Cross Country team’s Watermelon Run

Runners kickstart their 2019 season with an annual two and a half mile run

Anjali Singh

The MVHS Cross Country team held its annual Watermelon Run on Aug. 29 at Stevens Creek County Park. The purpose of the run was to allow runners to gauge their progress a week in advance of their first race. Upon reaching the finish line, the runners were treated to a table full of watermelon slices prepared by Cross Country coach Kirk Flatow. 

“[The run is] a really great way to practice racing for us,” junior Sylvana Northrop said. “It just gets me in the mentality and it reminds me just how strong our team is every year.”

For new members like freshman Meena Kolli, the Watermelon Run is a momentous race as it is their first as a part of the MVHS cross country team. 

“I thought it would be a lot harder, but it was actually pretty nice,” Kolli said. “I think [using watermelons] is a good idea because everyone is pretty energy-depleted [after the run].” 

Northrop expresses the importance of encouraging new team members like Kolli, drawing on her own experience receiving support from upperclassmen as a freshman, and wanting to continue providing that for others. 

“[Encouraging runners is] important because cross country is a really tough sport to do if you don’t have support and appreciation from teammates and from your friends,” Northrop said. “I think it’s important to give new runners a sense of that, especially after their first race.”

Upon completion of the race, the runners’ times are posted on a whiteboard allowing an opportunity for the team to congratulate and motivate each other to keep working throughout the season. 

“I think that [the Watermelon Run is] a nice tradition,” Kolli said. “We get to experience the same things that people from a long time ago who were on the cross country team got to experience, so that’s pretty cool.” 

A photo gallery of the race is shown below. 

Additional reporting by Sreya Kumar