Pegamigaabo School at Big Grassy River First Nation concluded its fourth season of cross-country running Oct. 29 with a race on their home course.
Leading the 18 boys in the field was CJ Kelly from Onigaming School in a time of 24:39.
The top girl was Karma Andy, from Pegamigaabo School, in 26:29.
A total of 32 boys and girls from area elementary schools completed the challenging course, which included hills, trail, and beach.
An unfortunate misdirection added extra challenge and distance to the race, but in the end all the runners were accounted for.
The top 20 runners were awarded medals while the others were given ribbons to recognize their accomplishment.
Everyone enjoyed refreshments afterwards at the school.
Special awards were given to the youngest boy and girl to complete the race.
Since their season began in early September, Pegamigaabo students travelled to cross-country competitions in Thunder Bay, International Falls, and Duluth.
Mia Seymour and Karma Andy showed particularly strong finishes at the Mid-Canada Elementary Cross-Country Championships in Thunder Bay on Oct. 24, where they finished 49th and 52nd in a field of 153.
Marcus Hunter was the most consistent performer throughout the season for the boys, competing in every race and attending nearly every practice.
Practices were held daily after school for students of all ages. Coaches Roy Tom, Tannis Tom, and Ann Patten directed an hour of training disguised as games, scavenger hunts, running, jumping, and treats.
The students and coaches learned a great deal throughout the season, and are looking forward to continuing the Big Grassy cross-country tradition next fall.