Cross country season gets underway for RUFit

RUFit members worked on altitude training while at camp in Oregon this summer. - Photo by Pete Keating
RUFit members worked on altitude training while at camp in Oregon this summer.
— image credit: Photo by Pete Keating

Running Unlimited Fitness' cross country season began with a running camp in Oregon in August and two meets this past weekend.

Four advanced middle school runners took part in the Sehome Invitational Saturday, Sept. 8, in Bellingham.

The meet consisted of several races, and the RUFit runners competed in the open division designed for all ages and all non-high school team members.

Laura Rodeheffer, 13, was the top RUFit finisher in a field of 69 ranging in ages 8 to 54. She placed 31st (fifth among females), covering the 2-mile course in 13:00. Miguel Guzman, 13, was 32nd (13:02), Carolynn Wicker, 13, 38th (14:11) and Kaitlyn Chelberg, 13, 42nd (14:43).

Four other RUFit runners participated in the Enduring Freedom Run 5K at Windjammer Park Saturday.

Ryan Vasileff, 12, finished first overall in 18:51, taking 1:11 off last year's time, and finishing six seconds ahead of the 22-year-old second-place runner.

Dylan Rydell, 11, finished second (22:18) in the boys 12-and-under boys division; Lexi Hughes, 10, won the girl 12-and-under race (26:50) and Gavin Clark, 7, clocked a 30:21.

RUFit hosted a running camp for its advanced members Aug. 6 to 10 in Central Oregon's Newberry Calderra region.

The group included middle-schoolers Chelberg, Guzman, Megan Keating, Rodeheffer, Vasileff and Wicker; high-schooler Logan Clark, Carly Crowther, Jonalynn

Horn, Tristin Mirabal, Caleb Peek, John Rodeheffer and Christina Wicker; coaches Catie and Bill Rodeheffer; and parent chaperones John Clark, Pete Keating, Theresa

Chelberg (cook), Jim and Jennifer Vasileff and Maggie Wicker (cook).

The participants ran and hiked up to 14 miles a day on the mountainous trails of the beautiful, high-altitude volcanic region.

Goal-setting sessions were held each evening to

help the runners establish positive mental images of what

they wanted to accomplish while putting a stop to negative


Campers slept in tents on the shores of East Lake and participated in swimming, canoeing, kayaking, exploring the natural hot springs and fishing.

Catie Rodeheffer said, "We wanted to give our kids a taste of what running over 6,400 feet felt like because high-altitude training is a staple of world-class distance runners…and the Junior Olympics cross country nationals race is in Albuquerque this December."

She added, "We also kept the cost at just $40 to make the experience affordable to all RUFit advanced runners who could come."

(Below, Ryan Vasileff, Lexi Hughes and Dylan Rydell show off their medals from the Enduring Freedom 5K. Photo by James Vasileff.)

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