RunPro Camp 2011

As you probably already know, I graduated in May and finished my collegiate eligibility a few weeks ago, and even though time since then seems to have frozen, it’s actually been flying by faster than usual!  Each day begins and ends with a mixed combination of running, swimming, and strength training and is filled in between with the Food Network, HGTV, photography, projects around the house, and a variety of other activities that keep me busy.

This past weekend, I occupied some of that free time by attending the first-ever RunPro Camp hosted by Team USA Minnesota and USA Track & Field.  According to the website, “the purpose of the RunPro Camp is to personally connect aspiring professional runners with the resources necessary to pursue a professional running career.”  While a lot of the information that was presented over the course of the 4 days may be available if you know where to look and who to ask, having it all packaged and offered in the way that it was is an invaluable resource.

It’s only been a little over a month since I finished running collegiately, and it is already very obvious to me that if I want to succeed in this sport, I’ll need to have the support and resources that this camp helped to explain.  The camp gave all of us the opportunity to create a network of other runners in similar situations as ourselves, get information on training centers and coaches, learn about sponsorship requirements, determine the appropriate approach to representation, become familiar with USATF, and find out about elite race recruitment.  In addition, it provided sessions on health care, drug testing, community involvement, and finances and taxes framed specifically for runners.  As you can see, it was a packed couple of days with very little down time!  Anyone who may have been struggling on their own not really sure of how to navigate the world of professional running is now well-equipped with all of the information they need to chase their dreams.  Personally, the camp made me realize how feasible running can be as a profession if you have the sincere desire to pour your heart and soul into it.

The 21 runners in attendance this weekend all show real promise for success in the professional realm, whether that may be in the shorter, mid-distance track races, on the road running circuit, or in cross-country competitions.  Wherever we’re heading, we all know one thing – we’re not ready to give up on our dreams of making it to the next level.  In order to get there, we need to take accountability for our own careers and make it happen, because nobody is going to hand it to us.

Before I sign off, I’d like to thank Team USA Minnesota and USATF for all of the hard work that they put into making this camp a reality.  What they are doing for the state of running in the US is undeniable and I feel honored to be a part of the first camp designed to ease the transition into professional running.

Stay safe running in this heat!


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