Every year Santa Rosa High School’s Cross Country team hosts a week long running camp at the Avenue of the Giants. On July 26th Coaches Carrie Joseph and Doug Courtmarche drove seventy SRHS students and twelve alumni along with truck loads of sleeping bags, tents, and out door cooking supplies for a week of running, camping, and great memories. During camp students bond over dinner campfires, hikes to Eel River, sleeping under the stars, participating in camp traditions, and of course running. Each day consists of a morning and evening run and between that time students have the opportunity to relax and enjoy themselves.This year was one of Cross Country’s biggest enrollments, but Coach Carrie Joseph wasn’t worried.
She says, “We have different personalities each year, and each year sees different traditions continued and inside jokes that follow the team through the season. The best part of course is that each runner experiences personal and emotional growth. Our runners test their limits and push past their comfort zones.”
The most difficult and memorable run is the infamous Grasshopper Run. It is a fifteen mile uphill trek to the top of Grasshopper Mountain where students put their abilities to the test.
Sophomore, Sophie Haugen, recalls the intense climb saying, “I remember being angry, wanting my legs to be cut off and I remember how loudly everyone was cheering. I remember being hugged by some of the best people I had ever met. I remember the overwhelming feeling of happiness and comfort that followed me throughout all of camp.”
Another memorable part of camp is the Annual Talent Show. On the last night of camp on the bank side of the Eel river students enjoy performances from their fellow peers. Senior, Sarah Catching, says, “Everyone is part of the talent show, so it kind of forces people to come out of their shell and either showcase a talent or just make people laugh.Also, no one beats Doug at the snorting contest. No one.”
For most Cross Country camp is the highlight of the year and continues to be a great way to kick off the SRHS Cross Country season.