Running Vacations

Running Vacations

Sprinting into Summer Vacation

ZAP Endurance Running Vacations are ideal for runners of all ages and with any type of goal, be it performance or fitness. Looking to run your first 5k?…Improve your marathon? Come to the mountains and achieve your goals!

UPDATE – Remaining Summer 2020 Offerings are canceled due to COVID-19

  • Summer Kick-Off Weekend – CANCELED due to COVID-19
    Date: June 25-28, 2020
    Cost: Before Dec 31 $850, After Dec 31 $875

    GUEST SPEAKER: CARRIE TOLLEFSON

    What better way to kick off your summer than with a running vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains? This weekend getaway is a blend of beautiful daily runs along with world-class instruction designed to improve your running whether you’re a true beginner or a more experienced runner. Our daily runs of 3-7 miles each are designed for runners of all ages and abilities. Throughout the weekend we will discuss training for events from the 5k to the marathon, including valuable information on nutrition, strength training, running form, the mental side, as well as give you an individualized video analysis and more. Kick off your summer running the right way!

  • Bear Week – CANCELED due to COVID-19
    Date: July 6-10, 2020
    Cost: Before Dec 31 $1,200, After Dec 31 $1,275

    GUEST SPEAKER BART YASSO

    This week’s of running vacation will give you plenty of opportunities for some new, fun and challenging running experiences. In addition to our normal camp week, Thursday night you will have the opportunity to run The Bear 5 Mile Road Race, which starts in Linville, NC and ascends over 1500 feet to the top of Grandfather Mountain. This is a race you will never forget. (Race entry is an additional $35).  You’ll also have an opportunity to go Zip Lining through the canopy of the High Country with Sky Valley Zip Tours. Each morning we’ll go for a run, have time to soak your legs in the cool mountain stream on site before enjoying a gourmet lunch prepared by our talented in house Chef. The afternoons will include our comprehensive running education as well as time to relax and enjoy the serenity of the mountains.

  • Blue Ridge Running Vacation – CANCELED due to COVID-19
    Date: July 13-18, 2020
    Cost: Before Dec 31 $1,200, After Dec 31 $1,275

    GUEST SPEAKER: GREG MCMILLAN

    Retreat to the Blue Ridge Mountains to relax, enjoy your running being the focus of your days, and explore all the high country has to offer this week. This week is perfect for beginners and experienced runners alike with daily runs catered to all levels as well as plenty of time to relax in the mountains while escaping the summer heat. We will touch on all aspects of training, including nutrition, strength training, running form, the mental side, as well as give you an individualized video analysis. Additionally, you will be treated to a relaxing tubing excursion down the scenic South Fork of the New River. Our goal with this week, as with all of our running vacations, is to create an informative and truly unique running experience.

  • Marathon Week – CANCELED due to COVID-19
    Date: August 2-7, 2020
    Cost: Before Dec 31 $1,200, After Dec 31 $1,275

    GUEST SPEAKER: BILL RODGERS

    Planning on a fall marathon? Whether it is your 1st or your 10th this is the perfect  camp for you. Be it New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Twin Cities, Hartford, Steamtown, or the Berlin Marathon this running vacation is designed to help you set up your fall training and put you on the right track for a great marathon experience. In our full marathon week we will answer all your marathon related questions from nutrition to mileage and you’ll have the opportunity to learn from one of the all-time greats in Bill Rodgers. In addition to our daily runs and thorough training seminars you’ll have plenty of time to relax, explore the quaint mountain town of Blowing Rock and get to know both our staff and fellow attendees.

  • Half Marathon & Marathon Week – CANCELED due to COVID-19
    Date: September 17-20, 2020
    Cost: Before Dec 31 $850, After Dec 31 $875

    GUEST SPEAKER: KIM JONES & JON SINCLAIR

    Looking to make the most of your training or simply learn more about how to best approach the half or full? This weekend in September is another opportunity to kick off or put the final touches on your fall half marathon or full marathon training. In addition, for first timers, this weekend is an excellent introduction to these unique distances. In this 4 day running vacation we will answer all your questions from nutrition to mileage as well as share some tips on how to mentally and physically prepare yourself in the final weeks before the big day.

Running Vacations FAQs

  • What is included with my registration cost?

    All your food and lodging are included with the price. Not included in the price are the optional massage or chiropractic work. If you would like a single room there is an additional $150 charge that can be selected during registration as long as the single rooms are available. During select weeks we will do an additional excursion, for example zip lining or a river float. Any optional activities and associated costs will be presented upon registration as add-ons. We also provide an airport shuttle service for those who will be flying into camp at an additional charge or $75 each way, and we make every effort to combine pickups and drop-offs so the cost can be shared.

  • What is the cancellation policy?

    Your $300 deposit is non-refundable and will reserve your place in camp. If you choose to pay the full amount and cancel before May 1, 2020 we will refund the amount paid in excess of the $300 deposit less the registration and processing fees ($5.60 4.57% of the amount paid). You will be invoiced for any remaining balance due on April 15, 2020. Any remaining balance must be paid in full by May 1, 2020 or your registration will be cancelled. After May 1, 2020 the full payment is non-refundable.

