When the girls cross country team’s competitive season was canceled this fall due to COVID-19, head coach Becky Purdy wanted to find a way for the team to work toward a common goal, so she created a virtual across-the-country challenge with her team.
Starting on the Loomis Chaffee campus, the team set a goal to run 2,951 collective miles, taking them (virtually) from the sycamore tree where they meet to practice every day all the way to famous Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, home of the University of Oregon track and field program and many legendary national and international races.
The team began their mission on September 1 and finished their final miles on Saturday, November 7. Their journey took them through Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, and then finally, Oregon. Along the way, Becky posted pictures for the team of towns and scenery from their trek as incentive to keep working toward their goal.
“It was fun,” Becky said. “I think it helped the girls to see that their hard work had a purpose since we didn’t have meets and championships to aim for. They’re a motivated bunch anyway, though, so this was just a little added incentive for their dedication.”
A map of the team’s trek is shown below. The team plans to celebrate the successful cross-country journey with s’mores, Becky said, but that treat will have to wait until after the pandemic subsides.