Our Coaches

Craftsbury Running Camp - Coaching Staff

Craftsbury running camps have been a sought after running destination for 40 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.


Carole Hakstian, Running Camp Director

Three-time Canadian Olympic Trials qualifier and three-time All-American, Carole was a member of the University of Wisconsin NCAA Division 1 Cross-Country National Championship team. She coached collegiately at the University of Chicago and has coached high school runners in Vermont. Through her experiences as a runner and avid cyclist, skier and hiker, Carole looks forward to sharing her knowledge about a comprehensive training approach to improve performance and overall health.

Carole is a native of Montreal who now lives in Burlington, Vermont.

At Craftsbury Running Camps, we offer every athlete an opportunity to improve their skills, learn from knowledgeable coaches and classroom instructors and train on the quiet back roads and trails in beautiful Craftsbury, Vermont. - Carole


Barry Auskern, Coach

Barry Auskern, a long-time coach for the Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club and a volunteer assistant coach for the Greenfield (Massachusetts) High School cross-country and indoor track programs, will be coaching at Craftsbury for his third summer. He grew up on Long Island, NY, and has been running competitively since his senior year of high school. When not running, he loves to cross country ski, as well as cook and explore the outdoors. He has completed thirteen marathons, with a 3:01 personal best at the NYC Marathon.

I’m looking forward to returning to Craftsbury. Sometimes the toughest part of a workout can be simply taking that first step out the door. Self-motivation and perseverance are critical tools for runners. As a coach, I believe that workouts should be fun, motivating, and should help build confidence. - Barry


Mike Urquiola, Coach

After two summers as an athlete at an All Comers week, Mike will be coaching at Craftsbury for the fourth time this year. 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 five 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 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


Andrew McCullough, Coach

Andrew was raised in Montpelier, Vermont and is excited for his second summer coaching at Craftsbury. While studying architecture and Italian at Connecticut College, he ran cross country and track and focused on the 800m. After college, while working for an architect in Montpelier, Andrew made a switch to cycling and spent the past two years racing for an elite road team in Brittany, France. He coaches high school cross country, track and field, and Nordic skiing in central Vermont. He is focused on bringing energy and enthusiasm to young athletes, and helping them develop a consistent approach to training that will yield lifelong rewards.

I am really happy to be back in Vermont and returning to my roots as a runner. I'm thrilled to be able to do this in beautiful Craftsbury, and to be able to focus on helping runners of all abilities develop strong technique, implement well rounded and ambitious training plans, and push themselves mentally and physically.
- Andrew


Jack Pilla, Coach

Jack Pilla, from Charlotte, VT will be coaching at Craftsbury for his second season. Jack was late coming into his running career but was always an endurance athlete. After his first marathon in 2001, he continued going farther and longer and started to compete in the ultra events in 2004 and has never looked back. Jack can be found running a local fast 5k or traveling to Europe to run a 200+ mile run in the Alps but is happiest when running along mountain summits and on the trails. Jack has been a personal running coach since 2009 and was also the assistant XC coach for the girls at South Burlington High School. He is a member of the Green Mountain Athletic Association, Brand Ambassador for Hoka One One and is the Pace Team Coordinator for Vermont City Marathon.

Craftsbury is a wonderful place to run with fabulous trails and quaint Vermont back roads. I'm looking forward to coaching there again and sharing my experiences and knowledge with the athletes. - Jack


John Barbour, Coach

John’s history with the sport stretches back to the 1962 US-USSR track & field meet at Stanford.  The northern California native was a decent distance runner in high school and Division III Whitman College, and began coaching in the 1980s as an Emory University graduate student, where his PRs include 29:33 (10K), 49:25 (10 miles) and 2:19:26 (marathon).  Barbour qualified for the Olympic Marathon Trials in 1988 and 1996.  He continues to run with his club, the Greater Lowell Road Runners, in USATF and other races. 

