Earlier this month, the Betty K. Marler track team had the privilege of training with the Boulder Track Club. The club members have graciously offered to host one training session each month for these young women and provide them with weekly training schedules. Below, Student Kayla S. describes the very well received event.

The Boulder Track Club is an organization started by an Australian man named Lee Troop. He is just as awe inspiring in person as he is on paper; a few of his numerous accomplishments include breaking a 33-year-old national record in the 5000 meter race in 1999, running in the Boston marathon twice (winning the masters division this year), and competing in three Olympic Games.

On the drive to Boulder, our team's excitement was palpable. Once we arrived at the track, we were greeted by Lee Troop and a throng of elite athletes and coaches. When most people think "elite athletes," big names come to mind; most don't think of the everyday athletes that are moms, teachers and nurses. These are the women who don't run for the money or even the prestige. They run because they truly love the sport. We could feel the passion they have for running by listening to them speak about the sport, captivating each of our attention.

After the athletes explained their events of choice and what brought them to running, the training commenced. The warm-up consisted of a "light" one mile jog, staggered sprints, and stretching, whereby standing in that circle we truly felt like a part of the Boulder Track Club. This was followed by a one mile time trial to get a baseline for each of our abilities. Each of us completed the mile, and the coaches were thoroughly impressed by our perseverance and willingness to push ourselves past our preconceived limits. During the last hundred meters, we were greeted by our own cheering section consisting of the coaches, athletes, and even our own teachers. This lifted the morale of each participant, and helped us really push through that last leg.

After the timed trial, each of us had the chance to ask the coaches and athletes questions. Despite the disappointment of our teams' coaches, we were quite excited to hear from the athletes that eating a Snickers bar is a sufficient source of proteins and carbs after a long run. The common theme from each athlete, though, was made prominent when the question "Why do you run?" was asked. One athlete responded quite simply with "Because I love it." Out of all the answers given, this one struck a chord deep within the group. Each girl nodded their head knowing that is why we were there as well - for the love of running.


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