HERMISTON – With the current cross country season on hold around both Oregon and Washington, runners have been forced to become creative. Many are running ditch banks or country roads alone or with a friend, but few have gone so far as to virtual running.
Hermiston junior Grant Anderson is one of those few. Anderson is not sitting in his bedroom on his X-Box running a 5,000-meter course, but is logging the distance in the Nike Cross Virtual race. Sponsored by the athletic equipment company, high school students across the nation have been invited to continue racing and post times.
The participants are divided into regional areas with Anderson competing against other runners in the Northwest region. After completing the registration, Anderson and others run a course of their choosing using a downloaded app for verification. The runner then provides proof of time with a picture of stopwatch. Times are then validated by the runner’s coach.
In week one of the event, Anderson finished his race in 20 minutes, 8 seconds, placing him 72nd among the northwest runners. Week two found Anderson upping his placement by 20 slots to 52nd, although his time increased to 20:18.8. His races are against runners from Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.
Easternoregonsports.com will keep readers updated on Anderson and other local runners participating in the virtual event.