Viking Running Finds a New Home

Viking Cross Country hopes its new course will challenge runners while creating a “home” advantage


Photo by Ryder Barton

Running together, top Viking runners Mac Salley (11) and John Bolinger (11) fly through the new cross country course.

Lars Iven, Variety Co-Editor

With the arrival of the 2020 Cross Country season, the Vikings eagerly unveiled a newly constructed home course. The course, under construction since the beginning of last year, has been highly anticipated by cross country team.

The Vikings hosted their first home scrimmage on August 31 with Byrnes, Broome, and Spartanburg Day School.   

The 5000-meter course starts on the track, where runners complete a 400-meter lap aroundthen exit on the back straightaway. The runners then proceed to the trails in the woods. The runners exit the trails and cross the dam and prepare for a lengthy uphill to finish their first loop. After the runners reach the track, they head back to the wooded trails for their second 1.25-mile loop. Once the runners finish the second loop, they head back to the track to run another lap and run down the middle of the field to the finish line.  

The course has gotten mixed reviews from the team, with some of the runners believing that the course is on the difficult side and others believing that it is a very average course. 

Nathan Mosley (10), who has many years of competitive experience, ranks the Spartanburg course as one of the hardest courses he has ran to date.  

“It’s a difficult course with a hard hill at the end, but overall, it’s a fun and challenging course,” Mosley said.  

 Runner Julia Brantley (9) slightly disagrees with this opinion, believing that the course is about average compared to other courses she has ran. 

“I think that our course will definitely not be considered a flat or fast course, but it is not the hardest one that I have ever run,” Brantley said.  

The team and their coaches have worked hard to design and build a course that meets all necessary regulations, while still allowing runners a challenge.  Although Viking runners still rotate their training days to include the trails on Cottonwood and Andrews Farm, the new course gives them a perceived advantage when traveling to other courses that include inclines.

 Sahaan Lawrence (11) holds this course in high regard, placing it ahead of other courses in terms of difficulty.  

It’s very difficult compared to other schools’ courses, probably one of the hardest ones,” Lawrence said.