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.
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, we look forward to offering every athlete the opportunity to improve their skills, learn from knowledgeable coaches, train on quiet back roads and trails, become inspired and experience an fabulous week of running in beautiful Northeast Vermont. - Carole
Greg Wenneborg, Coach
A national class runner who competed in the three U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, Greg has 5 career marathon victories, including Vermont City Marathon and the Maui Marathon with Personal records of 2:18:47 for the marathon and 29:57 for the 10k. He holds a Master’s degree in Education and teaches at Flowing Wells High School in Tucson, Arizona. In addition, Greg is the head cross country and track and field coach at Pima Community College in Tucson where his teams have garnered conference and regional championships as well as individual national championship titles and top-10 team finishes. Greg is a board member of the Southern Arizona Roadrunners, for whom he coaches novice to advanced runners and is co-author with Randy Accetta of two books on how to coach, Marathon Training and Training to Run.
“Craftsbury is an excellent place to come together with healthy minded people to learn about the sport of distance running. Whether you're taking up running for recreation or health or are trying to improve your performance, we'll give you tools and motivation to meet your goals." - Greg
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 ninth time. He is a seven-time member of the USATF Mountain Running Team and has won the Mount Washington road race three times including 2013. He won the World Masters' Mountain Running Champion (35-39) in 2014. 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
Anne Leonard-Blake, Coach
This is Anne Leonard-Blake's second year as a Craftsbury coach, and she is delighted to return. Anne has been running for more than twenty years. She ran cross country and track at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, and upon graduation, spent time coaching at the Loomis Chaffee school in Windsor, Connecticut. During graduate school, she served as the assistant coach at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Now a middle school English teacher in Hartford, CT, Anne runs for the enjoyment of simply being outside and to keep up with her husband, Eric. Her most recent accomplishment was a 1:27 at the Hartford Half Marathon last October.
Mike Urquiola, Coach
After two summers as an athlete at an All Comers week, Mike Urquiola will be coaching at Craftsbury for the third 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
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 second 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
Joanna Johnson, Coach
Joanna Johnson is returning to Craftsbury for the second time in 2016. Joanna has been the Assistant Cross Country and Track and Field coach at Smith College for the past two years, where she also completed her Master’s degree in Exercise and Sport Studies this spring. In addition, she is the founder and coach of No Boundaries Northampton, a community 5k training and wellness education program. Johnson has trained and competed with teams around the world, while investigating women’s empowerment through running in countries including Ethiopia, France, Norway, and Singapore, as a Watson Fellow. She continues to support educational and athletic opportunities for young female runners in Ethiopia as an advocate for Girls Gotta Run Foundation. Johnson graduated from Oberlin College, where she earned seven NCAA All-American awards in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track. Since her marathon debut in Rotterdam in 2012, Johnson has run a total of five marathons with a personal best of 2:48.
I am looking forward to returning to Craftsbury! It is a joy to meet runners who each come from a unique running background and have unique goals, and work with them to develop a toolbox that will enable them to work toward their personal goals and discover new abilities. -Joanna
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
Mike DeSanto, Coach
Mike DeSanto is not a traditional coach, nor does he sport a standard issue runner physique. Never an elite athlete, he started running when he was 28 to get his weight under control while being cast as middle-aged during an abbreviated acting career. The running worked! He started to look his age, stopped getting cast, and continued running. That was 38 years ago. As an age group competitor, he began to place regularly in local races which was challenging to do in Vermont. This sent him to out of the way locales like Jacksonville, Fort Meyers, San Diego and Beijing in order to pursue his goal of placing in his age group. He set a PR of 1:32:08 in the half marathon at age 53 and ran a sub-20 5k a few weeks later. His real job is as the owner of Phoenix Books, a group of Vermont bookstores.
Mike has been a USATF Level 1 coach, a RRCA coach, and a chi-running coach. He has studied with Danny Dryer, chi-running originator and has spent time with renowned exercise physiologist Michael Yessis and with Coach Roy Benson. Mike has coached both high school cross country and distance track events and beginner, masters, and senior runners.
In running and coaching Mike is guided by the concept that breakthroughs come in their own time, usually after a period of gradual progress.
