Applications for the 2014 RunPro Camp will be accepted through June 1. 

Please note that there is a limited amount of funding for travel reimbursement, as well as a limited number of complementary rooms available. All applications will be reviewed, and you will be notified by mid-June if your travel and lodging will be covered. If funding does not cover your attendance at this camp, you will still have the opportunity to attend if you cover your travel and lodging costs.  You may apply for this camp before June 1 so long as your NCAA eligiblity is completed before the Camp date which will be in mid-July 2014.

2013 RunPro Camp Review

Fourteen up-and-coming distance runners, who recently graduated from universities throughout the country, were selected to attend the second RunPro Camp hosted by the RRCA in Arlington, Virginia on July 18-21.

The RunPro Camp, which was held for the first time in 2011 in Minneapolis, is designed specifically for athletes who are interested in pursuing a professional running career.  Selection to the camp was based on an application process, with most athletes being NCAA qualifiers and competing in distances ranging from the 800 meters up through the 10,000 meters as well as in cross country.

 The interactive camp provided a forum for runners to meet coaches and athletes from professional training centers around the US, learn about sponsorship requirements, determine what type of representation would be best, find out about USA Track & Field resources and long distance running initiatives plus anti-doping compliance, as well as discuss how to work with the media and how to seek both financial and health support.

 An excellent line-up of speakers for the RunPro Camp outlined the importance of the information shared through the effort.  The Camp kicked off with a welcome dinner featuring 2008 Olympian, Amy Begley, who spoke about lessons learned as a professional runner and the Olympic experience.  Roads Scholar grant recipients from 2012, Scott Bauhs and Jon Grey, joined her. USA Track & Field and USA Track & Field Foundation sponsored the dinner.

Scott Simmons from the USA Distance Project opened the education program for the camp by providing an overview of professional distance running. Simmons retired from collegiate coaching in January of 2012 after more than 20-years to pursue full-time his ongoing efforts with the American Distance Project. His collegiate tenure saw not only successes at the NAIA and NCAA levels, but also on both the US and international stages, as well.  Simmons holds a Master’s Degree in Sports Science from the United States Sports Academy, has twice been selected as a Team USA national team leader and is a noted lecturer and co-author of the book Take The Lead: A Revolutionary Approach To Coaching Cross Country.

Athlete representatives from both TEAM USA Minnesota and Zap Fitness discussed their experiences with joining a distance training center, and they also highlight how the RRCA’s Roads Scholar grant played an important role in staying in the sport.

Other topics covered at the camp included Drug Testing, Awareness and Compliance presented by Jennifer Dodd, Olympic Education Manager from USADA. Luke Watson, who recently completed his Ph.D. in Accounting at Penn State University, gave a very informative talk about tax issues related to running as a profession versus as hobby and how those distinctions apply to young elite runners.  In 2012, Luke retired from a successful running career that saw him compete in a variety of distances from the mile to the marathon, highlighted by appearances in 3 U.S. Olympic Trials.

The following invited athletes had finished their collegiate careers as of June 2013 and show good potential for moving on to the next level.  The RRCA provided travel and lodging grants so the athletes could attend the camp free of charge.  We look forward to watching their careers in the coming years.


Eric Finan – University of Cincinnati

Michael Heller – Kent State University

Meghan Nelson – Iowa State University

Jonathan Peterson – University of California Davis

Gabriel Proctor – Western Colorado State University

Cydney Ross – Duke University

Ben Sathre – University of St. Thomas

Danielle Stack – Iowa State University

Gina Valgoi – Loyola University

Amanda Winslow – Florida State University

Kristen Findley – Vanderbilt University

Cate Westenhover – Baylor University

Lara Crofford – Shippensburg University

Lauren Kleppin – Western State Univ. of Colorado

An important element of the Camp was to also emphasis the point that the RunPro.com website is to be the go-to resource to assist promising young distance runners in making the transition from collegiate to professional running.  The mission for the website is to provide athletes with a comprehensive overview of what it takes and what is involved in becoming a professional distance runner - competing on the track, the roads and in cross country. 

2011 Run Pro Camp Review

 

The goal of the RunPro Camp is to encourage, support and provide the tools for more top collegiate distance runners to stay in the sport, pursue a professional running career, and train at a high level so that U.S. performances will continue to improve nationally and internationally.

 

The first RunPro Camp was held in July 2011.  Twenty-one distance runners, who recently graduated from colleges and universities throughout the country, were selected to attend.  A key strategy was to personally connect the athletes with people who are already part of professional U.S. distance running.  Fifteen speakers made presentations and an elite athlete panel talked about their experiences and fielded questions.

