Article by Lilli Krier, photos by Pam Borg
Located sixty miles southwest of Bend, Oregon at an elevation of 9,773 feet is Steens Mountain—home of the Steens Mountain High Altitude Running Camp. For some of the Yreka Cross Country team boys it was a return to something familiar. For the girls, it was an all new experience—a very challenging experience.
Led by head coach Pam Borg and assistants Jari Robberson, and Frank Ward, the Yreka squad spent from Sunday July 13 to Saturday July 19 running and pushing themselves to their limit, and extending that limit.
“I didn’t really know if I was going to be able to do some of the stuff I did, like running across the canyon and hiking 28 miles,” said Lacey Jackson.
Each runner had to quickly acclimate to the high elevation for the first two days. On Monday, the first-year runners ran three to five miles as part of the acclimation. Runners who had been to the camp before, hiked to Fish Lake. The next five days offered a number of distance running-related activities that both boys and girls participated in.
On Tuesday, the “Big Day,” everyone was put into different levels of running abilities. There was the number-1 group, who ran the entire time. Two-group ran for 60 seconds and walked for 60 seconds. The third group ran for 60 seconds and walked for 90 seconds, and the number-4 group walked the whole time. The Big Day consisted of a 30-mile hike/run where runners could be picked up by buses at the end. The most daring of the boys ran back to camp–another seven miles. (more…)
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