Posts tagged with "cross country"

Alya Alghamdi photo credits to Casey Withers used by 360 Magazine

Alya Alghamdi’s Sprint To Her Dreams

By Alya Alghamdi

Every fire begins with a single flame — mine was ignited with the thought of freedom. Growing up, I always knew there was something more for me. My sisters and I would talk often about what we wanted to be when we matured. They would mention their dreams to have a family and own a house, and I would simply reply, “I want to be on top of the world!”

Despite having a privileged childhood in Saudi Arabia, I longed for a life far beyond what material goods could provide because my fulfillment came from a deeper place — a place of purpose. As I grew, the flame burning inside spread like wildfire, consuming me. I knew my purpose was to burn bright, but the world in which I existed sought to extinguish that. It became clear that my journey to live as my true self would not be an easy one. Still, I decided at an early age that instead of letting my circumstances hold me back, I would redefine them to reflect the reality I wanted to live in.

At that time, I had no idea I would one day pursue athletics professionally. My potential as an athlete went untapped for many years due to the fact that Saudi Arabia did not allow women to go to the gym or join sports teams. It was simply unacceptable for a female to participate in any kind of physical activity. Still, this couldn’t and wouldn’t stop me from dreaming, hoping and impatiently waiting.

Foregoing the arranged marriage that is expected of Saudi Arabian women, I made the unfortunate discovery that my best chance at gaining freedom would come at the expense of leaving my family and my home. Still, I was determined to keep my fire burning, so I left for Europe. I chose my destiny to be a free human being, and that came with a lot of losses, but my gains far outweigh those costs.

In Europe, I was able to discover my true passion — running. I spent the majority of my time exploring new physical activities like long distance running, surfing, hiking and competing in marathons. The simple freedom of putting on your shoes in the morning and doing whatever you wanted to do was a completely new concept to me and I promised myself I would never take it for granted.

Staying true to my childhood pipe dreams and capitalizing on my new found freedom, I set my sights on making it to the top of the world – Mount Everest. This was one of the most difficult but rewarding things I have ever done, and it was just as treacherous, unwelcoming, and life-changing as one would imagine. By definition, the environment was inhospitable. Temperatures were below freezing, there was no running water and any water packed for the trip was frozen still. When you are placed in such a life-threatening position, suddenly, all you can think about is how much you want to live. That trip really opened my eyes to what was truly important in life — love and passion. For some people, they find those things in raising a child, but for me, I found it in my sport.

It was not long after my return from Mount Everest that Saudi Arabia’s Olympic Committee extended an invitation for me to take part in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Physically I had reached the top of the world, but professionally, the Olympics became my new Mount Everest. Working with Olympic royalty Michael Johnson, I dedicated my entire life to training, thinking, dreaming and speaking only of the Olympics. Then, three weeks out from the games, my offer to compete was rescinded by Saudi Arabia due to a culturally based decision that had nothing to do with my ability as an athlete. This was earth-shattering for me. I had dedicated everything to training for this opportunity, to represent my country and make them proud, and in a flash, it was gone! I spiraled into a depression and my soul felt hollow where my fire used to burn.

My coach saw the internal anguish and he told me I was left with only two choices — go home or try again. With my options laid bare, the outcome became increasingly clear. I knew this was not the end of my Olympic journey and my fire once again started to burn. Picking up right where I left off, I trained vigorously for the 2020 Olympics, breaking the record for the 60-meter dash. I am also working toward breaking the 100 and 200-meter, which I am confident I can achieve with my abilities, as well as coach’s confidence in me. But my dreams becoming a reality were once again postponed, this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I now have my sights set on carrying my country’s flag at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

However, to be clear, the Olympics are not my endgame. Once the games are in my rearview, I plan on starting a mentorship program and non-profit foundation for young Saudi Arabian female athletes to provide them with the support and resources I did not have during my training journey. Ultimately, I’m not here to break a record, I’m here to show women they can accomplish anything, even with just a single flame.

Follow Alya Alghamdi: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Running illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

On Athletics Club (OAC)

On, the fastest growing running brand in the U.S., has announced the debut of its first professional run crew, the On Athletics Club (OAC). Coached by Dathan Ritzenhein, the inaugural roster includes Joe Klecker, Alicia Monson, Leah Falland (O’Connor), Emily Oren, Alicja Konieczek, Carlos Villarreal, Oliver Hoare and George Beamish.

