Bulldog Days bounces back with return of free workouts
Bulldog Days made a resurgence this summer, and instructor George McCrary couldn't be happier to see more Baldwin City community members attending the free workout sessions.
Baldwin City’s free community workouts suffered in the summer of 2010 when attendance fees were charged for the first time. The number of participants dropped from 50-100 every workout to 15-30.
However, the Baldwin City Recreation Commission covered the cost of the program this summer and made the workouts free to the public. Participant numbers increased from a year ago and more than twice-as-many T-shirts were given away from those who attended 25 or more workouts.
“Overall, it was a good summer,” McCrary said. “We had a lot better attendance and a lot more folks out this summer. It was more community folks and not just high school athletes. There were a lot of families out there.”
About 70 T-shirts were given away this year for free. McCrary reported the total number of summer attendees at 426. It as a nice rebound but was not quite to the level that McCrary saw in 2008 or 2009.
“We had as many as 600-700 people two or three years ago,” he said. “Of course, that year we had most of the football team there and many other high school athletes. We had great numbers this year, but I hope we can build back up to that number next summer.”
Friday was the final day for the summer workout program. The morning session attendees ran their last workout and enjoyed watermelon after exercising. However, the Friday night crowd was unable to participate, because of lightning in the area.
“It was really bad, because everybody was standing around to see if we would warm up,” McCrary said. “I told everyone if it’s not healthy for us to exercise in the lightning, then we probably shouldn’t stand around. It was hard to push them away.
“It was brutally hot for most of the summer until the last week. Then the last week, it was much cooler. One morning it was around 59 degrees.”
Each session had a handful of returnees, nearly every day. McCrary said some of those community members were continuing to meet in the mornings or evenings to workout as a group.
”Those are the people that we gave shirts to,” McCrary said. “We had a usual morning and evening crowd that came about every day.”
The highest number of workouts attended was 64 for the summer. Anyone over 50 workouts receives a “Mighty Dog” shirt. Next year, there will be a shirt for the most workouts attended.
“Next year we are going to have a special award for the Mad Dog,” McCrary said. “We’ve got the Dog Days, Mighty Dog and now we’ll have the Mad Dog for whomever attends the most workouts.”
Next year’s Bulldog Days are expected to start during the middle of May.