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Here’s to Autumn Running: Foliage Weekend 2

Elena brings the zest to running camp along with her wee companion, Little Pinky.

That familiar snap in the air, glowing sunshine against vibrant leaves, rustling tall corn stalks, shrouded mists on Big Hosmer and hoar frost abounding, autumn at Craftsbury resonates. Fifteen spirited runners showed up for the last foliage weekend running camp for superb running and camaraderie.

Long-time Craftsbury runner Elena brought her robust posse of five from Boston and we hardly needed the tough core and body workout by Coach Jo Jo since the non-stop laughing served as its own abs strengthener. We ran hills in the mists, climbed Mt. Elmore in brilliant sunshine, were rewarded with superb views from the fire tower and ran a spectacular Ridge Run too beautiful to waste time stopping to photograph it. Coach Mike talked about training principles, Coach Sue gave us the ins and outs of injury prevention and Coach Jo Jo put the athletes through their paces in the AC gym. It was a highlight listening to Coach Kasie share her international mountain and sky running exploits. What a weekend!

With only Trails2Ales left on the running camp calendar, the 2015 running season is drawing to a close. Lots of exciting camps on tap for 2016 including a beginning runners weekend and a four-day foliage camp — thanks for coming to Craftsbury, see you next year!

I was setting out cones for the hill session in the dark by flashlight and soon after that we were out in full force zipping up and down the hills.

The sun started to pierce the fog as we headed for the Matterhorn

Jen and Beth get their breath back after ascending the Matterhorn in the magical mist

A challenging hill workout completed by 7:30am!

Our favorite red barn, the Murphy’s landmark glows

Runners in residence at Craftsbury

Dahlia came to camp to reinvigorate her running after having Baby Savannah

Lake Elmore view from the fire tower

The other view from the fire tower — runners and shadows

Coaches Lynn and Kasie show off their Run Vermont swag from long time Craftsbury coach Jess. Coach Mike wishes he had the goods, too!

Our lake-side lunch was idyllic and relaxing. Patty, Christine and Maggie are discussing whether rocket science is more important than running

The Sunday sunshine was beguiling so we had our coach roundtable session on the deck, caught some rays and took our final camp photo

The weekend's full complement of coaches: Mike, Lynn, Jo Jo, Sue and Kasie

The weekend’s full complement of coaches: Mike, Lynn, Jo Jo, Sue and Kasie


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Foliage and Running – Sparkling Sun, Vibrant Runners

Coach Sue leads the post-hill session stretching. The AC deck is the place to be on crisp sunny mornings.

The first Foliage and Running camp came and went with glowing sunshine and a collection of runners that gave the weekend wings. With two wife/husband couples, a mother/daughter pair, two running pals and five sparky women from the Melrose Running Club near Boston the energy level was high, the enthusiasm contagious. Weekend camps are a blast of action from start to finish. This iteration with thirteen brand new to Craftsbury runners and two returners was a whole lot of fun. We ran, hiked, learned about injury prevention and training principles, ate, swam and ran some more. Oh, yes. There might have been a few growlers of terrific craft beer on hand, too. Thanks for a super weekend!

Caitlin was all about working the hills

Jessica came with her running partner Dara. Both ran with vigor, looking to get motivation and mojo from the weekend

Presant was focused heading toward his first Matterhorn ascent

Allison and Dorota hammer an uphill together

Sue was one of the Melrose 5 who all stayed in Cabin D for the weekend. I could hear their laugher from the Duck Blind!

A gorgeous day to wade and swim in Willoughby post-Pisgah hike. The little south end beach is perfect for our picnic lunch

The cider, wine and cheese social was held on the AC deck — all the scullers and runners together. Coach Sue and Athlete Sue are rocking smiles together

Synchronicity Craftsbury-style with Caitlin and Coach Mike sharing their admiration for craft beer

The weekend posse all in one place and standing still.

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Masters Dryland TT #2

Sunday morning dawned sunny and warm on Craftsbury, perfect weather (perhaps a bit on the warm side) for the second West Hill TT. Seven runners, poles in hand, took to the 1.1 and 0.6 mile courses. Everyone put in a good, hard effort and many set new PRs. Hats off in particular to Elinor Osborn for taking a whopping 1:35 off her previous 1.1 mi time!

Results and photos below:

Runner .6mi Time 1.1mi Time Improvement
Wyle Solomon 6:33 11:45 -24sec
Dick Dreissigacker 7:20 12:53 -29sec
Linda Ramsdell 8:46 15:11 +38sec
Barb Massucci 9:08 15:34 (first time)
Sung-Hee Chung 8:56 16:15 (first time doing 1.1mi) -19sec (off previous 0.6mi time)
Elinor Osborn 10:24 18:17 -95sec
George Hall 9:47 +9sec
The Craftsbury masters dryland group after a time trial.

