The 'other' Webbmaster arrives in C'Ville

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA -- Today was indeed an amazing day for the campers at the Ragged Mountain Running Camp.

Starting the day off was an easy distance run and breakfast. Next, there was a camp meeting held where the teams were made for the relay races later on in the day.

After everyone got familiar with the members of their team, the camp headed over to Tuttle Lounge for a talk on running and the training aspect of running from William & Mary coach Andy Gerard. Gerard educated the runners about the general terms of training. Gerard pointed out that there are more aspects of training other than running. Weight training, stretching and mobility drills, nutrition, and mental health are the other kinds of training that need to be done to be a better runner. Gerard also discussed 4 types of training in aerobic capacity, anaerobic capacity, aerobic conditioning, and anaerobic conditioning.

While Gerard was speaking, sneaking in through the back door was South Lakes coach Scott Raczko and 3:53 miler Alan Webb. The campers were all shocked to see the Webbmaster in flesh and blood at the camp.

Following Gerard's speech, the campers headed out into the field area in between the Lile and Maupin dorms for a Coach's Panel where the campers where able to ask the coaches in attendance as well as Webb any questions they'd like. Gerard, Raczko, and Virginia high school track writer Pearl Watts were just a few notable names there to ask questions.

The coaches discussed a variety of topics, but of course, Webb was the center of discussion as most questions were directed towards him. One counselor asked Webb if all of the attention in the media and by others gets to him, but the very calm and collective Webb said that it really didn't get to him that much. The main reason why that the pressure didn't mount on him from all of the outside influences is because he puts enough pressure on himself. He talked about how for the entire 2000 cross country season, he didn't care about any other race other than the Foot Locker National race. He discussed how he had built himself up for so long for that race and then once the race finally arrived he was like, "Oh my god. What do I do now?" While he was disappointed with not winning nationals, he just said to himself that he's a miler and that is what he wants to do and now he wants to go after the goals he really wants to meet which are on the track. Webb's ability to rebound from disappointments and learn from his mistakes are what has made him the great runner he is today.

After the panel was finished, the campers got a couple hours of free time to spend with the "Webbmaster" (the term Webbmaster is originated by Mr. Pearl Watts). The great thing about Webb is behind the glorious and almost god-like image that he seems to have on the track, Webb is just like the average guy. He spent a couple of hours signing autographs, talking and joking with the campers, as well as playing a pretty heavily contested board game with many of the counselors. The general feeling from almost all of the campers was that Webb is just great guy and shows great humility.

Once everyone got to hang out with Webb, the campers were transported to Panorama Farms for the exciting relay races. The girls race started at 4:15 and the guys at 4:40. The girls relay race went in leg orders of 800m, 1200m, 1600m, and 1000m. The guys relay race went in order or 800m, 1200m, 1600m, and 2000m. Great performances and effort was put forth by all the campers in both races.

To reward the runners for their hard work in the races, a night of fun was in store for them all. A barbecue cookout was held with barbecue chicken and hamburgers. After eating, the campers went to the Tuttle Lounge for the rest of the night. First, the campers listened to a talk from former University of Virginia assistant basketball coach Tom Perin who is currently a sports psychology. Perin discussed the mental side of running and how to stay from those breakdowns and burnouts.

Next was a talent show where some great talent and humorous skits were found. The West Springfield girls started off the show singing and Dixie Chicks tune. The second act was Western Albemarle runner Evan Younger playing some rifts with his guitar as he played "Johnnie B Good" and "Sweet Home Alabama". Evan's sister, Michelle, was a later act also displaying great skills with the guitar. Also showing their musical skills were Herndon's Mike Dominguez and Loudoun Valley's Jonathan Tew singing the classic "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling".

To cap the fun-filled night off, the campers danced the night away with the camp's "Midnight Dance". The dance concluded at midnight as the exhausted campers headed off to bed after a busy day. The saying "you can do a lot in 24 hours" was very evident today as the campers got to see and do a lot which normally they wouldn't be able to do.

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