West Seattle Road Runners is a USATF-sanctioned club established in 2017 based in Seattle, Washington. The team is focused on developing young runners into more experienced athletes while enjoying teamwork and establishing a lifelong love for running.
Cross-country is a running sport where teams and individuals compete on natural terrain. Training requires several components such as speed work, hill repeats, and distance running. The cross-country season runs from September-November with runners competing at the USATF National Championships continuing to mid-December. Running is often considered an individual sport, but cross-country is scored as a team sport with individual performances contributing to a team score.
Runners compete at different distances in 2-year age groups based on their age on December 31st of the current year: 5-6 year olds (800m), 7-8 year olds (2000m), 9-10 & 11-12 year olds (3000m), and 13-14 year olds (4000m). This incremental increase in race distances prepares a developing athlete to race the traditional 5000m (3.1 miles) high school cross-country distance.
Even though we are a competitive program we embrace and welcome runners who are new to the sport, were involved in other sports, or are joining a youth athletic team for the first time. Our coaches work with our runners and their families to ensure races and competition are introduced in a safe and supportive manner when runners are ready to challenge themselves. The only requirement is that our athletes want to and are willing to run and engage in their personal development.
A typical season consists of 5 to 6 local, regular season races (held on Saturdays) leading up to the USATF Junior Olympic Association, Regional and National Championship races. Locations of the Junior Olympic races vary each season.
For most of our runners, practices are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays when we don't have a race. Most of our youngest runners just meet twice per week (Mondays and Wednesdays) and on race days.
We practice on the trails at Lincoln Park starting in early September. Late in the season when we start losing daylight we shift to a local track where we have stadium lights for our remaining practices. In addition to team practices, runners are assigned age-appropriate training runs to complete with their family, teammates, or on their own during the week.