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Craftsbury in the Southern Hemisphere

DSC_7155Our globetrotting endless winter members the Massey-Biermans are getting some early (or maybe it’s late?) season k’s in on snow in Argentina. From Paul -

“Craftsbury well represented in 4 km girls pursuit race yesterday – run on the FIS sprint course where they cancelled the races for the weekend when there was no snow.

Post race dinner for the kids (and parents) involved boxes of empanadas and piles of cake and ice cream. Podium was stairs of local coach (and former Argentina Nordic Olympian, Sebastian, who is in blue jacket) and prizes were local chocolate.

They sure know how to have fun down here!”

Looks like!

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Craftsbury on

runblogger-shareBeen great having author Pete Larson with us this week and last for Running Camp. He’s shared a bit of what he’s been up to on his site.

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Paw-Paddle Adventure Race and The Ridge Run

Three legged teams race to the Duck Blind to get an egg and continue up the Duck Blind hill

Next it’s up and over our wood chip pile while carrying one of their teammates

Friday afternoon traffic jam on Lost Nation Road

The mud puddle was smaller this week so the runners crawled through rather than run

Is there a traffic pattern here?

Silly Paw-Paddlers!

Matthew and Nevin were in perfect harmony for the entire 10 mile Ridge Run

Coach Rachel and Sam were happy runners

Charlotte, Anneka and Henry were a companionable trio

Samuel was working on his pacing this week and he did a great job on the Ridge Run

Parents were arriving – camp was over so fast!

Take 24 eager and avid runners, add mud, a wood chip pile and a race on the water. Sprinkle in some old fashioned foot speed and you have the Paw-Paddle Adventure Race.  The runners had to do some three legged running and some leap frogging for good measure.

The week ends, as all our running camp weeks do, with the Ridge Run. The morning dawned with crisp cool air and the gorgeous mists hanging over the valley never disappoint. Coach Sarah, running the Ridge Run for the first time called out, “This run is insanely beautiful!”

On that happy note – thank you to every single high school runner who attended these last two weeks. With three weeks next year, 2015 promises to be even better!

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Cross Country Week 2, Part 2

Another incredible Pisgah hike

Sophia smiles her way to the beach finish line after the hike

Coaches Laurie and Rachel think they are in ice cream eating camp – 7 flavors in one bowl!

Myla created some Craftsbury graffiti at the Willoughby Lake Store where we got our ice cream

The day after Endurathon Day – lotsa stuff to do

Charlotte and Hannah work together during the fartlek session on the Common

Avery and Henry in full flight

Samuel and Myla push and pull together during the tempo run

The Common’s pristine grass is perfect for a barefoot warm down

Myla and Katherine play in the Black River after the Common workout

There’s no better way to celebrate completing a tough workout

Watching 24 high school runners give all they’ve got every day is inspiring stuff. We reward them with ice cream and Black River play time along with lectures about exercise physiology and how to create a training plan for the rest of their summer. They also get a chance to grill their coaches during the Stump the Chumps session – the young runners are fearless when it comes to pushing their coaches hard! Another highlight of this week’s camp: talented artist Wyatt asked if he could take over doing the white board in the Lounge each day. We were treated to amazing art and graphics every day. Thanks Wyatt!

There will be 3 high school cross country camps next summer – come join the fun. See you next year!




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High School Cross Country, Week Two

A perfect day for a track workout, Coach Theresa instructs on negative splitting

Katherine double tasks while listening to Theresa

Wyatt listens intently to the instructions for the workout

A fast pack springs off the line for an 800

Callie bears down during an 800

Georgetown University teammates Rachel and Sarah instruct on the finer points of relay racing

The whole team welcomed home relay anchor leg Matthew

We got home from the track with time for a pre-lunch swim in Big Hosmer

A full camp of 24 speedy teens from all over New England and the mid-Atlantic plus Shreveport, Lousiana came to Craftsbury for fun, fast running and lots of learning. We cram a lot into a day and running is only a part of it. There’s not much better than a leap off the dock after a hot track session before a scrumptious lunch on the veranda.

Endurathon here we come!