John’s coaching has included women and men, middle school beginners through post-collegiate club athletes.  He’s been his club’s coach, helped a Gloucester HS quartet set a national distance medley relay record that lasted 17 years, and started Manchester-Essex Regional HS’s track program.  He’s coached at Ursuline Academy and is the Liberty Athletic Club coach.  John has served as Men’s LDR chair for USATF-New England and is a Senior Writer for New England Runner magazine.

Embracing the challenges of running has been a source of deep joy and satisfaction for more than fifty years. It is a rigorous gift, one that I am privileged to share this summer at Craftsbury. - John


Sam Davis, Coach

Sam has been running for over 40 years. Beginning with his collegiate career at the University of Vermont, Sam was a Cross Country Champion and record holder at both the 5,000 Meters (outdoor) and Distance Medley Relay (indoor). As a post-collegiate runner, Sam has had a well rounded running career competing in the Marathon (2:32 PR), Half Marathon (1:08 PR), 10k (30:00 PR). He was the 2012 inductee into the RunVermont Hall of Fame.  In addition, Sam is a USATF Certified Level 2 Endurance Coach and also been the marathon instructor for RunVermont since 2005. Currently he serves as the on-line coach for RunVermont's New2-26.2 training program. Sam has also completed 4 Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim excursions of the Grand Canyon.

Craftsbury is in the backyard of where I grew up and developed my love for running. The rolling hills and back roads make for the perfect training environment for runners of all abilities.
- Sam


Susan Dodge, Coach

A running coach and physical therapist in Williston, VT, Susan Dodge will be once again coaching at Craftsbury this autumn.  "I thoroughly enjoyed my time coaching, running and laughing with all of last year's camp participants.  I learned so much from their experiences and I hope to share my knowledge of running and injury prevention with new and returning runners."  Susan did not truly start running until after finishing her collegiate career as a field hockey player at the University of Vermont.  "I needed to find some way to challenge myself and fulfill my competitive drive so I took up running and instantly fell in love with it. Susan has competed in road races ranging from 5k to a 50 mile trail ultra. She has personal bests of 36:50 for the 10k, 1:20:01 for the ½ marathon and 2:51 for the marathon but trail running is where she feels most at home. She was the top Vermonter at Vermont City Marathon for 6 years and has completed the Stone Cat 50 mile race, finishing 3rd woman overall. Her dream is to run rim to rim to rim in the Grand Canyon.

I find so much peace and wholeness when running on the beautiful trails and back roads of Vermont. I am looking forward to sharing this love of running with the people who come to Craftsbury. - Susan


Ryan Widzgowski, Coach

Ryan Widzgowski races for the New England Distance Project, based out of Woonsocket, RI. The NE Project is a non-profit whose mission is to promote health and wellbeing among children while providing support to post-collegiate athletes to train at an elite level. Raised in Camden, ME, Ryan attended Keene State College, a Division III school, where he was a middle-distance runner and competitive at the national level. Ryan holds PRs of 1:51.8 in the 800m, 4:06 in the mile, 8:30 in the 3k and 24:59 in the 8k. Since graduating, he has coached track at Keene State for one year as well as coached the Monadnock Middle School track team. This will be Ryan's second summer coaching at Craftsbury.

I'm excited to share my knowledge with new and returning athletes at Craftsbury! I look forward to doing what I can to provide a great camp experience to each athlete. - Ryan


Dan Smith, Coach

Having played baseball and basketball throughout my childhood, running did not become part of my life until I was 17 when I joined the cross-country team. After one season, I was hooked and running has since been a big part of my life.  During college, I ran cross country and track setting pr's in the 1500 (4.02) and 5000 (14:53). As a post collegiate runner my focus has been on the marathon and after placing 75th overall at the 2011 Boston Marathon (2:28:50) people starting asking me if I would help them train for their upcoming fall marathon. Again, I was hooked.  Helping others reach their maximum potential is not only rewarding, but also further deepens my love of the sport. This passion has fueled me to continue my own training. At age 36, I ran my personal best at the 2015 Philadelphia Marathon placing 9th overall (2:27:35).  Other PR’s are 1:07.48 for the half marathon, 31:22 for 10K and 14:41 for 5K.

