From the 28-30th of November 2019 I was extremely fortunate to attend the annual SEASAC Cross Country meet hosted by Garden International. The team was chosen based of only a single 5k time (19:45) and training on Mon, Tue and Thurs. I was seeded the slowest in the East Dragons, and was the only one who had never been to a XC SEASAC before. Basically I was the rookie (despite being the oldest). I didn’t let this slow me down as it was actually a nice change to be the underdog coming as a veteran swimmer. There are two races across 2 days: on the Friday the 5km individual, and on Saturday the 3km relay. The course was by far the hardest thing I had ever ran in my entire life, it was off road, in the mud, with so many hills I couldn’t tell if I was elevated or not.
Going into the race I felt as prepared as I ever have and excited. I realised that I hadn’t really been excited to race in a very long time as swimming has become more of a chore. With a new team and a new challenge I was more than ready to prove myself. And so I did. I ran the fastest time I had ever done, 19:22, despite the hard course, securing me 4th of east boys (fractions of seconds in front of Sean) and 16th over the whole meet. The second day was the 3k relay and for me this was much harder. Despite the shorter distance, there was a lot more pressure on me to go fast and I was not used to racing 2 days in a row. My muscles were already sore yet I have to push through the pain and finish strong. One of the hardest parts of the race was that we already had a significant lead thanks to the 3 people who went before me, this was difficult as I didn’t have anyone to pace or run with so I was running by myself at the front. Being a little less experienced I wasn’t sure how fast I should of been going or when to push harder. In the end we pulled through with first place on the boys side. Dover narrowly beat the girls overall.
I was thrilled with my times as in just a short amount of time I had improved so much. Another great thing about this meet was spending time with new people. The coaches and other runners were definitely a change of pace from what I’m used to and a breath of fresh air. Huge thanks to Mr. Dunn and the other coaches for spending their time to better us.
Something else I especially enjoyed was spending time with Dover. Over the time of the meet due to connections through swimming, I was able to bring the sister schools together and we ended up bonding quite well. Additionally, it was nice to see Dover and East come first and second within each gender.
Overall SEASAC cross country was different to the 5 other swimming SEASACs I had been to as there was real pressure. What I did affected the whole team and our standings against others, something that has been becoming less and less evident in SEASAC swimming. It reminded me of the good old days when I first started racing, before I cared about times or technique. I was there to race the person in front of me and to re-live that feeling was a real joy.
Learning outcomes and reflection questions topics included:
- Big picture (Goals, Action and Learning)
- LO 1 AWARENESS (Increased awareness of strengths and areas for growth)
- LO 2 CHALLENGE (Undertaken new challenges)/NEW SKILLS (Developing new skills)
- LO3 INITIATIVE (Planning and initiated activities)
- LO 4 COMMITMENT (Showing perseverance, resilience and commitment in activities)
- LO 5 COLLABORATION (Working together to achieve an outcome)
- LO 6 GLOBAL VALUE (Engaging with issues of global importance)
- LO 7 ETHICS (Considering the ethical implications of actions)