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Please join us for an afternoon of fun and golf at the
8th Annual FHS Athletic Booster Golf Tournament at the Country Club of Fairfax.
1pm Shotgun start

Questions? Email Derek Donnelly and Cynthia Cute


Latest Update: 5/12/19
Alumni Run/Breakfast - Sat 5/25

Come run, eat and play volleyball with current and alumni Fairfax X-Country/Track runners. 8:00-10:00 am at Greenbriar Common Park, 13005 Point Pleasant Dr (across from Greenbriar East Elementary School). Run/walk along the Greenbriar trail from 3-8 miles (out & back), refuel on pancakes, bananas and OJ; set & spike in a beach volleyball game. Share stories with Coach Whalley and other coaches. Parents and siblings welcome. Volunteers cooks welcome. Food donations welcome.


Cross Country (X/C) is a Fall team sport and takes place from August 5 – Nov. 16. Races are run through woods and fields on dirt, gravel and grass trails and are typically 3 miles or 5 kilometers. In each race, team members start together and aim to run the course in the shortest time possible. Team scores are based on the finishing places of the top 5 team members. The lowest team score wins. Varsity meets usually involve between 10-50 schools and are held on Saturday mornings; JV races involve 3-6 schools and are held on Wednesday afternoons. Our goals are to win the Conference Championships, help everyone to develop their strength and stamina and to achieve personal time and place goals.

TEAM SQUADS - The Varsity squad consists of the top 7 runners. Varsity boys aim to race 5-5:30 min/mile, varsity girls 6-6:30 min/mile, JV boys under 9 min/mile, and JV girls under 10 min/mile. Those not not ready to race 3 miles at JV pace will be placed on the development squad. Placement on squads will be based on practices, time trials, work ethic, attitude and attendance. Boys’ and girls’ squads race separately though frequently train together. All squads are open to FHS students in grades 9-12 who have parental and doctors permission to participate. Students must have passed 5 classes last year and be taking 5 classes this coming year.

PRACTICES - During the school year, the team practices every school day 3:30-5:30 pm. We usually meet outside the fieldhouse by door #19 and run to local parks for hill training, speed intervals, form drills and games, such as capture-the-flag & ultimate Frisbee. Wear running shoes, shirt (preferably dri-fit or wicking), running shorts, and a running watch and bring a water bottle to daily practices. Also please be on-time, meet with trainers when you're working through an injury, come to practice every day even when you're injured, and be prepared to give 100% effort to a positive training session.​

Summer Training - 
We will schedule a few meetings at the end of May / early June to plan summer team runs and weight room workouts.
Official practices will begin Aug. 5th and will run from 8-12 noon for the 1st 2 weeks then switch to the afternoons once school begins.  We are planning all day trips for Fri 8/9 and Fri 8/16, girls team overnight 8/12-13 and boys team overnight 8/14-15.  Details will be posted before the end of school.

Coach Mark Whalley 703-625-5234 (cell #)


Parents and athletes, please add the following team fundraisers to your calendars.

Sat 8/24 - Car wash & pancake breakfast 8 - 1 pm

Fri 9/06 - Tailgate table 5-7 pm to sell FHS spiritwear & bake sale in FHS fieldhouse parking lot.
Fri 9/27 - Homecoming 5K fun run 5-7 pm

Sat 11/16 - Fairfax Craft Show 9 - 4 pm. We get paid to direct traffic in the FHS parking lot.

Funds from these events will help pay for team canopies, team trips and varsity warmup jackets. We will send notices to signup to volunteer via


ONLINE REGISTRATION - Returning and new athletes, please complete the 2019 team online registration (gives me your student ID# to track your forms): (site open after 5/19)

FORMS - The following forms can be found by clicking on TEAM FILES at the top of the page. Items 1-5 can be dropped off in the Student Activities Office (just inside door #21, room H-115) or mailed to Coach Whalley prior to the first day of practice.  These must be reviewed and approved before an athlete can participate in summer runs, tryouts, practices or competitions. When all your forms, insurance, & concussion education are complete, your name will appear under the Roster section of this website.