Coaching adult runners is a fun and challenging endeavor that requires the ability to not only create tailored training plans but to match those to each individual’s work and family schedule. I look forward to hearing to your story - Dan


Evan Abelson, Coach

Evan Abelson, Head Coach of the William Smith College cross country team will be joining the Craftsbury staff this year. Evan competed in other sports until he realized that his best skill was running after the ball. Removing the ball from the equation, Evan discovered his passion for all things running. Always on the lookout for amazing trails with beautiful views, he is excited for the opportunity to explore Craftsbury. A 2016 Graduate of Hamilton College, Evan led his team to compete at the cross-country national championships for the first time in over 40 years. On the oval, Evan specialized in the 5K and 10K and never minded dropping down in distance to race the mile. He is USATF level 1 certified coach and spent time as the assistant cross country and track coach at SUNY Potsdam before landing at William Smith in Geneva, New York.

Craftsbury Outdoor Center embodies everything that I love about running with its great trails and amazing views. The running camp offers the opportunity to be surrounded by incredible company. I am very excited to be a part of that this year. - Evan


Greg McClung, Coach

Greg has run nine marathons around the world including Chicago, Hamburg Germany and Stockholm Sweden. While living abroad in Germany, Greg proudly ran for the Philips Running Club in the Hamburg City Cross Country League. Now back in the US, Greg coaches Cross Country at Amherst Regional High School while studying Education and History at the UMass School of Ed. As well as English, he is fluent in Spanish, French, and German.

A native of the Pelham Hills surrounding Amherst, MA, Greg grew up running across mountain tops and swimming in local rivers. In 2001, he was part of the ARHS varsity high school Cross Country team that won the MA State Championships.

One of his fondest memories running was during the marathon of Bremen, Germany, when a lone trumpeter in a cloak appeared on a hill top at mile 15, and began playing the theme to The Lord of the Rings.

I don’t run to beat my brothers and sisters in the sport around me. I run to dance with the Gods. - Greg


Heidi Caldwell, Coach

Heidi Caldwell, from Lyme Center, NH, is excited to be coaching at Craftsbury for the first time this summer! Heidi ran collegiately at Brown University, where she set several school records and was a two time Ivy League champion in the 5k. In high school, Heidi was a two time New Hampshire cross country state champion and a member of Hanover's two time New England champions team. After graduating from Brown, Heidi spent two years coaching the women's cross country and distance track team at Tufts University. Now living in Winooski, VT, Heidi is at UVM studying to be a school counselor. 

Some of the greatest joys of running are the people and places you find along the way. - Heidi


Steve Mangan, Coach

Steve, of Providence, RI, is a 2014 graduate of Dartmouth College where he competed in cross country, Nordic skiing, and track. He was a 2-time Ivy League champion at the mile/1,500m and owned the school record for the mile for all of 5 minutes before his teammate reset it. His personal bests are 3:58 for the mile and 14:19 for 5K. Currently, Steve splits his time serving as the director for New England Distance -- a youth athletics non-profit program based in Providence -- and training semi-professionally. His sister, Audrey, is a junior ski coach for Craftsbury Nordic.

 

I am excited for my first year of coaching at Craftsbury, a place a used to train and race at during my college years! It is a perfect place to discover or re-discover the quiet empowerment that running and the great outdoors provides.
- Steve


Sidney Letendre, Coach

Sidney is from Northampton, Mass and works as a registered nurse. She came to running in her mid -thirties from a background in cycling. Having claimed a New England road champion and state champion titles, Sidney switched to running and loved the simplicity of heading out the door without the need for much equipment. She has coached spring track at Williston Academy and swimming at the YMCA and continues to teach water aerobics and swim lessons to athletes of all ages and skill levels including triathletes.

