Nico Wood (center) passed other runners, completing the race in just over 10 minutes.
Submitted by Sophia Bobier; photos courtesy of Gail Swiryn
If you live in Castle Pines, you may have likely heard about the annual Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS) Cross Country Fun Run and Breakfast. Although a relatively new tradition, word spread fast and throngs of people flocked to RHMS to participate. The course included a 1.5 mile run with a breakfast buffet afterward.
Sharon Majetich, an eighth grade social studies teacher at RHMS, has been a part of the run since its inception. She oversees advertising, organizing, cleanup and many other tasks involved with the run. “Watching parents and kids challenge each other on the course is one of my favorite parts of the run,” said Majetich. She is not alone in her mission to make this run gratifying. Gail Swiryn, a sixth grade science teacher at RHMS, has also taken part in the run. Swiryn’s role included greeting parents and taking pictures of the event. “It’s a good way for people to run with their parents and the community,” stated Swiryn.
Eighth grader Katie Dupper participated in the run this year. She started running because everyone in her family runs. Dupper said that she is very uncoordinated, and running was the best alternative to ball sports. She started cross country in sixth grade, then in seventh grade she joined a training club as well. “My favorite part about running is being able to see yourself improve and it’s very versatile – you can do it anywhere with little to no equipment,” Dupper reasoned. Overall, her favorite part of the race was the beginning and end. “It is the most competitive part,” explained Dupper, “and you are less focused on how difficult it is.”
Runners anxiously waited at the starting line.
Out of all the people who took part in the race, eighth grader Nico Wood won the fun run with a total time of 10:21. Wood joined cross country in sixth grade so he could improve strength and stamina for swimming. He was a swimmer before he became a runner but discovered that he enjoys running triathlons and other races. It was no surprise that he won the fun run. When asked about winning the race, Wood simply replied, “I just went out there to have fun with my friends, but it was good to get another day of training in.” Wood revealed that his favorite part of the race was the hills. He pushed himself to climb up them faster than most. This is where he surpassed people ahead of him. “The food was also really nice though,” Wood concluded with a smile.
Overall, the RHMS Cross Country Fun Run was a great way for people to come together and get exercise. Many people will have fun and enjoy the run for years to come.