Our Coaches

Craftsbury Running Camp - Coaching Staff

Craftsbury running camps have been a sought after running destination for more than 30 years. One crucial reason is our coaching. Every session, our expert coaches share their knowledge of speed, strength and endurance training. Whether you are a long-time runner working on your tenth marathon, a fitness runner hoping to train more progressively or a new runner who wants to advance their fitness and knowledge, our time-tested mix of structured runs, videotape analysis, lectures, drills and circuit training will help you to achieve your goals.

Lynn Jennings, Running Program Director and Coach

Three-time Olympian, Olympic bronze medalist and three-time world cross country champion Lynn Jennings will be back at Craftsbury for the eighth time in 2014. As Director of Running, Lynn enjoys sharing her running history and knowledge with Craftsbury runners. Her love of running includes teaching runners how to train progressively and intelligently to maximize their potential. Lynn willingly shares her motivating and inspiring insights into the world of professional middle distance running.

Lynn divides her time between Portland, OR and Vermont. Though retired from competitive racing, Lynn is still an avid daily runner. When not running, Lynn is a competitive sculler and enjoys forest hikes with her dog Towhee.

Lynn can be reached at running@craftsbury.com.

"Craftsbury running camps are a perfect place for a runner to train and play. The gorgeous hilly roads and trails are a runner's dream. Runners come to Craftsbury to improve their skills and gain insight into creating productive training programs. A week at Craftsbury gives runners of all abilities a chance to learn more about their craft in a beautiful and serene location. Add in the amazing meals and the camaraderie of the runners and it's no wonder so many runners return year after year." -Lynn

Bill Fitzgerald, Coach

Bill is returning to Craftsbury for his twenty first summer out of the last 23 years. Coming to Craftsbury originally as a camper, Bill has now served as a coach for many years. In addition to serving two stints as Interim Executive Director of the Chicago Area Runners Association, he helped develop and co-direct their very popular Bank of America Chicago Marathon Training Program, training tens of thousands of runners over the years to cover the 42K distance.

Bill considers himself blessed to have been able to run marathons on six of our seven continents (Australia is on his to-do list!) and to-date will tell you that running the uphill year of the 54-mile Comrades Marathon in South Africa ranks at the top of his long list of wonderful running and racing memories.

Recognizing some of his accomplishments, Runners World Magazine presented him with the Golden Shoe Award in 2001.

"Craftsbury is a very special piece of real estate. Its pristine environment provides the perfect setting for exercising, relaxing and for reconnecting with that voice inside that can motivate us to achieving our best." -Bill

Brett Ely, Coach

Brett, who first came to Craftsbury as a coach in 2007 with extensive credentials in nutrition and physiology, will be returning for the fifth time this summer. She earned her bachelors degree in dietetics and her masters in nutrition & exercise physiology at James Madison University while competing in track and cross-country. During graduate school, Brett ran and won her first marathon and has since qualified for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials three times (2004, 2008, 2012) with a personal best in the marathon of 2:38:53. She lives in Eugene, Oregon and runs for Team Run Eugene. Brett is currently a doctoral student in Human Physiology at the University of Oregon, and loves spending her (rare) free time exploring the beautiful trails and mountains of Oregon.

"Craftsbury reminds you, each time you visit, why you fell in love with the sport of running. The experiences of learning from coaches and fellow athletes, exploring the scenic dirt roads and trails, and connecting with members of the inclusive running community invigorate new and seasoned runners alike." -Brett

Peter Larson, Coach

Returning to Craftsbury for a second time, Pete is a former anatomy and exercise physiology professor who has created a new career around his passion for running. He is the author of a popular running website (www.runblogger.com), and he co-authored the book Tread Lightly: Form, Footwear, and the Quest for Injury-Free Running. He coaches a beginner 5K group in his home town of Concord, NH, and works part-time as an exercise physiologist/gait analyst at Performance Health Spine and Sport Therapy in Concord, NH.

