Nike Carolina Distance Camps
Run Bold This Summer!
Achieve that vital base training phase in preparation for the upcoming cross country season, learn what it takes to reach your potential, and get to know current UNC student-athletes as you explore what it’s like to be a student-athlete at this great university.
We hope you join us this summer for Carolina Distance Camp and take the next step in your training to achieve great things for the upcoming season!
- Instructors include the UNC coaching staff and current student-athletes.
- Nike Running Camp T-Shirt.
- Educational lectures given by accomplished NCAA coaches.
- Opportunity to run the same courses used by the Tar Heels when training.
- Individual bio-mechanical /form analysis with correctional instruction
- View More Details ⟩
Camp Director Mark VanAlstyne
Mark VanAlstyne is in his fifth year as the head cross country and distance coach for the University of North Carolina track and field and cross country programs. Prior to Carolina, he served 21 seasons at the helm of North Florida’s track and field program.View Mark 's Bio ⟩
During the 2016-17 track and field season, one Morgan Ilse earned All-ACC honors for placeing fifth in the 3,000 at the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships. Three athletes also qualified for the East Preliminary Round (Mark Derrick in the 5,000 and 10,000, Blake Dodge in the 800 and Morgan Ilse in the 5000). Blake Dodge and Erin Edmundson were also recognized as USTFCCCA All-Academic Individuals, which contributed to the women's program being honored as a USTFCCCA All-Academic Team.
During the 2016 cross country season, two athletes earned All-ACC honors (Morgan Ilse and Logan Carroll) and Mark Derrick was an All-Region honoree. Under the direction of Roberts, the men captured sixth at the ACC Cross Country Championships, while the women took 13th place. Morgan Ilse had a breakout season for the Tar Heels in which she became the clear leader for the women’s team in the absence of Caroline Alcorta. Ilse finished 20th at the ACC Championships and 36th at the NCAA Southeast Regional.
The 2015 cross country season saw three All-ACC honorees (Caroline Alcorta, Josette Norris and Mark Derrick) and five All-Region honorees (Hannah Christen, Josette Norris, Caroline Alcorta, Stella Radford and Stephen Mulherin) between the men's and women's teams. Stephen Mulherin also qualified for the NCAA cross country championships as an individual, placing 118th. Mulherin finished ninth at the regional meet while sophomore Hannah Christen finished sixth.
The 2014-15 seasons for Carolina distance saw enormous strides in the program. Freshman Caroline Alcorta was named the ACC Freshman of the Year for cross country while also becoming a bronze medalist in the 5,000 at the Pan American Junior Games. Hannah Christen, another talented freshman, earned the silver medal at the Pan-American Junior Games in the steeplechase. Under VanAlstyne's direction, Lizzy Whelan broke the school record in the indoor 800, a record previously held by Alice Schmidt. She went on to compete at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships earning first team All-America honors for placing sixth.
VanAlstyne acted as an assistant athletic director at North Florida and was essential in transitioning the program from NCAA Division II to Division I in 2005. He coached six national champions, 35 All-Americans in track and 12 All-Americans in cross country while leading the Ospreys. One of VanAlstyne's athletes went on to win a U.S. championship while another gained a berth in the 2004 Olympic marathon.
VanAlstyne has accrued numerous coaching honors, including the 2002 NCAA South Region Coach of the Year, 2003 Peach Belt Conference Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year and the 2010 Atlantic Sun Conference Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year. In 2010 he also coached the women's team to its first conference title.
VanAlstyne was inducted into the North Florida Hall of Fame in October of 2013 for his coaching and athletic accomplishments.
A graduate of North Florida and a former stand-out athlete there, VanAlstyne holds the school record for the marathon while his 10,000 meters time ranks third all-time in the school record books. VanAlstyne is married to Patty, who was a six-time All-American track & field athlete at North Florida. They have a son, Daniel, and a daughter, Kaley.
Coach Logan Roberts
Logan Roberts was promoted to Assistant Track and Field Coach in August of 2015. Roberts was previously a volunteer assistant coach with the program for two years prior. Roberts works directly with the cross country program and middle distance runners, but has a hand in coaching all distance runners.View Logan Roberts's Bio ⟩
Roberts graduated from Baylor University in 2011 with a degree in Health Science Studies (Pre-Physical Therapy) where he completed four years and lettered in track & field and cross country. During Roberts' time at Baylor, he served as the Big 12 Conference representative on NCAA Division I National Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the NCAA Division I Sport Management/Championships cabinet. Upon earning his degree at Baylor, Roberts was awarded with the Dr. Gerald Lage Award, the Big 12 Conference's highest academic honor.
