Camper Profiles

Colleen Woods


Camper Colleen Woods

I understand you do ultras. How did you get into running in general, and from there ultras?
I was always intrigued by people who had completed marathons, so I finally decided back in 2000 to train for a half marathon. When I crossed the finish line of that race, I immediately decided that anyone who wanted to run twice that distance (a full marathon) must be crazy.

A year later, I was still thinking about how cool it would be to finish a marathon (the pain of the previous year’s half was long forgotten!), but this time I decided to call in the Big Guns.

I needed help, so I found out about Craftsbury and signed up for Marathon Week camp. I showed up to camp with a list of about 20 races I wanted to do leading up to my first marathon. Greg was so great…he customized my schedule and never laughed that this woman who would take more than twice the time it takes him to run a marathon wanted all this help. I met some fantastic people that first year at Craftsbury and came back again for the now-defunct Triathlon Camp and then the Marathon Week again. I was hooked!

Any PR’s you’re especially proud of? What’s your favorite race?
Over the years, I continue to love running, but I went to the dark side and tried triathlons, too! I am especially proud of completing two Ironman race, including the 2007 Ironman Arizona. I also have dipped my toe in the ultrarunning pool, doing my first ultramarathon in February. The race was the Rocky Raccoon 50 Miler in Huntsville, TX.

How would you recommend people get into ultras if they’re interested?
The best way to even consider if ultras might be for you is to volunteer at an ultramarathon. You’ll get to see the stages a runner goes through and decide if it has an atmosphere you’d enjoy. Volunteering helped me decide that I was interested in trying a 50 miler, but not in running a 100 mile race any time soon.

What keeps you running?
A year ago, I moved from Manhattan to Driggs, Idaho (a town that has a population of 1,200 people). Running provided a lot of continuity for me as I made this move and the people who I have become closest to are people I run with in my new town. I love races because of the spirit and the camaraderie, but it’s the training that really makes me love running.

What’s your favorite running secret?
Running races (and training runs) with a hand-held water bottle. It helps me efficiently go through aid stations and stay hydrated.

Who’s your running hero and why?
My boss, Lisa Smith-Batchen! Lisa is an elite ultramarathon runner. I admire her ability to commit to being an athlete, a mom, a business owner and a dedicated fundraiser – all commitments she takes very seriously. You can see her website at: Posting content to this site is one of my job responsibilities, so have a visit and help me with some job security!

How’d Craftsbury fit in your running and development as a runner? Best part of your stay?
I love Craftsbury! You meet great people at the camp and you get amazing instruction about running. Greg is an EXCELLENT coach and in five short days, he can transform your running game. He is a world-class athlete, without an ego that would prevent him from taking each runner seriously. And the lake and outdoor settings are so beautiful! I could go on and on…

Do you have any upcoming goals in running you want to share?
I will always harbor a dream of qualifying for Boston!