Flashback Friday: Mercy Gives a New Look at Using The Hills

Mercy, mercy me. Okay, so a little ways back (Neubauer Invite, 10/5, Sheehan HS in Wallingford) I'm hearing a bunch of varsity girls who have run their race and are chanting for their JV teammates to "Use the Hill." It's a well-known XC cheer that is intended to motivate runners to take a dive, plunge the downhills, make the descent pay you back for what the the ascent took out of you, and just cut loose and go for it while peddling insanely downward..

The thing here though was that these Mercy girls were exhorting their teammates to "use" a monstrously steep slope upward on the artificial embankment at Sheehan to put a hurt on other runners around them. Upward at a 45 degree angle usually means bad stuff, like pooping out halfway up, or on a wet day, sliding back down. So why would you ever encourage your teammates to "use the hill" under these circumstances?

Well, the Mercy girls have a theory, which is that most runners do not like running up very steep inclines, and if you are ready to put in the work getting to the top and then use that big advancement to improve your prospects in life, or the race, you are doing very well. Can't argue the point as long as we remember not to kill ourselves too much running up that hill and that we should run like a banshee as soon as we get to the top.


So yeah, remember when you are facing that next monster hill in front of you, just take the Mercy girls' advice and no sweat, just use it.