Clubs help cross-country runners train for events

Saturday, August 2, 2008 | 9:08 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Anthony Schulz, 22, from Lee’s Summit ran for Team Showers in the Show-Me State Games’ 5K cross-country competition Saturday morning at Bethel Park. He and his friends formed the team three years ago to compete in summer events. The members train on their own and get together for races.
“Everybody is here to run and watch the race,” Schulz said. “It’s team oriented.”
Some of the runners on the team also run for college teams, and Schulz is on the cross-country and track teams at the University of Central Missouri. Schulz said he became serious about running in his senior year of high school. He chose to focus on running instead of football or swimming, sports in which he used to compete.
He said his first year running in college was tough. He had to run more miles than he ever had to run in the past,  and with runners who were better than he was.
“You are not No. 1 or 2 on the team,” Schulz said, “You are No. 10 on the team.”
Ben Chapman, 16, from Springfield, runs for the Farmer’s Track Club and for Glendale High School in the fall. He started running cross country when he was in the seventh grade. Last year, he placed ninth in the state high school championships.
“I couldn’t believe it. My goal was to be about 40th,” Chapman said.
He said he hopes to place in the top five at next year’s high school state championships.
Taylor Woodruff, 16, from St. Joseph, said her teammates on the Southside Runner Club push her to run better each race. She said they trade top finishes, which causes her to work harder.
Woodruff said she has started to run in the morning and again at night every day. She said she tries not to let running in the summer heat get to her.
“I don’t let it get in my head,” Woodruff said.