It was hardly a day at the beach for University of Alaska Anchorage athletes. Friday morning marked their annual sand dunes training session at Kincaid Park. Originally a ski team event, it now welcomes all teams in the Seawolf family.

Skiing, men’s basketball, gymnastics, hockey and track and field took part in this year's event. Women’s basketball doesn’t use this a part of its regimen but was there to cheer on their fellow student athletes.

The workout is intense. It involves 15 sprints up the steep, sandy hill in three sets of five runs. There are 20-second runs where the athletes go as fast and far as they can. Then they move up to 30 seconds, then back to 20.

The hard training now should pay off later.

“When they feel that burn in their legs and they can still keep doing what they're doing and keep the technique up to perfection, they're gonna really appreciate this workout,” said UAA assistant alpine ski coach Anna Berecz.

She noted the conditions were good Friday. With the recent rain, the sand had a harder feel to it. In years past, the sand has been very soft, making the event even tougher. Of course the student athletes' perspectives may have been different.

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