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Many runners fantasize about losing weight (“Wouldn’t it be nice to lose a few pounds…”).Unlike some athletes who have to lose weight in order to meet a specific division for their sport (such as boxers or wrestlers), runners often choose to target a lower-than-normal weight for a specific race. (Note: Dropping weight once or twice a year is far healthier than trying to keep a low weight all year round!)

The 2022 Ohio High School Athletic Association State Cross Country Championship was held at Fort Obetz, near Columbus. The OHSAA and the many officials and staff staged an outstanding event. Three components of the success of our sport deserve attention:

Many runners feel pressure to have a perfect body, perfect diet, and ideally, perfect races. The stress-inducing trait of perfectionism often pushes runners to not only become stronger and faster, but also leaner and food-phobic. We have seen perfection play out with football phenom Tom Brady.

Thanks to the Internet, we have abundant access to high quality, science-based nutrition podcasts. We also have access to a lot of questionable nutrition information.

In the September/October issue, 2009, of RunOhio, “Life Lessons from Cross-Country” first appeared. In this month’s issue, an updated and revised version of the original article is presented. In an attempt to keep our wonderful sport vibrant and relevant in our athletic world, we must sell it and communicate how special it truly is to parents, coaches, athletic administrators, and others who are involved.

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