It has been over nine months since I
wrote my blog wrapping up last season. It
feels like it hasn't even been nine weeks.
While I wasn't writing blogs or racing, I
was training for the Boston Marathon or
doing some charity runs. But now I'm back to
MVNU and it is time to start a new chapter
in my cross country career.
My name is Nate Winters and I am a senior
on the cross country team. I'm a chemistry
major from Hilliard, Ohio, and I've run for
four years here at MVNU. I'm also on student
government, so my first week of practice was
split between student government planning
sessions and practices. I think that this is
going to be a great year for MVNU cross
We returned most of the runners we had
last year. We lost two seniors, but gained
two freshmen - Chris Rednour (Mark's
brother) and CJ Larue - and senior Chad
Lawver. I think they are all going to be
great additions to our team this year
(running-wise and personality-wise). Another
great addition to our team is Todd Hawkins.
Todd is going to be our assistant coach this
season. Todd is the man to go to when you
want to know anything about the marathon, or
if you want to meet someone who can run
really fast marathons. I'm really excited to
have all these new faces around this year.
Our first week has been a bustle with
activity. We had our first practice on
Friday and then had a two-mile, two-person
relay race for area junior high and high
school teams on Saturday. This was a fun way
for teams to start the year before they dive
into the competitive racing season. Since
school has already started for Coach Wilson,
we couldn't really go anywhere for team
camp. However, Coach did come up with some
great activities for us to do, and we got to
make some day trips so that we got to see
some different scenery on our runs. On
Monday, we went to the Kokosing River Lake
in Fredericktown in the morning and to
Highbanks Metro Park in Columbus in the
afternoon. Both of these places are two of
my favorites because of the scenery that
they provide. After we ran at Highbanks, we
went to Fleet Feet to get some new shoes,
and then to Noodles & Co. for dinner (all
runners love pasta).
Tuesday morning, we loaded up some
vehicles and went to the town of Danville.
We ran the 4.5-mile trail to the "Bridge of
Dreams", the longest covered bridge in Ohio.
Some of the brave ones cooled down in the
murky water by swinging into the water from
a rope. That night, Coach said we looked
tired after our 4-mile time trial, so he
decided to take us to his house for a movie
instead of going to a Columbus Clippers'
game (good decision). The movie of choice
was Soul Surfer, a very inspirational film
On Wednesday, we went back to Apple
Valley for a team campfire. We circled the
wagons around the fire and settled in for a
good time. A very competitive game of corn
hole overshadowed the team bonding that went
on. Two of our team's three Eagle Scouts
ingeniously started the fire and kept it
going. S'mores were made and junk food was
passed around. A couple musicians on the
team played worship songs on their guitars,
while the rest of us sang or pretended to
sing. Coach organized a "Get-to-know time"
with an interesting question that prompted
interesting answers. "What is something that
you haven't done, but would like to do in
the future?" (Naz appropriate, of course).
Apple Valley was a beautiful getaway for
the team to kick back and relax. We then
devoured our Subway sandwiches in the mellow
confines of King Beach, located in the heart
of Apple Valley. As we were eating, we
conversed with the new faces on the team and
shared a few laughs. Then it was time to GET
YOUR TUBE ON!! Coach Wilson's father in-law
has a nice boat, which gave us a whirlwind
of a ride on the busy waters. While people
were waiting for the next boat ride, they
played volleyball, Frisbee, and threw the
ol' pigskin around. King Beach was a
happening place this day because of the
awesome weather, which brought out many
unique people. The ride on the tube was a
thrill in itself. The waters were rough and
the turns were sharp. Little Jake Pessia
could not hold on any longer and splash!!
The fun in the sun wore on people and after
six hours it was time to head back to MVNU.
Later that evening, people got hungry and
grouped up in packs of seven and went to
several of Mount Vernon's finest restaurants
- Fiesta Mexicana and Alison's Finer Diner.
The day was a success and the night was
After a busy week of non-stop activities
Thursday night was a night to do nothing and
relax, but some of the team got together
anyways and watched "Date Night" movie.
Friday mornin,g we had an easy 6-mile run,
then we spent the rest of the day avoiding
the move-in day chaos.
We have our first
race coming up this week. Thursday, we are
running a 5k at Kenyon. The ladies run at
6:30 p.m. and the men run at 7 p.m. If
you're in the area and want to see a good
race, you should come!
Note: I would
like to give big thank you shout-outs to
Jace Wolford and Kathleen Finley. Jace
co-wrote this week's blog, writing about the
parts I missed when I was doing student
government stuff, and Kathleen took the