Practice starts 3:30 p.m. Friday at the Haines School for the high school boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams.

Coach Tara Bicknell said runners must have a physical and office paperwork complete to practice with the team. Eighth-graders also may practice with the team.

Bicknell said she sometimes hears from students that they’re “not runners.” “If you’re (young), you’re not anything yet,” she said. “There are people who start running at age 40. You can still try new things out.”

Interested students who aren’t yet eligible to practice with the team should contact her at 303-8272 for a training schedule, Bicknell said. “They can be working out on their own.”

Now in her second year as coach, Bicknell said she advised students they don’t have to run all summer to stay in shape. Working on a fishing boat, climbing mountains or playing Ultimate Frisbee are all ways to stay fit during summer, she said.

Bicknell said the team will ease into its season. “It won’t be real hard. We start out with something everybody can be part of. We understand it’s been a while since some of us have run.”

The season’s first meet is Aug. 30 in Juneau. Four meets are on the schedule previous to the Southeast championship Sept. 27 in Ketchikan and state championship in Anchorage Oct. 4.