  • What does a day at ZAP look like?

    We have a sample schedule available under the description for each week or weekend on the Running Vacation page.

  • Do I have to share a room?

    No, we do have a small number of single rooms available for an additional cost of $150. However, the single rooms will share a bathroom with an adjoining room of 2 beds. All of the rooms are setup as suites where two rooms share a bathroom. All of the rooms except our singles have 2 beds in them. We will make sure that a male/female couple has a private bathroom.

  • Where are you located?

    We are located just outside of Blowing Rock, North Carolina. However, our physical address is 9560 Blackberry Rd. Lenoir, NC 28645.

  • What airport should I fly into?

    The closest, and typically most affordable airport, is Charlotte Douglas International airport. It is located approximately 1hr 45min drive from ZAP. Greensboro, Asheville, and Bristol (TN) are also located approximately 2 hours away.

  • How fast do I need to be to come to ZAP?

    This is the biggest concern for most people, and we cannot emphasize this enough – we have all abilities attend every session. We have everyone from true beginners who run/walk to those who qualify for Boston every year and everything in between. All of the runs are at your own pace and there is absolutely no speed requirement to come, learn and enjoy some fantastic runs.

  • What is the average age of attendees?

    We have everyone from runners in the early to mid-20’s to their mid to upper 70’s. Our average age is upper 40’s.

  • How can I contact someone with other questions?

    Please feel free to contact us with any questions at: zapendurance@gmail.com or call 828-295-6196

What to expect from your Running Vacation

Our facility is a 24 bed, 2 story lodge. The rooms are equipped with comfortable twin beds. Most of the rooms have 2 beds for double occupancy, but we do have a limited number of single rooms with just one bed. Each room shares a full bathroom with an adjacent room, with the exception of 2 private bath suites reserved for couples. Our running vacation guests will be provided sheets and towels for their stay. We have a coin operated washer and dryer on site along with a refrigerator dedicated to personal use for guests. The adjacent building includes our dining room, weight room, and our administrative offices.

Come join us in the mountains, and work towards your goals in idyllic setting surrounded by runners who love this sport as much as you do. Here’s what to expect from your running vacation:


  • Daily Runs with our staff and athletes
  • Access to a massage therapist & chiropractor
  • Personalized Coaching
  • Three healthy meals a day prepared by our full-time Chef
  • Expert staff to lecture on training theory, programs, nutrition, and more
  • Time to relax and enjoy the surrounding area
  • A special guest speaker and more!

Why come? A campers experience

  • What was your experience like at Zap Fitness?

    I have attended eight ZAP Fitness camps or its predecessor, Maine Running Camp. The first year I attended I kept notes from each lecture or seminar I attended. With all my previous running experience, I could not believe how much I learned. Eight years later, I have the same notebook. It is filled with notes from every talk from each year’s camp. I’ll take it with me when I return this July.

    Because of the magnificent mountain trails, the running is invigorating and relaxing. All runs are flexible to meet the needs of each runner.

    With the running, seminars and other activities, there is still plenty of time to relax and enjoy the Blue Ridge Mountains and Blackberry Canyon. Although there are plenty of activities to keep you busy, nothing is mandatory, not even the runs. You set your own schedule and no one bothers you. I always find time for a late afternoon nap in the hammock. Remember, it is a vacation.

  • Why did you decide to go?

    I had taken some time off from running and I was looking for something to get me started back. The scenery around the camp looked beautiful and the dirt carriage running trails were inviting. The price was extremely affordable. The pleasant surprise was the amount I learned about running, fitness, diet, strength and stretching, and race tactics. The most unforeseen plus was the friendships I made with other campers. At the Rocket City Marathon last December I ran into a member of the camp staff from 1999. I immediately started recalling his talk on running and aging and how his points had come true as I have gotten older. I travel a great deal on business and I occasionally get to run with someone I met from camp who lives in another state. I have even been in the wedding party of a couple I met at camp.

  • What has it done for you?

    Listening to running greats like Bill Rodgers and legendary coaches who attended ZAP, I have improved my running and fitness. Two years ago I learned a new approach to running hills and it has helped my racing. Also, I am better at avoiding injury. I have developed a better understanding of the history of the sport and a keener sense of its perspective.

    The staff is knowledgeable, friendly and approachable. At the end of camp, each person sits with one of the coaches and develops a personalized running program.

    Also, I have a network of running friends throughout the world that I keep in touch with or get a chance to visit on occasion.

  • Why would you recommend someone to the camp?

    The purpose of camp is to improve your running. Your goal could be anything from setting PR’s to qualifying for the Boston Marathon to running your first 5K. Many people think they are not good enough to attend a running camp. At ZAP it is not about how good you are, it’s about how good you want to be. Take a look at the camp photos on the ZAP website. You’ll find someone in those pictures who resembles you.

Our Summer Staff

Each summer we at ZAP bring you a diverse, well informed and energetic staff. Our knowledgeable staff and guest speakers will educate and challenge you to be your best. Our 2020 staff includes…

Pete Rea

Ryan Warrenburg

Zika Rea

Matt LoPiccolo

ZAP Team Files

Please select a team member