Area runners kick off new XC season

The start of the 2012 cross country season is still a month away, but area runners gathered this week at East Union, preparing for the upcoming year.

Fifty local athletes spent the week at the school, where they worked with coaches, both in the classroom and outdoors, something East Union head coach Nathan McLellen feels will get the runners excited for the season.

“The main reason we wanted to do this was just to have a kickoff to the cross country season, get the kids excited,” he said. “We opened it up to kids from any school, not just East Union.”

Runners from Ingomar, Myrtle, South Pontotoc and the Spartans group took part in the camp, working in the classroom, learning about nutrition and strategy as well as running. Helping McLellen with the camp were East Union assistant coach Jennifer Bruce and Spartans coach Heather Duley.

“We have classroom sessions, where we teach them about nutrition, how to race, race strategy, and for the beginners, we teach them what the sport is, how to eat and practice and even what to wear to practice, just the basics,” McLellen said. “Then we have a practice after that.”

 The cross country season will begin in early September.