My Running History, Part 2
Cross country practice on the first day consisted of me, wearing my clunky basketball high top shoes, running around the school yard. I quickly realized that these were not the shoes to wear for long distance running!
Pony shoes (complete with orange stripe - my school colors) and I wore them proudly to top-ten finishes all year. I think I still have the ribbons. My proudest moments of sixth grade cross-country were finishing second to my teammate, the unbeatable Marc Dubbels and a fifth place finish in the city county meet.
Cross-country was never the big name or popular sport, but I loved running. Practice was always just running around the school yard (which I always liked), and meets were fun. Our team was good (we went 1-2-3-4-6 in the meet in which I placed 2nd), so I'm sure that helped.
In the spring, I joined the track team. I got to run around that cinder track (again and again and again). We had a good team again - city meet winners (and I was a double winner, surprisingly taking the 400 and being on the winning 4x100 relay team). During the season, I tried my hand at the 200m, 400m, 4x100 relay, 110m low hurdles, long jump, and shot put. I was a terrible hurdler and shot-putter, and was OK in the long jump - though I never had a realistic chance to win, as Johnny Alsup was on my team, already jumping 18 feet), but I loved the running events (even the sprint relay!).