Pete has completed nine marathons. His best time is a Boston-qualifying 3:15:21. He has a half-marathon PR of 1:27:36. Pete is passionate about getting people active, and he enjoys helping runners reach their goals.

Laurie Greenberg, Coach

From Warren, VT, and returning for her second summer, running has been a key part of Laurie's life for over 25 years. She began when was ten and instantly enjoyed the peace running brought her. In her early 20s, she raced everything from 5k's to the marathon. She was a member of Team eBay, one of the top co-ed adventure racing teams in the country. Now, in her 30s Laurie has found her true passion on the trails, primarily in the 50k distance.

Laurie was a middle school teacher and coach for nine years. She's now focused on raising her three young children and working as a certified personal trainer. She runs a spin studio from her home. Laurie runs every day (rain, shine, -25, you name it!) and she finds time to race in a few trail races a year where she continues to place among the top women. Laurie's past accomplishments include wins at Covered Bridges 1/2 Marathon, VT50, Stone Cat trail marathon (twice), Jay Peak 25k, Pittsfield 50k, and Crater Lake (OR) 1/2 Marathon.

"I enjoy inspiring and motivating athletes of all ages to strive to do their best and to live healthy lives. A recent profound moment was when my nine year old daughter came into my room at 6:20AM to state she was ready to go running with me! The best way to inspire others is to model what you believe. I am honored to be returning to coach this summer. I can't wait to be inspired by all of you." -Laurie

Eric Blake, Coach

Eric Blake, head coach of Central Connecticut State University's men's and women's track and cross country teams, will be returning to Craftsbury for the seventh time. He is a six-time member of the USATF Mountain Running Team and has won the Mount Washington road race three times including 2013. Eric also has raced marathons including two top 25 Finishes at the Boston Marathon, top 10 at Chicago Marathon(2007) and he competed in the 2004 Olympic Marathon Trials.

"Craftsbury offers so much for runners of all calibers: the setting is the best because the dirt roads and scenery are unbelievable. The whole environment rejuvenates you and sets runners up for a great fall of racing." -Eric

Donna Checkan, Coach

Donna Checkan will be returning to Craftsbury for the 11th time this year. Donna coached at the running camps for seven years and she was Director of the camps for three years. Looking forward to returning to coach at one of her favorite places, Donna has been a physical education teacher for 31 years and is currently at the Spence School in New York City where she's been for 26 years. At Spence she teaches lifetime-focused activities including yoga, pilates, climbing, cycling and spinning. She has also coached track and field for 10 years to grades 5 - 12.

Donna has a BS in health and physical education from Penn State and a masters in exercise physiology. She's also a personal trainer. Having run 18 marathons, Donna has a personal best in Boston with 3:18:32. She's also a triathlete competing up to the 1/2 Ironman distance. Donna enjoys running recreationally having hung up her racing flats after an achilles injury.

Pierre Mikhail, Coach

A life-long runner and a student of running, Pierre will be coaching at Craftsbury for his second summer. Pierre has run twenty marathons and he is the community head coach of the Huntsville Hoyas Cross Country Running Team. Pierre is also the president of a local running club, Muskoka Algonquin Runners (MARS). He has been competing in road races representing the club since its inception in March 2013. In November 2013, Pierre was part of the first place team in the men's 40-49 division at the Ontario Masters Cross Country Championships. Last year MARS brought a dozen high school runners to Craftsbury for the high school cross country camp. Pierre balances his love of running and coaching with a busy job as an Emergency Department physician and his active family life with Catherine, Hannah and Megan.

Dorothy Fuscado, Coach

Dorothy came to Craftsbury for the first time in 1990. She loved it and hasn't stopped talking about it since. She coached at Craftsbury at two Masters week camps, returned in 2013 for a Foliage running weekend and is returning this summer to coach for a second time.

A competitive masters runner, Dorothy has competed in everything from 5k's to marathons including triathlons and biathlons usually finishing in the top 5 % to 10%. Dorothy has competed in 3 Bodybuilding events winning the overall women's title in Natural Bodybuilding in 2000.

