New Location Added for Tonight

Sorry, more details would have been helpful. Here’s the link for a map of the Hilltop-Needmore Park:

We’ll meet there at 6pm.

Basically, varsity will work off the Red path, middle school will work on the yellow path, and parents/littles will work on the blue path. This will be at the start, at least.

The two issues we have to deal with now are keeping below that 25-person limit and also COVID itself. If you have had exposure to COVID, please stay home. For the 25-person limit, we should be good if we keep to these three groups.

And…hydrate. It’s hot. Drink a good amount of water but mix in some non-water so you don’t get too low on your sodium and other nutrients.


Basic Summer Plan for Cary Fire

We started last night. Through the season our basic practice plan is:
Time: Mondays 6-7:30pm
Coach: Daniel Baker (919-624-9858, email Daniel)
Location: Symphony Lake in Regency Park (occasionally Hilltop-Needmore park)
Focus: Speed (eventually)
Time: Thursdays 6:30-8pm
Coach: Jim Martin (919-624-8685, email Jim)
Location: New Hill Tobacco Trail (1309 New Hill Olive Chapel Rd, Apex, NC 27502)
Focus: Distance
Time: Saturdays 7:30-9am
Coach: Josiah Ruhl (919-208-7908, email Josiah)
Location: Sugg Farm in Holly Springs
Focus: Hills (eventually)
And…some notes about meets this season. Right now these are just some ideas. We won’t do multiple travel meets but likely choose one (Liberty or Nashville, not both):
  • Dual/triple meets with some homeschool clubs
  • Shooting for a few meets that are middle school only
  • Corinth-Holders High School (late August)
  • Pioneer Clash of the Classes – Boone, NC – Aug 22
  • Jungle Run – Sept 5th (Sat)
  • Smithfield-Selma Invitational – Sep 19th (Sat)
  • Greensboro Invitational – Sept 26 (Micah Winn ran this last year)
  • Lynchburg, VA HSPN – Oct 2–3 Liberty University (this would replace Nashville if we run it)
  • Great American Cross Country Festival Wake Med – Oct 3 (individual entry only, $45 per)
  • NCHEAC State Meet Greensboro – Oct 9 – Hagan-Stone State Park
  • Nashville Nationals – Nov 1 (based on previous years)
  • Foot Locker Regionals Charlotte – Nov 28 (based on previous years)
  • This site gives a number of NC xc races
  • Timed park runs in Durham – these were good fillers for us last year

Boys Win Homeschool Nationals!


Congratulations to our varsity boys for taking 1st place at both states and nationals (scroll down to Nov 2, 2019, to see meet results for nationals). This is definitely a team victory. Having a top finisher helps a ton, but it takes a team to win an event like these. You can see all results for the national meet here.

In the varsity girls race several got PRs, which was true of our boys as well. Harder to determine that with the middle schoolers since they run a 2.1-mile course at nationals. This was a highly competitive race overall, with the top 10 girls coming in under 20′ and the top varsity boy finishing in a Flash-like 15:24. Of course, we were part of that competitiveness with our top 7 varsity boys coming in under 18′.

In the state meet, kudos to the middle school girls for taking 1st place and the middle school boys for being runner-up.

You guys have worked hard for a long time now. Well done!! You can’t predict the outcomes of races, but hard work is an achievement in itself that will stick with you throughout your lives. The coaches are extremely proud of you.

Daniel B


Pre-Season Training – Starts Monday, June 3rd

The 2019 season begins with pre-season workouts on Monday, June 3rd. To start the pre-season training, fill out this waiver. Email it back to me ( or bring a copy to one of the practices. This will serve as your initial registration.

Here’s our basic summer schedule (though keep up with our Google group for changes on a given night or week):

  • Mondays – 6:00pm – Symphony Lake Greenway (lake near Koka Booth Amphitheater in Cary). Meet in the official parking lot for the Greenway (marked “P” on the map at the town website). Practices run by Daniel Baker.
  • Thursdays – 6:30pm – Apex Nature Park. Practices run by Elias and Dawn Ruhl.
  • Saturdays – 7:30am – Sugg Farm in Holly Springs. Practices run by Josiah Ruhl.

Any other questions, send them to me (




Updated Winter & Spring Races

Updated link for the Moncure Panther Prowl…



Some Winter and Spring Races

I asked our crew what races they’re running or thinking about running. Here’s the list:



Well done, Cary Fire!!

Praise God for a great season! 1st place for both boys and girls at the NCHEAC state meet. 3rd place for the boys at the Homeschool Nationals meet in Nashville, TN. You all demonstrated true grit, godly competitiveness, good teamwork, and the desire to support one another through the ups and downs of a cross country season. It was a true privilege for all the coaches to work with you guys—me, Josiah Ruhl, Elias Ruhl, and Dawn Ruhl. We hope to see all of you back next year!


Mid-Season Update

We’re now into the season, and I appreciate the hard running you all are doing. Everyone’s times are improving, and we are developing well for the big meets at the end—states in October and nationals in November. Keep it up!

The running for the next week will be a bit dicey with Hurricane Florence barreling down. Do what you can.

Consider doing some “tempo runs,” runs which are just a bit below race-pace but still hard runs. For example, if you run a 5k at 7:30 per mile, run 3-5 miles at 7:50 or 8:00. Do a warmup beforehand and a cool-down afterwards. These are hard and you’ll be wiped when you’re done, but since you’re not going 100% you’ll recover quickly.

Another workout to consider is the “800 repeats” (800m or 1/2-mile) we’ve been doing. String 4-6 of these together with about 2 minutes of rest between. Here you want to be above race-pace since it’s such a short distance. If 7:30 is your race-pace, aim to do the 1/2-miles in 3:00 or less. If 10:00 is your mile in a race, aim for 4:30 or 4:00 for the 1/2 miles.

Maybe we’ll see you Monday night at Bond, but wait for updates on that. No telling what the weekend will be like!

And…hopefully we’ll be in Siler City on Tuesday for the scheduled meet!


A Few Updates…

Next practice is Saturday morning at Sugg.

We now have a Google Group we need you to sign up for: Over the next little while we’ll phase out this email list and start using the one attached to the Google Group.

A couple meets have been added to our fall schedule: (new ones are Saturday, Aug 18 and Sat, Sep 29).

In the next week or so, we’ll begin our registration process for the season. This will mean every runner getting registered with USATF.ORG and getting their uniforms from the team store (purchased separately is a pair of solid black shorts). Like I said, details coming on all that.


Practice Schedule – July 7-23

This morning – Sugg Farm, 7:30am

Next few weeks:
Monday – Bond Park, 5:30pm
Thurs (Jul 12) – Lake Pine, 6:30pm
Sat (Jul 14) – Sugg, 7:30am
Mon (Jul 16) – cancelled (Bakers traveling)
Thurs (Jul 19) – Lake Pine, 6:30pm
Sat (Jul 21) – Sugg, 7:30am
Mon (Jul 23) – cancelled (Bakers traveling)