Want Cake? Run the Cross Country Course

Photo by Marja van Mierlo/The Choate News

If you ran the cross country course last Wednesday, November 15, you may have been met with an unexpected gift: a free cake for your efforts. The Cake Race, taking place the last Wednesday of the fall term, is a yearly tradition encouraging runners both in and out of cross country to run the Choate cross country course. Participants with the fastest times from each form win a free cake made by SAGE, making it a fun and rewarding event each year.

The Cake Race began in the 1960s, started by a few previous boys cross-country coaches as a way to share the sport of running with Choate students who may not have tried it before. According to Mr. Jim Davidson, Head Coach of Girls’ Cross Country, “The race was also created to raise the visibility of cross-country.” The race has existed continuously since at least the fall of 1974. Choate’s greatest participation occurred in the 80s when close to 300 students ran the race.

Currently, the race is hosted by the girls’ and boys’ cross country teams. Mr. Davidson feels the Cake Race is “a really good way to invite students to do a healthy athletic activity at the end of the fall and can provide a study break.” However, he wished that he event would reach more people. He said, “When the old cross-country course existed, the race would end near the football bleachers and that would draw a crowd. People would come, and there was more of a good-natured competition.” Mr. Davidson added, “I think it certainly still is a good event, but I wish more people were aware of it and would choose to participate in it and give a try at running 5,000 meters.”

Mr. Ned Gallagher, Boys’ Cross Country Coach, feels the race is “a nice tradition” and “for the kids on the cross country team, it’s the last chance they have to lower their personal record time on the Choate course.” Mr. Gallagher continued, “Some would probably say it’s a little anticlimactic because it happens right after our championship meets. It’s fair to say some are already beginning to shift their focus to winter sports.”

Kay Ingulli ’18, Co-captain of Girls’ Cross Country, participated in the race her sophomore year but was either “too busy, cold, lazy, or injured” in other years to participate. Ingulli earned a cake her sophomore year for her efforts.

Mehreen Pasha ’18, another Girl’s Cross Country Captain, has never actually ran the race but has enjoyed cheering on the participants during her three years witnessing the event. She said, “I think it’s great that we have this tradition. It’s a nice opportunity to run the course after the regular cross country season has ended.”

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