 

Camp participants were excited about getting started on a professional running career.  They were encouraged by the range of opportunities to train and race, the amount of support that is already in place, and the number of resources available – including a network of training centers. 

 

The evaluations were overwhelmingly positive in their enthusiasm for the quantity and quality of the information they received during the interactive camp, the people they met (both athletes and speakers), and the value of the experience.  On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the highest mark, all attendees rated the camp as a 1.  Comments included:

 

“Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to attend the RunPro Camp.  Despite my best efforts to search around the Internet, I was pretty clueless before this.  The camp was very helpful!  It was really great to be surrounded by runners in the same situation as me and listening to the already pro runners.  The different speakers also made me realize I have a lot of room for improvement in myself, not only when it comes to running but how I am perceived by others.  Another big thing for me was understanding the finances of a runner’s life which was always a question in my mind.”  Amy Van Alstine, University of Richmond

 

“I just want to thank you for all of the energy you put into the RunPro Camp.  I think I can speak for all of the athletes that we felt so special, learned a lot, and were all very encouraged and motivated to persevere with our training.”  Elizabeth Yetzer, University of Minnesota

 

Other attendees said the RunPro Camp: “Met expectations and then far exceeded them – I feel so much more prepared to be a professional runner.”  “It was a great experience.  I met lots of good people and good contacts.”  “I expected to learn a lot, but I learned things I didn’t even know I needed to know.”  “I hope to have made friends for a lifetime as we all pursue our careers.  This has really been so much fun and incredibly informative.”

 

The next RunPro Camp will be held in July 2012 in Minneapolis.  Applications will be due in May.  Runners who complete their NCAA eligibility in 2012 are encouraged to apply.

RunPro Camp

The purpose of the RunPro Camp is to personally connect aspiring professional runners with the resources necessary to pursue a professional running career. The interactive camp will provide opportunities to:

  • get to know other runners
  • meet coaches and athletes from professional training centers
  • learn about shoe company requirements for sponsorship
  • determine what type of representation, if any, would be best
  • find out about elite race recruitment and criteria for receiving travel expenses and prize money
  • go over the USATF rules governing professional running and opportunities to represent the U.S. in international competition

Information will also be provided on topics such as health care, drug testing, community involvement, finances and taxes as they relate to professional running.



Overview of 2014 Camp

Date:  July 17 - 19, 2014

Location: RRCA National Office, 1501 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22209

Funding: Selected athletes will be provided with lodging, meals and travel reimbursement.

Lodging will be provided at: Holidy Inn Rosslyn, 1900 N. Fort Meyer Dr. Arlington, VA 22209

Meals: Breakfast and lunch will be provided at the meeting location. Dinner will be provided at selected venues.

Air Travel: RunPro.com will provide a certain level of reimbursement for athletes who travel by air.

Ground Transportation: RunPro.com will provide a certain level of reimbursement for athletes who travel to the camp by ground transportation.



2014 Camp Schedule

Date Time Event Location
Thursday July 17
4:00-6:00pm Check-in and Welcome Reception at RRCA office

  6:00-7:00pm Welcome Dinner
TBD
  7:00-8:00pm Elite Athlete Panel: The Professional Athlete Experience
 

Friday

July 18

7:00am Meet to Run  
  9:00-9:30am Breakfast - RRCA Office
RRCA
  9:30-10:30am Overview of Professional Distance Running and Runner Expectations
RRCA
  10:30-11:30 Professional Running Support and Initiatives USATF & USATFF
RRCA
  12:00-1:00pm Lunch - RRCA Office
RRCA
  1:00-2:00pm Overview of US Distance Training Centers RRCA
  2:00-3:00pm Self Representation   RRCA
 

3:00-4:00pm

Agent Reprentation RRCA
4:00-5:00pm Personal PR/Marketing, Working with the Media & Community Involvement
  6:00pm Meet for Dinner  

Saturday

July 19

7:00am Meet to Run Local Running Trails
  9:00-930am Breakfast at RRCA Office
RRCA
  9:30-10:30am Anti-Doping Compliance - USADA RRCA
  10:30-11:30am Taxes & Finances Related to Professional Running
RRCA
   11:30-12:30pm Professional Athlete Recruitment and Running for Prize Money
RRCA
  12:30-1:30pm Lunch RRCA
  1:00-2:00pm  PRRO Circuit, RRCA Roads Scholar Program, RRM Online Guide, and Other Resources

  2:00-3:00pm Closing remarks and camp review
RRCA