Since the year 2000, a number of training centers for distance runners have formed in the United States and will continue to organize. The centers provide an opportunity for developmental athletes who compete in the 800m/1500m up through the marathon to train in a group setting. Some training groups focus on mid-distance, others more on the marathon, and a number cover the entire range. These centers train athletes for national and international competitions, including the Olympics, and provide comprehensive athlete support services.

This list will be continually updated as new groups develop and some disband. Also, some groups are not included here, such as the Nike Oregon Project, the Oregon Track Club Elite and the Providence Elite group, due to an invitational selection process.

Please note that a number of Elite Development Clubs - which are not at the level of a training center - are located throughout the country.  A list of these USATF designated clubs can be found at www.usatf.org/clubs/search/EDC.asp.

 


Midwest

Team Indiana Elite 
Bloomington, Indiana

Coach: Robert Chapman, Stephen Haas, Dustin Spanbauer
Contact: TeamIndianaElite@gmail.com
Formed in 2007
Website: http://www.teamindianaelite.com/

Team USA Minnesota
Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota

Coach:
Dennis Barker
Contact: Pat Goodwin (pfgoodwin@teamusaminnesota.org)
Formed in 2001 – USA Distance Project Training Center
Website: www.teamusaminnesota.org

Hansons-Brooks Distance Project
Rochester Hills, Michigan

Coaches: Keith and Kevin Hanson
Contact: Kevin Hanson (hansonsrun@aol.com), Keith Hanson (hansonsodp@aol.com)
Formed in 1999
Website: www.hansons-running.com

Running Institute Elite
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Coach: Ron Warhurst, Assistant Coach: Tim Broe
Contact: Pete Kitto (tri@atipt.com)
Formed in 2011
Website: http://runninginstituteelite.com/

Northeast

New Jersey-New York Track Club
Piscataway, New Jersey

Coach: Frank Gagliano
Contact: Julie Culley (Julie.culley@gmail.com)
Formed in 2010
Website: www.njnytc.com

Southeast

Zap Fitness
Blowing Rock, North Carolina

Coach: Pete Rea
Contact: Pete or Zika Rea (MarathonRea@aol.com)
Formed in 2002 - USA Distance Project Training Center
Website: www.zapfitness.com  

Furman-Elite
Greenville, South Carolina

Coach: Robert Gary
Contact: Robert Gary
Formed in
Website: runfurman.com

Greenville Track Club-Elite 
Greenville, South Carolina

Coach: Mike and Laura Caldwell
Contact: Mike Caldwell (mikecaldwell@me.com)
Formed in 2012
Website: www.gtc-elite.org   

Southwest

Austin Track Club
Austin, Texas

Coach: John Cook, Ryan Ponsonby
Formed in 2011
Website: www.austintrackclub.com

Norther Arizona Elite
Flagstaff, AZ

Coach: Ben Rosario
Formed in 2013Website:http://www.nazelite.com/

Rogue Athletic Club

Austin, Texas
Coach: Steve Sisson
Contact: Ruth England (ruth@roguerunning.com)
Formed in 2009
Website: www.ogueathleticclub.com

West

American Distance Project
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Coach: Scott Simmons
Contact:
704-408-6258

Formed in 2006
Website:
www.americandistanceproject.com

Boulder Track Club  

Boulder, Colorado

Coach: Lee Troop
Contact: (info@bouldertrackclub.com) 

Formed in 2011
Website:www.bouldertrackclub.com

Mammoth Track Club
Mammoth, California

Coach: Andrew Kastor
Contact:
andrew@coachkastor.com
Formed in 2012
Website:www.mammothtrackclub.com

Team Run Eugene
Eugene, Oregon

Coach: Ian Dobson
Contact: teamruneugene@gmail.com
Formed in 2011
Website:
www.teamruneugene.org

Training Centers

Meghan Armstrong represents the U.S. at the Chiba EkidenAt the 2000 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, only one man and one woman qualified to compete in the Olympic Marathon in Sydney, with each having just the 'B' standard. It was the first time that the United States had sent one athlete for the marathon in the men's and women's competition instead of three runners for each field. It was also a wake-up call for U.S. distance running, which essentially had fallen on hard times during the 1990s. 

While a number of factors caused the decline – 267 American men had run 2:20 or better in the marathon in 1983 compared to just 20 under 2:20 in 2000 – most observers of the sport agree that it was important for athletes to resume training in groups as they did in the late 1970s and early 80s. In addition to the marathon results, U.S. athletes overall were not competing at an expected level on the roads in various distances, on the track in the 5000 and 10,000 meters, or in cross country. 

The result was a movement to create training centers where athletes competing in the longer distances could run together, get top-level coaching and have the necessary financial, environmental and health support that would enable them to focus on training and competing. 

In the fall of 2000, Running USA and USA Track & Field announced the launch of the Team USA Distance Running Program. The Hansons Running Shop, out of Rochester Hills – now called the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project - had already led the way with a group formed in 1999. Others – including Team USA California (now the Mammoth Track Club), Team USA Minnesota, and Zap Fitness soon followed.



Services Provided

Each training center for long distance runners – competing in the 800/1500 meters up through the marathon – offers athletes a variety of supportive programs. These include coaching, a group training environment, health care services and/or health insurance, stipend and/or part-time jobs, and in some cases housing, among other services. 

Although the training centers operate differently depending on funding, location and coaching, the goal is similar – to improve the competitive level of U.S. distance running both nationally and internationally. Athletes are prepared to compete on the track, the roads and in cross country.



Applying to a Training Center

Many athletes make inquiries to selected training centers during their final year of collegiate eligibility. Once a runner has completed his or her eligibility, they can make a visit to a training center. Visits should be an important part of the decision-making process, just like it was during the college selection process. You’ll want to know the following:

* The coach and his/her training program.

* The focus of the center – mid-distances, track, roads, marathon.

* The chemistry with potential training partners.

* The support services provided.

Unlike the college selection process where an athlete is permitted five official visits that are paid by each university and last 48 hours, you can make as many visits as you want if you are invited by a training center. However, as a note of advice, you should narrow your interest to two or three centers based on your research about the location, coach and other athletes at the center.



Timing for Selection

Many training centers begin their selection process in the spring, with selection occurring during the summer months following an athlete’s graduation or completion of an athlete’s collegiate eligibility. 

If you are competing in spring track meets, you may be approached by training center coaches or representatives who would like to talk about your interest in pursuing the sport post-collegiately. You may also be approached by agents about the need for representation during your selection process for a training center and/or a shoe contract. 

If collegiate eligibility does not end until after the fall cross country season, you should still contact a training center in the spring or summer. Why? Many training centers fill their rosters in the summer and do not have openings or take on athletes over the winter unless a previous contact and interest has occurred.