I recently attended the Peak Performance Altitude Camp in Keystone, Colorado as an assistant coach. In attendance were 43 middle and high school athletes — including 19 from outside Colorado — who trained on the trails and enjoyed the camp’s many activities.
The altitude camp schedule included daily runs on some of the most beautiful trails in the area, games (ultimate frisbee, tie dye, group dance, plank competition), and culminated in the annual ski hill climb in which runners are timed up a half mile ski hill at Keystone Ski Resort.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, campers were divided into smaller groups for housing arrangements and all local and state COVID-19 guidelines were followed closely, including wearing masks in public, social distancing, hand sanitizing and frequent cleaning.
In spite the challenges caused by the pandemic, Peak Performance Running succeeded in hosting one of just a handful of youth running camps in the country this Summer. For this article, I asked several campers to share their thoughts on this year’s camp and what it’s like to train with other runners again.
Describe the camp in one word: Adventurous
What was your favorite trail run: The long run up Ptarmigan Peak. We got up higher than I’ve ever been (over 12,000 feet!) and we had a great view of the Colorado Rockies.
What did you like most about the altitude camp? The combination of quality training while having lots of fun.
Do you plan to come back next year? Yes, and I plan to bring at least two of my friends from back home.
Riley (North Carolina)
Describe the camp in two words: Fun and challenging
What was your favorite trail run: The run on Blair Witch trail near Breckenridge.
What did you like most about the altitude camp? I loved meeting new people and seeing the amazing views during every run.
Do you plan to come back next year? Yes!
Sean (North Dakota)
Describe the camp in one word: Cookin’
What was your favorite trail run: The downhill portion of the ski hill time trial.
What did you like most about the altitude camp? I liked running on mountains instead of the straight, flat, concrete streets we run on back home in North Dakota.
Do you plan to come back next year? If it works out with my college plans I will 100% let ‘er buck at next year’s camp.
Describe the camp in one word: Inspiring
What was your favorite trail run: Definitely the ski hill climb because the downhill was so fast and technical!
What did you like most about the altitude camp? There were so many things that could be my favorite but if I had to pick one it would be the community of people.
Do you plan to come back next year? I am definitely planning on coming to camp next year!
Lola (New Jersey)
Describe the camp in one word: Remarkable
What was your favorite trail run: The Gold Hill to Peaks trail near Breckenridge.
What did you like most about the altitude camp? I really liked the teammates I had. I enjoyed spending my nights with them, getting to know them and having a super tight bond by the end of camp. The dance portion of the competitions was also a blast.
Do you plan to come back next year? Yes!
Describe the camp in one word: Adventurous!
What was your favorite trail run: Ptarmigan Peak was my favorite run because I liked the challenge of the high elevation. I also thought the view was unreal and made the run even more rewarding, as well as the nice five mile downhill on the way back!
What did you like most about the altitude camp? My favorite thing about camp was forming strong friendships with runners from all over the country and coming together to work hard and have fun everyday. It’s a lot of fun sharing the same goals as people and pushing each other to work hard! I also loved challenging myself, falling a few times, and running up a ski hill because I know that it will make me stronger!
Do you plan to come back next year? I do plan to come back next year as a super senior!
I also attended this altitude camp last year. You can read my summary of the 2019 camp on this website.
Tayte Pollmann’s articles are supported by American Trail Running Association corporate member Nike Trail Running. You can follow Tayte’s adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you liked this article, read even more of Tayte’s articles on our website.