Team Run Flagstaff Launches Pro Division to Support Local Elite Athletes
Flagstaff, Ariz.—January 3, 2014—Team Run Flagstaff, a nonprofit community organization located in the world-renowned running paradise of Flagstaff, Ariz., is launching a new division dedicated to supporting some of the country’s best and up-and-coming distance runners, who train right here in our hometown.
Beginning this month, a roster of 13 athletes, including Olympians Ryan Hall and Janet Cherobon-Bawcom, will join under the banner of Team Run Flagstaff, an organization that is thrilled and honored to inherit a long community tradition of providing assistance for local runners competing at the highest levels.
TRF believes the addition of TRF Pro fits perfectly into its mission to provide opportunities in running for all ages, interests, and abilities. The division benefits not just elite-level athletes, but the entire community, including a team of more than 300 runners of all abilities, a beginner program, and Kids Run Flagstaff, the youth division.
“The goal is simple,” said Vince Sherry, TRF Pro coordinator, “creating a cohesive, supportive, strong Flagstaff running community—one that instills a passion for the sport of running and assists in the success of its best athletes.”
TRF Pro will be a self-sustaining division that, with funding from grants, individual donors, and assets gifted to TRF from the former Team USA Arizona, will support the training needs of team members. In collaboration with the Hypo2 High Performance Sport Center and other local service partners, TRF Pro athletes will have access to reduced-fee and fast-tracked medical services, prehab and rehab expertise, massage therapy, chiropractic, gait analysis, and strength and conditioning. Partners will also provide physical therapy, sports medicine, and primary care.
TRF will work to reduce and in some cases eliminate the costs of needed training facilities, care and treatment so that runners may focus on the important tasks at hand: training, competing, and furthering U.S. distance running. TRF Pro boasts a diversity of talent—from those who have reached the highest levels and continue to strive for more, to national champions, to developing post-collegiate athletes.
“I believe that TRF Pro will be an incredible resource to athletes already in Flagstaff and it will make a huge contribution to the overall development of post-collegiate running in the U.S.,” said Janet Cherobon-Bawcom. “I am also very happy to see an entity that will link all levels of the running community under a single banner—so many people involved have already been active in supporting the sport and it will be great to have it done in a more-official manner.”
Team Run Flagstaff was founded following the closing of the Center for High Altitude Training at Northern Arizona University. Not only were services discontinued for elite athletes at the time, but the community running club needed to find a way to reorganize as well. A group of volunteers agreed to work toward incorporating as an independent nonprofit organization.
Now in its fifth year, TRF has more than tripled its membership to serving nearly 400 runners annually, created two community races, added a youth-running division, and has been awarded multiple grants in support of an adult beginner program. In return for the support TRF Pro athletes receive, each will volunteer their services back to Team Run Flagstaff, helping in their chosen areas of expertise—from coaching, nutrition counseling, and strength training, to accounting, marketing, and event planning.
“Being part of Team Run Flagstaff as an athlete and a coach gives me the ability to be more closely tied with the running community and to give back,” said Nick Arciniaga, 2013 U.S. marathon champion. “A major goal of mine is to help with the development of runners of all ages and abilities and to eventually build a group that can aid in the development of national and international-caliber athletes.”
Julian de Rubira