Located at the University of North Carolina - Asheville, in the beautiful Smoky Mountains, the camp is one of the oldest in the country. Constantly seeking 'artistic perfection,' Coach Benson is dedicated to annually refining the camp activity schedule and curriculum. The 2005 addition of miles of new trails at Warren Wilson College was a huge hit with veteran staffers and campers alike. Strong emphasis on teaching, instructing, and coaching is our primary feature.
Our 34th annual Smoky Mountain Running Camp will feature special guest speakers John Mortimer, head men’s distance coach at Boston College, and Jay Johnson, middle distance and assistant cross country coach from the University of Colorado.
Recent past featured legendary Coach Pat Tyson from Mead High School, Spokane, Washington whose 2005 cross-country team placed fourth at the Nike Team National Championship in Portland, Oregon. Coach Tyson was Steve Prefontaine's roommate when they both ran for the University of Oregon. Also recently featured were Coaches Jason Vigilante of the University of Texas, Jeff Pigg of the University of Florida, and Rene Sepulveda of Oklahoma State University.
Our Advanced Placement (AP) Cross Country Class is offered during all camp sessions for those elite runners who desire college level instruction about the Art and Science of Running. Sign-up details will be available at registration. No advanced sign-up is required.
Attendance at Smoky Mountain Running Camp is limited to those runners entering ninth grade and older.
Stay-Over Session Option: Campers have the opportunity to double or triple their training with Coach Benson by attending more than one session with a weekend stay in between. There is a $50 fee to cover the two-night stay; however, the university does not provide meals on weekends. Spending money of $50 is suggested to cover meals. On Saturday, these multi-week campers (sorry, this option is strictly limited only to those attending both weeks!) have the option of taking an organized white-water rafting trip down the nearby Nantahala River, for an additional fee.
Camp Director Roy Benson:
- MPE, C.F.I., Exercise Scientist and Distance Running Coach
- Coached military, club, university, and high school teams for over 40 years
- Community cross country and track coach for boys and girls at Marist School in Atlanta since 1993 with 13 Georgia state 4A cross country championships and 20 individual state track champions
- Senior writer for Running Times and contributing editor for Running Journal magazines reaching over 350,000 readers each month.
- Author of 'Precision Running' HR training booklet that has sold over 200,000 copies and been translated into seven languages. His two books on Effort Based training have sold over 8,000 copies
- NIKE Techlab consultant for pace, distance and heart rate monitors
Coaches are encouraged to accompany their cross country teams and attend the Coaches Workshop covering the latest in training and racing techniques. The workshop runs concurrently with the youth camp session.
For dates and more information about Coach Benson's Smoky Mountain Cross Country Camps and Workshops, visit the Smoky Mountain Sports Camps homepage or email Nike Camps at [email protected]