Finding the right fit is key…
If you are a post-collegiate athlete and are looking for a group to train with, we hope you’ll give us a look. Ragged Mountain Racing is a post-collegiate racing team modeled after such successful organizations as the Hanson’s Distance Project, Team USA Minnesota, and ZAP Fitness. We believe that Charlottesville, VA is an outstanding place to train. We also believe that we’ve developed the coaching and training resources that can help you take your career to the next level.
We believe that the collegiate training model, with some small modifications, is critical to successful distance training. We believe that a team-atmosphere (both for athletic and social support) is important.
Our goal is to provide a training environment similar to what you experienced in college (with athletes of various skill sets and ability levels), but in a more independent post-collegiate setting. You will be coached as an individual, but you will train as a team.
And, we will do everything we can to provide you with flexible, part time employment, as well as help you find affordable housing and possibly free health insurance, so that you will have the time, and energy, to truly focus on running.
How It Works
We have two groups of athletes: Funded and Community
Our Funded athletes come to us with Olympic Trials potential or having already qualified for the Trials. These athletes receive the full RMR support package (see “What you Receive”). Our Community athletes are already working or pursuing a post-graduate degree in Central Virginia, and are serious about taking their running to the next level. In most cases our Community athletes have a collegiate background and/or have their long term sights set on the Olympic Trials.
We have developed objective criteria, based on performances that occurred within the last two years, for placement in these groups. Having said that, the two groups train and work out together.
In terms of coaching, finding employment and housing, helping with health insurance, etc., we will do all that we can for every single member of Ragged Mountain Racing. The primary differences between the groups will be in funding and equipment allocation, and this is simply because we rely on our sponsors for these (thus, there is a limited amount of funding).
Mark Lorenzoni coaches our Funded and Community athletes
We expect that our athletes will do the following:
- Represent their group with dignity and pride
- Treat their fellow athletes and coaches with respect
- Become active members of the Charlottesville community
- Contribute to our team approach to long term/goal-oriented training
We recognize that running is a very individual sport. However, we are interested in athletes who feel they would benefit by training with a team, who would like to have the social support they found in college. We also want our group to provide a positive face for the sport, and expect our athletes to represent their group in such a manner. We also encourage that they contribute to the Charlottesville community through volunteer service projects (for instance, the Rivanna Trail Foundation and Charlottesville Women’s 4-Miler), as well as help out with local races (a certain number of which will be required).
Commitment to Our Athletes
We will do everything we can to provide you (our athletes) with an environment in which you can live and train to your maximal potential. This includes free coaching and organized workouts, which we can provide for everyone, as well as potential part time employment opportunities. Please see “What you Receive” for more on funding and other RMR perks.
What You Receive
Check back often, as what we are able to offer you is continuing to evolve. So far,
- We have lined up the following for you:
- Stipend for qualified athletes. This can be used as the athlete wishes (put towards travel, housing, etc.)
- 12 pairs of running shoes per year, plus gear as received by our sponsors (Asics, Nike, Mizuno, Saucony, Brooks, and New Balance).
- Significant discounts on running shoes that exceed your allotment.
- Full access to the finest indoor athletic facilities (multiple gyms with extensive weight training and cardiovascular fitness equipment, 50m pool, training studios, etc.) in central Virginia.
- Access to UVa’s renowned Gait Lab.
- Complimentary weekly pilates instruction by Robin Truxel at Tru Pilates
- A dedicated team physician and nutritionist.
- Massage Therapy at a significant discount
- Possible flexible, part-time employment at Ragged Mountain Running Shop (20-25 hrs/week). This is NOT a requirement – athletes are free to seek their own employment opportunities.
- Low cost insurance
- What we’re still working on:
- Reducing the cost of housing
Where and How We Train
In Charlottesville, VA and the surrounding counties, which in our opinion make for some of the most beautiful running in the country. The majority of our runs are on soft surface (you can run a twenty mile loop around the entire city on single track trails, and there are several dirt roads within 10 minutes of the city center that allow you to run up to 20 miles of uninterrupted soft surface).
According to Outside magazine Charlottesville is the #2 city in the United States for trail running (behind Bend, OR). We will be posting some pictures and maps of our most common routes – in the meantime, check out Ragged Mountain Running Shop’s list of seven places to run in Charlottesville as well as the Rivanna Trails Foundation website.
