Why We Run

Posted in Motion

Albany High School is home to plenty of runners, ranging from serious club and team runners to casual joggers. Running is a common hobby, but so many people still call into question the mental sanity of those who run. So why is it that there is such a split, with people either loving or despising running?

Maybe it goes back to memories of P.E., the horrors of being forced to run a mile every week. People say it’s boring, it hurts, or it’s bad for your knees, or all of the above. So, why do people run?
Star junior cross-country runner Darren Leung said, “Instead of being a couch potato, I go out and do those easy 8-10 mile runs for fun and to improve.” He continues, “It’s challenging….but this is just what has grown onto me.” Leung, whose other talents include singing, skateboarding, and speed solving Rubik’s cubes, is one of the most committed runners at the school. However, his is a more extreme view.

AHS social studies teacher Michelle Lau-Seim offered another opinion, “I run because I can’t swim anymore because of my shoulder injuries. I had to find a quick efficient way of exercising.” Running really can have an appeal for everyone, whether your goals are physical or mental.

The majority of serious runners in the school reside in the AHS cross country team, 60 runners committed to getting faster.

As Sophomore runner Joseph Rees-Hill claimed, “I run for three main reasons: first, everyone needs exercise, and running is how I get mine; second, I like to run with my team because they are all my friends; and third, I think scheduled running is a good way to have scheduled free time in my day.” The sense of community leads to the ‘scheduled free time’ that many runners love.


Junior cross country star Darren Leung.

As Cross Country Assistant Coach Dana Capps said, “Why do I run? Oh my gosh. For the mental serenity. Learning to push myself. Running is great for practicing discipline. Running’s a great way to make friends, to be outside more, and to explore new places.” That is just about every argument for running a person can make.

Of course, everyone who is or has been an underclassmen at AHS has experience running, thanks to the PE classes. An easy way to find people who do not enjoy running is to walk out to the perimeter of the school any Thursday and Friday, and look for the students walking the mile.

When asked if she enjoyed running, sophomore Ava Torrez said, “Um… No.”

Would she join the cross country team? “They would have to have really cute uniforms,” Torrez added.

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AHS faculty out for a little 10K run.

Not everybody’s cut out for running, and that’s okay. There’s lots of different ways to get exercise, but running happens to be a favorite. How would a runner get someone to run with them?

Senior runner and JV Cross Country captain Jesse Valva said, “I would persuade someone else to run by just telling them to go out for an easy jog one day. Just like a mile or two (15-30 mins). Just to get out, not for an intense workout or anything.”

Leung promoted running with “Most people hate running for some reason, but it’s fun. Exploring new places is amazing. Just knowing that running can take you to extreme heights such as by the water with the view of the city or the top of Marin with the view of the East Bay.”

Although some people avoid running like the plague, this is why we run.