Ester Marsh column: Does your child like to run?

Published 1:57 am Monday, August 21, 2017

Is your child one of those kids who wants to run all the time?

Does your child enter 5K races or other running events around the county? Maybe they would enjoy competitive Cross Country. Our new XC season for the Hurley YMCA Warriors is ready to start. We practice at the beautiful Salisbury Community Park off Hurley School Road. Your child has to have running experience and we will have a time trial to make sure they are into running and are able to handle the competition AAU and USATF XC has. If the child has been running, we take them as young as 8 years old. Ages 8 and under do a 2K (1.24 miles) in competition. Ages 9-10 and 11-12 do a 3K (1.86 miles), 13-14 year-olds do a 4K (2.48 miles) and ages 15-16 and 17-18 do a 5K (3.1 miles).

If your child loves to run but is very new to the sport, we will offer a youth beginners or inexperienced youth running class at the JF Hurley Family YMCA in January and February if enough people are interested. For more information please contact me at the Y. Our first practice for this 2017 Fall XC season, and parent meeting is Monday, Aug. 28, at 6 p.m. at Salisbury Community Park. On Tuesday, Aug. 29, we will have our time trials.

So what exactly is Cross Country running? Google says that cross country is a sport which teams and individuals run a race on open air courses over natural terrain such as dirt or grass.

We practice at Salisbury Community Park where they have beautiful trails for any level from dirt, grass and gravel. Dan Nicholas Park has some great trails too, and this upcoming Thursday the Pre-County high school XC meet is held there and hosted by East Rowan High School.

I love the sport of running because I have seen kids who do not “fit in” the typical sports such as football, basketball, baseball, volleyball love and excel in the sport of running. It’s natural for most kids growing up to be running. Maybe not very long distances but kids love to run! In this day and age where electronic devices rule most households, running is a cheap and fun way of getting or staying active and you can do this as a family. Salisbury Rowan Runners host many 5Ks and Fun-runs in this area which can be a great healthy active family event. Their website will show all the runs and races that are around. Of course, they host beginners running classes regularly.

I like people to be active, happy and healthy. I also believe that the younger you start with exercise, whether its running or any other physical activity, the more likely they will continue this in adulthood.

Does it have to be competitive? No, not at all. Competition is not for everyone. I remember my oldest daughter ask my running son, “When does running fast start to feel good?” He replied with “Never. I feel like I am punched in the stomach when I am running fast.” So fast competitive running is not for everyone, but for the ones who love running period can make it a lifelong activity.

For more information on Hurley YMCA Warriors XC, please contact me at or call our Y at 704-636-0111

Ester Marsh, H&F Director JF Hurley YMCA and XC Assistant Coach Hurley YMCA Warriors