2017 Boston Sprint Camp

The Cambridge Sports Union just hosted the third annual Boston Sprint Camp, four action-packed days of sprinting and training. This is the second event in the four-event North American Sprint Series. The camp was designed for all ages and intermediate to advanced abilities, with the intention of providing a lot of race opportunities, many of them head-to-head, and some really great coaching and training. CSU also provided lunch, tasty snacks, and great weather. Each day, a certain number of the exercises were designated as point races, and the best four out of seven points races counted toward your overall Sprint Camp ranking.

Thursday's exercises were an introduction to the "laws" of sprinting, providing participants with a framework from which to develop their own habits for good sprint race practices. We ran a series of training exercises to practice each of the laws, and then had a midday and an evening race, to put it all together. The evening race had bi-fold forking, so runner started in pairs, a mini-race inside of the overall race.

Friday was focused on relay training, with four exercises in the morning to practice certain skills, and then a one-man relay in the afternoon. Most of the Sprint Campers took the lunchtime break as an opportunity to visit the nearby zoo!

Saturday our numbers swelled, with the addition of Sprint Camp Lite participants for the weekend. We started with an armchair exercise to practice interpreting control descriptions, and then onto our feet for another four exercises. The afternoon venue was next to a swimming beach, which was a welcome relief on a hot day! Afternoon race was a team relay, with bonus points to the best team name. Kristin and her daughter Bridget Hall won that competition - the Past and the Future.

Sunday was the final day (see photo above), and it was all racing, all day. Participants first ran a seeding race, and then we divided people up into heats of four runners using a giant bracket, similar to how the Seattle Adventure Running Tournament functions. In each heat, the top two runners moved up, and the bottom two runners moved down. There were five heats after the initial seeding race, each one between 1-2km. This was a fantastic format, and the overall winners were fighting for home-made chocolate chip cookies, so the battle was fierce. The winner of both the day and the overall camp was Mike Kondro, from Calgary. Keegan Harkavy (CSU), Kristin Hall (NEOC), and Steve Tarry (NEOC) were the age-group winners, age groups decided by approximation.

Next year's Boston Sprint Camp will be on the second weekend of June - pencil it in, because you don't want to miss this fun format of coaching, learning, racing, and camaraderie with other crazy nuts who love to orienteer!

--Alex Jospé

posted 17 June 2017