Forty runners — 22 high school and 18 middle school — recently took part in the Blair XC Camp.

The cross-country clinic was from July 24-26 and tackled both the physical and mental sides to the sport.

“The camp covered all aspects of training,” Blair High School coach Darren Harsin said. “In addition to the physical training, where campers had a tailored workout every day to their current fitness level along with a session on running mechanics, they also received instruction on the nutritional importance of training along with the key role the mental component plays in their training and development.”

To help facilitate the camp's message, BHS coaches enlisted the help of six guest speakers. Midland University sports psychologist Lexie Kuhr, a Blair graduate, took the runners through a mental training exercise, while Memorial Community Hospital & Health System dietician Jeane Christenson talked them through food and drink options.

Former Bears Molly Dibben, Lily Johnson and Alec Wick — who've all competed in collegiate running — answered the runners' questions, and motivational speaker Ron Gustafson — who lost his right arm in a childhood farming accident — challenged them to push beyond the perceived limits they place on themselves, Harsin said.

“It was a great camp,” the coach said. “The kids were wonderful to work with, brought a lot of energy and enthusiasm every day, and demonstrated a genuine interest in becoming better runners.”

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