Although high temperatures might suggest otherwise, summer officially ended for SHS athletes on August 15. While a little heat and humidity may convince the average citizen to pass on a daily exercise routine, for many SHS runners, that was not the case this summer. To kick off the season, members of the cross country team journeyed to a running camp in Vermont to train for the upcoming season.
The 17 runners who went to Vermont stayed in a house near the base of Mount Snow. The day began as early as 6:00 AM with a 2.5 or 3.5-mile run in the woods. After a hearty breakfast and an hour nap, the runners set out for the main workout of the day, which ranged from five to ten miles. The terrain varied from flat to rolling to miles of unrelenting uphill. “Now I look at hills differently because of the hills [in Vermont]. It made everyone stronger,” said Caroline Holmes ’13.
Despite the rigorous training, the cross country runners remained motivated. “It’s much easier to train hard when you’re in the camp environment,” said Eric Dobosh ’12, “I ran more than I ever would have at home.” Cross Country Coach Richard Clark worked alongside athletes, urging them to push themselves and run the extra mile. “On the first day, when I reached the four-mile point I thought I was done, but Mr. Clark pushed me to run one more mile,” said Sophie Bernstein ’12.
The unique sense of camaraderie at the camp is especially fitting for the younger members of the team. “We were all stuck in a house together for a week, so it definitely helped us get to know each other,” said Holmes.
The training might have been difficult, but at the end of the long day of working out, the runners were able to enjoy a delicious meal with their teammates. “I had the kids help me cook. We would make teams of three and the food was exquisite; they came with fantastic recipes,” said Clark.
While not every runner goes to the camp, runners were expected to be at the track and ready to run when preseason officially began on August 23. In reward for hard work, dedication and preparation, the athletes who participate in running camp and preseason are able to compete at the top as a team once the season begins. “[Cross country] is really what you make of it,” said Julia Cowle ’12. “Running is one of the sports where if you don’t try your hardest you won’t succeed, but everyone who goes to running camp or preseason wants to be there. It’s a really dedicated crowd.”