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Smoke Prompts Unorthodox Training For Oregon Cross Runners


Crater runners during the State of Jefferson cross country race in 2016.

Crater runners during the State of Jefferson cross country race in 2016.

Andy Atkinson/Medford Mail Tribune

No running in the halls?

Don’t tell that to the Crater cross country teams, or their peers across Southern Oregon as they try to save the fitness levels they’ve worked hard to attain over the summer — some putting in upward of 70 miles of road and trail running work a week — during this smoky phase caused by wildfires.

“Today, we got a couple of good (pictures) in the hall of the kids running back and forth,” Comets coach Justin Loftus said Tuesday. “That’s something in my short, 16-year coaching career I haven’t seen before. I can’t say it’s enjoyable. It’s crazy. I don’t even know what to say.”

His cohort at North Medford, Piet Voskes, is using treadmills, stationary bikes and pool work — like most coaches — while he and his Black Tornado runners wait for the smoke to clear and air quality to improve enough to get outside for strenuous activity.

Read more at the Medford Mail Tribune.

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