Pre-Race--Get acquainted with the race course and look for strategic spectator points, as well as the start and finish points. It is also helpful to identify the Mt. Carmel team uniforms. Our teams will be in new uniforms this year so it should be easy to spot them.
Be aware that numerous races will be run during the course of the meet. A cross country meet may last anywhere from two hours to a full day. Races will be organized by either the numbers of schools entered, grade levels of the runners, or school sizes. You can find out beforehand what time your son/daughter is racing and in which particular race.
You should not expect or demand the attention of your son/daughter once they have joined their team at the race site. They need time to jog the course beforehand, and to mentally and physically prepare for the race with the coach and the rest of the team.
During the Race--Cross country is not a sport that is observed from a stationary point (i.e. Bleachers) There are many ways for a spectator to enjoy watching a race. While good areas to watch are always the start and finish, you may move from point to point along the course to cheer on the runners as they pass by. However, spectators should always be aware of where the race course is and take caution to stay off the course and out of the runners way. Also be aware that it is against the rules of the sport to run alongside a runner and pace them while encouraging them on. You also cannot give them water either. Also do not give instructions to runners as which direction to run. That is their responsibility to know the course. A few years ago a parent directed one of our races off course because they thought they knew what they were doing. All of the runners were disqualified for going off course.
Post-Race--After a runner comes through the finish chute and receives a place card, it is their responsibility to report directly to the coach or scorers table and turn in the place card so that team results may be figured out.
Be aware that runners have certain responsibilities after they finish a race. We require runners to warm down as a team after the race as well as actively support teammates who are still running or have yet to race.
It is important to note: after a race, a runners will possibly be more spent than you would anticipate. Symptoms may include rubbery knees, general weakness, the appearance of fainting, glassy eyes, nausea, and salivating. These symptoms usually pass quickly. A mistake parents often make at a race is to take their son/daughter off by themselves and try to take care of them. Please don't do this. All of our coaches are trained in first aid, are aware of these physical reactions, and have both the responsibility and ability to help take care of them.
It is also important to note that immediately after a race (0-15 minutes) it is best to let your son/daughter drink water. Products like Gatorade are sweet and sometimes can induce nausea for the athlete.
Note: Many parents are surprised at the seriousness that their son/daughter shows when racing. The intensity of the race can bring about parts of a young athletes personality that parents have never seen and are many times surprised by.
Additionally -- parents must understand that by state law we are responsible for your son/daughter after the meet. Please do not just take your son/daughter home after a meet without checking with me. We can release them only to you with prior written approval from the office.