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Cemetery Hills


Rowing Remembrances from NavyLights Yore
(♫ in the key of crazy eights ♫)

Remember the cemetery runs…?
…Remember them cemetery runs
when we jogged from Hubbard and gathered at the foot of a narrow, uphill, asphalt vehicle track that winds through the Naval Academy Cemetery? [We’d have to look the next time in the Yard, but I believe that part of the track was a 40% – 60% grade over 50 – 100 yards.] Pairing off, we’d sprint up that hill – with knees up to just over mid torso on the front strides! – and at the top of the hill slow to a jog and then follow the track as it meandered clockwise back down to the original starting point where we’d “do ‘er agin!”  I don’t recall how many circuits we’d make – but after enough time had passed for Coach to get tired or bored, we then did two final circuits running as fast as we could backwards up the hill before jogging over to the foot of the wide walkway of steps that led from Hospital Point uphill to the Naval Hospital, where we commenced circuits of sprinting up the steps on one side and jogging down the other. This was probably a 40 – 50 yard sprint up a 75% – 100% grade. After Coach decided he’d had enough of that, we then jogged back to Mother Hubbard to finish the practice with quality time in the tank and on weights. I recall on one occasion of those cemetery runs that Gary Harrell’s ('76) roommate, who was one of Navy’s football players, along with several of his football teammates, were jogging the Yard perimeter and seeing us sprinting up the cemetery hill jogged over to find-out what was going on. When we invited them to join us, however, they politely declined and departed faster ‘en an anchor drops from its hawsepipe.

We was hard, we was, in them days...!