By KAMELLA BIRD-ROMERO
A new path for the active and health-aware IAIA community is unfolding in the form of a cross country class. The class and club members represent the school enthusiastically at meets across New Mexico.
Leading the way for potential collegiate competition is Ben Calabaza, IAIA’s recreation activities assistant. The course has been offered for two semesters to gauge student’s interest, and thus far, the class is eight strong, including George Alexander, AJ Armijo, Taylor Baker, Jeff Begay, Alexis Estes, Terran Kipp, Dave Naranjo and Willow Tomeo.
“We added advanced cross country for those who took the class last semester,” Calabaza said.
Returning students include captain of the cross country club, Terran Kipp, a former runner for Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo. “Now that there is a running team, it has given me the opportunity to run again and as a team, a small one but nevertheless a team,” Kipp said.
The Benefits of Running
A member of the Pikuni Nation (Blackfeet) Kipp hopes to take his museum studies education back to his people and provide exhibits about his heritage. Staying active while studying at IAIA has helped him maintain balance.
“Being able to do this allows me to live a healthy lifestyle and it’s a form of meditation for me,” Kipp said. “This club has definitely promoted a healthy lifestyle for students.”
Students are not alone in the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle at IAIA. At the beginning of the semester, the class and participating faculty placed at a 5K run held at Buffalo Thunder. IAIA community members Leah Boss, Grace Nuvayestewa and Ryan Rice are occasional participants alongside students on the course and in the gym.
For those interested in running alongside the club or with family and friends, here is a list of upcoming New Mexico meets:
Dec 6, 2013 Friday: Polar Bear Triathlon, White Sands Missile Range, NM
Dec 7, 2013 Saturday: Kringle Jingle 12K, 12K run, 6K run, Albuquerque, NM
Bernalillo, Reindeer Run 10K run, 2M run, 10K walk, 2M walk, Roswell, NM
Dec 8, 2012 Saturday: Holiday Half Marathon 13.1M run, 5K run, Los Alamos, NM
Los Alamos, Las Cruces Half Marathon 13.1M run, 5K run, 5K walk, Las Cruces, NM