That One Time I Ran Steeplechase

In middle school, I ran track and cross country.

I still remember the first time I went to a meet and saw this beautiful red track. I was in awe. The surface was soft and had a bit of a bounce to it. It was nothing like the dirt tracks I had seen. In fact, my school didn’t even have a track. We ran on the grass around the football field.

I was a sprinter and a middle distance runner. But for some reason, the track never spoke to me. I much preferred to run through nature trails and have the challenge of navigating hills, tree roots, rocks, and of course, hills.

So, in high school, I stayed away from track. Until, my coach suggested that I might like to try steeplechase.

I didn’t know anything about steeplechase, but he explained that it was a long distance run with some hurdle like obstacles in it.

Like I said, my high school didn’t have a track and we didn’t have one nearby that we could train at. So, the first time I ever ran a steeplechase event was at a meet.

It was tougher that I thought it would be. The hurdles were easy enough to jump over. You could even step on them, but they wore you out quickly. One of them had a pool of water after it too. I cleared the water just fine on the first lap. almost cleared it on the second lap, and then was right in the thick of it for the remaining laps.

At the end of the race, I was nearly exhausted. I put my all into the race. I’m proud to say that I didn’t finish last, but my time was definitely nothing to be proud of.

That was the first and last time I ever competed in the steeplechase.

But when I found myself at this track last week, I was tempted to try running it again. Only the water hazard was in place though. The other steeples weren’t set up, so it wouldn’t have been the same.

I still prefer to run nature trails and I have documented dozens of them. Need a place to run? Check these great spots out!