2015 Summer Newsletter


Summer 2015 Newsletter

Summer Newsletter

Letter from the Editor

Recently, I was sitting in the dentist chair of Dr. Brad Johnson, Contemporary Family Dentistry owner and a Bend Endurance Academy sponsor. Laying there slobbering as he was grinding away at my teeth, I was thinking about this report and the best way to present a call to action for local business to consider supporting the Academy. As you read this you may be asking yourself how you fit into this. Simply put, you have become our conduit; the valued supporter that helps tell the BEA story. Because of you, our programs continue to swell. Because of
you, we have been able to raise money to meet new demands, such as purchasing needed infrastructure. We have been able to continue adding value without adding cost. Because of you we are aligned with more schools and more families. BEA is being asked to expand and with your help we are going to reach out and inform local business leaders why the Academy is so important to the youth and community of Central Oregon.

Currently we have 21 great sponsors. Many of them have been with us for years. Each of them has a story and there are too many to highlight, but generally the motivation is the same: Business leaders understand that we are an integral part of the community. With hundreds of families associated with the
organization, we are making a path through the Central Oregon landscape; providing affordable high quality programming while teaching kids the joys of endurance sports- lifetime sports. Businesses see this and want to be a part of something that helps makes Central Oregon a great place to live, work and raise a family. Wade Miller, CEO of Central Oregon Pediatrics Associates, states, “BEA’s mission lines up perfectly with what COPA is trying to impart on young families throughout the community.” He goes on to say, “We see ourselves as a partner, working together to get kids outside, teaching them about safe and healthy choices.”

People who recreate outside are happier and so are their
children. Girls who are active participate in activities longer and their confidence rises; more than 50% of our participants are girls. Kids who put their devises away and head outside tend to eat better and have more active lifestyles. Ask any of our program directors and they will tell you that grades tend to be higher for kids who are active. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that message?

You may ask what business sponsorship will be used for. It’s easy. We want to continue providing affordable programming to as many local kids as we can safely handle. It is true that we have gained some economies of scale with our growth, particularly with offering consistent quality staffing year round. However, most
everything else has become more expensive with our success. Access is one of our biggest issues currently. It costs BEA to be out in the Forest, up at the Mountain or in local parks. We also want to continue providing a centrally located meeting place for you to drop off your child. Location is paramount and in Bend, that comes with a premium. Many of the venues we use charge us fees. If we are going to continue securing adequate training facilities for our programming, we are going to need the community’s support. We also want to provide safe and reliable vehicles, trailers

and loner equipment, and of course continue offering accessibility to needing families. It is in these areas and many more that your annual
personal financial contribution and or business sponsorship make all the difference. Please help out.

If you know of a local business whose mission and goals dovetail with what we strive to accomplish every day, tell them about us. I would love to meet them and share our story.


 Ben Husaby
Executive Director

BEA Skiers at National Camps

Tom Schoderbek –  Western Regional Elite Group Camp, held in Park City, UT

Sam Biskup – USSA National U16 Camp, Burlington VT

Alex Heisler- USSA National U16 Camp, Burlington VT

Favorite Camp Workout or Experience:

“Hiking/running up Mount Mansfield and then going to the Ben and Jerry’s factory and eating an absurd amount of ice cream in the back of a moving school bus on the way back to
the dorms.” – Sam B.

“Skate skiing on the Jericho track. The course had uphills and downhills that simulated a real race course and smooth, car-free pavement.” – Alex H.

Biggest takeaway from the experience:

“The skiers constantly considering Nordic racing absorbed training far better than those only present during the workouts.” – Tom S.


BEA Instagram Feed

End of an Era

11 years of Coaching Widmers

August 21, 2015 will be a sad day. Not only will summer Nordic training come to end, but it will mark the end of the year’s long Widmer succession.

Mikey the oldest Widmer boy is in his final semester at the College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. We started working together in 2005. The following year there were 2 more brothers added to the mix; Jack, who is now a junior at Creighton University, and finally Teddy, who will be an incoming freshman at St. Scholastica.

It has always appeared to me that the most successful youth organizations have keystone families, particularly in a program’s infancy. These families bring a much needed infusion of time, treasure, and talent to the mix. The Widmers were, without a doubt, the torch bearer family for the Bend Nordic Team (our first name) the first
year, making up 15% of the enrollment! We certainly could not have made it without Mike, Jane, Mikey, Jack and Teddy.

The boys have been there for almost all of our firsts: First van, first BNT road trip, first Junior Olympic qualifier, first BNT uniform, first BEA uniform, first BEA national champion, first BEA junior national champion and too many more to list.

