What is a Valkyrie?
Good question. The school mascot of Shawnee Mission West HS is the Viking and a Valkyrie is definitely a Viking thing. According to Norse mythology the Valkyrie were hand maidens to the god Odin. One of their jobs was to hover over the field of battle, choosing the victors and escorting fallen warriors to Valhalla – Viking heaven!
With respect to the Cross Country team at West, the Valkyrie Running Club (VRC) is the parent booster club that supports (hovers over) the Viking XC team in and out of season, by helping with organizing team events, communication, fundraising for uniforms and travel meet expenses, and so much more.
Beyond that, however, VRC’s mission is to help drive competitive excellence and popular involvement in the sport of Cross Country and to be a link between the past, present and future of distance running within the SM West attendance area.
What is VRC not? VRC is not a small, select group of people involved in our team. It’s all of us working together, bringing whatever passions, talents and resources we have, to move the team forward towards reaching our collective potential.
What is Valkyrie? Valkyrie is me. Valkyrie is you. Valkyrie is WE(st)!
The Vikings of the early ages were among the most prolific explorers in the world. They traveled all over northern Europe and were responsible for settling Iceland, Greenland, and discovering North America centuries before Christopher Columbus. In keeping with this and the fact that Cross Country runners cover vast distances in their training and racing, at the center of our logo is a Viking rune (symbol) that represents good fortune and safety on one’s journeys.
Believe it or not, our high school runners will log several thousands of miles in training and racing over the course of their four year careers. That can be a pretty daunting prospect to a beginning runner who has a hard time imagining running 2-3 miles at a time. A journey of a thousand miles, however, begins with a single step. With that in mind, a guiding principle of our organization and team is to dream big and then work hard to make those dreams a reality by following the advice of St. Francis of Assisi:
“Start by doing what is necessary,
then do what is possible, and suddenly
you are doing the impossible.”