I used the information, interest and enthusiasm I gained from attending many Craftsbury Running camps to inform my development as a coach later in life. To say that I am thrilled to be returning to Craftsbury as a coach would be an understatement. - Mike
Jack Pilla, Coach
Jack Pilla, from Charlotte, VT will be coaching at Craftsbury for the first time this summer. 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 Pearl Izumi Run 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 and sharing my experiences and knowledge with the athletes. - Jack
Leah Frost, Coach
Leah Frost lives over the hill in Glover, right here in the beautiful Northeast Kingdom, where she works as an advocate for migrant farmworkers and is involved with the gloriously obscure Museum of Everyday Life on route 16. A runner from a very early age, she tried racing a little here and there, but didn't discover her love of competitive running until the ripe age of 30, when she took up the sport while feeling lonesome living in Mexico. The community of runners and companionship was a welcome gift. Just a few short years later with 11 marathons (PR of 2:42:52 and Olympic Trials Qualifying time) and many other individual, team and relay races under her belt, she is still passionate about racing for the camaraderie of training and racing with friends.
Leah recently finished 3rd in the 2016 Vermont City Marathon and earned top spot as the 1st Vermont woman finisher in a time of 2:57.52. 2016 will be Leah's 4th season as assistant coach to the North Country High School cross country team. The team and the remarkable individuals of which it is comprised - all hard-working, fun-loving, tough, supportive, kind and generous - continuously provide resounding affirmation for her lofty ideals and warm fuzzy feelings about the sport. She is very excited to join the group of runners and coaches at Craftsbury for the first time this summer!
Andrew McCullough, Coach
Andrew McCullough was raised in Montpelier, Vermont and is excited for his first 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 has coached middle school cross country running, and 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 life long rewards.
I am really happy to be back in Vermont this year 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 young runners develop strong technique, implement well rounded and ambitious training plans, and push themselves mentally and physically. - Andrew
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 first summer coaching at Craftsbury.
I'm excited to share my knowledge with new and returning athletes at Craftsbury! I've only heard great things about Craftsbury running camps and am looking forward to doing what I can to provide a great camp experience to each athlete. - Ryan
Sam Randall, Coach
A four-year alumnus of the high school cross-country camps, this will be Sam Randall's first year coaching at Craftsbury. Sam started running at age 14 at Amherst Regional High School (MA) and graduated with PR's of 4:58 (mile) and 18:19 (5k xc). Sam will be a junior at Johns Hopkins University in September where he has been coaching himself and continuing to race on the roads.
Attending Craftsbury running camp every year for the past four years has been a huge treat. The coaches are outstanding, the friendships made are invaluable, and the area is stunning. The atmosphere is absolutely perfect for running. I can't wait to give back to the Craftsbury community by sharing my love of running. - Sam
Geoffrey Kazlow, Coach
A member of the Johns Hopkins University Track and Cross Country teams, Geoffrey will be coaching at Craftsbury for the first time this year. A native Vermonter, Geoffrey grew up in Moretown, Vermont, and fell in love with running in middle school. He specializes in long distances and races the 5k and 10k collegiately. He will be a junior next fall, and is majoring in International Studies and Sociology at Johns Hopkins.
I am looking forward to mentoring the high school athletes and enhancing their camp experiences. I am very excited to meet new people and I expect a thrilling time at Craftsbury. Running has always been special to me, and I can't wait to share that passion with other like-minded athletes. - Geoffrey
Spencer Lyman, Coach
Spencer Lyman just completed his sophomore year at Franklin and Marshall College where he competes in cross country and track in the Division III Centennial Conference. Although a solid cross country contributor, one of Spencer's great qualities is his versatility. He has experience in every event from the 400 meter to the 8k with PRs of 51.4 in the 400m, 1:57 in the 800m, 16:18 in 5K cross country and 27:25 in 8K cross country. As a college freshman, Spencer was awarded the Franklin and Marshall Joshua D. Arnold '72 Award for the hardest working member of the cross country team.
Spencer acquired strong leadership skills as team captain his senior year in high school and as senior captain of the New Canaan High School Ram Council (anti-drug and anti-alcohol organization). Spencer is passionate about supporting younger athletes and helping them achieve their goals. He is very thankful for the opportunity to positively influence teens attending Craftsbury cross country running camps. Spencer is a native of New Canaan, Connecticut and this will be his first year coaching at Craftsbury.
Running in college has been invaluable to my personal growth. It's instilled in me the discipline, integrity, and ambition necessary to reach my full potential as a student-athlete. - Spencer