Allen Community College’s Lone Competing Sport – A First Hand Experience

Cross Country teams are having to adjust to competing under heavy restrictions this season.

Cross Country teams are having to adjust to competing under heavy restrictions this season.

Bret Plumlee

If I told you that in a year I would be going to a cross country meet with no fans, you probably wouldn’t be surprised. However, at a normal Cross Country meet there are sometimes more fans than what you see at a basketball or volleyball game. So it is a little bit off-putting to be running in an empty field with a whole bunch of strangers. Lots of precautions had to be taken to make this meet happen.

Firstly, the meet was fenced in with a singular entry/exit point that would be closed at 7 o’clock. Before athletes could even enter the team bus they had to get their temperature taken to ensure that they were not above what is considered a normal temperature of 100.4 degrees. Next, athletes had to make sure that they brought a mask for walking around before they race and while they were warming up. Once the team arrived at the event they had to make sure to grab everything they needed for the next few hours before they would run since nobody would be allowed reentry if after exiting.

After the team had everything they needed gathered up they all had to walk into the competition area together, because they were not allowed to enter without a coach. Before the team could actually enter the event, they had to get their temperature taken a second time to compare what their initial temperature was before they left for the meet. Once granted entry into the event the team walked over to their designated area where they were kept away from all other teams and could take off their masks. To limit time at the meet the teams immediately began their warms ups so that they could be ready for the predetermined starting time.

Once teams completed their warm-ups, they were given disposable masks and instructed by their coaches to head to the starting line five minutes before the race started. The teams were then instructed by the official to remove their disposable masks and throw them away in the buckets behind each team’s starting box. After a quick run through of the starting rules the starting gun was fired and the teams were off. After crossing the line of the 5K women’s race or the Men’s 4 Mile Run, team members were immediately waved back to their warm up areas. The teams packed up and left soon after, as to limit exposure to others.

Despite the lack of fans and family to cheer them on, the ACC Men’s Cross Country team took first place.