Flagstaff running camp

Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Flagstaff with my teammates from Mesa Community College (MCC). We stayed at a beautiful ranch about 30 miles outside of Flagstaff and 10 miles on a dirt road, very remote. I must admit I has a bit apprehensive about spending several days at a cabin with mainly 17-19 year olds. I was hoping to learn about their goals for the season, discover what subjects they would be studying and figure out a role for myself that would be teammate and also mentor.

Kevin dropped me off at MCC at 530am commenting that the runners looked pretty young. I piled in the van with assistant coach Derek our trusty driver. We had a great ride up to Flagstaff and arrived at Buffalo Park to run 8 miles then depart to camp. I love running in Flagstaff the cool weather and clear air is awesome. My lungs were burning right away as we ascended almost 800 feet for our run. Post run we had a little picnic in the park.

We arrived at the cabin and Taylor called “girls get the upstairs” I claimed a bedroom and invited anyone to join me, there was no way I was sleeping 4 to a bed or on the floor. I lucked out and got my own room, I was prepared with ear plugs if needed. Everyone was settling in and doing a few fun activities.

boys with their chopped wood

They all headed out for a night run while I got the dinner started. Assistant coach David was kind enough to bring his camera and video tape everyone running. Throughout the trip he worked tirelessly to review each video individually and point out form issues. He also gave each person some exercises to help work on their form. This was really awesome and I hope everyone does their exercises (hint hint).

coach David video taping runners

Thursday morning we drove up near Snow Bowl and found a nice mountain road for the days run. We had packed breakfast to have post run. I had my Garmin and clocked almost 1000 foot climb for a roundtrip 9 mile run. We had some beautiful scenery with mountains and pine trees. My teammate Becca and I were able to enjoy most of the run together. As we crested the mountain we came into a beautiful meadow and several horses. They had reins but no owners in site although they were beautiful I felt a little freaked out by their size. What if they charged at us? Becca and I decided to tiptoe off the trial as they trotted past. I had only .25 to go on the run when the road split. Hmm which way to go? I figured out an option on my Garmin watch called “return to start” that came in handy, being lost and starving is not a good combo.

Becca and I after conquering the mountain. My new Stripey top!

The afternoon plans were to drive to Slide Rock in Sedona. Derek navigated us through a horrible thunderstorm complete with hail. We arrived and got settle at Slide Rock but the storm followed. We were still able to enjoy about an hour of the cool waters. One group of guys got a bit seperated for the day and they did some fishing. When they brought the fish home I really did not believe they caught them with their hands. They chopped off the heads and cooked them up for dinner. I was impressed! I inquired about other cooking skills; toast, cereal, sandwiches. Not sure if cereal is really considered cooking.

Slide Rock in Sedona AZ

Thursday night we had a team meeting with the girls. Taylor and Harley are the 2 remaining team members from last year and the rest of us are all newbies. We set of goal of getting the girl’s team to Nationals. I shared my goal of winning Nationals! I shared a little running wisdom with them and how I hope to help our team to be the best it can be. The boys had a similar meeting steer headed by Eddie and Efron. If there is one thing I know after last year it is how to chase down a dream like nobodies business. I hope to share that drive and passion with my teammates while encouraging them to be the best runner they can.

The whole team including coaches.

Sadly a few members of our team were not there since all their paperwork was not complete. Lessons we must learn in life; get your stuff done early!

Our girls team came away from the trip excited and motivated. The drive back was fun. I took over the deejaying with my iPod and we played guess which family member downloaded this song on my iPod. Glad to see the girls like some of my songs and not just Josh’s picks. I look forward to the season ahead.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Dallas Yarbrough
    Aug 22, 2012 @ 21:14:41

    That’s a great summery! There is no reason why the teams shouldn’t go to nationals, an place well! They will be tough with coaches training and will do great things! Just make sure they stay positive and focused on the goals that they want as a team and they are holding each other accountable for their actions!


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