Muskie runners beat the heat in Dryden


The Muskie cross-country team performed well at the second and final meet of the season in Dryden on Friday.
Fort High sent seven runners to the run, and coach Natasha Shack was thrilled with how they placed as all seven cracked the top 20 during the five-km race.
Leading the way were Marina Jewell and Jack Hamilton, who both placed sixth in their respective divisions, while Chloe Hudson finished eighth.
The contingent not only had to compete with other runners out on the course, but also with the 27 degree C heat beating down on Dryden that day.
Shack explained the layout of the course made the hot conditions tough to bear.
“It was very warm. It was very tough on the students,” she remarked. “There wasn’t a lot of tree coverage or shading, and it was a hilly course.
“They all did really well,” Shack enthused. “They all finished the races, which was the goal of the day.”
Another factor working against the runners was the typical cross-country training, which prepares them for chillier autumn conditions rather than blazing summer ones.
“Usually for cross-country, we’re cold and trying to stay warm,” Shack noted.
“On Friday, we were trying to make sure they could cool down quickly afterwards.”
Before the race, the Muskie runners cut back on their pre-race activities so as to not let the warm weather get the best of them.
“We do warm-ups with them and we would try to get their body temperature warm before they headed out to warm up their muscles,” Shack explained.
“This one, we were trying to not do too much before the race, just trying to keep them rested going into it because it was very warm.”
Shack was pleased to see the runners could maintain their pace throughout the race, noting, in particular, that Hamilton was leading a pack heading into the final kilometre and slowing down likely would have dropped him to anywhere from eighth to 12th.
“It was commendable that the students ran as hard as they ran, and that they completed it considering it was a new course, a hilly course, and the heat,” Shack lauded.