Cross Country Team Runs through the Night to Get to Nationals

Cross Country Team Runs through the Night to Get to Nationals


            I coach the Mens and Women's Cross Country teams at Saint Leo University in Florida. Our standards are high and our teams compete for national titles every year.  My teams train in the extreme Florida heat and are forced to train in the dark mornings and evenings. 

            We use Night Runner Shoe Lights at every practice to maintain safety and reduce injury. We conduct six practices a week, five of which occur in the morning usually between 5:45am – 6:30am. Our one evening practice occurs at 7:00pm. That being said, at one point during all of our practices, our athletes can be found running in the dark. The biggest issue with running in the dark here at Saint Leo, is that we don’t have streetlights or sidewalks. This means our athletes have to run on the roadways to prevent them from possibly getting injured by running in the grass and stepping in a pothole.

            Our athletes have excelled this season in large part due to Night Runner Shoe Lights. Our athletes no longer have to worry about a car not being able to see them while running. The LED lights are bright enough to light the way not only for the runner to see what’s in front of them, but also for cars to see them running both in front and behind them. We have made it mandatory all season long for our athletes to bring their running lights to every practice. The athlete’s safety is our number one priority. The upperclassmen on the team often have to run anywhere from 10-16 miles a day, so it’s easier for us to take them to a park where there’s a dirt trail that they can venture off onto. Dirt trails have no light source, especially if both sides of the trail are made up of forestry. Previously when we took the team to trails at 6 am, they often had to start their run at a much slower pace due to the fact that they couldn’t see the terrain beneath their feet. Now our athletes don’t have to hold back when running technical trails. They feel confident going faster knowing that they can see what lies in front of them.

            If you’re on the fence about buying Night Runner Shoe Lights, I highly recommend you pull the trigger and buy the lights. These lights will help not only you, but they will also help those driving around you to better see you.  

            About the Author: Coach Reiber is the Head Coach of Cross Country/Track at Saint Leo University in Florida.  His women's and men's teams have been using Night Runner Shoe Lights for the past three years.  In the 2019 season, the St. Leo team won their conference championship on the men’s side, finished second on the women's side, finished 3rd at their regional meet with both teams qualifying for the nationals in California. 

            The teams other recent accomplishments include:
2014 / 2016 Women’s SSC Cross Country Champions
2014 / 2015 / 2016 Men’s SSC Cross Country Champions
2015 Men’s XC South Regional Champions
2017 Women’s XC South Regional Champions