SRC 2018 Blog Day 4: Trail and Pool Running
Wednesday is not only the consummate middle day of Stowe Running Camp, sandwiched in between the tempo run and the long run, but also National Happiness Happens Day. And while happiness happens every day at Stowe Running Camp, this day was something special. This August 8th took campers from the trails to the pool to their very own pageant.
On this hump day, it would be natural to expect a slight flagging of enthusiasm, as campers are getting a little less sleep than usual due to the new living quarters and the excitement of talking with friends. You would never have known from this hardy group that it was mid-week though, as they attacked the day with enthusiasm and vigor. We jumped right on the bus from the gun and took a short trip to the trails behind Stowe High School. We have done a number of different things on this day in the past; this year we decided to bring back an old favorite: the “Hit Your Pace” game. The premise of this is simple: you and a group of friends select a pace that you think you can run for a mile. Then you run a mile, without any watches at all. The team that gets closest to their pace wins.
In this case, the winning team featured a strong group of older guys, but even their years of experience didn’t allow them to get closer than 37 seconds to their target time. Everyone else was way off as well. The working theory is that the fact that the loop was a hilly trail must have thrown people off. Nonetheless, it was a fun activity and a good team bonding experience. Those who needed more mileage ran back to the Round Hearth while the rest of the campers got back on the bus.
Post-breakfast, Tewksbury HS coach Peter Molloy gave a rousing speech highlighting some less well-known elements of success. Coach Molloy specifically went into detail on sleep and nutrition, two topics that are often mentioned but rarely focused on in many high school distance programs. After his talk, we finished a Bonk Tournament and then broke the guys and girls up for two separate seminar discussions. Coach Cusick discussed the value of the long run with both groups, while the guys and girls had separate gender-based talks surrounding the challenges that each face as distance runners.
A light lunch followed and before we knew it we were back on the bus heading to The Swimming Hole, a local pool in Stowe. Again, the groups split into two, this time by age, with the younger athletes hitting up the pool and the older ones going to a local field to do hip mobility exercises and then engage in a rousing game of Capture the Flag. Aqua jogging is a valuable cross-training activity for both injured runners and those looking to add additional aerobic activity without the pounding of running….Capture the Flag is just straight up fun. All of the campers came away from these two activities both having had a great deal of fun and having learned a little bit.
We got back around 5:30, had a little bit of time to shower and relax, and then dinner was served. Post-dinner, the highlight was the annual Mr. and Mrs. Stowe Competition. This probably deserves its own blog post as this years was one of the most dynamic and exciting competitions yet. Early on, a controversial double-disqualification was called on Bobby C and Devyn V during the scavenger hunt portion of the event. Contestants were asked to come up with a running outfit, a talent, a counselor impersonation, and an answer to why they would like to be Mr. or Mrs. Stowe. This year’s group was evidently quite a musical one and during the talent section, contestants captured the judges with everything from acapella to ukulele to trumpet to singing along to the periodic table of elements song. Amalia wowed the crowd with a stirring, ukulele-backed rendition of a Lady Gaga song, Lucas M. tricked the audience into believing he was an actual magician despite the fact he’d learned his card tricks just a mere three hours before, Stephanie transported the audience to the local woods with her bird sounds, Devyn tap danced, Alisa played the trumpet, Neil sang an a-cappella Bruno Mars song, Emma paid homage to the past with her recitation of Shakespeare…the talents just went on and on. Ultimately, Riley C and Neil A were crowned champions, but each contestant deserves royalty status for providing such an entertaining night for their fellow campers and counselors.
All of the contestants lined up in their running outfits!
Silas has his game face on!
Hmm we might have finally found someone taller than Kevin!