If you’re wanting a basic intro to Cary Fire, here’s the deal. We’ll start in June with 3 practices per week usually Monday evening, Wed or Thurs evening, and then Saturday mornings. Locations TBD but likely at area parks in Cary/Apex/Holly Springs.
If you’re brand-new to the sport, get to the place where you can run 2-3 miles without stopping. Running that far is one thing, running without stopping is another. If you can do that, you’ll survive!
The cost is usually around $100 for the first year (1st year has extra cost of running singlet). Fees go to USATF registration and meet costs and a little extra for admin misc.
Meets vary, but if you look at the current meet schedule you get a flavor of what to expect. The goal is to create a “varsity sport” for homeschool cross country runners, so we look for reasonable cost and travel and good competition.
We aim to peak for the state meet in October and the national meet in November. That means we don’t want to kill ourselves in August and September. Which is good, because the heat and humidity in August are brutal.
Cary Fire got its start out of Triangle Cross Country, an area middle school cross country team. They are still in existence and focus on 5th-8th grade runners. For some of you that might be a great fit.
However, when many of our children got into high school there wasn’t an available team that offered (1) real competition, (2) reasonable cost, and (3) a true “varsity sport” kind of experience. So, as happens in the homeschool world, when something doesn’t exist you start it.
For the last several years we’ve been training about three days per week and trying to develop a meet schedule that is centered in this area and against the best competition possible. Some of the invitational meets are against dozens of public and private schools. Other races are neighborhood 5k’s. Sometimes we run against 1-2 other Christian schools or homeschool clubs.
The cross country world is much more freelancing and entrepreneurial than larger sports like basketball and football. A lot of times a coach from a public school can simply decide to add us to their schedule. Each year there is a bit of surprise in how all the meets will fall into place.
Consistent annual meets for us are the state homeschool meet in Greensboro and the national homeschool meet in Nashville, TN. Though we’ve only done it once, the Jungle Run down in Fayetteville is likely to be a staple event.
Running and Christ
Running is one of the great opportunities for character development, and it’s no surprise that “running” is a regular metaphor in the Bible for the Christian life:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us RUN with endurance the race that is set before us. (Heb 12:1)
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1 Cor 9:24–27)
Runing requires focus, determination, grit, self-denial, and the ability to pursue a goal even at great personal cost. That also means it provides a great opportunity to learn the power of prayer, leaning on the strength that God provides, and knowing what it is to actively depend on the Holy Spirit. Running as part of a team also provides lessons in “rejoicing with those who rejoice, and weeping with those who weep” (Rom 12:15). We can’t all win, but we want to be good sports when we don’t.
If you have more questions, send me an email.
So then, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31)