Members of the cross-country and track teams like to say that “PPXC isn’t a sport – it’s a way of life.” What many may not realize is that this is truer than it sounds.
During the season, all athletes will tell you their training schedules, eating habits, sleep patterns, and involvement in other activities revolve around athletics.This certainly holds true for running.At any given time the men and women of the Pomona-Pitzer track teams set aside the hours of 4 to 7:30 p.m. for running, stretching, sports medicine attention, and dinner, among other things.
Furthermore, though runners often seem able to eat mindlessly, it is important to note that sports nutrition plays a vital role in athletics, especially running.Athletes have to get the proper balance of foods to allow muscles to recover and grow stronger, and to strengthen bones, tendons, and ligaments.Plus, it is important to note that most runners only appear on the social scene around the 5Cs on Saturdays.Why?Because more often than not, runners face a demanding race schedule that dictates an early Friday night bedtime to be well rested for any one of multiple events early Saturday morning.
That said, it is clear enough that runners, like all athletes, are dedicated to their sport while in season and actively part of a team while in school.But that does not necessarily make running a lifestyle.Well then, what does?
Running becomes a lifestyle once runners have left school.When teens and twenty-somethings hit middle age, most athletic competitions ease up or become non-existent.After all, how common is a swim meet for athletes aged 30+?(Discounting professional sports, of course.)Not running.In fact, running is a growing sport nationwide.Its health effects first touted in the 70s, running now finds followers of all ages and of all abilities participating in various events of various distances and notoriety around the world and throughout the year.In fact, it is common to see runners continuing their careers, in different ways, even as their age continues to march on.
“I like to run, so I will definitely keep running.I can see myself moving toward the longer distances, like the marathon, and I am also planning to try an ultra [ultra marathon, longer than the classic 26.2 miles] hopefully!I would love to coach as well, and hope to get involved with a high school program wherever I end up,” said Brian Gilles PO ‘10.
This is what constitutes the running lifestyle.There are runners who are so passionate about what they do that they pursue any means to continue their involvement in the sport. These dedicated runners make running not just an event for the college-aged athlete but an activity to turn to at all times.In fact, some runners already dread the day when their running careers begin to wane.
On a run through the farm, Luke Willert PO ’13 said between breaths, “I know I still have three years of PPXC ahead of me.However, I can’t imagine what it would be like to not run. I think it pretty needless to say that I definitely plan on at least entering some road races, if not joining a club team, once I graduate.”
So, while the way the lifestyle is lived may be different, expect to see runners far and wide looking to stay out on the roads.Be it as a member of a club team, a neighborhood running group, or on his or her own, do not expect runners to forego the joy of hearing their feet hit the pavement anytime soon.
“Running has been an integral part of my life thus far, and I don’t see any reason that it won’t continue to be so,” Gillis said.