High Country Association of REALTORS News

NEIGHBORS: Perfect place to find your speed

The High Country is a blessing for runners. You can push yourself for distance, elevation, endurance or a combination of all three. It's the near perfect place for an elite training camp. In 2001 ZAP Fitness filled that void. Located in Blowing Rock, the non-profit has become a training center for post-collegiate, Olympic hopeful distance runners. That includes financially supporting 8-10 post-collegiate distance runners in their efforts to make World Championship and Olympic teams.

The Competitor Network recently spent some time at ZAP Fitness, and detailed its training methods by reviewing the life of an elite runner.

Zap FitnessAt 8:15 the runners pile into a couple of cars and crackle down a long dirt driveway. Twenty minutes of slow driving along roads that see frequent deer crossings lead them to Moses H. Cone Memorial Park in the town of Blowing Rock, N.C.

Seven runners emerge from the two vehicles. Six are 25 years old. All of them were exceptional collegiate runners, but not among the handful of very best who graduated and secured contracts with running shoe companies. ...

Moses Cone Park is a paradise for distance runners. Its 3,500 pristine acres are home to 25 miles of carriage trails. Based at 3,600 feet of elevation, the park does not become the summer furnace that the surrounding lowlands do, although record temperatures approaching 90 degrees are forecasted for the next few days.

The article later details a visit to the facility by Olympian Anthony Famiglietti. He gives the group a speech that not only brags on the trainers, but the location in which they work.

“Can I say something?” Famiglietti interjects. “I’ve trained in a lot of different places and seen a lot of groups. What you have here is special. You have a great coach, awesome resources and an incredible environment. Some of you are on the verge of major breakthroughs. Believe me, they can happen here.”

Here's one training video, detailing some lessons taught and some beautiful High Country scenery.