My sister Sarah is in charge of the Mazama Mountain Running Camp near Mt. Hood, Oregon. We have talked about going before, but each year there was something that prevented the trip from working out. This year, as soon as she announced that it was time for Mazama Mountain Running Camp we looked at our calendar and saw that the dates were FREE! We had planned to do a family trip the 2nd week of August (the only week that was fully free on our calendar) but as we went to plan that, we discovered that Elizabeth's pre-season Cross Country started a week sooner than we had thought. Suddenly there was no time for a family trip. The silver lining? All 4 of us would go to camp! Elizabeth had Summer Piano Institute at Ithaca College at the start of the summer and Xander was attending Summer Music Academy there later in the summer. Now we had the Mazama Mountain Running Camp to look forward to. Read Scott's post about camp experience.
The only rub - how do we get Xander home from summer camp? He'd be finishing his week at Ithaca College Summer Music Academy midway through our camp. Elizabeth piped up at the dinner table, "If I pass my driver's test in June I'll have my license by then. I can pick him up." Wow, yes this was doable!! Elizabeth could stay home alone and then her brother would join her for the last couple of days. Both sets of grandparents live in town and we have a lot of friendly neighbors that they could reach out to if they have any troubles.
We signed up and booked our flight before we could change our minds.
Now here's the thing. I don't really consider myself a trail runner. This camp was all trail running!! We'd do some clinics, and finish off our weekend with a 14 mile run on the Timberline trail to Ramona Falls. We've hiked this trail many times, and I know it well. Scott was SO excited to have the opportunity to run it. My list of top 6 reasons had one noticeable absence - running! It included:
- I would see my sister.
- I would get to see Mt. Hood and area.
- It would be fun to meet fun people.
- A few days with no responsibility what so ever would be lovely.
- Scott would really LOVE the running part!
- It was a growth opportunity for me.
Scott spent all winter and spring training for the Cayuga Trails 50. He was totally trail ready. I spent my winter and spring road running and biking. I knew I was in great shape, but trail running is a lot different than running road. I started to kick my butt out onto the trail a couple of months before the camp. I slowly worked my way up and felt reasonably ok about the trail. It has been a hot, humid and rainy spring, which did serve to make trail running more appealing.
However, as it got closer and people started saying, "You must be SO excited," I realized I was actually pretty nervous. I wasn't feeling even a little excited. I felt like a trail fake!! One day, a post about the Green Lakes 50K popped up and I thought, "I should do that again." That will give me a reason to focus more on the RUNNING part of this camp. I posted about it on FB and tagged my friend Jenny (I did this race with her a in 2014) and some other running friends. No one but Scott was able to do it, but he was game. Hmmm... could I run this by myself? When Jenny and I did it we trained together for months. We knew we'd run together and we'd only be as strong as our weakest link. Without Jenny, I'd have to make myself leave each aid station in a timely fashion. I'd have to keep pressing on just for me, not because I knew she was depending on me for her race. "Let's do it, I told Scott!"
Suddenly I had a better attitude about running summer camp!! I could add RUNNING to my list of reasons to go.
The short story of this camp is that it was AMAZING! I enjoyed every minute and am so glad that we went. When we talked about whether to spend the money on a flight for just a 4 day trip, we remembered that one of our best trips was when we went out for the weekend to support Sarah at Western States. We realized that trips can be short! So, if you are a runner at all interested in trail or mountains, I highly suggest this camp. It is affordable, and has great sponsor gifts from Leki and Patagonia (I'll write all about these in the day to day). An added bonus - it is a lot of fun to go away to camp as an adult!!
Wanna see if the Mazama Mountain Running Camp is for you? Select from the list below to read more about each day of camp.