Over Veteran’s Day weekend, the inaugural Trail Running Camp on the Nueces took place at Camp Eagle within the beautifully rugged terrain northwest of San Antonio, Texas. Runners arrived from throughout the U.S. (as far away as Alaska and Hawaii) and Canada. This all started with a big idea by tiny Texas trail running speedster, Liza Howard.
How about a trail running camp that blends active and retired military personnel, civilians, and a host of experienced and amazing people (with some fast tread) from throughout the country to bind it all together?
A camp of learning about the sport of trail running and the joys of the active life.
A camp to help veterans reintegrate and reconnect with the civilian life.
A camp to showcase community, compassion, and the connectivity of all of us.
With Liza’s involvement with and integration of Team Red, White & Blue’s mission, she teamed up with fellow speedsters, Jason and Alison Bryant, and Texas trail running legends Joe and Joyce Prusaitis (of Tejas Trails), to create this unique multi-dimensional trail running camp.
The Daily Flow
What were the days like?
All camp participants were divided into group A->D based on their fitness level at the start of the camp. Both Saturday and Sunday consisted of three focused small group runs which covered topics such as downhill/uphill running, speedwork, technical running, running form, and first aid.
Heard of skimming?
You got bit by a big old snake, now what?
Land your foot where?
Each group would play on the trails together. Learn. Support one another and simply enjoy the natural environment.
Positive habits lead to positive change.
In-between the dirt adventures, there would be presentations on trail running topics such as sports nutrition, injuries (management and prevention), training plans, and heat and hydration.
Breadth and depth, it had it all.
Include three meals, a little bit of free time, and you are set up for a good night’s sleep.
Saturday night included a very special gift for us all, a presentation by ultra distance legend, Marshall Ulrich.
After watching and listening, you couldn’t help but be inspired.
A simple spark can change lives.
A veteran mentioned after listening to Marshall speak, he knew he was going to sign up and finish an upcoming 10 km race no matter what anyone else said.
Surround yourself with possibility and watch what happens.
Challenge, Play, Fun – The Obstacle Course
Late in the afternoon on Sunday included a pretty gnarly obstacle course. Runners climbed through a mine, got wet in the Nueces river…a couple times, off-trail bush wackin’, tires, ramps, and plenty of running fun.
After this memorable experience, we all enjoyed a special dinner together where we celebrated and gave thanks for this special experience together.
“You are better than you think you are. You can do more than you think you can.” –
Ken Chlouber, Leadville 100 Co-Founder
The Power of Community
When we see the humanity in each other.
When we accept each other.
When we support each other.
When we learn from each other.
When we interact with each other.
When we break bread with each other.
When we love each other.
We see the power of this camp.
We see the power of community.
It was an honor for my family and I to be volunteers at this camp. I was involved with Group C (Woot!) throughout the weekend and whatever else Liza, Jason, Alison, Joe, Joyce, or any of the campers needed. It was busy…but busy good! A true pleasure to serve.
To be surrounded by amazing people and athletes while playing, learning, supporting, and sharing within the beautiful landscape of Texas Hill Country was a strong reminder of the greatness within us all.
And where else have you seen a porcupine in nature? I saw one of these cute little buggers on trail #2 while enjoying some downhill running. We liked seeing him more than he liked seeing us unfortunately. The little guy ended up climbing up a tree and watching us run from 20 feet in the air. Pretty cool!
Will there be a 2013 camp? From Liza herself – YES! November 8 through the 11th. Check out Liza’s running camp page in the upcoming weeks for registration information.
Be active – Feel the buzz!
David – EnduranceBuzz.com
Posted on 14 Nov 2012
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