Seamus Woodruff of Maine Coast Waldorf School had never tried running as a pursuit until last spring. On Nov. 2, he placed third among runners at the Class C state championships. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

FREEPORT – His father is the Outing Club director at Bowdoin college so, naturally, Seamus Woodruff enjoys hiking and whitewater rafting.

Woodruff is also a mountain biking enthusiast. And, this time of year, he can’t wait for the snow to fall so he can go downhill skiing.

None of this explains Woodruff’s recent success in cross country. Admittedly, he never wanted anything to do with running. With so many other outdoor delights, why would anyone just run?

Woodruff tried it, just to get in shape. Then a friend suggested he run on the school’s team.

Then Woodruff became the No. 1 runner for Maine Coast Waldorf School, leading his team to a second consecutive Class C state cross country championship. He placed third individually in 17:20.68.

Woodruff, a junior, is looking forward to the outdoor track season, and then cross country next year and, eventually, maybe a chance to run in college.

But the college search is a ways off. For now, Woodruff enjoys the intimate Maine Coast Waldorf campus in Freeport, with trigonometry and metal artwork to keep him busy. And he’ll be glad to enlighten you on the beauty of Italian tile roofs – a view which he enjoyed last spring.

Q: With a name like Seamus, can we assume you’re Irish?

A: My mother’s grandparents were from Ireland. My older brother is Finnegan. (My parents) were planning on naming me Sawyer; just having that one Irish name. Then they ended up naming me Seamus, and it kind of went from there. My younger siblings are Maeve and Daire.

Q: Is Finnegan at Maine Coast?

A: He went to Brunswick High (and played soccer). He’s now at Bowdoin. My dad is the head of the Outing Club there.

Q: What do you like in the outdoors?

A: One of my biggest passions is downhill skiing, which I do whenever I can. I also love whitewater rafting, mostly because of my father.  We go to The Forks, the Kennebec River, the Dead River. I like anything outdoors – hiking, biking.

Q: When did you take up biking?

A: In eighth grade. One of my friends had been mountain biking for years. I got my hands on a mountain bike and started biking around a little bit, and discovered I loved it. I got more into and joined a team (Southern Maine Mountain Bike Syndicate). I did that until this past fall.

Q: This fall you ran cross country for the first time. How did that happen?

A: Last spring, I wanted to get in better shape, so I started working out. I decided I would try running a little bit, just to get some cardio in. I always hated running. I didn’t understand why people ran – ‘Oh that’s crazy. Why put yourself through that pain?’ But then I started running and realized it’s kind of fun and therapeutic. There’s not much going on when you’re running. It just lets you focus. I was enjoying that. Then one of my good friends convinced me to try the running team. At first it was a joke because I never considered it. Then I joined and I loved it. It’s just one of those things that happened randomly.

Q: Running races on a team is a lot different than just jogging to get into shape. How did you like it?

A: I do like competing. And I just love my teammates, my captains and my coaches. Just a lot of fun to have a group of people to spend a lot of time with and work hard with. From the outside, it looks like an individual sport, but you can’t achieve much without people to back you up, and people to work with.

Q: How do you like Maine Coast Waldorf?

A: It’s a great community. Definitely a different format; less textbook, more discussion-based. Good learning environment, super friends and good teachers, too.

Q: Favorite subjects?

A: Math and art.

Q: What are you studying in math?

A: Trigonometry. Actually, trigonometric functions.

Q: What kind of art do you like?

A: Kind of anything. I prefer working with metal. We get to do some blacksmithing and coppersmithing. Blacksmithing is a very physical art form. I like having the physicality brought into the artwork, and what you’re able to make with it is also super cool. You’re able to make tools and other functional things; but also make them beautiful.

Q: You spent the last three months of your sophomore year in Germany. How did you like that?

A: Germany was amazing. A great experience. The best part was getting to know more German and visiting a lot of Europe. Much older buildings and feel in Europe, compared to the U.S. I stayed in Freiburg, right next to Switzerland and France. Traveled around Germany. Saw a lot of Switzerland and got down to Florence, Italy, for a week.

Q: Most memorable moment?

A: Hard to say. Definitely one that sticks out is that we hiked up this hill outside of Florence. Just looking down on the city. All these terracotta roofs, like all the way to the horizon; nothing you would see in the U.S.

Q: With all your activities, do you plan to keep running?

A: I’m trying to figure out my running schedule. I plan to do spring track – in the past we’ve done it with (North Yarmouth Academy). Then I’m definitely going to continue cross country next year.

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.