With pure natural talent and no running experience prior to September, 14 year old Serena Groth ran in the high school provincial cross country championships in Prince George last Saturday.
Most people start training in August, but Groth says she had never done long distance running and didn’t know about the competitive races until September when her new P.E. teacher, Neal Currie, noticed her strong distance running and told her about the competitive racing.
With his training help and help from competitor Reagan Yee and her family in Hazelton, who gave her rides and warm up tips, Groth ran in three five-kilometre races and ranked among the top 15 at zones, qualifying her for the B.C. Highschool Cross Country Championships.
With around 200 competitors ranging from grade eight to 12, Groth says she isn’t going as a serious competitor this year because, being in grade nine, she will be running against runners with far more training and experience than her.
“I’m going this year just to figure things out. I know that I really like it and I want to do it again, so this is just learning as much as I can about it,” said Groth.
“I hope to do this again and actually go as a serious competitor some day,” she added.
When asked what she enjoys about running, Groth said she enjoys the good feelings that come with trying her best, getting better, and accomplishing something.
“When you’re running, there’s the point at the end where you’ve run so hard that it’s not that much fun anymore, but when you’re done it’s like, ‘wow, I just did that! That’s great!'” she said.
Groth says her Mom, a past cross country runner herself, has been very supportive of everything, and she couldn’t have done it without all the help from other people along the way, especially Mr. Currie and the Yee’s.
“I have no way of completely thanking them as much as I would want to,” said Groth.