just one bad race. You’ll do fine the next time.’ I ended up doing good the next race. [His words] helped a lot. … He didn’t say that much, but when he did say something, it was important.”