Senior athlete enjoys running lifestyle


Photo by Dean Klapatch

Senior Kamal Patel finished 40th out of 200 runners on Sept. 29 at Community Park, Lisle.

By Ariana Alcantar, Editor in chief

Three-year varsity cross country runner and captain senior Kamal Patel is enjoying his last season as a high schooler.

“I would say that running is so great that it almost helps our body in every situation. It’s a lifestyle, it keeps the body in good shape, helps you concentrate, focus on studying, and life in general. Trust me, it will help you so much and eventually, you will love it,” Patel said.

Patel follows a running routine throughout the week that includes running long distances, hill workouts, and a recovery day.

“The big day comes Saturday because it’s the race day, and that’s where I dominate the race and go all out,” Patel said.

The cross country team finished third on the Upstate Eight Conference meet on Oct. 13 at Sunrise Park and now Patel aims to make it to sectionals on Saturday.

“Last time the West Chicago Cross Country team made it to sectionals was 2009, so we are trying our best,” Patel said. “I feel very proud about my teammates because they are the reason I am their captain and they push me and push each other in practices and in races.”  

Although this is Patel’s last year, he takes advice from his coaches.

“Coach (Paul) McLeland and David Sayner say that ‘running is a process where the more you put in the more you get out,’” Patel said. “Meaning that the more miles and speed you put in during the practice and even on off days the faster you get and your times for races drop.”

Patel increased his mileage this past summer in preparation for his last cross country season as a high schooler.

“The longest I have run is 13.1 miles which a half marathon. The most miles I have run is 500 miles over this past summer, which is seven to nine miles per day in order to hit the 500 m goal,” Patel said.

Patel describes his running ability as a gift.  

“I stay motivated thinking that God has given me the ability to run,” Patel said. “So, I run for my school, my teammates, friends, and family.”

Patel plans to attend the University of Illinois at Chicago to major in pharmacy while running for their team.