A few of my favorite “Widdy” snapshots include Mikey in a six-sizes-too-big wetsuit riding the storm surge up the beach on a boogie board, giggling shrill cries of delight; Jack
asking a girl to prom with the help of his teammates; Teddy made me laugh with his look of disdain with yet another morning of oatmeal while we were training and racing in Norway; And to cap it all off, Teddy hit a “23” on the track the other day in one of his last workouts with BEA-a time Dak has never hit. Not sure he ever will. Way to represent the family Ted!

We have trained through thousands of miles together and traveled thousands more. It just won’t seem right to not have one of their smiling faces staring back at me in the rear view mirror. Good thing we still have Jane on the BEA board, hopefully for a few more years.

Mikey, Jack and Teddy, you will be missed.

-Ben Husaby, Nordic Program Director

Bend is Home for Summer Nordic Training.

Nordic summer training is sadly coming to an end. It has been incredibly dynamic these past three months. Besides the initial stress of not knowing if our infrastructure could handle 52 athletes, things have gone incredibly smoothly. With the help of coaches David Kurtz and Jordan Buetow, we were able to shuttle, instruct, support and motivate a very diverse group of athletes.

Some of the summer’s highlights include welcoming 21 collegiate skiers from around the country who joined us for all or part of the summer, having a film crew follow us for two weeks in July, leading 43 skiers from around the Northwest to the annual Trout Lake Camp, and of course my favorite; the season ending trip down to northern California where we surfed and skied through and near the towering redwoods.

But rather than have me go on and on, let the skiers tell you about what the BEA program and the summer training experience means to them personally.

– Ben Husaby, Nordic Program Director

What will you take away from the program?:
“You are your own best coach. Trust your gut, think for yourself, don’t worry about what others are thinking and relax — lessons for both on and off the ski trails.” Jordan Fountain Fields, Williams College

Why Bend and BEA?: “The training group we have here in Bend right now is what makes this place so special. It’s not only the BEA athletes of all levels, but also the coaching that makes this training so productive. Ben Husaby and the other coaches really do a good job of working with each athlete individually to make them better.” –
Jefferson Tucker, Colby College

Favorite Summer Bend thing to do?: “Hanging out with the rest of the BEA family was definitely my favorite Bend thing to do. I made friends this summer that I will stay in contact with for a very long time. The running trails and scenery are pretty incredible as well.” –
Kristen Bourne, Northern Michigan University

Favorite summer workout?: “Track workout when I finally (kind of, sort of, not really) learned how to classic ski.” –
Alayna Sonnesyn, University of Vermont

“My favorite summer workout is the track workout. It is so unique to BEA, before coming here, I had never skied on a track and I had never done speed endurance training. I was skeptical at first, but I have seen huge improvements in my fitness and technique through that workout. Also, nothing beats the energy that arises in head to head competition.” –
Koby Gordon, Dartmouth College

Cycling in the Summer Heat

Sandy trails, dusty berms, melting pavement, sweaty brows, coasting downhill, jumping in the Deschutes…

With over 230 cyclists riding with us this spring and summer, we’ve been focused on creating more squadrons – tighter groups of similar interests and
abilities so we can all find that perfect experience on each ride.

This Summer we’ve added:

* Enduro Team

* Balance Bikers for ages 2 – 4

* Girls Team Rides

* More coaches

In June BEA collaborated with PDX Devo and OBRA to present a Junior Track Camp with 27 total juniors from Oregon and Washington in attendance. Participants learned from multiple national champions and it sent a message that we coaches, parents, athletes, and supporters can work together across the region to help each other’s programs.

Coach Chad “Chainsaw” Cheeney took a hearty group of nine riders to XC MTB
Nationals in Mammoth, CA. All of the riders said they had a great trip, learned from their crashes, from their battles during the races, made new friends from other teams across the country, and came home satisfied. Ryder Uetrecht (13-14 JR Men) had the team’s best results with 6th place in the short-track and a strong 10th place in his cross-country race.

Our youth and development groups have really improved their speed on the trail. The accompanying feedback from parents is that the kids are now asking for more family rides and they’re excited to show parents some of the cool places they want

to ride again. One of our main goals is to stoke each rider’s intrinsic desire to ride and it makes me very happy when I hear how our program allows families to spend more time riding, having fun together.

OBRA Mountain Bike Championships were last weekend. Congratulations to our new State Champs: Caleb Campbell 1st in 15-16 JR Men, Ryder Uetrecht 1st in 13-14 JR Men and Calvin Keane 2nd in 13-14 JR Men.

If you haven’t heard of Enduro racing for mountain biking, it’s a very cool
format of racing where one is timed on relatively short stages, racing mostly downhill, over the course of several stages. We’re lucky in Bend to have some great terrain for this style of racing and the Enduro Team has been practicing on Monday evenings with rides that are more focused on this rhythm of racing. They finish their season with the Oregon Enduro Series Race at Mt. Bachelor Bike Park on August 23rd.

