Article by: Kamilla Jamal
Over the last 2 months, 200 athletes in the 5 schools around Asia; International School of Bangkok, International School of Kuala Lumpur, Singapore American School, Taipei American School, Jakarta International School, and International School Manila, started training for this moment; season 1 IASAS. Season 1 consists of three sports; football, volleyball and cross country. This year, ISM has the honour of hosting volleyball and cross country. While the athletes in volleyball will have a busy three days of activities, the cross country athletes don’t start running one of their two races (3k and 5k) until Friday morning.
Unlike previous cross country events, the athletes will not be running on school grounds. As an alternative, the Manila Polo Club was rented out for the two days in order to provide a larger course for the athletes to compete on. Because of this unfamiliar change in terrain, Bamboo Telegraph sat down with some of the international cross country runners to find out if they were ready. “I’m as ready as i’ll ever be” says JIS 12th grader, Zinzan N. “I’ve been training for this moment for the last two months and as this is [my] last year in highschool, I really want to make this worth it. I’m excited!” he continued. “I’m a little nervous because the ISM runners have been able to compete on the Polo Club course, so they’re used to the style and feel of it, so they have an advantage in that sense” notes SAS runner Tom G., a freshman. “I agree with Jack” says his teammate Bentley U., a junior, “but I think that no matter what course we’ll run on, we could have only done so much. We trained for 2 months, and now we’re here. I just hope we win!” Stephen Anderson, Taipei American School’s head coach, said that he “definitely found it challenging training 14 students” in this highly competitive sport. “At the end of the day”, he says, “we have trained as much as we could and I know that the team will do their absolute best”.
For the seniors on the team, most of them felt bittersweet about IASAS – for many of them, cross country was their only sport, and them travelling to IASAS meant that their high school years was actually coming to an end. “Cross country isn’t the only IASAS that I’m in, but once this IASAS is over, I don’t think it’s going to hit me that i’ll never be going overseas or competing for cross country again” says JIS senior, Nate P., “I’ll go home and act like everything’s okay and then in two weeks I think it’ll hit me. I don’t know what i’d do, I just think i’d be very sad.”
Starting tomorrow, the actual races begin. At 9:00am, the 5km race for girls commences, followed by the 5km race for boys. On Saturday, the girls 3 km relay race starts at 8:30 and at 9:30, the final event; the boys 3 km relay race starts. Tomorrow evening at 7:45, the cross country (and volleyball) awards ceremony kicks off, marking the end of season 1 IASAS.