Column: A hill I would die on

Published 8:03 pm Thursday, August 19, 2021

Alex Monagan yelled “It’s hill day baby,” about 10 times Wednesday as he ran up a quarter mile slope on Learneds Mill Road. Cathedral hosts its first meet of the season this Saturday in what is known as the twilight meet.

Most people think of the fall as a time for football. Friday night lights are the spectacle of the high school sports season.

This weekend, Cross Country will run underneath the lights at Devereaux Stadium. Runners will finish on the football field.

It would be awesome if that football stadium was packed with fans from Natchez and Cathedral. Meets are a lot of fun but it is rare that kids have an opportunity to finish a meet they trained all summer for in front of thousands of screaming fans.

Cathedral’s twilight race will be special. From your seat in the football stadium, you can see about 90 percent of the race. Parents of cross country runners will know that is a hard thing to accomplish. My parents always ran to three spots on the course to cheer me on.

For old times sake, I put down my camera bag and took out anything I had in my pockets to run one hill with the Green Wave. It has been about five years since I last started running up a hill.

Learned Mill Road’s hill is not for the faint of heart. While I do not think running in boots and jeans helped, my legs felt like I was running through concrete on the last section of the hill.

Green Wave runners had to tackle it six times if they were strong enough, Smith said. Montigan yelled “I eat hills for breakfast,” as he raced by I shook my head and laughed thinking of all the hills I ran in my cross country career. Humor and yelling random mantras is one of the ways you keep the pain away.

Wednesday I was using it to keep myself from throwing up and dying. I felt like I was anyway.

If those kids can push themselves up a giant hill I’m sure you can make your way over to their meet Saturday evening. That is a hill I would die on, or at least, the part of me that did not already die at the hill on Learned Mill Road.