The Muhlenberg cross country teams usually do the running while others take care of race administration, but recently the Mules were on the other side for a special cause. Junior Jackie Shulack reports:
This past weekend the Muhlenberg cross country teams volunteered at the Miles for Autism race in Saucon Valley, which benefited The Autism Society of Lehigh Valley. As a team, it was nice to be able to give back to the community, because so often we are caught up in our own busy schedules of training, racing and managing schoolwork.
We helped take extra clothes from racers at the starting line and bring them to the finish line, directed runners on the course and told runners their splits during the race.
Volunteering at the one-mile race allowed us to cheer on others who were doing what we may take for granted sometimes. One mile seems so short to us, but to the people who raced it, it may have been a huge accomplishment and I think that deserves a lot of respect.
One of the quotes from the race was “Before you judge a man, walk a MILE in his shoes.” This really puts things into perspective for me, and as a team I felt we were really able to support people for having the courage to start the race and avoid getting caught up thinking about their finishing times.
To have my team members get up on a rainy Sunday morning with smiles on their faces displayed a great deal of character, and I cannot be more proud to be a member of this team.
The volunteer work of the Mules did not go unappreciated. A few days after the mile run, the race directors sent the following e-mail to the coaching staff:
I would like to thank your team for their help in making Sunday’s event a success. They were instrumental in keeping the course managed and organized during the three one-mile races. I would also like to note that they did it in a professional manner, which was recognized by our participants.
Volunteering at this event was another highlight of what has been a memorable season for the Mules, particularly the women’s team, which is ranked seventh in the Mideast Region. Shulack wrote about that experience as well:
As a new member of this team, I could not ask for a better group of ladies to train with. The team is hardworking, focused, dedicated, and we still manage to have fun doing what we love. The team immediately made me feel welcomed and I learned quickly that they would help me through anything. It’s a nice feeling to know at the end of the day your teammates always have your back.
The most important part of the season is coming up with the conference and regional meet ahead, and after all the hard work we have put in, I know we can achieve our goals. I think the best is yet to come.