Maybe the secret is out-even the really good runners don't actually like running.
"It is not fun running an hour and a half by yourself, but it is worth it for all the glory," said Dawson County High School student Jacob Poston last week after he signed to run cross country and track for Augusta University. "I am not doing it to get last."
The senior signed on May 5 in the media center at DCHS in front of friends and family and his dad let the secret go.
"Running is hard. It's not that fun," said Jacob's dad Matt. "Jacob doesn't even like the training. He hates it, but he does it because he knows what's going to happen.
"He knows if he's going to be good, he has got to do that."
Poston's self-discipline and dedication to a highly individualistic sport have impressed many as evidenced by the testimonies from coaches and family alike.
"His work ethic, his mind set, he disciplines himself both mentally and physically," said Head Track Coach Arron Haynes. "As many of ya'll know through his diet and everything he has done. He has worked to be a machine."
Poston even switched to a vegan diet last year to give him a greater advantage.
"Jacob is a fantastic runner and an even better person," said Cross Country Coach Charles Beusse. "He puts his whole heart into everything he does and is incredibly driven and disciplined.
"With Jacob's talent level, it would be easy for him to focus only on himself, but that's never been the case with Jacob. He has always placed a higher emphasis on team achievements, and as a result, he has encouraged and inspired others to strive toward success within the cross country program at DCHS."
He continues to serve as mentor to the runners that come behind him-and most of them do.
"He leads our young ones, he pushes them every day. They just want to be better than him-‘I just want to beat Jacob.' They don't do it, but they try to," Haynes said.
His younger brother Nico cited Jacob's example as motivation for his own efforts on the track.
Beusse credited Poston for helping build that program.
"He has really set the bar in terms of things within the cross country program. Because of him we have been able to fantastic things with the program and build it. I know that the things that he has done are things that others are going to look to and help them as well in the future," Beusse said.
He will be joining fellow runner and competitor from East Jackson High School, Chandler Kennedy, who has also committed to Augusta University, as well as former Dawson runner Dylan Forester who will be a senior next year.
"The main reason I picked Augusta is the coach was really persistent," Poston said. "He texted me on and off, always asking how things were going. I really felt like I belonged there."
Poston broke the cross country 5K record at DCHS with his 15 minute 32 second time. He also broke the 1600m record with a 4:22 time and the 800m with a time of 1:57.
Poston qualified for the state finals in the 800m, the 1600m and the 4x400m relay. He finished first in the 800m at the state sectionals at SE Bulloch on April 29.
He will travel with the team to Albany for the state finals May 11-13.
Poston plans to study business at Augusta next fall.
"They are not only getting a stellar athlete, they are getting a stellar student," said Assistant Principal Todd Henry.