Imagine that you are at the starting line with hundreds of other runners. You start to sweat as the flag is raised. You have butterflies in your stomach because of the suspense of not knowing when the man is going to blow the horn. You hear the horn and you're off, not even feeling your feet beneath you and never slowing down. All the sudden, you see a crowd waiting for you at the end and you cannot believe the time. One final burst of energy and you sprint to the finish line, exhausted but proud.

That was what it was like every week for the Middle School Girls' Brunswick South Cross Country team. The team took fourth place in the conference and all agree the season was a success. The season lasted from Monday, August 11, to Tuesday, September 30. Practices were Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 3:00-4:15 and their meets, which started in September, were on Tuesday and Saturday. Coach Elizabeth Bender trained the girls' team, a mixture of seventh and eighth graders from Visintainer and Edwards middle schools.

Normally during practice, the girls would run somewhere between 2-4 miles. They would run all over Brunswick, adding miles as the season progressed. If the girls were not running all over town, they were doing what is called speed work. Speed work is when runners mix sprint and recovery times, gradually adding more distance sprinting around a track.

The coaches made running fun and the team came together as one. One week, the girls ran to a volunteer parent's home for a spaghetti dinner. They also participated in an end-of-the-year party at another parents house. The coach's pizza dinner was a special treat, yum. There was everybody's favorite - the scavenger hunt. This is when everybody divides into teams and is given a list of objects to run and find. The team that finds the most objects wins. The objects contained crushed pop cans, ketchup packets, gum wrappers, etc.

"You can do anything for 15 minutes," said Coach Bender. Why not run?

Madilyn Gaydos, a seventh-grader at Edwards Middle School, is one of over thirty-five "backpack journalists" in the award-winning Brunswick Schools Video Program. The Program is sponsored by RPM, Plum Creek Assisted Living Community, WOW! Cable & internet, Allstate/Brenda States and Lorain County Community College/University of Akron at Midpoint Campus Center. Go to www.thebeat22.com to learn more about the Program, or visit thebeat.pegcentral.com to view videos produced by the students.