Don't forget your running logs--here is a template:
Measured distances around town:
Center School: 100m, 200m, 400m
Lawrence Drive (starting at intersection with Blueberry Hill Road): 100m, 200m, 400m
Westmoreland Ave-->Farmington Ave (along Longmeadow Street sidewalk): 400m
*Gold medal standard
We have taken some time to set out the policies and rules for the Fall 2020 cross country program after having reviewed the state guidance for youth sports and the MIAA rules for cross country competition. Many of these rules are born of the restrictions imposed by the Covid crisis which has disrupted many of our usual routines and caused the cancellation of the in-person spring youth track season and most summer camps.
We intend to adhere to these rules, but we do not have the capacity to police reluctant mask wearers or folks who want to rebel at these inconveniences. Please review these rules and if you do not want to comply with them, we would advise seeking a full refund of your registration fee now. If you honestly think that your child, despite your wishes, cannot or will not comply with the rules, then we would advise dropping out now. It pains us to adopt such a stance given our emphasis over the years on inclusiveness and meeting each child where they are. However, the choice between having the rules (and complying with them) and not having them is the choice between having a cross country program or not. If an athlete cannot comply with these rules, he/she will be removed from the program.
We will be meeting next to the tennis courts at Bliss Park. Middle School and Elementary Schoolers will be at opposite ends of the tennis courts and will not mingle during practices. The two groups will functionally be separate programs at practice. At pick-up and drop-off, parents must stay in their cars. This is all to comply with the requirement of keeping gatherings under 50 and as small as possible. If parents wish to communicate with coaches, they should email Cari or Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. We can also arrange phone calls to answer questions or address concerns.
Monday and Thursday Practices
The middle school and elementary school groups will be divided into sub-groups of 10 or fewer athletes, which will be consistent through the season. The sub-groups will be physically separated from each other by at least 14 feet. Masks must be worn at the outset of practice while coaches are talking to the athletes and while they are doing stretching or strengthening exercises. In other words, they need to wear masks any time they are not actively running. Athletes will need to get used to taking on and off their masks at appropriate times. We recommend shorts with pockets or being able to tuck masks into the waistbands of shorts.
Unlike prior years, we will not have a collective water source. Each child must bring their own water bottle. Athletes should wear comfortable clothing and sneakers with shoelaces that tie (recommended) to every practice and race. The Board of Health also recommends mosquito and tick repellent.
Since this is a long distance running sport, most of the time is spent on running. The guidelines do not permit pack running, but practically speaking, our runners have tended to string out according to their own pace anyway. An athlete can run with *one* other person, but they must be six feet apart. If the running path is wide enough, they may run abreast. If the path narrows to not allow this, they must run single file, keeping at least 6 feet apart. If an athlete stops running along the route because they are too tired and need a brief break, the mask must go back on.
Middle schoolers will be running on sidewalks and dirt paths in Bliss and Laurel parks and in adjacent neighborhoods. The running routes may take them a mile or more from the starting point, and the routes will be clearly communicated and maps, as necessary, will be provided. Coaches will use rubber gloves while handing out maps.
5th grade elementary school runners will also be permitted to run beyond the confines of Bliss Park. The routes will again be clearly communicated to the runners.
2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade elementary runners will stay within Bliss Park. Because of the need to avoid pack running and the need to allow each runner to find their own pace (the latter has always been true), the children will be spread out as they run their loops. As a result, it is not possible for a coach to have an eye on each runner at every moment. These elementary runners will start running around the loop path around the baseball fields and will progress to the dirt paths in the woods behind the ball fields. The route within the woods will be well-marked, and the runners must stay on that route and not take other paths.
Saturday morning races / outside competition
We will continue our Saturday morning races. They will be at Bliss or Laurel Parks at the 2K distance. The races will be run in waves. One parent spectator will be allowed per child, and the parent spectator area will be separate from the athletes. Parents will need to wear masks and maintain a distance of 6 feet while watching our races.
Ordinarily, we would be aiming for the end-of-year elementary and middle school state meets in November. To this point, we have no information about those competitions happening, and we already know that the Wayland Cross Country Festival, which we always do, is not taking place this year. As we receive more information about outside competitions, we will pass them on.
Our Saturday morning 2K races this year will be different this year:
1. We will have two races to keep our gatherings to less than 50. The first race will be the elementary runners at 8:30 and the middle school runners at 9:00 am. We will begin promptly at 8:30.
2. One parent/spectator per child allowed and parents/spectators must maintain 6 feet distance or wear masks. Spectators cannot be with their children at the start.
3. The races will start in the corner of Bliss Park that leads to the trails in the woods. The finish will be near the Laurel Street parking lot.
4. The races will be run in waves with 3 minute intervals. For elementary, it will go: 5th grade, then 4th grade, then 2nd/3rd grade. For middle school, it will go 8th grade, then 7th grade, then 6th grade.
5. If middle school runners arrive before the elementary school race is done, please stay in your cars.
6. Only athletes registered with the program can run.
7. Athletes must wear their mask prior to the race and after. Same rule as in practice: mask must be on unless actively running.
8. Runners must maintain 6 feet distance while passing.
9. After the race is over please head out and we will announce results on the website later on Saturday or Sunday.