SHEFFIELD -- Everyone gets lost on occasion. This season, Berkshire County cross country runners have taken wrong turns on the course twice in the past two weeks.
The host school is responsible for marking the trails and most schools do a walk-through upon arrival, but runners have still managed to get misdirected.
Last week, Hoosac Valley's Kalyn Alibozek cost herself a race. The junior veered off course at Taconic and ended up finishing third. On Wednesday, at least 12 girls went straight when they should have turned left in a section isolated from the rest of the 2.9-mile course at Mount Everett. According to several coaches, three Mount Greylock runners, four Lenox runners and several others went off course for a small portion of the race.
"The girl in front of us went one way and we didn't know which way to go, so we just followed her," Greylock's Laura Galib said. "I think it was marked, but we just missed it. It didn't take us too far off and didn't affect the race."
Part of the problem during the girls' race may be that it comes after the boys'. At Mount Everett, the course is marked by a white line the entire way, however, after 80 runners trample on the line, it's more difficult for the girls to follow. Couple that with a setting sun and making the correct turn becomes more difficult.
"I kept going with everyone else, I really thought we were on the course," Greylock's Jenna Phelps said. "I mean the
Part of the problem for the Greylock girls was arriving late Thursday. The team isn't allowed to be dismissed early from school, so they didn't have time to walk the course prior to the meet.
Alibozek, who did not run Wednesday, feels for the girls who got misdirected. Since it has happened twice, she hopes schools will do a better job marking the trails.
"I was freaking out," Alibozek told the Transcript. "I feel really bad for them, it feels horrible."
In Alibozek's case, she made a turn that was shortly before the correct one, saying it looked like a ran trail.
"When you're running, you're going so fast you aren't really thinking about it," she said. "I just got confused I guess. There was an area you could turn down, and it looked like a trail so I turned."