Athletes of Irvington High: Samuel Forbes


My name is Samuel Forbes, and I run cross country. I started running cross country in sixth grade for a church league. I continued to run for the church league in seventh and eighth grade, and that’s when I found myself enjoying running. I find running very stress-relieving since school can be tough sometimes so it’s nice to go to school and then afterward go for a five to six-mile run to alleviate those stress levels.

My favorite part about cross country is the relationships that you make with your teammates. We’ve been really close over the past couple of years. You just meet some really cool people and make some really cool relationships with them.

I’ve just always been fast since I’ve been in elementary school, and I just figured that I should just try cross country out. That’s how I started doing it for my church league and started in sixth grade. My coach for the church league was pretty cool, and he really helped me to find my love for cross country.

My favorite memory is I think it was last year, during a race where I started to cramp. This was the first time I’d ever cramped in a race. I still had a mile left to go. But I still pushed through it, and that shows how much pain I went through and how I finished the race despite that challenge. It shows how that obstacle of a cramp didn’t stop me from finishing the race.

There was a competition earlier this year, in which I was back and forth between this one person during the whole race. Then, toward the end, I was able to pass him and receive a medal.

I feel like the biggest setback everyone’s probably had is COVID. I really started to slow down because I wasn’t running during quarantine due to the fact that we stopped having practices, obviously, because we couldn’t. I ended up becoming slower but I’m glad that we’re back now and I’m able to run to my full potential. If I’m not able to go out and run or if I don’t feel like going outside, I have a treadmill I can run on every once in a while. I’ll run three miles on the treadmill, but I usually do this when we’re not in the cross country season. During the season, though, our practice usually lasts around one and a half hours to two hours. The training sessions are from Monday through Friday, and every once in a while our coach will give us a run to do over the weekend. Those also take around an hour. 

Running is mentally taxing. We’re basically running which is like most other sports’ punishment. When you’re racing, when you’re going super fast, you’re racing against another person. And then you turn the corner and there’s a big hill you have to go, you have to go up. That can be very challenging. However, I don’t feel like there’s ever been a time when I wanted to quit because I love it so much.

I feel like the biggest impact is that the sport really teaches us not to quit even when something is hard. I learned to push through the pain since many of these races, especially with the ones with the hills, make you want to give up. But you’re dedicated; you join the sport and you want to finish the run. That’s something that you can take into consideration in life: to not give up and just push through the pain.

I wouldn’t consider a career in cross country or running, but I do plan to possibly run at a community college like Chabot. I’ve talked to the coach there, and they have a really good cross country program. So I would consider going into cross country in college, but I don’t really see myself doing it as a career.