“The ability to continue moving when you are feeling scared, tired, fearful or lazy is the sign of true mental strength.”

Being at Estes Park High School for the past 6 years, I have heard a ton of misunderstood comments about running, specifically cross-country running. Generally speaking, there is a misconception of a majority of people when thinking of cross country, they think, ‘Oh, they just run.’

This is FAR from the case. Estes Park Cross Country is a sport full of strong relationships that last a life time. Those that partake in EPXC, or at least understand the culture, what is put in by these dedicated athletes, all understand that it takes more than the individual to be great at cross country.

The EPXC team gets up early in the morning, run for miles and miles, race together, eats breakfast together, eats dinner together, hangs out, play games, lifts weights, MAYBE go for a second run in the evening etc., etc., etc. All of this is done together, for each other, for the team, and for the culture of our program.

The lifestyle of an EPXC runner is different than any other sport. EPXC athletes have to stay disciplined and healthy year-round. Summer is a vital part of the EPXC runners’ season, and making the most out of it puts our runners above the competition. While we’re on the course, our runners are sacrificing their body for the team. During practice, we’re continuously digging deeper to get faster. Other sports don’t have the same togetherness. EPXC is a 365-days-a-year commitment!

It is well-known that Estes Park Cross Country is historically the most successful sport at EPHS. We hold the ONLY state title at EPHS, many Regional & League titles, individual state champions, numerous All-Region & All-League runners, which prove culture has to exist. The culture of EPXC’s team consists of each and every person as consideration of family. The incoming freshman and any new cross-country runners are welcomed, and we support and encourage others in workouts. Additionally, EPXC alumni from past years come and support during races too, and even run with us sometimes at practices.

The dedication, the atmosphere, and the bond between team members sets EPXC apart from other sports. Coach Harris and I are VERY proud to be a part of this team and this culture.

Now to the lease recaps, races and upcoming schedule:

RiNo 5K:

This may be the last 5K to hop into this summer before the season starts. The RiNo 5K in Denver, CO this Saturday, July 27th promises to be ‘fast and flat’ with only 53ft. of vertical gain.

Run through the beautiful RiNo Art District, runners will enjoy street art, a free tech shirt and tons of prizes for individuals and teams.

Coach Stafford is registered and created a team (Bobcat Bombers). Let’s see if we can get a group of us to go and compete as a team. Register at the following link (HERE). Runners can park at the Coors Field structure for free or dispersed street parking throughout the neighborhoods.

The race starts at 8:30AM at 27th St. & Larimer St., so let’s meet at packet pick-up at 7:30AM to pick-up our race packets and get in a good warm-up before the race.

Mileage Tracking & Leaderboard:

Coach Stafford will have his computer set up in the Health Room to jot down your Week #7 mileage on the EPXC Mileage Tracking spreadsheet; keep logging those miles. Bring your Summer Training Binder to practice on Monday as the ‘Mileage Leaderboard’ will be updated.

Let us know if you have any questions on tracking mileage.

Upcoming Week Schedule:

Monday – Threshold Training w/ Coach Stafford @ 6:15AM meet in the Health Room (outside door will be open). Coach Stafford will provide the workout during our team meeting beforehand. Those that are still in the base-building phase, will have a different run scheduled.

NO EPXC Team Captain Meeting this week!

Metabolic Conditioning (a.k.a. MetCon) w/ Coach Stafford @ immediately after run in the EPHS Weight Room. Our focus for this workout will be on the burpee. This type of training consists of a very high work rate for short duration, which improves cardiovascular capacity, VO2 Max, and give a SERIOUS caloric burn. Included are various types of burpee exercises to get the heart pumping!

Tuesday – Stanley Run w/ Coach Harris @ 5:30PM (meet at the front gated terrace). Choose from 3, 4, 5 or 6 low-key/easy effort miles. Please ensure this run is at your aerobic effort and nothing beyond that.

EPXC Summer Team Dinner: The Basch family will be hosting team dinner after the run. Plan to head that direction; parents are welcomed as well for both the run and dinner.

Wednesday – Lumpy Ridge Loop w/ Coach Harris & Stafford @ 6:30AM. The Lumpy Ridge Loop has become a summer tradition for the Estes Park Cross Country team. On this adventurous trail run, we’ll head up to Gem Lake, go on the backside to Cow Creek, climb up to McGregor Mtn. junction and head back on the valley floor. Sounds easy, right? Don’t be fooled, this is a tough BUT fun run where true team building occurs.

If you are unsure of how to get there, please refer to EPXC’s trailhead directions HERE. THEN, stick around as chocolate-chip protein pancakes will be served afterwards.

Also, if you have purchased a hydration pack, please bring it with you on this run. Hydration packs can be purchased at the EP Mountain Shop (various sizes & prices). IT WILL BE IMPERATIVE TO HAVE WATER ON THIS RUN. Also, pack some snacks.

ThursdayNotchtop Bakery & Café w/ Coach Harris @ 6:30AM. EPXC will meet in the parking lot and do a run around downtown Estes Park. Bring some $$ for afterwards. Named after Notchtop Mountain inside RMNP, Notchtop serves up large breakfasts with a focus on local & organic ingredients. YUMMY!

Friday – Conditioning & Muscular Endurance w/ Coach Stafford @ 9AM in the EPHS weight room. Our focus on this workout will be on plyometrics & lower body. Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to sustain repeated contractions against a resistance for an extended period of time.

In strength training (i.e. weights), muscular endurance refers to the number of repetitions of a single exercise you can do without needing to stop and rest (a.k.a. lactic acid threshold training).

In cardiovascular training (i.e. running), it builds the energy systems of the body, the muscle fibers, and capillaries that can sustain long periods of running.

***It’s imperative you attend these sessions. CAUTION: Soreness may occur***

SaturdayRiNo 5K (Denver, CO) @ 8:30AM (Register HERE). See “RiNo 5K” heading for details.

Sunday – O.Y.O (On Your Own) run OR coordinate amongst your teammates to get out for some easy miles. EPXC Team Captains Applicants, this is an opportunity to show your leadership; get your teammates out!

We are Estes Park Cross Country, We are Bobcat Runners, We are Mountain Strong!

Lastly, remember any and all things relating to Estes Park Cross Country can be found on our team’s website: www.estesparkxc.com. AND, please frequent our team calendar as EPXC is jam-packed with races, practices, events, etc. throughout the season.

You all can also follow us on our team Facebook page HERE!! GO BOBCATS!

#epxc #bobcatrunning #bobcatrunner #gobobcats