Running During a Pandemic


Ebony Garcia

Junior Vanessa Flores runs at El Salvador park located in Santa Ana. Photo taken on October 5, 2020.

Alicia Jimenez and Ebony Garcia

With the continuous spread of COVID-19, Cross Country had to cancel its seasons. But, how are our Godinez Cross Country team staying in shape? 

Since the end of the season, many runners were not motivated to continue running because they were not in a group. However, on October 15, 2020, sports are scheduled to resume for body conditioning only. Only 10 girls and 10 boys have been selected from the team to run with the coaches. 

Through quarantine and up until now, athletes stayed in contact with Coach Jose Peñaloza through social media. Peñaloza began coaching the team three years ago.

Peñaloza said that he gave students a series of daily tasks to stay active even though they were stuck at home.  

In-person training will look a lot different. Everyone must have a mask on at all times with a social distancing minimum of six feet.  

¨Wearing a mask at all times is going to be hard for the runners, but maintaining social distancing will be easier due to the fact that it’s not a hands on sport where they make physical contact,” said coach Peñaloza

It wasn’t the laziness of running through a pandemic for athletes but rather it was the motivation to run alone. 

Junior, Mariela Rodriguez, who has been in cross country since sophomore year said, ¨I used to run five miles every day and now I run three miles a day.” 

She ran alone due to the fact that she didn’t want to put herself or others in danger.

Rodriguez said that she was excited to get back on their feet and see how much she’s improved in the tournaments. 

Rigoberto Martinez is a varsity-senior who has been running for our Godinez cross team for three years. 

Martinez said he has ran on his own time to keep in shape for the upcoming season. He typically runs about 10 miles each week, depending on the temperature. 

“The coronavirus has made it harder to practice now since the team can’t gather at the moment. Now it’s been really hard to get the training we need and when do we gather back up there would be a lot of regulations on us,” said Martinez. 

Many runners have not only ran during the school closure, but have engaged in other physical activity such as soccer and/or basketball. 

Vanessa Flores is currently a junior who has been running for our cross country. She is one of the top runners who has surpassed many of our varsity boys. She currently runs 12-21 miles weekly and is running more every single week.

“It changed myself academically and physically. It made me focus more on what I wanted for myself and my goals for school,” said Flores. 

Flores believes that the whole separation of school and from sports has definitely been a big challenge for her, but she is getting used to doing everything at home. She currently has been watching movies and spending time with her family. 

The majority of runners were saddened to see their season begin late, especially seniors. 

“The seniors were affected by this the most, since they’ll be missing out on the full experience,” added Peñaloza. 

As the return date for sports quickly approaches, athletes should get cleared as soon as possible.