When Alvin's sister lands the lead in the school play, his parents tell him he'll need to find an after-school activity to keep him busy until they can pick up both kids. A fast runner, Alvin would like to give track and field a try, but it's the wrong season and he reluctantly chooses cross-country instead. But there's more to running cross country than being fast. Alvin must learn how to use patience and pacing, or he'll be left in the dust. Reader support tools, like a glossary and discussion questions, round out this story from the high-interest Jake Maddox JV series.