The Biological Station (UMBS) hosted the University of Michigan's Men's and Women's Cross Country teams' training camps this past week. More than 70 runners, trainers and coaches have been at the station since Wednesday, August 28. 

This was the 6th year the women's team has trained at UMBS and the 2nd year for the men. "What makes the Bio Station so valuable to us, first and foremost, is that it has the University of Michigan on it," says women's head coach Mike McGuire. "When we pull into that gate and see the blue sign, you know you are still part of the university despite being four hours out of Ann Arbor."

“We are delighted to share our the Biological Station with Michigan Women's and Men's Cross Country Teams," says station director Knute Nadelhoffer. "We have a lot of Michigan students here taking spring and summer field classes every year. It’s great to have another student group experiencing our field station in a different way. Of course we hope some will decide to come back and take classes in their remaining years at Michigan.”

Though they haven't been coming to UMBS for many years, the teams already have established some traditions. They spend a day as tourists on Mackinaw Island. They also visit the U-M Alumni Association's Camp Michigania on Walloon Lake where campers have the opportunity to run a mile with them. The women's team has dinner out with Coach McGuire, to celebrate his birthday.

But mainly they run. There are long runs and short runs, flat trail runs and hill repeats. Men's coach Kevin Sullivan even drew lines in the dirt on State Street to represent hurdles for one workout. 

All that exercise makes for some hungry campers. Dining Hall manager Laurie Brooke says, "They’re fun to watch because they usually hit the granola, oatmeal, and cold cereal rather hard for breakfast. At lunch it's usually more granola, a ton of hot chocolate and fresh fruit." She said the athletes go through more fruit than the scientists who are usually eating in the dining hall. Another difference from the scientists? "They're not really coffee drinkers unless it is laced with hot chocolate."

The teams open their seasons Saturday, September 5, at the EMU Celebration. The men and women are each ranked 12th in the U.S. Track & Field pre-season coaches' poll. "We had a great eight days at the Bio Stationand hopefully it's the kickoff to an outstanding season," says McGuire.

You can read some of the athletes' accounts of training camp here (for women) and here (for men).