At Ascent Running Camp, we know from years of professional and collegiate running and coaching that the key to a successful cross country season is more than just getting out the door to run.
Operated by pro runner Christo Landry— 25k American Record holder, 4x Team USA Member, and NCAA XC All-American—and educators with 15 years of experience coaching and directing running camps, we designed Ascent to give high school athletes (ages 13-18) of all ability and performance levels a comprehensive experience with the sport. At Ascent, you’ll have the opportunity to build summerfitness in a beautiful setting, connect with other athletes, and receive guidance from an experienced staff of collegiate and professional athletes, veteran coaches, and motivating guest speakers.
If you are ready to rise to the next level with your running, have fun, and make lasting memories, Ascent Running Camp is the place for you and your team to have an exciting, momentum-building running experience this summer!
Christo Landry is a professional runner who competes at distances ranging from 10k up to the marathon on the roads and a former assistant coach at the University of Michigan. Christo will run with, teach and mentor the campers over the course of their week at camp.
Christo's resume includes the American Record at the 25km distance, National Championships at the 10k, 15k, 10mi, half-marathon and 25km (twice) distances, the 2012, 2014 and 2016 USA Running Circuit championship and the 2014 USATF Long Distance Runner of the Year award. A few of his PR's are 5k: 13:36, 10k: 27:55, half-marathon: 62:53 and marathon: 2:14:30. He is also a three time Olympic Trials qualifier and has represented the United States in international competition on multiple occasions.
Christo ran for Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Virginia where he led his team to a State Championship in Cross Country as well as becoming a State Champion in the mile and two mile with respective PR's of 4:08 and 8:48. After graduating, Christo earned three All-American honors in Cross Country at the College of William and Mary finishing 13th at the NCAA Championships in his senior year.
In the past Christo has been a camper, counselor, head counselor and assistant director at running camps around the country and now he's bringing that experience and expertise to the Ascent Running Camp.
Mike Domínguez, Ph.D. has been operating running camps and coaching athletes for over 15 years, and looks forward to spending the week ensuring that every camper at Ascent leaves at the end of the week fit, healthy, and ready for a stellar season and lifetime of running.
In addition to his day-job as a college professor, Mike has been a director for two other running camps and a number of academic summer programs for over a decade. He is excited to bring this experience to bear in making Ascent Running Camp a premier experience for runners from the mid-Atlantic region.
Mike will also bring his experience as an Active Isolated Stretching practitioner to Ascent, working with athletes on ‘Pre-hab,’ flexibility, and treating any injury issues. In the past, Mike has worked with Olympians, professional track, cross country, and triathlon athletes, collegiate teams, and local running clubs and cycling teams.
Mike ran collegiately for the College of William and Mary, earning several all-conference honors, including a conference championship in the 3000 meter Steeplechase. Post-collegiately, Mike still competes (periodically) on the trails in mountain running and ultra events, but is most passionate about the work he now does serving other athletes. He looks forward to seeing you at Ascent Running camp!
Age Range: Typically camp is geared towards campers entering the 9th-12th grades but 8th graders are welcome.
Check In/Out: If necessary, campers can come late or leave early during camp to meet family needs, however we must have prior written permission from a guardian. Check-in will be from 1:00-3:00 pm at the housing site. Check out will be from 9:00-11:00am at the housing site.
What will workouts be like? Given the potential of warm weather, our primary efforts will take place in the mornings. These morning runs will include longer distance runs, and the option to participate in light introductions to tempo runs, fartleks, hill running, and other types of workouts that will advance your fitness and prepare you well for the season.
Since it is early in the season, we are always conscious of easing runners into their fall training, and don’t insist on twice a day running. Instead, in the afternoons, campers will either go for a light run, or participate in a cross training activity of some kind (yoga, body-weight plyometrics, swimming, etc.). We find this approach is excellent at advancing camper’s fitness, while ensuring they arrive to their first day of official practice healthy and energized.
In addition to these two main workouts each day, there will be skills sessions and other opportunities for campers to learn and practice speed and form drills, body-weight/general strength exercises, with videotaping and analysis done during these periods.
What will we do when we aren’t running? While a good amount of our time at Ascent Running camp will be taken up by our workouts, skill sessions, and guest speakers, there will be plenty of time for campers to relax, take naps, build community, and get to know one another.
During free time blocks, counselors and campers may organize games (indoor and outdoor), visit the pool, or grab a nap.
What kind of programming does the camp offer? Our years of experience at running camps has taught us that there’s a lot more to running camp than just the running, or trotting out guest speakers to give lectures to tired campers.
At Ascent Running Camp, we are invested in providing generative, small group programming that will help athletes connect, learn about their sport, and prepare for the coming season, and a lifetime of running. Our scheduled programming includes small group breakout sessions led by coaches and educators and covering a variety of topics (e.g. injury prevention, nutritional planning, sports psychology), as well as skills sessions focused on fine-tuning form and providing individualized coaching attention, a roundtable with college counselors, and thoughtfully chosen, engaging guest speakers. Campers will leave having done some great running, but also having learned a great amount about how to BE a runner.
Beyond this, each evening, and some days, we design more traditional ‘summer camp’ type programming that helps build camaraderie, and shape lasting friendships. This includes a Camp Olympics, with a variety of safe and fun challenges, as well as a group Lip Sync competition, Skits, and teambuilding challenges.
Daily Schedule (subject to change)
What will we eat? Campers will eat all meals in the Lees-McRae dining hall starting with dinner on Sunday and concluding with breakfast on Friday, where they will have access to nutritious and runner-friendly meals.
We are always cautious of the nutritional and health challenges facing runners, and issues associated with nutrition and running. We look forward to communicating with athletes and parents to ensure that we can support the needs of any athlete while they are at camp.
What if we need something while at camp? There will be a camp store open a few times daily with a variety of snacks and drinks.
Where will we stay? Campers will stay in dorms seperated by gender on the Lees-McRae college campus that are within walking distance of the track and the dining hall.
What to Bring:
Payment: A $150 deposit is require at the time of registration. The remainder must be paid by May 15th. Checks can be made out to "Ascent Running Camp LLC".
Fees include lodging from Sunday afternoon to Friday morning, all meals from dinner on Sunday to breakfast on Friday morning, and all transportation while at camp. Fees do not include purchases made at the camp store, the on campus Starbucks, or travel expenses to/from Banner Elk, NC.
Signed up before 2/15/18: $600 per camper 6 or fewer athletes from a school: $615 per camper 7 or more athletes from a school: $600 per camper 1 coach may attend camp for free for every 7 campers, they will be assigned duties.
A $150 deposit is due at sign-up with the balance due May 15th. This can be paid through our portal (processing charges will apply) if applying online or by check if paying through the mail. Please make checks out to "Ascent Running Camp LLC".
Each room holds two campers, and has access to hall style bathrooms. Floors are broken up by gender with counselors staying on each floor. Campers may request a roommate, but if the request is not mutual or no request is made, they will be matched with another camper. Campers from the same school will be housed in close proximity if possible.
*Deposit is refundable through June 1st (less any processing charges).
Registration: there are two methods available for registration, online and by mail. Online registration is instant, however there is a additional credit card processing charge. Registration by mail has no processing fee as the amount is paid by check, however a camper's spot is not confirmed until the registration forms and the check have been received.