Still smiling after a hard effort. L-R Sung-Hee, Linda, Barb, Elinor, Dick, Wyle, George

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Runner of the Summer: Fred

Every summer amidst the stream of runners who come to Craftsbury and  dive into all that encompasses running camp, there is always one who makes me ponder the most what it is to be a runner. There’s something about this person’s ferocious drive to give what they’ve got to the pursuit of being a true blue runner. It’s more than that, though. This runner embodies grit, resilience, pluck and effort coupled with a love that is pure.

Admittedly, I have a special place in my heart for the runner who lives and breathes the most primal running discipline: cross country.  2015’s Runner of the Summer is Fred. Another of Fred’s most appealing qualities is that the man knows how to laugh and have a good time even when contemplating the beast of all races, a 10k cross country outing. Fred gives it all when he’s working hard so much so that his classic “working hard” face yielded this memorable quote by one of our best coaches, Mike, “Fred, you look like hell but keep going anyway!” Here’s to you, Fred and to another year at Craftsbury!

A devotee of craft beer, Fred loves the social aspect of running camp

Coach Brett teases Fred about his lack of bendy-ness

Fred leading the pack during strides on a misty Common morning

Flat on the grass with Matt after a hot and sunny Endurathon Day biking, hiking, running and biking

Coach Jess demonstrates her core work mastery while Fred wonders if he can measure up

A woman magnet, Fred shows his best face. Thanks for the laughs, Fred!


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GRP Girls’ (Extra Blue?)Grass Speeds

Heather Mooney works her herringbone in Pepa's latest summer edit.

Heather Mooney works her herringbone in Pepa’s latest summer edit.

It’s that time of year to get out the rock/grass skis at Craftsbury. Pepa shares footage of the GRP girls’ speed workout over on Elinor’s hill, next to the farmyard. Check it out on Pepa’s YouTube Channel.

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All Comers Do It All

Matt exults in a perfect Ridge Run morning

In case I got confused, Suzanne labeled her banana for me

All comers week started four years ago as an overflow camp for those who didn’t register in time for masters week. The week no longer plays second fiddle to masters week. It has its own vibe and it’s loaded with folks who are passionate about their running and looking for a vibrant week. With sixteen returners and nine new faces, the week was a blast of fun, speed and laughs. With an age span from Phoebe at 19 to folks in their 60’s, all comers week is something special.

This week ends the summer camp season. See you next year when there will again be three high school cross country camps, a second all comers week and a beginning runners weekend on the schedule. Thank you runners for a successful and memorable 2015!

Lizann and Emily, mother and daughter, came to camp together. Lizann is a brand new runner

This was Phoebe’s third year at Craftsbury and she’s really nailing her running these days. She ran 82 miles during the week

Jane and Sarah were first timers this year and enjoyed the whole week

Inducted into the Wall of Fame this week, Claudia works her relay leg

Mike came to camp healthy and raring to go this year

All runners were asked to remove their technology for the negative splitting grassy interval workout. Mike guards the goods

First timers Emily, Heather and Jane were speedy and sparky

    A rower turned runner last year at camp, Jeff returned this year with a real spring in his step.

A rower turned runner last year at camp, Jeff returned this year with a real spring in his step.

Emily and Jane flew around the Common during the fartlek and tempo session

Fred puts down the hammer on his relay leg

We had 6 relay teams going and Caleb formed his own team running 5:07 for the mile. He had to use a pasta spoon since we didn’t have enough batons

The gang warms up before the Common workout

Local athlete Ani again made Matt a special birthday cake

Social on the veranda, what a super idea. Thanks scullers!

Coach Barry exemplifies the long standing joke of “full service running camp”

Saturday morning comes all too quickly – our last meal together


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Energy and Experience – Masters Running

Once again the masters romped and stomped their way through their week with 20 returners and 5 new runners. It was a week to remember with favorite coaches Greg and Eric returning to spark it up with their inimitable style. This camp is plenty full of running but it’s the connections forged over so many years that make it so special. To see Jules mixing it up with young coach Jo was to see the authenticity of Craftsbury. New and old, fast and slow, gregarious and quiet — this is masters week.

Drills make runners faster

Coach Jo and Jules: both ends of the age spectrum meet in the middle over cider, wine and cheese social

Elaine is sunny


Michael toughs out the grassy intervals

Michael dashes up the hill

Bette and Laura push and pull each other up the hill

Jill was a smart athlete all week testing her return from injury

Jerry works the intervals in anticipation of his induction into the Wall of Fame — 10 years at Craftsbury!

