Cross Country Spends Labor Day Weekend at First-Ever Training Camp
Men's and women's cross country teams on top of the Fire Tower at Moses Cone National Park

Cross Country Spends Labor Day Weekend at First-Ever Training Camp

Training Camp Photo Gallery

BOONE, N.C. - 
Temple's men's and women's cross country teams participated in the program's first-ever training camp in North Carolina this past Labor Day weekend. After competing in their first race of the season at the Covered Bridge Open, the Owls spent the rest of the trip training at ZAP Fitness, running trails, and doing various team bonding activities.

"This trip gave the team an opportunity to get away together, go to a place they've never been, and race people they've never raced before," said coach James Snyder. "We wanted to get off to a fresh, new start this year. The trip made it possible to get to know one another better while also laying out the goals and expectations of the season."

Each day of training camp was highlighted with a morning trail run or hike through the mountains surrounding the teams' training facility; followed by team lunches, meetings, dinners, and bonding. The weekend allowed the team to get out of the city and train on some of the most unique and beautiful trails the south has to offer.

The Owls spent Saturday morning running a trail in Virginia called the Creeper Rail Trail in order to take advantage of its flat terrain. A short run on Sunday led the team to Trout Lake where they hung out and cooled off in the water together. The last workout on Monday morning tested the teams' endurance and mental toughness as they climbed the Fire Tower Trail at Moses Cone National Park, which was a grueling five and a half miles uphill. 

Aside from the training aspect of the weekend, a lot of time was devoted to team bonding and learning from the professional runners who live at the ZAP Fitness facility. The team spent their evenings together playing games, having campfires, and just spending quality time with one another. 

"The trip really allowed us to get to know the new freshmen better," said junior William Maltin. "After the weekend was over we went from just putting a face to a name to actually getting to know each other as individuals. It was a great team bonding experience." 

Not only did the Owls learn about their teammates over the weekend, they also learned from the professional runners who were staying at ZAP Fitness with them. "Living with the professional runners for the weekend exposed the team to the sport at the highest level," said Snyder. The team ate healthy meals prepared by the chef at the facility and conversed with the pro runners around the campfire in the evening.

"They sat down with us and gave us tips about what they thought was important at the collegiate level and told us to always appreciate every opportunity you have because it goes by so fast," said Maltin. "They gave us a lot of running advice but also life advice, which was pretty awesome."

"I think the whole training camp really lit a fire in everyone and showed us the hard work that we have to do this season," said senior Jenna Dubrow. "The trip bonded us together more as a team and I believe we will now be able to work together better in our upcoming races."

Even though each day started very early with a demanding training schedule, coach Snyder said he was very pleased with the teams' attitudes this weekend. "As we continue to develop and grow this program, we want the right people who have the right attitudes in order to compete and be successful at a higher level."

The Owls will use what they learned this past weekend at their next race on Sept. 12 at the Big 5 Invitational in Philadelphia. It is the first year that the team will be inviting cross country alumni to the event. The race is being held at Belmont Plateau with a 5:30 p.m. start time for the women and 6:00 p.m. for the men.

Check out photos from the teams' weekend in North Carolina here.
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