– Bill Warburton, Cycling Program Director

Fall Cycling

  • Fall program information is online now.
  • Registration opens August 17th at noon.
  • Cyclcoross Team begins September 16th.
  • New school pickup locations have been
    added for elementary and middle schools


Upcoming BEA Events

  • Nordic Cali Camp Aug. 12th- 16th

  • Cyclocross Camp Aug. 13th – 16th

  • Fall Cycling Enrollment Opens, Aug. 17th

  • Climbing End of Summer Roundup Sept. 1st – 3rd

  • Nordic Fall Training Begins Sept. 9th

  • Climbing Teams Begin Sept.

  • Bike Rodeo, Deschutes Children’s Forest, Sept. 26th

  • Portland Boulder Rally Oct. 3rd

  • Bend Rock Gym, Youth Bouldering Competition, Oct. 17th

Coaches Be Coaching: Lauren Hamlin

Bend Endurance Academy Coach since 2011
“It’s honestly the best job I’ve ever had.” 

•    Most rewarding part of coaching?
Feedback is one of the most rewarding parts for me. I love hearing from the parents saying either how much fun their child is having, new skills they’ve learned, or improvement in their trail etiquette and stewardship.

•    Favorite trail to take the kids on?
This year, that trail has to be Phil’s trail, specifically Phil’s canyon. The kids always have a blast, and it’s really an awesome trail to hone in the skills we’ve been working on, session some technical sections, then cap it all off with rounds of plenty on the pump track. 

•    Highlight from this summers biking program.
I’m giving this one completely to my awesome girls groups! First off, the team names we come up with are tops. We’ve been known to call ourselves “#superawesomegirls,” “Flaming Unicorns,” “Sour Patch Girls,” and so many others. It’s ridiculously awesome. 

•    Favorite trail snack?
This is bad, but I’ve really taken to eating candy, such as Sour Patch Kids, or Starbursts, during our snack breaks. I promise, I eat a nutritious and plentiful breakfast, so I’m usually not too hungry come snack break. If I’m on a longer ride, I have to go with a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or some chocolate-chip granola bars.

Climbing for Fun

As a climbing coach I spend a lot of time looking at, and analyzing climbing movement in the gym, developing workouts, and teaching competition techniques. As a climber, I spend lots of time climbing, socializing, and just hanging out with friends out in the woods climbing on rocks. I truly enjoy both the competitive side of the sport and the more “soul surfer” side of the sport.

Here in Central Oregon we are lucky to not only have a great gym to train and compete at, we also have great outdoor climbing like Smith Rock State Park and a variety of small clusters of boulders and rim rock close by Bend to be able to introduce participants to the other aspect of the sport. Our summer programs take a turn away from the competition side of climbing, and spend lots of time climbing with friends and teammates, and less time dedicated to training.

With the start of school will come the start of our fall climbing programs and our competition teams. While the fun of climbing with friends doesn’t end with the summer we are all looking forward to getting
back to hitting the road in the van, munching on Taco Stand burritos, and competing with our friends from other teams.

Mike Rougeux, Climbing Program Director

Boulders and Walls

Some members of the climbing program had some time to head out on a family vacation/climbing trip where they were able to take their strength and skills from being on the team all year and apply it to the outdoors. Here’s a bit about their experience.

Gavin Bianicucci, Griffin Bianicucci, Forrest Franklin, Max Franklin

Mammoth Lakes, CA, Yosemite, CA.


“Bouldering in Camp 4 in Yosemite Valley. It was 97 degrees out, so it was really hot. On our way, a few guys came over to talk with us. We asked them if he had any beta. The first advice was to wait until it is was 60 degrees out.” –
Gavin B.

“We did a “super long” trad route that was 14 pitches called Tenaya Peak. The views from the top were breathtaking. You could see into Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and tons of other mountains.” – Griffin B.

“My favorite bouldering route was ‘Midnight Lightning’ at camp 4 in Yosemite. I liked that it was my style, which is crimps and dynamic moves.” –
Forrest F.

The difference between climbing inside and outside:

“I like climbing outside because since I’m short I can go anywhere I want. In the gym a lot of routes are really hard for me because they have big moves. Outside I can find a tiny edge that can get me a few inches higher but can make a big difference or I can find a higher foot which can also make just as big of a difference as a higher hand.”- Max F.


Thank You, Sponsors!


We strive to keep our program fees reasonable. In turn, our families and friends have shown their gratitude by turning out for the myriad volunteer opportunities that we have fostered with other local events and organizations.

Your donations make a difference!

As a 501(C)3 non-profit, your donation to us may be tax-deductible.