Based in Boulder, Colorado, the team collectively holds two International Gold Medals, 22 NCAA National Titles, 29 NCAA Conference Titles and 43 All-American Honors. Three-time U.S Olympian and NCAA title-holder, Dathan Ritzenhein, will take the helm as the coach of OAC. After recently retiring from competition, Ritzenhein will help build an infrastructure for the club’s ongoing recruitment and developmental program.

“We’ve selected some of the finest athletes in our inaugural roster for the On Athletics Club, including national and international record-holders,” says Olivier Bernhard, On Co-Founder. “Our world-class, founding members include a multi-national group of top ranked athletes from the NCAA who have proven to be among the best in their field. 

Under the tutelage and leadership of our professional management team, OAC is committed to supporting talented and disciplined individuals in their quest to become champions in their sport.  We are excited to announce this significant milestone for our first residential program in talent development that will also bring some unique and exciting content for track fans to follow.”

All eight athletes will be based full-time at the OAC training facility in Boulder, Colorado and will train to compete in national and international competitions throughout the world. On’s Global Sports Marketing Manager, Steve DeKoker, and two-time U.S. Olympian and On’s Sports Marketing Specialist, Andrew Wheating, will join Ritzenhein in managing OAC operations.

Over the next ten months, the OAC team will have their sights set on the Olympic Games in Tokyo for individual representation of their respective nations. The mission for OAC remains to develop and support a group of talented and disciplined individuals in their quest to become champions in their sport.

On August 10, OAC will reveal its Draft Day video production. Created to bring a light-hearted approach to the selection process, the show will spotlight each athlete in a satirical fashion. Draft Day will be hosted by Ryan Fenton, a longstanding figure in the sport and podcast co-host of “Beneath the Grandstands,” and Alex Lohr, one of the best known voices in professional track in the United States.

OAC Founding Member Athletes: 

  • Joe Klecker: University of Colorado graduate, bona fide All-American athlete, PAC-12 Champion, 7-time All -American and 2-time NCAA runner-up in cross country. 
  • Alicia Monson: University of Wisconsin graduate, NCAA indoor 5,000m Champion, Milrose Games Champion and Big Ten record holder in 3,000m.
  • Leah Falland (O’Connor): Michigan State University graduate, captain of the 2014 NCAA Cross Country national championship team and winner of over a dozen Big Ten championship titles. Personal achievements include two-time NCAA Champion for the indoor mile and 3,000m Steeplechase.
  • Emily Oren: Hillsdale College graduate, nine NCAA national titles, a national force in the 3,000m Steeplechase and a Honda Women’s Collegiate Sports Award recipient.
  • Alicja Konieczek: Native of Poland, Western States College graduate, 9 NCAA Championships, ran for Poland’s IAAF World Championships team in 2019 and was the Summer Universiade Gold Medalist.
  • Carlos Villarreal: Native of Mexico, Gold Medalist at the 2019 Pan American Games in Peru, national U-23 Mexican record holder in 1,500m and the first Mexican U-23 to run a mile in under 4 minutes.
  • Oliver “Olli” Hoare: Native of Australia, University of Wisconsin graduate, 1,500m NCAA Champion, eight-time All-American and nine-time Big Ten Champion in Cross Country, indoor and outdoor track.
  • George “Geordie” Beamish: Native of New Zealand, NAU graduate, with personal achievements that include three-time NCAA Cross Country Team Champion and six-time NCAA All-American.

Follow On Athletics Club (OAC): Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

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Nike x Cross-Country Camp

Nike Running Camps Announces Dates For The Nike Cross Country Camp At The University of San Diego

Located in the beautiful city of San Diego, California, the Nike Cross Country Camp at the University of San Diego announces June 14-17 and July 5-8 as its camp dates for 2020.

Last summer, runners at the Nike Cross Country Camp at the University of San Diego experienced informative, challenging, and fun weeks of training.

In addition to cross country training, the camp instructs runners on the principles team building and team management, learning how to inspire others, conflict resolution, communication skills, and identifying ways to contribute to furthering a positive team culture. All of this leads to campers reaching their own and team’s full potential.

