The Student News Site of Taipei American School




The good, the bad, and the painful


Almost a year ago to this day, TAS’s Leon Y. (Class of 2016) won the 5km race at IASAS Cross Country by an astonishing seventeen seconds. Leon has since flown off to college, as have other accomplished TAS runners like Kristina K. (Class of 2016) , TAS girls’ highest finisher in 2015. This year, IASAS XC will be hosted here at TAS from October 20-22 for the first time since 2008, with 35 visiting runners from 5 other schools. But with the loss of so many leaders from last year, new faces will need to step up.

2015 co-MVP April C. (12) has taken on the mantle of leadership for the girls’ XC team, and she is eagerly awaiting the chance to take on the IASAS competition one last time. She says, “Having the Pi twins as co-captains makes me more excited than pressured for home IASAS.” She identifies the well-roundedness of the team as one of their main strengths this year, pointing out how the girls’ team is filled with athletes who “can sprint up hills,run forever, or outsprint everyone in the last 400 [meters].”

Boys’ XC captains Ryan W. (12) and Garett H. (11) hope to fill the massive shoes left behind by Leon, whom Garett calls “one of the greatest to ever run in a TAS uniform.” They have welcomed a slew of new additions such as Timothy F. (11), and Garett notes that every XC runner, from the most experienced senior to the newest freshman, is “extremely fit, passionate, and hardworking”.

Both the Boys’ and Girls’ cross country teams have been training all summer in 30+ degree heat to prepare for the upcoming IASAS event. During the summer, the girls ran about 50 kilometers per week, and co-captains Victoria P. (12) and Patricia P. (12) even flew to Kenya for a training camp. They described it as “absolutely amazing”, noting how they became “more motivated to run when [they] saw runners from all over the world train together at any time of day.” Garett also ran over 50 kilometers per week, equivalent to going from TAS to Taipei 101 and back—twice.

However, XC training emphasizes both quantity and intensity. Every sport uses a specific dreaded workout to ensure that they have the grit and toughness to compete: drills like basketball’s 17s or girls’ soccer’s 7-minute mile have gained cult-like status. The Cross team’s equivalent to this is the VO2 max, the mere mention of which makes seasoned runners tremble in their spikes and beg their coaches for mercy. Thomas C. (11) views it as a rite of passing, declaring that “You are not a true part of the XC family until you do the VO2. It hurts more than your crush rejecting you, and that’s what makes us Cross Country boys strong.”

Seventeen days remain until the starting gun of IASAS Cross Country 2016. Both Garett and April concur that “our biggest advantage this year will be having the home crowd to cheer us on as we race.” Come and support the Tiger Cross Country runners, as they seek reward for months of muscle aches more painful than a broken heart!

IASAS Cross Country 2016 will take place at Taipei American School from October 20-22, 2016. The 5km race will be held on October 21, and the 3km time trial on October 22.

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