Q1: When does the season start? What are the fees and what is included?
Answer: The 2024 Cross Country season begins with the first practice on Monday, August 12th. The registration fee is $45 and covers club operations, the end of the season party and awards. The fee does NOT include a team uniform/singlet, which can be purchased separately for $26.50 if your child will participate in club meets.
It is important to emphasize the Olney Cross Country Club is Not-for-Profit and our coaches DO NOT get paid. The coaches’ passion for running, and desire to introduce cross country running to a new generation of youth runners is what motivates them.
Q2: Does my child have to attend all the practices?
Answer: We recommend, but do not require attendance to all three practices per week. Each practice during the week focuses on a different aspect of cross country running (i.e. distance runs, hills, and speed work). However, we recognize that each child has different running abilities and interests, and our overall goal is to make cross country running FUN. Thus, it is ultimately up to the parents/child to determine how much practice is appropriate. (Please see our Expectations of runners and parents)
Q3: When and where are the practices? What are the practices like? What if my child cannot keep up?
Answer: We practice from 5:15-6:15 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at Agricultural History Farm Park in Derwood, MD. All practices begin promptly at 5:15 with a warmup run and form drills. To accommodate different age groups and abilities, we generally have at least two running groups (more if there are enough parent volunteers). Faster and more experienced runners have tougher/longer workouts, whereas younger and/or beginning runners have easier/shorter workouts. After the workout, the entire team participates in cool down/stretching exercises. Throughout the season, as new runners gain strength and endurance, we encourage them to practice with the faster groups. However, there will always be a group to accommodate those runners that want to run at a slower pace. Children sometimes have a difficult time completing the workout for various reasons. In these cases, they can stay with their parent or guardian during the practice. Ultimately, the goal is to have each child enjoy running and feel good about what he/she accomplished that day.
Q4: Do I have to run with my kids? Do I have to stay during practice?
Answer: We normally encourage all of our parents to enjoy running with their kids. However, if you choose to leave, please make sure we have your contact information and return to promptly pick up your kids at 6:15.
Q5: How do I sign up my child for Olney CC Club?
Answer: Please follow the steps in the “Join Us” tab above. You must register your runners and accept the general waiver in the sign up form. A registration fee must also be paid for each of your runners as well for the registration to be finalized. If you would like to not register online, we will need a signed copy of the General waiver form in order for your child to practice. You can bring the waiver to practice, or send us signed copies as an email attachments to email@example.com. Registration fees must still be made online.
Note: If you just want to try out a few runs/practices, we still require the waivers.
Q6: Cross Country is an outdoor sport, what is the weather policy? How do I know if a practice is cancelled due to weather?
Answer: Practices are modified according to weather conditions (i.e., excessive heat or cold, humidity, rain, etc.). Please note that practices are held in the rain, however, we will cancel in the event of lightning or snow that is sticking to the ground.
In the event of a cancellation, we will post it on this website, Facebook page and/or send a notification as soon a decision is made. Keep in mind that due to the unpredictability, practice may be cancelled even a half hour before it is set to begin.
Q7: What type of clothing should my child wear to practices?
Answer: Dress appropriate for the expected and possible weather conditions of practices/meets. It is recommended that the shirt closest to the athlete’s body is a wicking material. This will help pull sweat away from the athlete’s skin. On cooler days, additional layers are often needed. It is suggested that they bring a bag to practice and meets in case they want to shed layers as they warm up or add layers if they become cold. Also, it is recommended, to bring a towel to sit on for the post-workout stretching.
Q8: What is the difference between the team singlet and spirit wear clothing?
Answer: Runners who are participating in club meets, must wear a team singlet. For a team singlet, click the “Meet Schedule” tab at the top to find the link and place your order.
Spirit wear is available for both youth and adults, and shows the club logo. All of our uniform and spirit wear ordering is online. Information for spirit wear ordering is distributed and posted on our site at the beginning of the season. Please note that the sale of spirit wear is only open for a limited time each season. Should you wish to purchase spirit wear, pay attention to the order deadline, which is when all spirit wear orders must be completed. Spirit wear orders will be distributed at a practice 4 to 6 weeks after the order deadline closes.