The University of San Diego Head Coach and Camp Director Will Guarino leads break-out sessions and interactive discussions which take place on campus. Runners travel to nearby beaches, the San Diego Bay, San Diego’s historical sites, and San Diego’s own Balboa Park. Guarino says, “Training sessions are for the driven leader, lover of the outdoors, and those interested in making a significant contribution to their team. This running camp is for the active athlete interested in building their leadership skills. My campers leave USD energized and ready for their upcoming XC season.”

Campers stay in the USD dorms, eat in the dining hall and run on local San Diego beaches and trails. The camp is coed, overnight and day campers, ages 11-18. All ability levels are welcome, those with the desire to train smarter, work hard and to have fun.

Players, coaches, and parents interested in learning more can visit Nike Running Camps.

About US Sports Camps:
US Sports Camps (USSC), headquartered in San Rafael, California, is America’s largest sports camp network and the licensed operator of Nike Sports Camps. The company has offered summer camps since 1975 with the same mission that defines it today: to shape a lifelong enjoyment of athletics through high-quality sports education and skill enhancement.

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Amtrak x Leap Year Sale

Amtrak Offers 50% Off Travel with Leap Year Sale

Amtrak is making it even easier to see America with its Leap Year Sale, offering customers 50% off ticket purchases. Friday, February 28, through Saturday, February 29, customers can receive half-off coach tickets for travel between March 7 and April 8, 2020. Customers can book discounted tickets at amtrak.com/leap-year-sale.

Amtrak wants to inspire customers to get carried away on an adventure to destinations across the country. With experiences and memories that can be kept for a lifetime, Amtrak invites customers to share the experience with friends, families and loved ones. With the Leap Year 50% off sale, customers can travel one-way for as low as:

Battle Creek – Chicago
$15
Chicago – Syracuse
$42
Champaign – Chicago
$8.50
Detroit – Chicago
$20
Chicago – Buffalo
$39
Fort Worth – Oklahoma City
$16
Chicago – Carbondale
$20
Fresno – Sacramento
$15
Chicago – East Lansing
$15
Kalamazoo – Detroit
$17
Chicago – Galesburg
$12
Portland – Seattle
$18
Chicago – Grand Rapids
$18
Sacramento – Bakersfield
$23
Chicago – Memphis
$56
Seattle – Eugene
$29
Chicago – Milwaukee
$13
Seattle – Spokane
$29
Chicago – Minneapolis
$36
St. Louis – Kansas City
$18
Chicago – St. Louis
$16
Stockton – Bakersfield
$19

The discount is valid for travel on all segments of the Cascades, Heartland Flyer, Hiawatha, Illinois Services, Michigan Services, Missouri River Runner and San Joaquins, and on select segments of the California Zephyr, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief and Texas Eagle.

Being able to easily travel to/from city centers, Amtrak has one of the most generous baggage policies in the travel industry, applicable for two personal items and two carry-on bags. Amtrak also offers the freedom to use phones and electronic devices at all times (no “airplane mode”), the ability to travel with small pets on many trains, large spacious seats with ample leg room and no middle seat. Valid for coach seats only; no upgrades allowed. This offer is not combinable with any other discount offer. All prices will be automatically discounted from the standard fare when accessing this promotion at amtrak.com/leap-year-sale. Once ticketed, fares are non-refundable. Other terms and conditions apply.

About Amtrak
Amtrak offers a more comfortable and convenient travel experience with free Wi-Fi on most trains, plenty of leg room and no middle seat. With our state and commuter partners, we move people, the economy and the nation forward, carrying more than 30 million Amtrak customers for each of the past seven years. Amtrak operates more than 300 trains daily, connecting more than 500 destinations in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces, and reaches 400 additional destinations via connecting bus routes. Book travel, check train status, access your eTicket and more through an Amtrak app. Learn more at amtrak.com.

Dunton Life Introduces Brand-New Winter Activities

 Dunton Hot Springs, the iconic 19th-century ghost mining town turned luxury resort in the Colorado Rockies, has introduced a brand-new winter activities program for the 2018/2019 ski season.

