Arlington, Virginia – Fourteen up-and-coming distance runners, who recently graduated from colleges and universities throughout the country, attended the 3rd RunPro Camp in Arlington, VA from July 17-19. Hosted by the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA), RunPro Camp is designed to encourage, support, and provide information for more top-ranked, post-collegiate, U.S. distance runners to stay in the sport and pursue a professional running career domestically and internationally.
The interactive camp provided a forum for runners to meet coaches and athletes from professional training centers around the U.S. It was also an opportunity for attendees to learn about sponsor relations, determine what type of representation would be best, find out more about the Track & Field Athletes Association (TFAA), USA Track & Field (USATF), and USATF Foundation resources and long distance running initiatives, including the Professional Road Running Organization (PRRO).
“We’ve seen some great successes from RunPro Camp attendees in the past three years, and we look forward to watching our 2014 attendees’ running careers,” noted Jean Knaack, RRCA executive director. “The success of RunPro Camp attendees, on both the roads and on the track, highlights the important of our ongoing efforts to attract and keep talented distance runners in our sport.”
The following attendees where funded to attend RunPro Camp, based on the application and selection process:
- Juli Accurso – Ohio University
- Samantha Bluske – Iowa State University
- Nicole DeMercurio – University of Georgia
- Daniel Docherty – Loyola University Chicago
- Lindsey Drake – Gonzaga University
- Emily Gordon – UCLA
- Katie Hoaldridge – University of Texas
- Brittni Hutton – Oakland University
- Olivia Mickle – University of Texas
- Daniel Quigley – University of Missouri
- Ethan Shaw – Dartmouth College
- Sheree Shea – Loyola Marymount University
- Susanna Sullivan – University of Notre Dame
- Jeffrey Veiga – Univ. of Massachusetts Lowell
An excellent line-up of speakers addressed the RunPro Camp attendees, including, Ben Rosario, head coach of Northern Arizona Elite professional running team. Rosario spoke on building relationships in the sport. Jennifer Dodd, USADA Olympic education manager, discussed the important topics of clean sport, drug testing, and compliance. Merhawhi Kelflezghi, of Hawi Sports Management, talked about the benefits of agent representation vs. self-representation. John Elliott, owner of MarathonGuide.com, spoke about sponsor relations and opportunities beyond traditional shoe contracts.
“This was my first time at RunPro Camp, and I was blown away,” said Rosario. “Running may seem like a simple sport, but the business side can be fairly complex. RunPro campers left camp several steps ahead of the competition with their newly gained knowledge from using social media to how to build their personal brand image. I can’t wait to follow these athletes on their journeys as professional runners.”
A VIP dinner for RunPro Camp attendees, speakers, and supporters, sponsored by MarathonGuide.com, was held on Friday, July 18. The dinner featured the elite athlete panel including: 2012 Olympian Julie Culley (5000 m), 2008 Olympian Amy Begley (10,000 m), and Tyler McCandless, a top American distance runner and recent RRCA Roads Scholar grant recipient. The panel spoke about lessons learned as professional runners and the Olympic experience.
Founded in 1958, the Road Runners Club of America is the oldest and largest national association of running clubs, running events and runners dedicated to promoting running as a competitive sport and as healthy exercise. The mission of the RRCA is to promote the sport of running through the development and growth of running clubs and running events throughout the country. The RRCA supports the common interests of runners of all abilities during all stages of life by providing education and leadership opportunities along with programs and services that benefit all runners. Learn more at www.RRCA.org and at www.RunPro.com