Although the University of Richmond’s cross country teams’ seasons are postponed to the spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the teams are still finding a way to compete. In absence of a fall season, the teams have been competing in team time trials around campus. Time trials are simulated running activities that are used to measure a runner's performance outside of an organized race.
Junior Peter Borger, a member of the men’s cross country team, gave his insight on the reasoning for the trials.
“The idea for time trials came from our team being limited in being able to compete against other schools,” Borger said. “We wanted to be able to test our fitness and hard work throughout this challenging season in a way that was also safe.”
These trials, which only include members of the cross country teams, have been occurring every few weeks. The UR track and field teams have also been conducting similar trials in preparation for their anticipated season.
Borger said the UR cross country teams had been running these trials at 5K and 8K distances.
Although UR runners are not competing against other schools, competitiveness is still present during these trials, senior runner Noah Yuro said.
“I believe the time trials serve as an indicator for what we can do in a race rather than a replacement for the race itself,” Yuro said. “No one wants to lose a race, and even though it is just against our teammates, the competitiveness instilled in us by our coaches' guidance and training regiment allows for us to feel the rush of competition that would be absent had we not started competing in time trials.”
First-year runner Elizabeth Stockman reflected on her experience on the cross country team so far and her transition to college running without a true season.
“By running these time trials and running as a team, I have learned to work with my teammates to run faster times,” Stockman said. “Aside from the time trials, I have spent a lot of time getting to know my new teammates and coaches. We have been cross-training and lifting to supplement our running and become stronger.”
However, the trials are not the same as races against other schools, which the Spiders are eager to get back to, Borger said.
“I think that time trials are as close as we can get to racing without racing other schools, but it is definitely not preferred because essentially we are just racing our teammates,” Borger said. “Hopefully the winter cross country season will go forward and we will then be able to compete against other schools.”
Contact sports writer Henry Daniel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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