A personal trainer and running coach, Dorothy has been in the fitness industry for 15 years. She currently works at LifeTime Athletic of Westchester in New York. As a personal trainer working with athletes of many levels, Dorothy teaches Strength & Conditioning and Functional Training to both new and experienced runners.

Dorothy's credentials include MaryMount Manhattan College Fitness & Personal Training Certification, ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), ACE (American Council on Exercise) and NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) Spinning Certified.

"Being healthy and active makes me happy but what gives me true happiness will always be motivating and encouraging others to reach their fitness goals and making fitness a part of their lives. Keeping training healthy, safe and most important fun is what matters!" -Dorothy

Wilson Perez, Coach

Wilson Perez, head cross country and track coach at New England College in Henniker, NH, comes to Craftsbury as a coach for the second time this summer. Perez was an eight-time All-American at Keene State College in cross country and track, Perez help lead Keene State to second-place finishes at the 1999 and 2000 NCAA cross country championships. Individually, he finished second in the indoor 5,000-meter race his sophomore year and second in the outdoor 10,000 race his senior year. Perez was also a four-time All-Region XC runner, also won the New England Division III cross country championship his senior year. Wilson's versatility as a runner are evident with a mile PR of 4:16, 3k-8:19, 5k-14:30, 10k-29:45 and a marathon PR of 2:28.

 Wilson lives in Keene, NH with his wife Becky and their son Wilson III.

Melissa Weiner, Coach

From Ithaca, NY, Melissa, is looking forward to coaching for the first time at Craftsbury. She has been running for over 23 years, racing distances from the mile to the marathon. Her recent PRs are 5:33 for the mile (Fifth Avenue), 18:45 5K (Coogans), 1:25 half marathon (D.C. Rock and Roll), and 3:07 marathon (Wineglass). She runs happy through trails, streets and even the track, bringing her love of running to others.

Melissa is a USATF certified track coach and has coached distances from the mile to the marathon. She is currently an assistant coach at Ithaca College and she coaches cross-country, track, and the mile program at the Ithaca Youth Bureau. When living in NYC, she coached track and field in Harlem at Thurgood Marshall Academy, as well as individuals for the marathon. Melissa has helped athletes reach their goals, both personal such as qualifying for Boston and team goals such as confidence and communication.

Melissa is also a yoga teacher, certified at Yogaworks and Karma Kids. She loves bringing yoga to athletes of all sports and levels and runners will enjoy her extra yoga sessions during the first high school cross country camp.

Her coaching and yoga philosophy is "It is not about crossing the finish line or getting into the challenging yoga arm balance, it is the journey in getting there." -Melissa

Bobby Asher, Coach

This will be Bobby's second summer at Craftsbury. Bobby's coaching background spans 6 years coaching middle school-aged runners and masters marathoners in both group and individual settings. He has worked with runners in groups ranging from the New York Road Runners' classes as well as beginning runner's clinics in Westchester, NY He currently coaches at Edgemont Junior/Senior High School in New York were he was once a student and he is also pursuing a Masters of Science in Sports Business Management.

Bobby started running in the 8th grade in Scarsdale, New York and has put together a running resume that includes a 1:09:50 half marathon (2010 NYC Half) as well as a 2:38:35 marathon finish at the New York City marathon. Bobby currently serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors of the Van Cortlandt Track Club (VCTC). He also serves as Team Captain for VCTC. He has over a dozen marathons and well as hundreds of other races on his racing resume.

Bobby holds a B.S. in Hotel/Restaurant/Tourism Management from SUNY Plattsburgh. He also holds a Wilderness First Responder certification and a USATF Coaching Certification.

