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.

Heidi Caldwell, Running Director

After coaching last summer at Craftsbury Running Camps, Heidi joins the Craftsbury community this year as the Center’s new Running Director. Heidi ran collegiately at Brown University, where she set several school records and was a two-time Ivy League champion in the 5k. As a runner at Hanover High School, Heidi was a two time New Hampshire state cross country champion and a member of Hanover's two-time New England championship team. After graduating from Brown, Heidi spent two years coaching the women's cross country and distance track team at Tufts University. Heidi also earned an Endurance Events Specialist Certification from the USTFCCCA Track & Field Academy. This spring, Heidi completed her masters degree in counseling at the University of Vermont. Now living in Craftsbury year-round, Heidi is excited to share her experience, energy, and love of running with athletes of all ages. 

Craftsbury running camps have it all - knowledgeable coaches, delicious locally-sourced meals, and the rolling hills, dirt roads, and soft trails of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. I left each camp last summer refreshed and inspired by both the athletes and coaches. The Craftsbury running community extends beyond a week or two in the summer – you’ll bring your Craftsbury ties with you when you leave! - Heidi

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

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

Carole Hakstian, Coach

Canadian Olympic Trials qualifier in the 1,500 and 3,000m, Carole was a member of the University of Wisconsin NCAA Division 1 Cross-Country National Championship team and a three time All-American in track and cross-country.  She competed internationally in Europe and earned an alternate spot on the 1992 Canadian Olympic team in the 3,000m.  She was an assistant coach for the University of Chicago track & field and cross country programs and, since moving to Vermont, has coached high school runners in both track and cross-country. Through her background as an avid runner and dedicated coach, Carole looks forward to imparting her knowledge and helping you achieve your running goals.  

Craftsbury offers a one-of-a-kind running camp experience. The setting: quiet roads and a vast, wooded trail network on campus; Coaches: experienced, friendly and fun. Meals: culinary excellence and freshly prepared farm to table feasts; Housing: on-campus accommodations - your car will stay put for the duration of camp (that’s right!); Training partners: plenty!; Friends: an abundance!; Other activities: water sports, biathlon, biking, massage, relaxing, field trips and so much more. I look forward to running with you this summer and sharing my love for Craftsbury Running Camp! - Carole

Andrew McCullough, Coach

Andrew was raised in Montpelier, Vermont and is excited for his third 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

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

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

Andrew Tripp, Coach

Andrew Tripp has loved running and skiing around in the woods for his whole life. He has competed at the scholastic, collegiate (Harvard), post-collegiate, and masters levels, running races of every distance from 400m to 100k. For the last six years Andrew has coached Cross Country, Nordic skiing, and Track at U32 High School in Montpelier, Vermont. In that time, his teams have laughed a lot and enjoyed considerable success, winning 13 team state championships, while qualifying many teams and individuals for New Englands. Many of his athletes have won individual State Championships, made all-state teams, and set state records, and several have qualified for Nationals in both skiing and running. 

I've run on four continents, and nowhere is better than Craftsbury. - Andrew

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

Emily Cousens, Coach

This is Emily’s first summer at Craftsbury. Originally from Contoocook, New Hampshire, Emily grew up with a passion for running on trails around her hometown. Emily ran cross-country, indoor, and outdoor track at New York University while studying English and Creative Writing. At NYU, Emily set several school and conference records in the 1500m and 5000m and was a NCAA Division III All-American in cross-country. Since graduating NYU, Emily moved back to New Hampshire and has coached high school distance runners for four years. She recently completed her masters in school counseling at Plymouth State University. She can’t wait to be a part of the special Craftsbury running community and explore the trails and dirt roads of Vermont!

I am so excited to coach at Craftsbury this summer! To me, running is about celebrating challenges, exploring beautiful places, and sharing the passion with others. - Emily

Ryan Widzgowski, Coach

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. After college, Ryan raced 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 well-being among children while providing support to post-collegiate athletes to train at an elite 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. Ryan has also coached track at Keene State for two years as well as the Monadnock Middle School track team. This will be Ryan's third 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

Liz Chichester, Coach

Liz joins the coaching staff this year for her first summer at Craftsbury Running Camps. ­­Liz ran both cross country and track for Burnt Hills High School in New York state and SUNY Geneseo. She was part of Geneseo cross country’s Division 3 NCAA Championship team in 2005. Liz now coaches high school track in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and runs for fun around the dirt roads and mountains trails in the Craftsbury area. 

Vermont’s NEK is a running paradise in the summer. I look forward to sharing this beautiful setting with the Craftsbury runners! - Liz

Tom Church, Coach

Tom is a USA Track & Field Level 1 and cross country certified coach. In addition to coaching, Tom works as a licensed clinical sports massage therapist in Boston. He is also trained in gait analysis, mobility and stability assessment, and injury prevention and recovery. Tom started running and racing at 12 years old, greatly influenced by the 1976 Montreal Olympics. In middle school and high school he focused on track, racing the 400 meters and 800 meters. In college, he competed for Oneonta State in cross country. Post-collegiately, Tom ran for the Taconic Road Runners and Super Runners Shop in New York, qualifying twice for the Corporate Challenge World Championships. Now living the Boston metro area, he focuses on trail running, a discipline he has competed in throughout his running career.  

Running is a passion we all share, something that helps us provide balance to our lives. Focus on your goals but don't let them take away from enjoying the rest of your life. - Tom

Drew Thompson, Collegian Coach

After attending Craftsbury Running Camps as an athlete, Drew joins the coaching staff as a collegian coach for the first time this summer. Drew brings his impressive high school experience to the camps: All-American high school cross country runner, a PR of 9:01 in the two mile, State and New England Champion in Cross Country, and State Champion 2 miler in track. Drew is graduating from Fairfield Prep this spring and headed to Dartmouth College in the Fall.

Craftsbury played a huge part in developing my love for running while I was a camper there, and I look forward to helping others experience the same development. The relationships I made as a camper have lasted longer than I ever could have hoped. - Drew

Sam Randall, Collegian Coach

An alumnus of the high school cross-country camps, this will be Sam’s third 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 senior 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 for the past six 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