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Brown, Urdi plan big-time running camp

February 4, 2011

Stuart Brown, left, and John Urdi

It’s early in the game, but it’s likely that Mammoth will host a 10-day running camp this summer.

And if it goes ahead, it won’t be like any other running camp anywhere.

“I want it to be more than just going to a fat farm, said Visit Mammoth’s John Urdi.

“They should be coming here and enjoying the hiking we have, the cycling, maybe even fishing.

“Maybe on one of the days the runners would go into Yosemite and maybe do some running in the Valley.
“There’s lots of possibilities.”

The tentative – very tentative – name for the camp is a “Fit-cation,” he said.

Recreation Manager Stuart Brown said the camp would offer 10 days for runners of any stripe to come up to Mammoth and train where the elites train.

“It’s kind of interesting because my friend John Adams, who passed away, and I were working on creating a camp and we actually had a plan for the same type of thing – a high-altitude, 10-day camp. It’s certainly something we want to promote and grow.”

This time, though, Brown is teaming up with Urdi, the indefatigable tourism leader who is very big into establishing Mammoth as the center of altitude training and distance running in the United States.

Urdi accompanied the Mammoth contingent when Mammoth runners went to the New York Marathon last year. While there, he hobnobbed his way into meeting with the New York Road Runners, a club of 65,000 runners who may have heard of Mammoth, but maybe not.

“I think a lot of the Road Runners realize that Mammoth is great place to train, but hardly any of them knew that our runners actually live here,” Urdi said.

Brown said it seems like a terrific opportunity for any runner, anywhere.

“I think of it as a running camp for any recreational athlete wanting to train where the best in the world train – the same trails, same people, and rubbing shoulders with our elite runners. That’s a pretty attractive camp.”

Urdi hasn’t stopped with the New Yorkers, either.

He said he’s been in touch with the Boston Athletic Club (Boston Marathon), as well as athletic clubs in Chicago, Houston and Atlanta.

Urdi also said he intends to work with Andrew Kastor of the High Sierra Striders and Terrence Mahon, coach of the Mammoth Track Club.

Brown and Urdi made their pitch before the newly formed Sports Council at a Monday evening meeting at the Community Center.

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