Q9: Will water or beverages be provided during practices? Also what type of beverages should my child have or avoid?
Answer: Water is not provided. It is your responsibility to send your child to practice with a filled water bottle. Please WRITE YOUR CHILD’S NAME on the water bottle so that if they leave it by mistake and we find it, we can return it at the following practice.
Water is the best choice. Please avoid carbonated beverages such as soda and it is suggested that athletes dilute electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade with some water as the high sugar content can lead to cramping.
Q10: Are there bathrooms at practice (Ag. Farm Park)?
Answer: Yes, there are usually 3 well maintained port-o-johns near the big red barn. We recommend you take your children there before we start practice.
Q11: What should my child eat or not eat before and after a practice/meet?
Answer: There are many different philosophies on pre-competition nutrition. However a good basic rule of thumb is to only eat foods that easily digest before a practice or competition. Examples include fruits, an egg, and oatmeal. Avoid foods with high fat levels before a competition.
Within a half hour to hour after a practice or meet, simple sugars, such as those in fruits, bagels, etc. are recommended. Antioxidants are good too. This will help your athletes replenish their fuel sources quickly and decrease muscle fatigue.
Q12: What type of shoes should my child wear? Also should we purchase spikes shoes? If so, what kind?
Answer: A basic walking/running shoe is fine. Stronger athletes should wear a “running shoes” which are available at most sporting goods stores. Boots, Uggs, Crocs and sandals are not permitted.
We recommend speaking with the coaches if you believe spikes may benefit your child before purchasing them for meets. In addition, the coaches will speak with athletes and parents if we believe that an athlete will benefit from having spikes. Spikes are not needed at practice.
Q13: What are the XC meets like? What are the age groups & what are the distances? Does my child have to run in them?
Answer: Races are held on Sundays, usually beginning the 3rd week of September. The meet schedule is usually in order of ascending age group and will be posted on the “Meet Schedule” tab. Age groups are determined according to your child’s age as of December 31 of the current calendar year, not the age on race day.
• 1Km – 6 & Under
• 2Km – 7-8 yo
• 3Km – 9-10 yo
• 3Km – 11-12 yo
• 4Km – 13-14 yo
In most meets, parents are allowed to run with their child for 1K races. “Rabbits” (guide runners) are used for 1K, 2K races and some 3K races. Cheering for all athletes is strongly encouraged.
Because each meet is at a different location, course walks are recommended to help familiarize your runner with each meet. Please arrive early if you wish to do a course walk.
Your child is not required to run in all of the meets. But we strongly recommend all of our runners to run in at least one meet to gain experience and to have fun racing.
Q14: What are some good things to bring to meets?
• Cooler for food/beverages
• Folding chairs or blankets to place on the ground and sit on in good weather
• Food, such as fresh fruits & veggies to snack (no dips), fresh or dried fruit & grain bars, nuts and/or trail mixes, sandwiches (ex. peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on wheat bread). No processed or fried meats and no cookies, donuts, sodas, candy.
• A change of clothes, socks and shoes in case of rain.
• For meets, athletes should wear their singlet, but if it is cold, then they can add layers.
• If it is wet, athletes should wear different socks and shoes for the course walk than they plan to race in case they get wet during the course walk.
• Spare socks in case socks get wet during course walk.
• Books, games & cards (for both parents & kids)
• Patience, support, sense of humor, and good sportsmanship!
Q15: Meet Results
Answer: Our team participates in meets hosted by different organizations/clubs. Each host is responsible for posting the results of their meet(s). This can be on-site paper posting or on Athletic.net.
If you have any questions about the results, please talk to one of our coaches
Q16: Converter/Calculator Recommendations
Answer: You can use this online calculator to estimate the running pace. This calculator can also be used to estimate the time taken or distance traveled with a given pace and time or distance: https://www.calculator.net/pace-calculator.html