"Being a runner has many different meanings to everyone who participates in the movement. We all share the common bond of setting goals. Craftsbury has an atmosphere that allows athletes of all levels to experience a training journey. I love watching that journey unfold." -Bobby

Theresa Apple, Coach

Coaching at Craftsbury for the first time this summer and hailing from the Berkshire Hills in western Massachusetts, Theresa has been running since middle school, where she was a sprinter who avoided longer runs because she couldn't breathe! After a diagnosis of asthma in her early 20's she started running longer distances, in between having four children, and eventually succumbed to the pull of the marathon. Distance running strengthened her lungs, she tossed out her inhaler and at last count has run 27 marathons. She has also run several 200 mile relay races, and dabbled in biathlons and triathlons. If the race sounds fun, she enters it! Theresa tried snowshoe racing 10 years ago and now competes at the national level with several wins in the last 4 years. Theresa's passion is still trail running and living at the edge of an extensive state forest makes for great running with her dogs.

As the girls cross country team coach at Pittsfield High School for the last 13 years, Theresa started with 3 girls and the team now averages 40+ girls every year. Her main careers, a registered nurse with a degree in public health nursing and degreed massage therapist, have greatly shaped her coaching philosophy. She aspires to create the love of a permanent, healthy, active lifestyle in her athletes and to make their running experiences lasting ones. With a team motto of Hold the Rope, Theresa instills the sense of teamwork and responsibility to her team, qualities that carry over to all aspects of their lives, both in the present and in the future. Currently Theresa is working toward a nutritional certificate in whole food plant based nutrition, which will further enhance her holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle. Her experience as a mother of four active children, operating room nurse and long-time high school coach have provided Theresa with invaluable experience for dealing with people and situations with a cool head and warm heart. 

Caleb Masland, Coach

Caleb Masland is a native Vermonter now living in the Western North Carolina mountains. Caleb currently runs competitively for the SKECHERS Performance Elite team, and has won races from 5k to 50k. A "serious sub-elite" runner with dreams of the Olympic Marathon Trials, Caleb has current PRs of 2:30:39 for the Marathon and 1:10:55 for the Half Marathon. Running has been a passion for Caleb ever since joining the cross country team at Thetford Academy in 7th grade.

After 8 years of working in a typical corporate consulting job, Caleb made the jump to full-time running coach in 2013. What started as a hobby became an online team of adult runners who share a common drive for training, racing, and making running as fun as possible. Now Caleb works with runners all over the world who are training for anything from their first 5k to 100-milers. The group that he coaches is known as Team Wicked Bonkproof.

"I'm excited to be joining the coaching staff at Craftsbury! There is something magical that happens when you get a bunch of like-minded runners together for an extended period of time that you can't get anywhere else. I hope to share my knowledge, love of running, and love of being outside in Vermont with everyone at camp this summer!" -Caleb

Sarah Cotton, Coach

Sarah Cotton, a member of the Georgetown University Track and Cross Country team, will be coaching at Craftsbury for the first time this summer. She grew up in Madison, Connecticut, and has been running competitively since her freshman year of high school. Running has always been a huge part of her life, as her father and brother are also competitive runners. She races the 1500m, 3k steeplechase and 5k, and she plans to race the 10k. Sarah is a sophomore at Georgetown, studying studio art with a focus in drawing and printmaking. When not running, she loves to draw and paint, as well as cook and explore outdoors.

"I grew up around running, and I have become extremely passionate about the sport and the benefits of it that go so far beyond racing. It has become just as much a lifestyle as it is a competitive sport for me. I cannot wait to share everything I have learned with the athletes at Craftsbury, as well as learn from them and the other coaches." -Sarah

Mike Urquiola, Coach

Returning to Craftsbury after two summers as an athlete at all comers week, Mike Urquiola will be coaching for the first time this autumn. Running has been a passion of Mike's since he was 14 and his Dad insisted he join the track team at Brookline High in MA. Thirty three years later, Mike is still running and competing with a particular affection for cross country and trail running. He's been competing for Greater Boston Track Club for nearly 20 years and has been coaching track workouts at the Melrose Running Club for the past few years. He has personal bests of 16:24 (5k), 1:01 (10 Miles) and 1:23 for the 1/2 Marathon.

"Running is the impetus that keeps my life running smoothly. My running philosophy is simple. 1. Put your shoes on. 2. Get out the door." -Mike