The masters did their intervals on the grass instead of the track this year — a big change but the relay was as fun as ever

Nobody pulls off the Craftsbury van slouch like Coach Greg while Eric stands in awe

It’s got to be a good week when french braids are happening  in Irasburg

The shady Mt. Hor hike continues to be a popular option on Endurathon Day

Coaches Jo and Anne in synch on sunny Endurathon Day

Lawton and Diane smile it up

Richard contemplates an incongruous ancient pyramid on Westmore Beach

Masters tear it up on the Common with strides

Laura and Nick share the work of fartlek running

Lisa gives it everything during the tempo run

Her first time at Craftsbury found Susan torching it all week long

Susan and Maureen, both new to camp,  had smiles all week long plus they were fast!

Richard and Coach Eric on our last night. Richard was inducted into the Wall of Fame — 10 years at Craftsbury

The entire posse in one place at one time. Unheard of!

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Running with Heart – HS XC Week 3

Coaches Jo and Carolyn front the pack while leading the warmup before grassy intervals

The third and final high school running camp had a flavor all its own. The personalities of these youngsters shone through and they not only held an enterprising talent show, they kept the coaching staff laughing all week. With coaches Rosalea, Carolyn and Barry brand new to Craftsbury,  Coach Jo returning to volunteer and Coach Jo Jo and me, we still were barely able to keep up with them on the humor front. Twelve year old Joey was away from home for the first time. Four-time returner Sam brought an entire contingent from his team in Amherst, MA. And Isabel returned from the first week of camp to show us she was ready to tackle the Ridge Run in full.

Coach Rosalea talks about the hill workout

A swallowtail butterfly clung to my sock for the ride to Irasburg

Perfect day for a hike on Pisgah

Owa leads the pack on the run to Westmore Beach

Eileen swings along with picture perfect form on the run to Westmore Beach.

Nathaniel and Fernanda share the finish line

Coach Barry completes the first Endurathon of his Craftsbury coaching career.

Connor and Joey live large at the Lake Willoughby ice cream stop

Coach Jo Jo gave the harriers five minutes of instruction and then sent them off on their fartlek session.

Sarah and Heather are focused on their task

Nathaniel, Amy and Eileen in full flight

Patrick and Zander were a well-matched duo

We borrowed a friendly neighbor’s front porch after our workout.

As always, the Black River is a welcome treat after the hot workout on the Common

Silly runners after the Black River swim

It was a tight knight group of teens this week


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Zippy Teen Runners: HS XC Week 2

With 24 speedy teens converging on the Center from as far away as Ethiopia, the coaching staff was strapped in for a fast ride. As is his custom, Coach Pierre brought an SUV chock full of his club runners from Ontario. It was a relief to have Georgetown collegians Sarah and Stephen on board to keep pace with the swift teens! Grassy interval day was hot and sunny while Endurathon day rained buckets on us all day long. No matter. We did it all and rejoiced in the effort. It was another full flight week of running with teens that kept us moving at a clip.

Sarah and Stephen read off relay teams on the upper soccer field after the grassy interval session

Mira and Alex power up the hill during in the midst of a grassy 800 interval

Adam, Nathan and Matthew round the bend during grassy intervals

Coach Ron rocks his fedora while filming the interval session

Sarra works the hill with good form

Sarra, Eiligh and Melissa smile after the Pisgah hike


Endurathon Day ragamuffins after the Pisgah hike

Annemarie, Eilidh, Melissa, Loren and Avery stand on the vent in the Westmore Fellowship Bulding where we took refuge for our lunch on Endurathon Day

Zach got the good solider award on Endurathon Day

The only time we all stood still this week

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Junior Rollerski Practice: Agility and Speeds

This past Sunday Pepa brought the Craftsbury junior training group to the school parking lot in Hardwick for a rollerski practice with a focus on agility and speeds.  Also on hand were Pat Guelakis, a Craftsbury sculling coach with a drone for video footage (we’ll try to get an edit from that footage up here soon!), and Caitlin Patterson and Hallie Grossman from the GRP, for previewing the course/demonstrations/cone set-up/photos.  Here are a few photos of the juniors and their impressive agility and speed skills! editCP-01252editCP-01255 editCP-01261 editCP-01266 editCP-01268 editCP-01270 editCP-01274 editCP-01284 editCP-01299 editCP-01324 editCP-01343 editCP-01376 editCP-01379 editCP-2-3 editCP-2-2 editCP-2

All photo credits – Caitlin Patterson

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