I began the summer with the running camp in Indiana, then went on to the National Distance Running Hall of Fame Induction in New York, and in between, went to San Diego to speak at a celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Title IX. I concluded the summer with a running camp for my own team, the NDHS Cross Country team, which I co-coach with Head Coach Jon Sutherland (a college teammate of mine at CSUN and I hate to think how many years ago now).
We’ve been coaching together now for four years, which means that when I came on board for the explicit purpose of building a girls’ team, those very girls I began with as frosh runners are now in their senior year and my fourth year. So I feel this is a special graduating class coming up, and I believe it is their year to shine. It will be a bittersweet experience for certain, as I prepare to say good-bye to them as they go off to college. We lost but one or two girls each year I’ve been here, but this will be a major exodus this year. But let’s not go there just yet! We are just beginning what is bound to be the most exciting and fun year of all. And we kicked it off with a great time and lots of hard work in Mammoth at high altitude and beautiful, scenic, if challenging, running.
We had a special surprise treat near the week’s end. While training at Lake Mary, early one morning, my good friends Coach Bob Larsen and Olympian Meb Keflezighi showed up the same morning and site for one of his last training sessions before heading to London for the Olympic marathon. . . . . where we now know he placed an impressive fourth overall in his final Olympic appearance. What a nice send-off and a highlight of our trip!