Guests at Dunton can choose from a selection of guided outdoor adventures this winter, which are now included in the nightly rates. For the non-skier looking for a great workout, Dunton offers snowshoeing, the perfect way to explore the more than 1,600 acres of private snowy wilderness area of the San Juan Mountains, to which Dunton Hot Springs is home. At Dunton River Camp, the summer-only tented camp just four miles down river from Dunton Hot Springs, guests can now explore this area in wintertime with the new Winter Wonderland experience, featuring a day of cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating and horse-drawn sleigh rides pulled by the resort’s beautiful Percheron horses, with time to relax by the fire with a hot beverage in the farmhouse.  And for guests seeking a more “elevated” experience, Dunton can take them out on a Nordic Ski Adventure on the High Meadows, which starts with an exciting Snow Cat ride up to 10,000 feet for an exhilarating day of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

The winter experience at Dunton also offers the option to book a wealth of private, a la carte activities, from snowmobiling and ice climbing to heli-skiing and backcountry skiing. And for a more intimate evening for couples, Dunton now offers a Sleigh Ride & Dine experience, which takes guests out as the sun sets on a private sleigh ride, followed by dinner for two in the original 19th-century farmhouse at Dunton River Camp, capped off with a bonfire and cocktails under the stars.
A winter stay at Dunton Hot Springs can also be paired with a stay at Dunton Town House, the collection’s five-bedroom luxury inn in Telluride, which was just named #1 on the “Top Hotels in Colorado” list and #4 on “The Best Hotels in the U.S.” list in the 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards from Condé Nast Traveler magazine. Guests who book a wintertime stay of at least two nights at both Dunton Hot Springs and Dunton Town House (and at least two of the properties, including Dunton River Camp, in summertime) will receive a 15% discount off their entire stay.
For more information or to book a stay at Dunton this winter, visit: www.duntonhotsprings.com.

Major regional announcement at Virginia’s Blue Ridge

BREAKING NEWS!

Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge (Visit VBR) is excited to announce that special guest David Wiens, Executive Director of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), will be joining our 33rd Annual Meeting to make a MAJOR regional announcement!

David Wiens, a member of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, is a former professional cross-country mountain bike racer known for his six consecutive wins in the Leadville Trail 100 where he beat Floyd Landis and Lance Armstrong. David will join keynote speaker Andrew M. Davis, World-Renowned Speaker and Author of TOWN, INC., for a special evening event you won’t want to miss.

Date:

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Time:
5:30pm Reception/6:30 Dinner and Presentation

Location:

The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center (Roanoke, Virginia)

Click Here to watch a video invitation from Andrew Davis

To attend as a guest, please register here by Friday, May 11.

Tourism is BIG business and an INVESTMENT in our Region’s Future!

UnitedHealthcare California Challenge

More than 100 military veterans will ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles during the 2017 UnitedHealthcare California Challenge

 

Navy veteran Nathan DeWalt, left, rode a hand cycle through San Francisco Oct. 15 along with fellow veterans as part of the UnitedHealthcare California Challenge bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Riders will make the seven-day journey with hand cycles, recumbent cycles, adaptive bikes, traditional road bikes and custom tandems. The UnitedHealthcare California Challenge is a collaboration between UnitedHealthcare and Project Hero, a national nonprofit organization that helps veterans and first responders affected by injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury achieve rehabilitation, recovery and resilience in their daily lives. (Photo Credit: Amy Sullivan)

More than 100 wounded military veterans, first responders and supporters began the 450-mile UnitedHealthcare California Challenge bike ride Oct. 15 from the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center to the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Riders will make the seven-day journey with hand cycles, recumbent cycles, adaptive bikes, traditional road bikes and custom tandems. The UnitedHealthcare California Challenge is a collaboration between UnitedHealthcare and Project Hero, a national nonprofit organization that helps veterans and first responders affected by injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury achieve rehabilitation, recovery and resilience in their daily lives. (Photo Credit: Amy Sullivan)

More than 100 wounded veterans gathered at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center Oct. 15 prior to the 450-mile UnitedHealthcare California Challenge bike ride from the San Francisco to Los Angeles. Riders will make the seven-day journey with hand cycles, recumbent cycles, adaptive bikes, traditional road bikes and custom tandems. The UnitedHealthcare California Challenge is a collaboration between UnitedHealthcare and Project Hero, a national nonprofit organization that helps veterans and first responders affected by injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury achieve rehabilitation, recovery and resilience in their daily lives. (Photo Credit: Amy Sullivan)
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More than 100 wounded military veterans, first responders and supporters began the 450-mile UnitedHealthcare California Challenge bike ride Oct. 15 from the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center to the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Riders will make the seven-day journey with hand cycles, recumbent cycles, adaptive bikes, traditional road bikes and custom tandems. The UnitedHealthcare California Challenge is a collaboration between UnitedHealthcare and Project Hero, a national nonprofit organization that helps veterans and first responders affected by injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury achieve rehabilitation, recovery and resilience in their daily lives. (Full Video Credit: Espe Greenwood)

Man Runs for Hope, Respect, Love and Unity.

