This year, the Catch Me If You Can Fernie running camp raised close to $2,000 for the Emily Brydon Foundation, which aims to educate and empower youth through sport. 2016 was the first year that the running camp had a wait list, with only 20 spots available. The camp, which is geared toward youth between the ages of eight and 13, was founded by Georgia Fear. She has been running the camps since she was 16 and says that each day of the camp is unique.
“We do different work outs each day but the drills stay the same and the kids get quite a lot better at them as they practice each day,” said Fear. “The first day we do a fartlek, which is 30 seconds hard 30 seconds easy through Old Stumpy trail, which is about four kilometres. The next day, we did hill reps and relay races around Maiden Lake, and on the last day we have a race to let them go as hard as they can and see how they’ve improved and have fun. So we have them practice the race course [on day three] to know where they are going.”
According to Fear, the camp is open to people of all abilities, even those who were not previously avid runners.
“Some are training for other sports like hockey,” she said. “We even have some young runners who do not have running or track and field offered at their school yet.”
Fear has been running competitively for six years and wanted to bring her passion for the sport to Fernie.
“I have been running since I was 12, I am 18 now and I run competitively. I have run for England and have placed nationally and I wanted to make a running camp here,” she said, “I have been to a few [running camps] in the States and they were really fun. I started this camp when I was 16, and at the time this was the age group that fit best with my age. Trying to tell other 16 year olds what to do doesn’t really work very well.”
Fear does not run the camps alone. With help from her running coach, Mark Roach and mother, Kirsten Fear, she gets the ability to split the camp into three groups.
“My coach is here and the kids love him. I coach the camp and he helps out with strength and conditioning for the kids. Yesterday we did an abs circuit and they basically do whatever he says because he is a cool, strong dude. He’s a cage fighter so they are always trying to wrestle him,” she said. “He also runs the groups with me, I run the fast group and he runs the middle group. My mom also helps out and she runs the slower group.”
Next year, Fear may look to expand the camps to included runners up to 16 years old. For more information and to contact the running camp email Fear at firstname.lastname@example.org.