1. Emergency Care Information - Requires you to list phone numbers of people to call in an emergency.

2. FCPS Communicable Disease Information Sheet

3. Off-Campus Running form – expected behavior while running off the school campus

4. Extracurricular Participation Policy (2019-20) - Defines guidelines for all extracurricular activities.

5. Athletic Participation & Physical Examination form - Requires you get a physical exam after May 1, 2019. Must use FCPS 2/17 form. All athletes must have health insurance. If you do not, you may purchase school accident insurance for approximately $17 for the school year from the following school provider. Go to the following FCPS insurance link and click on the Accident Insurance Form.​ Print a copy of your receipt and turn it in with your physical.

6. Concussion Awareness Education Program: All student-athletes AND one of their parents/guardians are required by Virginia law to participate EVERY school year in a MANDATORY concussion education program. This FCPS video program is available online at Complete your online concussion ed for student and parent prior to submitting your team forms. Our athletic trainers will notify me when you have fulfilled this requirement. ​

Optional permission Forms:

A. Student permission to ride in car of another student (When going to off-site practice areas)

B. Student or parent driver information (allows people to drive other team members to meets and practices)

REQUIRED SUPPLIES: A running watch and water bottle should be brought to every practice since we run based on time and run places with no water. The running watch should have a chronometer function which allows you to time the length of your runs. Simple models are available at Wal-Mart and Target for approximately $10 and more elaborate models run $20-40. My preference is the Timex Ironman series because it is waterproof, provides 50 splits (intermediate times during a run), and has an alarm.


Signup to receive team messages via REMIND. Text the message "@fhs-xc" to the number 81010 or to 253-693-4909. Otherwise, go to, create an account for yourself, and click Join A Class. Enter fhs-xc. You will be given the option to receive text or email messages.

A Facebook Group has been created for students & parents to post team photos. It is entitled “Fairfax HS XC & Track Team”. To join, people just need to go into Facebook, look up this group and request to join.

A Facebook Group has been created for X-Country & Track Alumni to post reunion and alumni news. It is entitled “Fairfax HS XC & Track Alumni”. To join, people just need to go into Facebook, look up this group and request to join.

Follow @FAIRFAXHSXC in Twitter to receive highlights of FHS XC Team News items posted to our Team website and have them sent directly to your phone. You will also need to go to our Team website, find the section on the main page called Fan Login, create an account/login, click on the tab "Email/Text Alerts" and enter your information and select Coed X-Country as a Favorite and check Email Alert.

The best way to communicate with me is to send me an email message. With email, I can cut and paste from other emails, can include weblinks and can store your message. Text messages are only to be used for emergencies. During practice time, I carry my cell phone. It is primarily for emergency purposes. During practice time, I am supervising the practice, not checking messages.


Varsity boys aim to race 5-5:30 min/mile, varsity girls 6-6:30 min/mile, JV boys under 9 min/mile, and JV girls under 10 min/mile. Those not not ready to race 3 miles at JV pace will be placed on the development squad.

Here are time targets to work towards for varsity athletes:

Time Targets (based on 2017 results)



Top 15 at Conference

16:19 (3 mile)

19:00 (3 mile)

Top 15 at Regionals

16:18 (3 mile)

19:08 (3 mile)

Top 15 at State

16:32 (5K)

19:34 (5K)

Running Logs: Everyone is requested to track their running mileage over the summer (starting 6/1) and show me their logs by the beginning of team practices on 8/5. Logs should show mileage each day, weekly totals, and a summer total. This will help coaches with placing you in the appropriate training group and assigning you appropriate workouts. Athletes have the choice of keeping a paper log (template found under Team Files) or an online log ( During the season, everyone is expected to log their miles by the end of each week, so that I can track your progress. This is a requirement for making the 500 mile club and for earning a varsity letter.  Create a free online account, go to, register for the Fairfax XC team, and record your daily mileage.  The system will total up your weekly and total mileage and track your progress throughout the season.  The team accounts allow you to see the logs of other members of your team, but are hidden from outsiders. You register yourself and request to be added to one of the teams. You will need to enter the team name and ID #.  Setting up your individual account is automatic but connecting to the team takes about a day to process.

REBEL XC-B    T-15009080006-11 (for boys)
REBEL XC-G    T-15009085606-13 (for girls)


Our Team Spiritwear Apparel will be available to purchase online starting in July via The following items will be available: wicking t-shirt, cotton t-shirt, tank top, running shorts, ¼ zip long sleeve fleece, hoodie sweatshirt, wind/rain shell jacket, running pants, backpack. Most of the items are available in both men’s and women’s sizes from XS to XXL. They are made of special lightweight breathable fabrics to help you feel comfortable when running. A color flyer is posted under Team Files.

