The Concord Academy Cross Country (XC) team has stayed connected this season through the activity the Journey Across the Journey. Initiated by their coach, Jonathan Waldron, the Journey across the Journey includes adding up the miles every individual runs or walks, and seeing how far across the country the team gets as a collective. 

“[Our coach] really makes it super fun. Each day after practice, he’ll email us where we are as a team and fun facts about that place as well,” Lilia Kasdon ’22, a junior on the CA XC team, shared. According to Lilia, the team has now covered 2618 miles together and have reached Columbus, Montana after arriving at Gregory, South Dakota, and Newcastle, Wyoming.

As some students choose to stay remote this season, it seems harder for the sports teams to stay connected. Allie Ehlinger ’22 said, “This season does feel different because we have so few practices and it’s harder to talk to people when we are there… as we all wear masks and practice social distancing.”

Altea Thompson ’21, a senior on the team, emphasized similar feelings, “With distancing protocols, we [can no longer] run in big groups… and continue the traditions that involve food or close contact.”

It was because of this special situation that Waldron started the Journey Across the Journey, hoping to bond with team anticipation in team activities though she’s injured this season. Lilia said, “I felt part of the team through [this activity]. I’m able to walk, and by walking, the miles count [as part of the Journey].” Altea also indicated that the special circumstances have connected the team members in a unique way. She said passionately, “We might not be running in competitions together, but the team is incredibly motivated, so we work together to push each other during our practices. I am so grateful to wrap up my CAXC experience with these amazing ladies.” 

As Lilia and Altea indicated, the Journey makes everyone feel included as part of the team despite their physical distances and different degrees of experiences with XC. After all, like Allie said, XC is all about “being with friends out in nature… and [running on] routes where the leaves change colors.” Through the Journey, the CA XC team has definitely achieved a collaborative and refreshing experience this fall.