The Distance Demons is a youth running club for kids in grades 3-8, greater Asheville and WNC area. We participate in road races, USA Track and Field events (summer track and fall cross country), and other special running opportunities.
A dictionary definition of "Demon" fits us well: "one who is extremely zealous, skilled, or engrossed in a given activity." The club is a great niche and outlet for kids with a passion for running, kids who want to participate in various events throughout the year. We are about fitness, fun, personal improvement, and running education. We are also about team spirit and doing one's best. Friendships and increased self-esteem are natural spin-offs. If you are a young athlete into things like that, come running!
Famous distance runner Bill Rodgers ran a workout with the team and told us that he would have loved our type of club during his youth. The Distance Demons website won several youth fitness and physical education awards in previous years, and we were featured as a great model in the newsletter of the famous New York Road Runners. The club has a long and proud history, starting in Wisconsin and now replicated in WNC.
What We Do and Don't Do
Coach Jay Harris (left) with the famous Bill Rodgers
Jay was a high school track miler and helped lead his cross country team to a state championship. He has won age division awards in 5K races, his favorite. He coached middle school cross country for several years and was the race director of an annual 5K for kids. He has Level 1 coaching certification from USA Track & Field.
Why Should Kids Run?
Tend to work best for kids who love to run, kids who enjoy working hard to do well and get better, and kids who like to compete.
Expect and encourage kids to do their best -- nothing more, nothing less.
Learn about good running form, nutrition, race strategy, and lots more.
Have cool race singlets with the Demons and ATC logos.
Learn about and participate in various running opportunities, including road races, track and cross country events, and more.
Practice most often and regularly during the USATF cross country season, after school seasons end.
We do not:
Provide the perfect niche for ALL kid runners, only certain types of young athletes. See the first bullet above.
Expect or require greatness or hotshot runners - but the club does attract some and serves as a great outlet for highly motivated kids.
Practice frequently and regularly, until cross country season in the fall.
Require participation at all practices. Nothing is mandatory. If you cannot make a practice or a race due to a scheduling conflict, no problem.
Practice during school track and cross country school seasons (for kids on school teams).
Each year there are more studies, books, and articles about youth running. There is increasing and urgent emphasis on the need for kids to be more active and physically fit. More kids are getting into running each year. We contribute to these trends and respond to those calls, making running a fun, healthy, educational experience.