Sidney topped the leader board in the USATF New England Grand Prix series three times and has personal bests of 17:52 5K, and 37:16 10K, 65:00 10M, and she has run 6 marathons. Her goal this year is to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Sidney plans to stay competitive in her age group and to maintain speed, endurance and remain injury free! 

I am super psyched to coach at Craftsbury this fall, run in a beautiful part of the country, meet new people, help rekindle your passion for running and offer a few tidbits of knowledge. Hope to see you there!
- Sidney


Rachel Long, Coach

Rachel Long grew up in Vermont and spent her younger years playing soccer and skiing.  She ran her first marathon her senior year in high school and fell in love with experience.  Rachel continued running marathons in Vermont, California, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, as a way to stay focused while studying at the University of Vermont.  After getting to know local ultra runners, she became interested in the ultra-marathon distance and entered her first 50km race at Trapp Family Lodge in June 2014.  There, Rachel truly fell in love with the ultra distance and enjoyed the camaraderie, as well as the plethora of refueling options at the aid stations! The friendly and relaxed vibe along with the challenge of ultras has inspired Rachel to compete in the marathon and up to the 100 mile distance.  In 2016, Rachel worked at the San Francisco Running Company and volunteered at San Quentin Prison with the 1,000 mile club.  The experience was unique and special in that everyone, whether a prisoner or volunteer, related through running during those two-hour workouts.  This summer, Rachel will be focusing on a few Vermont ultras but her ultimate goal race will be the Ultra Trail du-Mont Blanc, a 105-mile race that circumnavigates Mont Blanc and takes the runners through three different countries. 

I’m very excited to share my passion for running and training tips and experiences with you.  I look forward to meeting all of you at Craftsbury this summer! - Rachel


Sam Randall, Collegian Coach

A five-year alumnus of the high school cross-country camps, this will be Sam’s second year coaching at Craftsbury.  Sam started running during his freshman year of high school and has been consistently learning and progressing in the sport that he loves.  Sam will be a junior at Johns Hopkins University in September where he coaches himself to race on the track and road. There, he has improved on his high school PRs and has run a 17:52 (5k) and a 4:46 (mile).

Attending Craftsbury running camps every year for the past five years has been really inspiring. The coaches are outstanding, the friendships made are invaluable, and the atmosphere is absolutely perfect for running. Craftsbury has taught me, inspired me, and motivated me. I can’t wait to give back to the Craftsbury community by sharing my love of running. - Sam


Fernanda Brena, Collegian Coach

Fernanda attended the high school cross-country camps in 2014 and 2015 and will be returning to Craftsbury for the first time since then as a coach. She started running in middle school and is now a member of the Tufts University Cross Country and Track teams. Fernanda grew up in Amherst, MA and will be a sophomore at Tufts in the fall. 

I am so excited to return to Craftsbury this summer! It is such a wonderful place to run and make new friends and I can't wait to share the experience that I had as a camper with the other athletes.
- Fernanda


Owen Wright, Collegian Coach

Owen grew up running in Amherst, MA.  He attended the Craftsbury Running Camp for three summers while competing for Amherst Regional High School, where he graduated with personal records of 4:25 in the mile and 16:03 for the 5k.  Owen currently runs for St Olaf College and is a rising sophomore. He sat out of competition most of his freshman year due to injury and, as a result, has gained an appreciation for staying healthy, paying attention to proper recovery and cross training. Owen frequently competes in triathlons. He enters his first year as a collegian coach and is looking forward to the opportunity to training with the high school athletes at camp and sharing his knowledge of the collegiate running environment.

Craftsbury was one of the highlights of all of my summers as a camper, and now I am honored to continue its stellar tradition by bringing energy as a coach this summer.  Craftsbury is a phenomenal place to learn, train in an ideal location, and bond with others that share your passion.
- Owen