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Lap That Quad: Strava dominates a hibearnation ridden campus

February 19, 2021

Mackey O'Keefe
BEARING THE COLD: A pair of students finish up their run on Bowdoin's quad, which has turned into one of the most frequented places on campus by runners.

Getting on the leaderboard of Strava’s “Lap that Quad” segment is no easy task. However, for Angela McKenzie ’23, a member of the women’s cross country and track and field teams, Hibearnation period became the perfect opportunity to earn Strava’s “Local Legend” crown by running 14 laps around the Bowdoin quad.

McKenzie took on the challenge with fellow teammate Ana Gunther ’23 and said the run was fiercely competitive, yet humorous, as she ran past the same people again and again.

“We were just running past [other people on the quad] and saying ‘hi’ every time we went by,” McKenzie said in a Zoom interview with the Orient. “There were of course people on the ice rink—it was kind of a nice day for that, so people saw us there, too. Every time someone noticed [we had just passed them] we would just start breaking down laughing.”

While the name “Hibearnation” evokes an image of sleepy bears, for some Bowdoin students, it was just the opposite.

“We [the men’s cross-country team] ran about 80 miles around campus in the ten days that we were in [Hibearnation period],” James Giltner ’23, a member of the men’s cross country and track and field teams, said. “And it was all in two-mile loops around campus.”

A similar period, “Quarientation,” occurred on campus in the fall, leading to the original creation of the “Lap That Quad” segment.

“Lap that quad turned into a midnight extravaganza with me, Reed Carlman [’24], Zach Leibowitz [’24], Carson Williams [’24], and Sam Angevine [’24],” wrote Ellie Smith ’24, a member of the nordic ski team, in an email to the Orient. “I happened to be included in the high-stakes competition of hunting [course records] around campus. Sprinting lap that quad in various shoes became a tradition (crocs, high top converse, and Nike [running shoes]) as it was a COVID-safe way to be hyper competitive.”

While there is some competition on Strava through the “Lap That Quad” segment, McKenzie also highlighted Strava’s ability to connect teammates and friends during the quarantine period.

“People love to just blog on Strava and word vomit on their posts, and I love that!” McKenzie said. “I really love knowing just if someone goes for a run, how their day’s been, even if we’re miles apart.”

Giltner has also used Strava to connect with teammates during Hibearnation.

“My friend group does use it.” Giltner said. “It was cool on Strava to see what [they are] doing everyday. It’s definitely a community thing.”

Luke Bartol ’23, a member of the nordic ski team, has also used Strava to log his nordic skiing loops around campus.

“There are a lot of people who like to ski just for the fun of it,” Bartol said in a Zoom interview with the Orient. “I know there are several people in my [college] house who I’ve gone out with, so there’s a good number of people out there. Every day I run into other students or some [Brunswick residents].”

While Bartol uses Strava to log his skis, he also enjoys seeing how other people manage to get out of their rooms.

“It’s cool to see what people get up to and to get motivation, especially when you’re doing laps of Farley on campus,” Bartol said. “And then it’s cool to see who else from Bowdoin is out there too—other teams or just people kind of getting out and getting active, which is awesome to see.”


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  1. Polar bear ‘17 says:

    What is Strava?? For those of us no longer on campus, it would be great to have an introduction to what seems to be sweeping the campus. Is it an app??

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