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Kindler, gentler Wolf Run turns 30
It was only the middle of August but the South Kitsap High School bleachers were filled with enough spectators to believe a football game was about to begin Wednesday evening.
Instead, people mostly parents gathered to watch this years football players partake in the 30th annual Wolf Run.
The run is no laughing matter for the football players, although on paper it doesnt seem too difficult.
The linemen must run six laps in 12 minutes while the skill players must complete seven laps under the same time limit.
A few traditions of the run have been sacked over the last couple of years.
The Wolf Run used to take place after the team endured a two and a half hour practice.
The run also took place in the heat of the day.
With growing concerns nationally about heat stroke and dehydration, the run now takes place prior to the teams first practice in the evening when it is cooler.
The small handful of players who cannot complete the run in time must do bear crawls in the early morning before school starts.
The thought of coming to school at 6:30 a.m. is enough motivation for most of the players to finish in time.
Senior quarterback Tommy Patrick said he was confident leading up to the run.
All of us can do it becaue we all do it in PE, Patrick said. But its mentally challenging because its not just your teacher watching here. The pressure is on.
Growing up in Port Orchard, Patrick said he has known all about the traditions of Wolf Run.
Senior cornerback Craig Senter said its the mental aspect of the run that provides the biggest challenge to the skill players.
Its easy to get cocky but if youre not in shape youre not going to pass, Senter said.
Many of the players ran all summer to stay in shape and pass the Wolf Run.
Lineman Steve Razeywho placed second out of the linemen group provided an exception to the rule.
I didnt run at all this summer, Razey said. Running just hasnt been a problem for me. I just kept my mind set on finishing.
When asked if a good diet had a lot to do with his success, Razey shrugged.
Some days I ate healthy and other days I didnt, he said.
The tradition of the Wolf Run, which began under former coach Ed Fisher, starts with the linemen running first.
The skill players line up and down the track to give encouragement to all the players.
At times some of the players will run with the linemen to make sure theyre going the right pace.
The encouragement is then returned by the linemen.