Holly McCamant: Jumping off bridges and drinking too much, just another day at the lake
Every summer, I look forward to this huge party with a lot of kids my age.
We come from all over the state to drink way more than usual. We get so crazy that we start doing stuff like jump off Long Bridge and run through sprinklers. But believe it or not, I’m not talking about WE Fest. I’m talking about Make the Lake.
To calm your fears about the drinking; I’m referring to the fact that we drink so much water and Gatorade, since it’s always boiling hot. I did not go to WE Fest, and you can probably tell that my type of party is the cross country type (as I will describe here).
We get crazy, because let’s face it, normal people do not run around Detroit Lake and call it fun.
Make the Lake is the event where cross country teams from all over the state come up to Detroit Lakes to run around the lake or partially around the lake. As I said, it’s a cross country party. We even get pizza afterwards!
I started going to Make the Lake when I was in seventh grade and doing the smallest distance, four miles, was a challenge. Even back then, I could sense the feeling of being surrounded by people with the same interests. The next year I was more serious and did the longer distance.
It was freshmen year I first did the run around the whole lake. I ran around it with a bunch of people from Eden Prairie. At that point I didn’t know a lot of people who were serious about distance running, and that was the first time I truly felt like I belonged somewhere. It didn’t matter that I overheated a little bit. I still had the time of my life.
Last year I ran with the Eden Prairie team again. I managed to get in the pictures for them again, and it all went well except for about the first half of the ninth mile. I had orange juice beforehand, which I know now upsets my stomach before I run, and I got overheated pretty bad.
Let’s just say that my stomach paid me back for drinking that juice, and I am now much more sympathetic to anybody who throws up when they run.
This year was a little different. I was scared as heck, because as I mentioned in my last article, I woke up on the day cross country started and was exhausted and slower. I wanted to do the 10 miles for Make the Lake so bad because I have come to firmly believe that there is no other way to do it.
Monday morning, I reached my emotional low. Monday evening, I reached the emotional peace where I told myself that I wasn’t going to let that stupid sickness wreck my Make the Lake and that I was going to be a good sport about doing the seven mile.
Well, when I did my warm-up on Tuesday morning, the day of Make the Lake, I felt a lot better than I had been. Megan, my running buddy, had had a minor knee injury and was planning on doing the seven also.
However, I really thought Megan should do the 10 since she is in great shape, and since the course around the lake would not bug her knee much as it has barely any hills. I knew she would love it. Since I was feeling good, I told her that I would do the 10 if she would do the 10.
Well, she said that we wouldn’t. However, when they told the 10 milers to take off, she said, “Let’s do this.” There was no going back, and we were slightly crazy.
However, we had the time of our lives. She got to experience the jumping off of Long Bridge. I found a group of really nice girls from Mankato running Make the Lake for the first time, and they paced me so that I didn’t go too fast and suffer the consequences. In fact, I think that I enjoyed the best Make the Lake ever.
Make the Lake is the one time where we runners aren’t worried about racing. It’s a time to get crazy with other people who enjoy doing the same thing we love. Others may call us strange, and that’s OK.
It’s not WE Fest, and we don’t participate in normal teenage activities. But when it comes down to it, I would rather down a Gatorade with fellow cross country runners any day than go to WE Fest and do stuff that could get me in trouble.