Elementary students from around the South Cariboo headed to the 108 Mile Ranch on May 18 to outpace fellow racers and achieve personal bests at the annual Cross Country Run.
Approximately 320 students from Grade 2 to 7 raced around the 108 Greenbelt behind Mile 108 Elementary School. Grade 2 and 3 students ran a 1.5 km loop towards Sepa Lake, Grades 4 and 5 ran a 2.5 km loop along the lake, and Grades 6 and 7 ran a “grueling” 3.5 km loop.
“It’s quite a challenging course,” says Stephen Almond, a teacher at Mile 108 Elementary and one of the run organizers. “There are hilly sections, there are narrow sections. Even though the course is checked for hazards there are roots and sticks and even bridges over water.”
Each school could bring as many participants as they wanted. Almond says schools have been increasing their participation every year.
“The kids have been training probably for about six weeks and it’s participation-oriented, so anybody who wants to run and train can come and be involved in the race.”
Students could earn points for their schools as well as placing in their individual categories.
“From our standpoint, in cross country running you are really trying to run against yourself and try to run the best you can,” says Almond. “In some cases, finishing the course is a challenge.”
Older Mile 108 Elementary students and volunteers helped man the course and check in racers after they finished. This is the third year the races have been held at the 108.
“It was a nice day and the kids had a lot of fun,” says Almond.
100 Mile House Elementary won the larger-schools category, while Forest Grove Elementary School took home the gold for the small schools.