The Ramona runners AAU (Athletic Amateur Union) group went on a six-day Sierra trip this summer. The annual trek helps prepare the high school runners for the upcoming cross country season.
They camped at 11,000 feet, went on day runs, and hiked to 14,042 feet. They climbed glaciers and jumped off 10-foot rocks into 40-degree water. One of their hikes was up Old Army Pass, then across at 12,500 feet to New Army Pass and back to camp, about 10 miles.
The third day they hiked to the top of Mt. Langley, which is 14,042 feet. The hike round trip was 14 miles.
They were about 20 miles south of Lone Pine. The running club members went fishing and swimming, and packed and cooked their own food.
The young runners who participated in the trip were: Paul Reynolds, Colton Long, Tanner Perfect, Max Hughes, Matt Mazzola, Brittany Balcom and Chance Varnado-Richardson. Adults were Mario Balcom, Gary Bogges and Kent Richardson.
“All in all the trip was a great experience for all involved,” said Mario and Sandy Balcom of Getfit Personal Training & Fitness Studio in Ramona. “We plan do this every summer to help the runners get ready for their upcoming cross country season.”