Glenwood’s Barth logged many miles to prep for junior cross country season
Last fall was a great one for Glenwood Springs cross country runner Henry Barth, but the then-sophomore realized something was missing from his ability to compete like he wanted to down the stretch: his base as a runner.
Despite placing 31st in the state meet in Denver last October, Barth came away from an impressive sophomore season feeling like he needed to do more this winter, spring and summer to prepare for his junior season, starting with logging more miles.
“I ran a lot more over the summer this year,” Barth said. “ I feel like I have much more of a base to work with this fall.”
At the state meet, Barth wasn’t happy with his performance, but the result gave the terrific runner an extra level of drive to push harder this summer in training. Through the recommendation of then-head coach Mike Schneiter and some assistant coaches at Glenwood, the goal for Barth’s off-season was to put as many miles behind him as he could on trails to prepare himself for his junior season. During the summer training session, Barth recorded right around 350 miles.
“The coaches told me that the kids who beat me at state who normally don’t beat me finished ahead of me because they had more of a base from summer mileage,” Barth said. “I didn’t have much of a base to work with. I just knew that if I ran more than I ever have during the summer, I’d have more of a running base to work with to carry into the end of the season. I feel a lot more fit. Last year, I kind of came in and felt I didn’t have as much energy as I wanted. I couldn’t excel down the stretch because I didn’t have as much mileage under my belt. That should change this year.”
So far so good for Barth, who turned in a second-place finish Saturday at the Basalt Longhorns’ cross country meet to open the season. At the meet, Barth recorded a time of 17 minutes, 3 seconds, finishing just 12 seconds behind Rangely’s Patrick Scoggins. Fortunately for Barth, his performance was good enough to help lead the Demons’ boys team to a season-opening win.
Due to his standing as one of the top male runners on the Western Slope at the high school level, Barth has a lot of outside expectations that are very high for him personally, as well as for the boys team in general. But the outside noise and possible pressure from expectations are something Barth tries to block out on a consistent basis.”
“That’s something that I try and push away before races because when I get nervous before races I tend not to run as well,” Barth said. “It usually works for me, but it’s something I have to work on in terms of just focusing on the task at hand.”
When not competing in cross country meets or training for the season, Barth has taken to mountain running, looking for endurance running over speed work. The Glenwood native added that the mountain running is something that he only recently picked up this summer, giving him something to do when not focusing on cross country.
In fact, Barth found a lot of inspiration in the Hardrock 100 this summer due to the endurance needed for the event.
“I looked up the results from the race,” Barth said. “But when I grow up I’m not going to be into the marathon running or things like that; I want to do ultra endurance stuff like the Hardrock.”
Away from running, Barth is really into environmental issues dealing with agriculture and aquaculture, the latter of which the junior wants to study upon entering college.
Ideally, Barth wants to help regrow barrier reefs around the world through aquaculture, but for now the Glenwood junior is focused on the season ahead, which he hopes culminates in a top 15 finish at the state meet in October.
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It was a statement game featuring the two best boys basketball teams in the 4A Western Slope League on Saturday afternoon at the Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium in Glenwood Springs. And, just like in the old western shootouts, it was the Glenwood Demons who had spoken the loudest when all the dust had settled with a key 58-44 win over the Steamboat Springs Sailors.