I have been very lucky to have found a coaching job for the last six years. I know that it can be pretty hard to find an open, paying, position in high school sports and I’m grateful everyday I get to show up at a school and run with the kids. After all, I do get paid to run!
One of the best perks of coaching high school cross country are the camps. Not all schools do them, but the few schools I’ve gotten to coach at have had a summer camp With Arvada, we went out to Portland, Oregon to run around. With Golden and now with Green Mountain, we got to trek it up to the mountains and run like crazy for a few days. I went to Breckenridge last year with the previous school I coached for and this year got to go up to Winter Park for four days.
The camp starts out on a Tuesday with a run, of course, and we ran five miles through the town of Winter Park. After some down time and lunch, we got in a few games of ultimate frisbee before heading back to the condos for spaghetti.
Wednesday, we got in two runs, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, time to wander in Winter Park, and a choice of game night or movie night before lights out.
The first run brought two different options: an 3.75 out and back on Vasquez or a longer, lollipop course through the local trails.
Run two, had us jogging through the pouring rain on the trails. I really liked this trail, “Twin Bridges” and went back for a second loop.
On Thursday, we hiked the trail the winds up the slopes of Winter Park Ski Resort and later ran about 3.75 miles along the Fraiser Creek Trail. The night brought the obligatory pizza eating contest at Hernado’s Pizza and was supposed to end with a competitive game of capture the flag. However, the rain had other ideas for us, and left the game field too dangerous to play on.
With our last day, Friday, we brought camp to close with a long run. The kids ran out and back anywhere from 5 miles to 10. I got the honor of running with a freshman that wanted to reach that 8 mile mark. We trucked along. The whole way out was an gradual, steady incline. Tough as nails, my new-to-running buddy toughed it out. We reached the turnaround and cruised the four downhill miles back to camp.
All of the kids did amazing and had achievements to celebrate, a lot of them new to running. With minimal complaining, lots of time to bond, the Racin’ Rams had a great camp to kick off the 2017 Cross Country season.