What I Love About Hosting Rugged Running The Camp

We all hear about the campers' experiences (totally valid), but I think it’s important to hear about why I created Rugged Running The Camp.


Every year around the end of July this event takes place in the Gunnison National Forest. The weather is “mountain” weather. Unpredictable, downpour, sunny, hot, a little snow or hail, and sometimes winds. Yet every year, the campers that attend, embrace it. They enjoy it, and they truly show their positive attitudes no matter what challenges mother nature brings us. Why is that? I thought for sure the first year I hosted it, it was going to be a complete disaster.


I was in between hip surgeries and running was minimal for me (I mean who would listen to a running coach that couldn’t even run?), it was a complete downpour (so much so we couldn’t even set up when we wanted to and wouldn’t you know it??? By this time, campers jumped out of their vehicles and pitched in to help?!!!) I mean HOW AWESOME are runners? … or even want to be runners (we host all levels of runners, although we highly recommend at least a 5k base for the elevation). The entire camp, these people who I had never met before, who were not required to, simply pitched in and enjoyed every moment!


Every year, the runners are just as awesome as the last. And as we grow to improve, they are right there with us. Some, (like Megan Moriarty), have attended every year! And others, like (Stan Fortuna) have attended numerous camps we host around the country and will go back again this year for this one. Can I just say THANK YOU. Thank you to all of you who have supported me, us (Rugged Running), over the years and continue to do so through various forms, especially spending time with us out at camp! We are so grateful for all of our Rugged Running Clients!


Every year, I look forward to this camp. It is by far what I feel God created me to do! We all strive for that feeling and it hardly seems real right? Once we are there, doing what we love but also feeling self worth? LIVING THE DREAM. It is never perfect, and that is okay (as mentioned above). I found yielding to God’s timing is what helps. I also found I don’t have to do everything myself, it is by far better with help and community, it doesn’t have to be perfect, there will be setbacks and when in doubt I give God a shout! :) Perhaps this could be applied to anything you have going on? Even as I am writing this, currently struggling with more health problems, I question the setbacks, and if clients will look at me as weak.. Then I remind myself of that first year and those campers continue to empower me today, years later.


I wanted this camp to be more than just a trail running camp where we hold hands and go frolicking on the trail into the sunset. Although we do see some wicked sunsets, spend time on the trails, I also try to provide a learning experience unlike any other. My knowledge base and experience extends way back over 25 years and I have learned that coaching is optimal with sharing as much as possible with you! From road 5ks and marathons, to trail ultras, my favorite people to work with are those just beginning in any discipline. I also love the challenge of providing the tools elite levels need to obtain their personal bests. I know my whole team does, especially head coach Salynda. With our holistic approach, we are constantly demanding more from ourselves to provide a better experience for you. Last year I learned all about pelvic floor squishy ball release :) And trust me, my body does not go into some of those positions! Yet, we all benefited from the session! Coach Wyatt shared his personal approach to mental strength and overcoming lies, and Coach Salynda is human too. Giggles were unleashed when we all learned her coordination isn’t her strong suit...yet she can run faster than all of us! The point is, we all have strengths and weaknesses, and with each of our numerous, unique training sessions, we find them. As coaches we take notes and meet with you at the end of camp to create a “plan of action,” for you once you leave. I mean what is the point of attending an informational camp in which you can’t apply afterwards?! Memories. Yes! We have those too though. We all take on the Mount Tilton Adventure on the last day. No matter how fast or slow, everyone gets to the top! Yeah, even those that are severely afraid of heights! It is a magical, proud moment for me as a coach.


Every year, several people come and meet each other (usually for the first time). They are all levels of fitness or running knowledge, they are from all over the country (and sometimes other countries). And every year, we all leave smarter, more prepared (not just running challenges, but life challenges), with new formed relationships and friendships that last a lifetime to help us through.


So every year, you can expect healthy food, a holistic education in running execution, health and fitness, as well as mind strengthening sessions to help you with your life’s goals.


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