Living in Charlottesville
So what is it like to actually live here? From an athlete’s perspective, pretty near perfect. In 2004, Charlottesville was rated by Money Magazine as the best place to live in the entire United States, and for good reason. The cost of living is reasonable. The city is beautiful. Despite its small size, because of the University and the city’s demographics, Charlottesville is overflowing with cultural attractions and things to do. Similar to other “small towns” that have major universities (Chapel Hill, Ann Arbor, Boulder), Charlottesville feels small but is never boring.
We have the following:
in Charlottesville, sports center around UVa Athletics. NCAA football and basketball are the major draws, however UVa also has nationally ranked soccer, baseball, crew, tennis, and lacrosse teams, meaning that the NCAA tournament passes through almost annually. Even if you didn’t go to UVa, by the time you leave Charlottesville (or, we should say, if you leave Charlottesville), you will bleed orange and blue.
As you would expect in a college town of this size, Charlottesville has a tremendous amount of culture to offer. The number of musicians who come through the area is breathtaking – a short list of those who played in Charlottesville over the last two years includes the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Dave Matthews, Justin Timberlake (is that a good thing?), the Police, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, O.A.R., Ziggy Marley, Randy Travis, Nickel Creek, Fiona Apple, Neko Case, Lucinda Williams, Kings of Leon, Phil Lesh, and Wilco to name just a few.
Many musicians play at the Charlottesville Pavilion, located right on the Downtown Mall. For larger concerts, check out the John Paul Jones Arena, voted the best new concert venue in the United States for 2006. In the summer, Charlottesville hosts a free, outdoor concert series known as Fridays After Five. Other musical venues/options include The Southern Cafe and Music Hall, the newly renovated Paramount Theatre (a must see), and the Satellite Ballroom (venue closed but they are still putting on shows around Charlottesville).
Like film? Check out the Virginia Film Festival and have a look at Charlottesville’s independent film house, Vinegar Hill. Charlottesville has one of the highest numbers of movie screens per capita of anywhere in the country – but if what you like is theater, you’re still in luck – check out Live Arts to see why (Wednesdays are free).
Eating and Drinking
Being a University town, Charlottesville has all kinds of places to eat and drink, regardless of your favorite cuisine or budget. The Washingon Post just reviewed Charlottesville’s cuisine and raved about it, saying,
across the board, Charlottesville’s food scene is inventive, diverse and brimming with talent
Read the article from the Washington Post.
Additionally, central Virginia is rapidly growing wine country – if you don’t believe us, have a look at this article from CNN. Or better yet, take a look at some of our vineyards – Barboursville, Oakencroft, and King Family are just three of many – Veritas has started hosting monthly tastings/concerts in a beautiful, outdoor setting. And, if you don’t like wine, we even brew our own beer at Starr Hill and Blue Mountain.
For those of you interested in pursuing an advanced degree, or simply taking additional classes, the University of Virginia has many opportunities – check out their Office of Continuing Studies and job listings.
To top it all off, Charlottesville is thirty minutes from two National Parks, less than an hour from two ski resorts, two hours from Washington, DC, and four hours from the Atlantic Ocean.
Still don’t believe us?
See what Wikipedia and the City of Charlottesville (obviously biased, but they speak the truth) have to say. The bottom line is, even if you weren’t interested in running, Charlottesville would be a great place to live. But, since you are interested in running, it’s that much better.
How To Join
Simple. Download our standardized application here, and either mail it to the address provided, or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your phone number so we can give you a call. We generally get back to you within a week, but this can vary somewhat as we evaluate everyone on a case-by-case basis.
Please send us an email if you have questions about our team:
RMR Club Records
|800m||1:48.43||Andrew Jesien||American HP Series
|1500m||3:39.68||Andrew Jesien||Karlstad Grand Prix
|Mile||3:58.80 (i)||Macklin Chaffee||BU Valentine Invitational
|3000m SC||8:26.38||Donnie Cowart||Savo Games
|5000m||13:39.26||Sean Keveren||Portland Track Festival
|10,000m||30:13.54||Sean Keveren||Raleigh Relays
|Half Marathon||1:07:21||Seth Hutchinson||Philadelphia Distance Run
|Marathon||2:20:56||Seth Hutchinson||Boston Marathon
|800m||2:05.08||Charlotte Browning||Hampshire Grand Prix
|1500m||4:15.57||Charlotte Browning||American HP Series
|Mile||4:33.80 (i)||Charlotte Browning||BU Terrier Invitational
|5000m||15:47.05||Rachel Ward||Virginia Challenge
|10,000m||32:15.85||Rachel Ward||Payton Jordan Invitational
|Half Marathon||1:18:14||Sallie Ford||Richmond Half Marathon
|Marathon||2:42:42||Louise Knudson||Boston Marathon
*(i) = indoor