Officials in Radford, Va. point to safety concerns.
Memo to high school runners: You cannot run on city roads.
This is what members of Radford (Va.) High School’s cross-country team were told recently. But the thing is, the mandate did not come from someone at the major’s office.
It came from the school district.
Parents received a letter on Aug. 14 from athletic director Greg Wade and cross-country coach Mike Carrow that stated, in part, “The administration at Radford High School and Coach Carrow are now going to stop the Cross Country team from running on the streets. With our excellent trails … we feel that this will be the safest way to train our athletes. … We want to always make sure that our athletes are in the safest situation possible.”
Parents and athletes do not agree with the rule, and they cite a lack of safety incidents as justification for allowing the runners to train on city streets.
Assistant Superintendent Rob Graham told Runner’s World the administration’s reasoning in the matter: “Not necessarily complaints, but really more of a concern of, ‘Our kids are running on the streets, let’s find a venue to get them off the streets.’”
Graham added that the idea of instituting the policy began last October in the interest of safety.
Several people connected to the team spoke out about the policy in the Runner’s World article, including sophomore runner Cameron Schafer. “I’ve had two friends so far … say that they don’t think they’re going to run next year, because running on the roads, running everywhere was the main reason they did it,” she said.