The Lake Fenton High School cross country teams pitched in over the summer, and now the school has its own cross country course for the first time.
Coach Chris Sobczak said he and the runners spent at least 30 hours over the summer constructing the course after practice.
They marked out the course, painted posts, dug holes, buried wooden 4 by 4s, and installed a gate.
"It was a lot of work, but we knew we wanted to get it done," Sobczak said. "We stayed after for two, three or four hours and worked on it."
All of the runners lent a hand, and students Skylor Smith, Mike Dailey and Becky Fernelius put in a lot of time and were there after every practice to help, he said. Funding was from donations and an account that was set up a couple of years ago.
The new course traces the outskirts of Lake Fenton High School's Athletic Complex. For a 5K cross country race, it's 2 laps around the course for 3.1 miles.
It's almost a perfect 1.5-mile loop, he said. It includes part of a smaller practice loop made by former cross country coach Bob Grubbs. Grubbs, who is now the school board president, created the loop so runners would have a place to work out on the grass.
Before having the new course the teams built over the summer, they had their competitions at Fenton Farms golf course or Linden County Park. Lake Fenton hosted its first cross country meet on the new course during the first week of school, and will have its second home meet on Sept. 25.
There are a couple of challenging hills, which many students aren't fans of, Sobczak said. One hill, in particular, goes up slightly, and then the course makes a sharp left and runners go immediately uphill.
"Just switching gears makes it a little bit more challenging," he said. "It's going to make them tougher."
Lake Fenton Homecoming 5K Run/Walk
Lake Fenton High School's cross country teams are excited about hosting a homecoming run/walk that's open to the public, Sobczak said. They are hoping many Lake Fenton Community Schools alumni will participate.
The races will be at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13, at Lake Fenton High School.
The cost is $25 if participants register by Oct. 6, and $30 after Oct. 6. T-shirts are guaranted only to those who register by Oct. 6. Registration is at www.active.com, under "Lake Fenton Homecoming."
Proceeds will support the Lake Fenton cross country teams.