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Big Hosmer Hair Whipping – It’s a Thing

Myla gets it started

Katherine follows

Avery’s next

Avery and Anneka simultaneously

A crescendo of hair and water by fast runner girls

The Paw-Paddle  Relay had just concluded when we were treated to a hair whipping extravaganza by Myla, Katherine, Avery and Anneka. It was Big Hosmer performance art never before seen at high school cross country camp. We gave it 4 stars!

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Recipe of the Month: Spiced Maple Pecans or Peanuts

Fresh greens and veggies from the garden get a serious salad upgrade with spiced maple pecans and homemade dressing. These are also great as an on-the-go snack. We dare you to resist eating them by the handful!

Yield- 2 ½ cups

1 tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. sweet paprika
¼ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
¼ tsp. cayenne (optional)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
½ cup maple syrup
½ tsp. coarse salt
2 tsp. maple sugar or brown sugar (optional)
2 cups pecans or peanuts

In a large bowl whisk together the first tsp. salt and spices, as well as maple sugar or brown sugar. Grease large baking sheet. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, melt butter, maple syrup, and the rest of the salt, and bring to a boil for 10-20 minutes, until is dark brown and foamy. If you have a candy thermometer, bring the temperature of the mixture to 290°.
Remove pan from heat, stir in pecans or peanuts until coated uniformly with butter and syrup mixture.
Quickly pour the coated nuts into the spice mixture and stir until coated evenly.
Quickly dump coated nuts onto prepared cookie sheet and spread evenly. Let cool completely on cookie sheet before storing in airtight container.

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Cross Country, Part 2

It was an 8 pony tail week!

Coach Wilson instructs on the finer points of fartlek and tempo running

Craftsbury Common grass is perfect for strides and drills before the workout

Melissa, Annemarie and Eilidh ran strong in a pack

Bryce, Allan, Drew and Adam concentrate on their task

Black River antics after the Common workout

The Paw-Paddle event had the teens tearing through a huge mud and water ditch

Justin, Bryce and Eilidh are in there somewhere!

The water portion of the race begins with mayhem

Rachel, Shannon and Drew were the speediest paddleboard

Dom flies into Big Hosmer

Olivia, here for the third year, is heading to Vassar in September – we will miss her

The whole gang – it was a week to remember

High school cross country week entails a whole lot more than just running. After the tough fartlek and tempo workout on the Common we cooled our legs in the brisk Black River.

Olivia’s idea of a Paw-Paddle adventure race hit its stride this year: teams of three had to run with legs tied together, transport an egg up a hill on a spoon, traverse a giant wood chip pile, perform a tough yoga pose and then negotiate their way through a water ditch while holding hands. Once on Big Hosmer, the teens raced their paddleboards and kayaks and then had to run and leap off the dock. With nothing but honor at stake, the young runners raced ferociously.

Good luck with your summer training, harriers! See you next year.

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Cross Country Runners Do It All, Part 1

Melissa, Eilidh and Annemarie head for the Matterhorn during the hill session

Adam powers up the Duck Blind hill

Shawn and Owen in synch up the Matterhorn

A silent sunset swim on a hot night was magical

Biking home from Irasburg on Endurathon Day in a driving rainstorm left Drew, Owen, Dom, Adam and Bryce grinning

Believe it or not, the dirt and mud from the rainy Endurathon bike ride left the runners and Coach Wilson happy

Week one of the third annual high school cross country camp was a boat load of fun. The young harriers powered through hills on a hot and sunny afternoon, learned about exercise physiology and nutrition and they honed their racing strategies by running in the Tuesday night 5k trail race held at Hosmer Point. Endurathon Day was sunny and gorgeous until the bike ride home when an epic rainstorm transformed the ride home into an epic mud and dirt fest.

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Forest Finds

White throated sparrow nestlings are cozy and dry despite the heavy rains


Four tree swallow nestlings still have some feathers to grow

My latest forest discoveries demonstrate the difference between being a ground nester like the white throated sparrow and a cavity nester like the tree swallow. The white throated sparrow nestlings grow faster and hop out of their forest floor nest as fast as possible – predation is a constant risk for such a vulnerable nest location. They are still vulnerable as they hop around on the forest floor but with short practice flights they gain strength by the hour. One day after I took the photo of the white throated sparrow babies they were fledged and gone leaving behind the perfect nest made of grasses and pine needles.

Tree swallow nestlings get to luxuriate in their nest a bit longer for a solidly good reason: they must be able to fly the minute they leave the cavity.

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