During the summer of 1998 my good friend, Larry Trotter asked me if I would instruct his daughter on how to run. He knew that I had run track in college at Brevard Junior College and the University of North Carolina. He wondered out loud why no one ever held a clinic or a camp for kids that taught them how to run. There seemed to be plenty of other types of camps (e.g. baseball, basketball, wrestling, football, tennis, etc). Why not have a running camp? From that initial conversation came the idea for the Runner’s Camp. I knew that we had access to a track facility at the local high school and middle school. There were two track coaches attending the church I work at as outreach pastor (North Wake Church). In about six weeks time we had gone from an idea to our first camp.
The first year we held the camp in early August. August in North Carolina can be a brutal month with high temperatures and high humidity. Unbelievably, we had very sunny, cool weather all week. There were 43 kids at that first camp. The staff consisted of three coaches and six ladies who oversaw our runners. We’d never been to or seen a track and field camp like ours before so we met each day after the campers left and planned the next day. We could tell right away that the kids loved it. That year we held our end of camp track meet on Friday morning. Many of the parents took off work to attend. and parents asked us to do again the following year and did.
You might say the rest is history. The Runner’s Camp has steadily grown year after year with the addition of a second camp in 2004 and third camp in 2014. This past summer (2017) we had over 850 campers and 250 volunteers. We hope that you’ll be a part of the 2018 Runner’s Camp. We have since moved the track meet to Saturday morning and this past year we had approximately 1000 people there to watch their children run.