Tour de HallwaysRuining track for all

By day, the halls of Ames High clutter with loud students walking to and from their classes. By night, however, the network of halls also serves as a practice field for track athletes. Until the snow and ice clear off, that is. Since the track season officially began on February 11th, some participants have only run outside a mere two or three times. “Besides the fact that it’s incredibly boring, [hall running] hurts my knees,” said sophomore Lauren Bonett, a sprinter. “I don’t feel like I get enough of a workout, so it only seems like it does more harm than good.” To most, numerous recent delays and early dismissals have been welcomed with delight, but to track athletes it has meant yet another unfulfilling workout, or, even worse, no workout at all. Setbacks like these have not let the teams’ guard down in any way, though – morale is still high. Currently finishing up their fourth week of track, the boys and girls are scheduled to compete in an indoor invitational at Wartburg next Monday and Tuesday, respectively. To keep runners’ spirits up when weather is not permitting, coaches designed practices consisting of cross training and weight lifting. Alternative workouts have included swimming and running in the pool, calisthenics, rock climbing, and various forms of aerobics. So far, success has been mixed. “I miss the outside scenery and fresh air,” sophomore Ellen Hansen said. “The halls smell sweaty and now seem tiny.” Not only is hall running despised by athletes, it is also very harmful to one’s knee joints, calves, and arches. The impact of the pounding strains muscles, sometimes leaving them sore for days afterwards. Moreover, the hall floors are slippery, which makes it difficult to turn rapidly. True runners, however, do not let below-zero wind chills and slick ice get in the way of their love for the sport. The long distance boys went out for a road run the very first day of practice, when temperatures dwelled in the single digits. “Hall running is my mortal enemy,” said sophomore Paul Hibbing, who has avoided running inside at all costs. “It’s like writing an invitation to injury. Injury, will you please come upon me?” said Boys Distance Coach Tim Mooney “All in all, it’s a horrible idea.” So if the girls and boys of track loathe sprinting around the school halls pointlessly, why do they go out for the sport? Why have coaches allowed it? The reason is simple: they are runners nonpareil, and possess the determination and loyalty that lead them to suffer such circumstances in pursuit of their aspirations and ideals.