Man to Run Across North America from Los Angeles to New York to Champion Hope, Respect, Love and Unity for Americans and its Global Neighbors.

North America DNA Vol. Run

#HumanRace

#DNARUN #WeAreOne

Who Really Runs The Country?

Jonathon Prince does. As a visionary “Athli-vist” (athlete-activist), Prince has run over 8,000 miles through 24 states, inspiring hope and raising awareness for his philanthropic endeavors. In 2005, he launched Run 4 Relief with a 2,700-mile run from Los Angeles to Atlanta, stopping to receive the key to the city in New Orleans. The following year, his Run for Relief II took him on a 1,500-mile trek from Atlanta to New York City. Both runs raised money to support families displaced by Hurricane Katrina. In 2010, he created HopeOrDie, promoting the cause with a 3,000-mile run from Santa Monica to Washington, DC.

Now Prince is about to make his fourth cross country trek North America DNA Vol. RUN #TheHumanRace. This run is to champion unity, hope, respect and love for Americans and its global neighbors.

Prince felt compelled to make this run. He said, The times call for people to realize we are more alike than different and we all have potential to create shining moments that exemplify our highest selves and create the kind of world we all deserve to live in. I just want to do something that gets people to think about that”.

Prince will launch the run at the Santa Monica Pier, California on Saturday, August 26, 2017 at 7:00am PT and will run cross country 10-30 miles a day, 5 days a week for four and a half months, totaling 3500 miles to New York, with an expected arrival time between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

The cities on the run route include Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Flagstaff-Sedona, Az., Albuquerque, NM. Dallas, Houston, Tx. New Orleans, Mobile & Montgomery, Alabama, Atlanta, Ga. South & North Carolina, The DC, Maryland & Virginia area, New Jersey and arriving in New York City. Supporters can track the run on Instagram at @iamrunner. Prince will pass through Christian, MS, where he received the Key to the city with Robin Roberts.

Students from UCLA, USC and Santa Monica College, Los Angeles area run clubs, Road Runners of America, Compton city officials and We ROCK kids, running group in Orange County have all been invited to the launch to attend and share the kick off moment.

Sponsors who have joined the movement in support include 23andMe, Clear Eyes, GoChef TechnologiesROCKSTAR Energy and Joint Movement.

With the wrapped DNA Vol. RUN support vehicle, Team Prince will visit community organizations, high schools, colleges & universities along the way to run with, make appearances at and speak to students, faculty and staff about his experience on the road and how DNA Vol. RUN can enhance the lives of all of us.

Prince, who is a new dad, is excited to have his young sons Miles (Age 4) and Chase (age one) cross the finish line with him in New York. He says, “This is my first cross country run as a dad. I didn’t have children on the last runs. I’m shopping for a really sturdy double stroller with jogger wheels that can withstand a mile run across the finish line with my kiddos. I’m going to get them baby goggles so the wind doesn’t bother their eyes. Its going to be so amazing to be able to tell them when they grow up that they crossed the finish line with daddy. This race is after all for them and all children. It’s for all of us really.”

Prince will make pit stops in cities across the country to rest, eat, say hello to old and new friend along the way. He invites people to join him for a warm hello along the trail or even to run with him part of the way for as long as they are able.

He says, “I hope to meet many people along the way. If I see you and you’re up to it, please run with me for a half mile. Or just wave as I run by. Say a prayer for me, it gets lonely sometimes on the road. If I make a pit stop in your town, let’s take a selfie and post on your Instagram, so we can inspire people together! Remember your greatness and that we are one. I’ll see you soon!”

Interested in knowing your past and unlocking your full potential? Visit DNA Weekly.

About Jonathon Prince:

Athlete, International Runner, Speaker, Investor and Philanthropist, Jonathon Prince has logged over 12,000+ of 30k miles in support of a cause or ideal.

Recognized by Ebony magazine for representing the “Future of Philanthropy,” Jonathon has pioneered the role of “Social Athi-vist,” using his feats of endurance to promote positive change.

Links : Website/Instagram