Submitted by Rene Carroll
As our community follows the Washington Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, Washougal School District Middle School Track is being offered in a whole new way. Tracey Stinchfield, JMS Track and Washougal Middle School XC Coach and Megan Lambert, CCMS Track Coach have invited students to participate in a virtual training program through www.washougalrunners.com.
“With so many kids feeling isolated and bored I was trying to think of ways to help them feel connected,” explained Stinchfield. “Although the season doesn’t look the way we had hoped and we are very sad that we can’t get together to train, we would still love for students to have the fun and benefits that come from being active and being a part of a team!”
The website offers daily training workouts and a place where students can report completion of a workout. The current training program is to prepare for a 5k run in six weeks. It culminates on May 16, the day of the Washougal Schools Foundation Student Stride for Education fun run. “If The Stride is not able to happen in the traditional way, there will be another plan,” assured Stinchfield.
“I really appreciated Tracey reaching out to me about this,” said Lambert. “We have some students and parents at CCMS who were so excited to have it available. I think the kids are feeling like they’re losing a lot right now. So, to have something to do, to look forward to, and not feel like the track season is completely gone, is important. I’m happy to just be able to reach out and connect with the students in some way.”
Stinchfield and Lambert want their athletes to get more out of the experience than just training. “I love the way track gets kids out of their comfort zone and trying something new,” Stinchfield said. “It’s also great to set a goal and to have something to work towards. It will help give the kids something positive to focus on.”
Participation has started slowly, but is growing. As the numbers increase, the coaches will be adding other fun elements to get more participants excited to be a part of it.
“Students can join in at any time and adapt and change the workouts to fit their needs,” Stinchfield said. “We are asking students to let us know how their training is going. We will respond to them through email if they submit a workout. As the season continues, we will add ways for them to connect with each other and to encourage one another in their training.”