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Having fun on a run

Summer running club a big hit
By: Matt Long
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Folsom has some beautiful areas to go out for a run and several high school runners are taking advantage of the local trails. A summer run club, which doubles as training for the upcoming high school cross country season in the fall, has been started by Oak Ridge High cross country coach Rob Fairley and he has seen attendance skyrocket this summer. The group of runners, made up predominately of Oak Ridge High runners, but also featuring runners from Folsom, Vista del Lago, Ponderosa and even McClatchy and Del Campo, get together Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 8:30 a.m. for runs ranging from three to 12 miles long. Mondays the group meets at Briggs Ranch Neighborhood Park and runs along the Parkway trail, while Wednesdays the runners meet at Dyke 8 and head up the trail along the edge of Folsom Lake towards Browns Ravine. On those days about 40 to 50 runners participate in each run. Friday’s run attracts the most participants, as about 70 runners have shown up consistently for a run beginning near Bicycle Plus under Lake Natoma Crossing and continuing to Hazel Avenue with some athletes running the entire 11 ½ miles around the lake. “This is our most popular of the three runs and some of the kids really push each other by running around the whole lake,” Fairley said. “That’s a sense of accomplishment to be able to work your way up to being able to run around the lake. Because we’re getting kids from other schools out there, along with some college runners and even parents, that’s motivating to the kids. Some like to jump in the lake afterwards to cool off and to speed the recovery on their sore legs.” Rachel Peterson, a sophomore at Oak Ridge, has been running with the club all summer. “I’m out there staying in shape over the summer and training for the cross country season,” Peterson said. “I like having other people out there to entertain me while I’m running rather than being out there by myself. The training I’m getting this summer will provide a good base for me.” Peterson, one of Oak Ridge’s top runners on the freshman-sophomore team a year ago, said she hopes the team can continue their streak from last year when they won every race they entered. Vista del Lago senior Matt Winkler is also a regular runner in the group. “I’m a pretty competitive runner so I like the fact that there are college runners out there that I can run with,” Winkler said. “I didn’t have the best season last year as I was fighting injury, so I’m hoping for a pretty big year this year. My goal is to place in the top-10 in the state in Division IV and hopefully earn at least a partial scholarship to run at Sac State.” Folsom High’s Sammy Scheuer will be a junior this year and that means instead of running two miles during cross country meets as he did at the freshman-sophomore level, he will be running 5-kilometers as the varsity runners do. He’s using the summer runs to prepare for the rigors of running at the varsity level. “I just love running and I want to become the best runner that I can,” Scheuer said. “My goal is to get my 5K time down to 16 minutes. I enjoy running with the group because there are so many different skill levels out there that you can run with people that are a little faster than you and that will make you a better runner. It’s a lot of fun.” Fairley, who also runs with the group, is thrilled with how the summer runs have gone. “I’m very pleased with the attendance we’ve had out there,” Fairley said. “It’s the best summer we’ve ever had. To have 70 runners out on Fridays is tremendous. I’m excited to see the momentum heading into the cross country season. Usually if you get that consistent training over the summer the season goes well.”