What shoes and clothes will the runner need?
Make sure the athlete has a good pair of running shoes. Be sure they fit well and aren’t too worn out, which could cause foot, leg and back pain. Cleats are not required for races. If temperatures are 60 and above, shorts and t-shirts are adequate. In cooler weather, long sleeves and pants would be best. Always bring a jacket/sweatshirt when cooler for when the kids are waiting during meets for their turn to run. During meets, the team uniform can be worn over top of warmer clothes.
Are there races or practice when it’s raining?
YES! Unless there are severe storms and lightening, practices and races will be as scheduled. If it ain’t rainin’, it ain’t trainin’! It’s good to have the kids run in all types of weather at practice, because we never know what race day might bring.
What drinks & fuel should we bring to practice/races?
Always bring a water bottle! A cooler is available for refills. Prior to practice, eat a light snack 30 minutes beforehand. At meets, it’s a good idea to bring snacks since it can be a long day, but keep them light. A kid with a full belly will not be happy when they run. Try and schedule meals so they are at least an hour before running or are after the race/practice is over. Good snack choices prior to a run are bananas, pretzels, toast & peanut butter, apples and oatmeal. Stay hydrated during the days prior to a race, and be sure the runner gets plenty of rest.
What else should we bring to races?
It’s a good idea to bring folding chairs, snacks and appropriate weather gear (e.g., raincoats, umbrellas, etc.). Be sure and bring many friends and family to cheer the runners on! Be sure and bring some cash — a few races charge for parking (we usually know in advance), and many races have snacks and t-shirts for sale.
What happens on race day?
When you arrive to the race location, look for the black and red Dunn Dolphin tents. This is home base for the team during the race, where we hang out between heats. Find the volunteer at the tent who is handing out bib numbers and attach the bib to the front of the runner’s uniform shirt. There will be a walk-through of the course with the coaches prior to the race. Watch the race schedule so you know when to get your runner over to the starting line with the coaches. During the race, try and find one or more locations where you can cheer your runner on. The runners will exit through the chute at the finish, where you can then meet up with them. Be sure and stay afterwards for trophies and team pictures!
How are Cross Country meets scored?
In certain sports like soccer, or basketball it seems obvious to the viewer how points are scored, but it is less obvious in cross country. The place values of the top five runners are added together, and this number is our team’s score. If a runner is not from a team (their school has less than 5 runners), their place is not counted in the team score. Therefore, the places may not be exactly how your child finished. For example, in the girls race at Shelby County, we received these places in the girls race (3, 12, 13, 21 27), and our score was 76 points. It is like golf, the goal is to have the lowest score. If two schools are tied, the place value of the 6th place runner determines which team receives the better place. While only our top 5 runners are scored, the other runners on our team are important in that they can push back the place values of runners from other schools to make their team’s score higher.