Summer is for relaxing with a cold drink in one hand and a good book in the other, right? Not for seven teachers at Draper Park Middle School. .
This group of energetic Canyons teachers hit the pavement in the relay-style, 200-mile Ragnar Relay Series in northern Utah. The Draper Park group, which adopted the name “Team Viking” after the middle school’s mascot, jogged day and night on the roads wending through such picturesque towns as Eden, Liberty and Mountain Green.
In the Ragnar race — known for its runners that often sport crazy costumes and wacky team names — one runner on the team runs at a time. But each runner goes several times, with each leg ranging in length and difficulty.
The Draper Park team was formed when sixth-grade social studies teacher Kami Ambercrombie sent an e-mail message to all Draper Park faculty and staff, asking if anyone was interested in forming a team to tackle the grueling hills and dirt roads of the Wasatch Back. Those who responded soon found themselves putting in their training miles at the nearby Corner Canyon High, said art teacher Meghan Schott.
Schott was joined on the team by Ambercrombie; sixth-grade social studies teacher Brook Bergeson; eighth-grade math teacher Tania Kenney; seventh-grade science teacher Rhonda Clark; seventh-grade language arts teacher Whitney Lee; and eighth-grade U.S. history teacher Emily Nancy. Assistant Principal Dave Barrett supported his teachers by volunteering along the race route.
At the race, “Team Viking” caught the attention of a Deseret News photographer and photos of the bunch appeared on the cover of the Sunday, June 29, 2014 edition of the newspaper.
Schott says that the group “had a blast” running the race. “It definitely brought us all closer together,” she said, adding that the experience highlighted their respective organizational and communication skills, work ethic and good senses of humor.
“Luckily, since we are middle school teachers we all have these qualities,” she said. “Also, the ability to take naps in a van was key.”