There is hardly anything more challenging than the summer running camps I attended for seven years in Big Bear, CA. There are also no better memories and friendships than those I made at those running camps.
I attended running camp to gain a foundation for the upcoming cross-country season. During the 5 days of camp, we would log about 35-40 miles at high elevation, about 6700 feet. We would do long runs in the morning and shorter recovery runs in the evening, as well as the famous 10-12 mile hill run at the end of our camp. In addition to establishing a good running base, we also learned many valuable lessons that would improve our upcoming season. We learned new core workouts and how to do drills and stretches properly. We were instructed on proper running technique such as relaxing our shoulders, shortening our stride and keeping our arms low. We learned the importance of proper hydration and how to deal with heat and altitude - If we were ever found without our water bottle, we had to help clean up after the next meal. We learned about running strategy and the importance of “running smart.”
As beneficial as all of these aspects were, the most memorable part of camp were the friendships created that helped unify our team. We also met runners from other teams that turned season cross country races into camp reunions. We spent many hours together exploring the small town of Big Bear, swimming at the water park or lake, participating in the talent show, and eating Jeanette’s delicious fried rice. The late night shenanigans, water balloon fights, trips to the corner 7-11 and refrigerator raids will stay in my memory for years to come.
Because I run, I have participated in many running camps that provided a great base for my cross country season and an amazing opportunity to become closer with my teammates. Because I run, I have thousands of crazy memories and have made lifelong friendships. I have become a better runner as a result of summer running camps.
Youth Runner provides a great camp in Oregon for middle schoolers that will help you prepare for your upcoming cross country season and will allow you to meet elite athletes, run beautiful trails, and have fun! I hope you will be able to make it and maybe I’ll see you there!