Roberts earned the USATF Level 1 coaches certification in February of 2013.
The Carolina Distance Camp is designed to give each camper the most authentic experience in learning what it means to be a track & field and cross country student-athlete at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. The camp is open to all middle-distance and cross country athletes, ages 11-18, whom are interested in furthering their knowledge on training, injury prevention, running bio-mechanics, nutrition, strength training, and recovery.
Campers have the opportunity to run at many of the venues that the Tar Heels use for practice including nearby Carolina North Forest, American Tobacco Trail and our own cross country course at Finley Fields.
Educational lectures are given by accomplished NCAA coaches on topics geared toward achieving maximum performance through the many facets of training that have an impact on racing at your best. UNC coaches conduct a session to analyze, critique, and offer insight into each camper’s running bio-mechanics. Campers also have the opportunity to run and spend time with current Carolina student-athletes.
2018 Session Information
Check-in: Wednesday from 1:00-3:00 pm at the housing site (105 Stadium Drive, Chapel Hill 27514).
Check-out: Saturday from 11:00-12:00 pm at the housing site.
Room & Board: Campers stay on-campus in dorms within walking distance to the track facilities and dining halls. Two campers per room. All meals are provided at camp, with the majority of meals held at Rams Head Dining Facility on campus. Campers may bring extra snacks for their dorm room.
What to Bring: Campers may want to bring additional spending money for pizza or extra snacks to have in their dorm room. We also make a trip to the campus bookstore for a chance to purchase UNC apparel and extra camp t-shirts are available for purchase. Any additional supplemental rehab tools such as foam roller, massage stick, or massage balls are also encouraged if that is your normal routine. Please also bring an extra towel (in addition to your shower towel) for our off-campus runs. You need to bring bed/shower linens, bath accessories, and a pillow.
Training Attire: Please check the weekly forecast leading up to camp and pack clothes to accommodate the weather. We recommend packing two sets of workout clothes for each day to prevent from spending the day in wet clothing.
Group Discounts: If four or more campers register together, each camper is eligible for a $30 discount. Please have a team contact reach out directly to the USSC office at 1-800-645-3226 to receive a discount code to identify your group. Campers may then register through the website at their convenience and apply the coupon code during check-out.
Sample Daily Schedule
- 7:00 AM Wake-up Call
- 7:15 AM Day Campers can be dropped off at dorm
- 7:30 AM Roll call and depart for morning run: American Tobacco Trail
- 7:45 AM - 9:45 AM Run, stretch, breakfast
- 10:15 AM - 12:00 PM Learn by doing: Post Practice Routines
- 12:15 PM - 1:15 PM Lunch at Rams Head Dining
- 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM Free time: movies, games, rest
- 3:30 PM - 4:15 PM Campus walk
- 4:15 PM - 5:15 PM Bio-mechanic analysis of videos
- 5:15 PM - 6:00 PM Optional second run from campus: Battle Park/FF/Mason Farm
- 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Dinner at Rams Head Dining
- 8:00 PM Depart for Mardi Gras Bowling
- 8:00 PM or 10:00 PM Day campers can be picked up at dorm
- 8:00 PM - 9:45 PM Bowling night at Mardi Gras Bowling
- 10:30 PM Room check - Lights Out
Camp ReviewsSubmit a review
Full Collegiate Running Experience
Talking with coaches and leaders, learning new stretches in the field house, running at Umstead, living in the dorms and getting the collegiate experience
— Paxton C., Camper 2017
He enjoyed all the runs. The nutritional information was informative and learning new exercises for multiple parts of the body. Richard also loved all of food options! My only suggestion: When there are speakers discussing nutrition, exercises etc..., it would be wonderful if handouts could be given out. There was a lot of knowledge expressed, but my son can only remember bits and pieces.
— Beverly L., Parent 2017
Loved The Atmosphere!
Carter really enjoyed running with the UNC team members and getting to know them. He loved the entire atmosphere, campus, and experience!
— Tiffany C., Parent 2017
The Nike Carolina Distance Camp is a great way to kick off the summer. Both our middle school aged son who is just starting in running and our more advanced high school runner son took a great deal away from the camp. I would definitely send them again!
— Christine T., Parent 2016
I wish they gave us more freedom (allowing us to walk around campus). Some people were from out of state and never even got to see where they were.
— Ashley S., Camper 2016
The coaches created a positive environment where the kids learned new skills and training techniques while having fun.
— Elizabeth S., Camper 2016
Coaches were approachable
The coaches corrected my running form and we ran on some great trails. The coaches were so approachable and really helped me out. I wish we had more food options in the cafeteria.
— Sarah R., Camper 2016