By James Yang (22S03O), Boys’ Captain and Ng Kai Yi (22S03F), Girls’ Captain
Cross country may seem mad to some people. Who will enjoy enduring the hot Singapore sun, doing seemingly meaningless laps upon laps? Indeed, it is a painful, boring affair, in which each runner senselessly pursues the finishing line.
And we love it.
There is a special kind of beauty that we see in the things we do. Sure, the trainings are tiring, and you might dread the days before the 5km time trial. However, the utter satisfaction after crushing it is always worth the initial apprehension and physical strain. There is contentment in getting a job well done, and knowing that your efforts in training and preparing yourself finally paid off. The joy of holding a trophy or a medal in hand knowing that it is entirely attained through your hard work is indescribably satisfying, and the only way to feel it is to try it for yourself. Most of all, we also start to appreciate the simple things in life, such as just how good plain water tastes in your parched throat after an hour of hard running under the sun.
The journey to greatness isn’t always alone, however. We are a small cca with passionate individuals who all believe in the power and beauty of what we do, and thus are closely bonded together. We share moments of pain as we go through our workouts, encouraging each other to push ourselves to our limits, as well as moments of camaraderie when we achieve success together. Through our time together, we have definitely grown in our characters too, by cultivating values of self-discipline, time management, and resilience that is critical for success both in running and in life. By joining Cross Country, you will definitely meet a bunch of motivated individuals with similar interests as you, and even make friends for life.
We have official trainings 3 times a week, typically Monday, Wednesday and Friday, under the guidance of our friendly coach Mr Lim Kien Mau. Two out of three of these sessions will be on the school track doing interval runs, while the last one is usually a long run session to build up base fitness. Under the covid restrictions, we have also adapted to a new mode of operation, where the coach will send us the training plan for the week on Mondays, which we do on our own time on training days, and the team meets up on Wednesday mornings after workouts for strength and conditioning exercises. Besides scheduled trainings, you are also expected to do easy runs on your own on off-days, to further build up your basic aerobic fitness. Typically, the competition season will begin in March, and the annual cross country nationals is held at Bedok reservoir. We also occasionally take part in track-and-field events, such as 800m, 1500m and 3000m.
If you think you have what it takes to be a runner, then we welcome you with open arms. No prior experience is required, but it will definitely help if you have a decent amount of fitness to begin with. Be warned though, you will definitely face challenges, and the sport will demand from you a strict adherence to schedule and perseverance to carry through. However, you are never alone. With support from our teachers-in-charge, Mr Teo Hui Koon, Ms June Tan, and Ms Esther Lee, as well as the support from your peers, we have confidence that you will thrive. Here’s looking forward to you joining us as a member!
*Cover image taken in accordance with SMMs during the prior phase of Covid-19 measures.