2020 Maine XC Watchlist: Reed Henderson, Gorham HS

Notable Finishes: 9th SM Class A Regional 2019, 9th SM Classic J/S 2019, 11th Class A State 2019

Comments: Henderson made a huge jump last fall as a junior going from 65th in the Class A state meet all the way up to 11th. He'll be shooting to continue that upward improvement for a top ten finish and more this fall. 

How has COVID-19 affected you?

The biggest effect that COVID has had on me is summer training. Usually, we have a huge group of runners and we do tons of different fun activities like kayaking, team dinners, and more. Sadly none of these have been possible. We still have a group of people running but it is very small and mostly running based, not much team building. 

What has your summer training consisted of? How much mileage are you putting in?

My summer training is much different from last year. Our running isn't as structured as it used to be, and also my job at Smiling Hill Farm takes up a lot of my time. I would say my mileage is at about 30ish miles a week. Interestingly though, this has forced me to focus more on speed rather than distance, and I'm curious as to how this will play out in our season.

What are your goals for the upcoming season?

My goal for this season is to break 16 minutes in the 5k. I also hope that the boys as a team qualify for New Englands instead of just Calvin and me.

What is your favorite workout that makes you feel most prepared for success?

My favorite workout is mile repeats. I like this because one of my weaknesses is the last half mile of a 5k. Doing these pushes me to grind all the way to the end.

What did you learn from the last xc season that will help you improve in 2020?

Last season I learned that running every day is NOT healthy. I strained my calf and couldn't run for 2 weeks. Thankfully I realized my mistakes and am taking at least a day off every week.

How is your team looking for the fall?

Our team is looking very strong for the fall. Our top 3 runners will all be very close with our 4th runner following not far behind. The 5th spot is less clear, and I think the competition to get in the top 5 will make us a fierce competitor in the season. 

How do you stay motivated when you don't want to run?

My motivation for running has always been my teammates. Because we are all so close in times, we all push each other to be the best runner we can possibly be. 

What is the greatest piece of advice you've ever received in the sport?

Heart. I was talking to Joe Belyea who ran cross country quite a few years ago but still likes to run. He said that a good heart is the most important thing to running. 

What are the top three "little things" that you do to prevent injury?

As I mentioned before I now take at least a day off every week to let my body recover. On top of that, I try to roll as much as possible and get a good warmup and cool down before each run.

What is the one thing you have done during COVID-19 that you have never had time for in the past?

My dad and I rebuilt a Toyota land cruiser. A few years back it legitimately blew up so we had to completely rebuild it. It was such a fun process and the bonding with my dad was worth more than anything. Now I can drive around a sick truck and feel good about it. 

What's the farthest you've ever run at one time?

The furthest I've ever run is 16 miles at one time. But I recently did a marathon in 24 hours with a few friends. We ran a 5k every 3 hours, not for any particular reason other than we were bored and wanted to try something. It was awesome

If every day were a holiday, what would yours be?

I wish every day could be Christmas. I love seeing my family and also running in cold weather is my favorite. 

Favorite subject in school?

My favorite subject in school is calculus, not because it was fun but because it was challenging. My classes have all been relatively easy until I got into that class. 

If you could go on a run with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? Why?

If I could go on a run with anyone dead or alive it would be Josh and Calvin. I know running with some famous person would probably be cool but no one would be able to push me as much as they do.

If your teammates gave you a superlative, what would it be?

My superlative would be glue. I stick to my opinions my friends and I help everyone else stick together.