Friday, May 06, 2011

Camp to Help Aspiring Professional Runners

Team USA Minnesota is set to host the inaugural RunPro Camp on July 14-17 for aspiring professional distance runners. Applications for the camp, which is designed to help aspiring post-collegiate runners make the transition to the professional ranks, are due by May 14.

13.1 Mpls

The camp is a companion to a web site that was launched in February. Runners who are completing their NCAA eligibility this spring, or within the last year, are encouraged to apply. The camp, as well as the web site, was created and developed by Team USA Minnesota with the support of a 2010 Excellence Challenge Grant from USA Track & Field.

“We’re looking for 800 up through 10,000 meter runners to attend this camp,” said Dennis Barker, coach for the Team USA Minnesota Distance Training Center and camp coordinator. “The goal is to increase the number of U.S. middle distance and distance runners who continue to train at a high level after college with the eventual outcome of improving U.S. performances in distance events both nationally and internationally.”

The interactive camp will provide opportunities for runners to meet coaches and athletes from professional training centers, learn about shoe company requirements for sponsorship, determine what type of representation (agents) would be best, find out about elite race recruitment, and how to seek both financial and health support, along with various USATF rules governing professional running including anti-doping compliance.

“This isn’t a camp to learn how to run or how to run better,” said Barker. “It’s a camp to give promising U.S. distance runners the knowledge, tools and support they need to pursue a professional running career. The most universal questions asked by athletes coming out of college include can they make a living running professionally, where should they train and do they need an agent. The camp covers these subjects plus things they need to know that they probably haven’t thought of yet.”

The RunPro Camp will have USATF representatives in attendance, along with training center coaches, shoe company representatives, financial and health experts, agents, and elite race recruiters. There will also be athletes who are already running professionally who will share their experiences on turning pro.

Travel and lodging assistance will be provided to qualified runners. At least 20 athletes are expected to attend this first-time camp. For more information, go to

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