Running in the rain in Nashville is a very dangerous proposition. The drivers themselves show little regard for you when the sun is shining anyway, but when the clouds form overhead and the rain starts coming down in sheets, you become absolutely invisible. I suppose it’s not too hard to see why. Anyone with any semblance of common sense shouldn’t be out in running shorts when rivulets are forming on the roadways, but each of the cross country runners here at Belmont are inspired by a multitude of factors to lace the shoes up even as the various animals are lining up two-by-two. Today was one of those days, when each cross of the road becomes an exercise in self-preservation. The men’s team is preparing for a split-squad weekend, with most of us heading to Tuscaloosa to compete in the Crimson Classic on Friday, September 18th. The rest of us will be staying in Nashville for a Saturday morning race out at Percy Warner Park (the site of the Belmont Opener-thanks to all who came out and supported the teams!) sponsored by Vanderbilt. Hopefully the weather cooperates, otherwise it could start to look like Woodstock ’99 out there-without the $7 water bottles, of course. This week should tell the team a lot about what kind of shape we’re in going into some big races next month, including a race at Louisville, Kentucky we go to (mostly) every year and a new race for us in Charlottesville, Virginia. A couple of us are getting back into shape, and some of us are getting acclimated to college running (which, believe it or not, is a lot different from high school training), but everyone is very excited about this season’s prospects. For now, it’s time to pound that wet pavement…and hope that Range Rover on 21st Avenue heeds the “Walk” signal flashing in front of him.
- Kip Hill, Men’s Cross Country RS Jr.