Note that team members are expected to wear only FHS apparel at meets and will be issued a team racing jersey for use in all our meets. Athletes must provide their own solid black shorts. Varsity members must wear the shorts from this website (officials will check at many of the meets). JV members may wear these shorts or any solid black shorts from a local sports retailer. These spiritwear items are for your use in practices and during meet warmups and warmdowns. Highly recommended are the shorts, wicking t-shirt, 1/4 zip fleece and pants.


2 Local stores that offer free stride analysis (video record you running a few steps on a treadmill), advice from actual runners, and a 10-15% discount when you tell them you're on a high school running team. We will have special FHS team night at each store.

Pacers Running Store, 10420 North St in old town Fairfax, (703) 537-0630 Team night: Tuesday, 7/31 from 6-8 pm

Potomac River Running, 11895 Grand Commons Ave at Fairfax Corner, (703) 988-9700. PRR will give our team $5 for each pair of shoes you buy, so be sure to mention our team code: FAIRFAXXC2018 when purchasing in the store or online. Team night: Tuesday, 9/4 from 6-8 pm

For x-country training, we recommend that athletes wear distance running shoes designed for training on roads and trails. This means they’re made of lighter materials than basketball or tennis shoes, and have strong shock resistant properties to protect against leg injuries. Running shoes are adapted to 3 kids of feet/running styles. Those with high arches (requiring more flexibility), those with flat feet (requiring more stability), and those with severe pronation (rolling of the foot). Most running stores can watch you run a few strides around the store or on a treadmill and assess your running style. Then they can recommend shoes according to your style and foot strike. Most training shoes are designed to provide proper shock absorption and wear for 500 miles which equates to 3-4 months for our veteran runners and 5-6 months for our newcomers.

I recommend training shoes which are moderately priced ($70-100). Popular brands are Asics, Saucony, Brooks, Nike and New Balance. Nike tends to run more expensive.

For x-country races, athletes can wear one of many special racing shoes:

  1. X-country spikes – have rubber tread, removeable metal spikes (1/4-5/8”), ¼ inch of cushioning, and no plastic spike plate.
  2. Distance track spikes – usually a lighter, thinner sole than x-country spikes, , removeable metal spikes (1/4-5/8”), ¼ inch of cushioning, and sometime a plastic spike plate
  3. X-country spikeless racers – similar to x-country spikes but without the metal spikes.
  4. Road racing flats – very light weight, blown foam, very little rubber, ¼-1/2 inch of cushioning, flat or very little tread on the sole

Athletes should consider whether they plan to run track and if so may want a racing shoe they can use for both types of races. Those only running x-country, may favor option 1 or 3.

Racing shoes range from $50-100+. The $50 models are ok for most high school runners, though some top runners prefer some of the more expensive models.

Here are 3 models of moderately priced x-country spikes which Pacer’s Running Store carries:

  • Saucony Kilkenny XC 5: rubber sole, metal spikes, $60
  • Nike Rival XC: rubber sole, metal spikes, $65
  • New Balance XC 900: rubber sole, metal spikes, $85

Most of our x-country meets are run on grass, dirt and light gravel surfaces which can accommodate ¼-5/8” spikes depending on how wet the ground is. Everyone will run at least 2 races and maybe 3 at Burke Lake which includes 1 mile of asphalt road. For this course, runners usually remove the metal spikes and put in blanks or run in spikeless racers (option 3 or 4).

If you know your sizing in a specific model, you can look for discounts from the following websites:


Wondering why people run and how do some get so good? Here are some favorite books about some of the outstanding distance runners in the world. Most of these are available at a Fairfax County Public Library.

Running with the Legends by Michael Sandrock - 796.42

The Perfect Mile by Neal Bascomb – 796.42

Running with the Buffaloes by Chris Lear - 796.42

Pre: The story of America’s Greatest Distance Runner by Tom Jordan - Biography

Sub 4:00 – Alan Webb and the quest for the Fastest Mile by Chris Lear – Biography

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner by Alan Sillitoe


Summer Camps: Here is a list of running camps in the area offered to high school runners at a moderate fee.