Death Valley Camp

From Our Campers

"I was challenged in new ways and went home with new ideas and ways to push my limits." - Joe DeSena

Camper Testimonials

Notes from a few of our happy campers.

Ted Archer

Ted Archer

This might sound crazy, but I had never given any thought to running technique. My approach to running had always been to run as hard as possible for as long as possible. I can't believe how much I learned--and how quickly. After a short period of time, I'm running further (and am able to walk the next morning!)

Georgia Stansell

Georgia Stansell

Out of shape and exhausted I arrived at camp thinking I would return to work with sore quads, blistered toes and be even more tired... I'm so glad I was wrong! With Lisa, Jay and Mike's instruction and guidance on correct running techniques, and learning the value of power-walking, I was refreshed and ready to go after returning home! The information and details on gear, nutrition and other tips were extremely helpful for Marathon des Sables.

Tess Geddes

Tess Geddes

Coming to the Death Valley Stage Racing Camp, I have already done 5 desert ultras to date, and yet I came away after 4 days with a lot more valuable tips on training and nutrition, how to get my pack lighter (thank you, Jay!), racing strategies, how to improve my running form, how to power walk,and most of all..... I met some wonderful new ultra racing friends, with whom I hope to share a lifelong bond. Lisa and Jay have a great team of very caring and conscientious individuals who share their passion and enthusiasm and they made sure we were all well looked after - thank you Colleen, Mike and Cathy!!

In spite of the different levels of running abilities of the campers, Lisa and Jay managed to get everyone going and pushing at their own pace. I came away full of fun memories (thank you to the Canuck doctors from Vancouver, especially Bill, for his wicked humour, eh? and my roommate, Marian (aka Bunny)....your notes and yoga stick figures are greatly appreciated!).

Thank you Jay and Lisa for putting together a great camp. You have given me a great experience and everytime I run now, I have a new focus and purpose to practice what I learned. And hopefully, I'll see some improvement in my next desert race!

Paul Carreiro

Paul Carreiro

If you are looking for a running camp, trail or ultra, you will not find a better one. Very well organized and run and the instructors. Lisa, Jay and Marshall are the best!!

Bob Becker

Bob Becker

I've attended two of Lisa's training camps. The first, in March '05, was to prepare for the Marathon des Sables the following month. MdS was my first ultra, and I had no idea what to expect. That camp was very effective in preparing me mentally. It aligned my training with the conditions I'd be finding in the desert and the subtleties of running there. And every bit as important, my training mates were going to Morocco, too.

We bonded quickly, encouraged and supported each other through camp and then through the desert. We have become very good friends, staying in touch and seeing each other regularly. My second training camp was in preparation for the Grand Tetons Ultras last September--my first 50 miler. This race is at altitude, and so was Lisa's training camp. (I live and train at 5 feet above sea level in South Florida!) During camp, we trained on portions of the actual race route, experiencing virtual event conditions at 8,000-10,000 feet. We honed our power walking skills on the "ups"--so important when climbing hills.

And once again, this group of "Lisa's kids" bonded quickly and became each other's best fans. How great it was during moments of race fatigue to see each other on the trail and get that rejuvenating kick that friends give you.

With two amazing mentors guiding us--Marshall Ulrich as well as Lisa coached us at this "GTR" Camp--training just doesn't get much better! Save your pennies and go to camp, folks!

Becky Clements

Becky Clements

I was looking for a change, something or someone to give me the tools and inspiration to break out of the ordinary and try something new - when I heard about Lisa's training camps. At first, I was hesitant to check out a "running camp" because I avoid the rigid race training schedules and like to mix up my running with a lot of other activities to keep from getting bored. However, the lure of the beautiful Teton mountains and the opportunity to learn from amazing athletes like Lisa and Marshall pushed me over the edge!

The Teton camp was an absolutely amazing experience, from all aspects. I learned a LOT about running technique, mental aspects of training and racing, and the benefit of cross training (along with the good soreness you experience when you use muscles you never knew existed). In addition, it was very inspirational to meet and run with the other "campers," cheering each other on as we could see noticeable improvements during the camp. There was no "boredom" at all - every day was different enough to keep things exciting.

Lisa and Marshall do a great job of teaching you the tools you need to push yourself to the next level and to chase your dreams, whatever they may be!

Joe DeSena

Joe DeSena

Prior to coming to camp, I was already very motivated about training. In fact, I was routinely training 4 hours a day. What I learned training privately with Lisa and Jay was that training 4 hours on my own was different than spending 4 hours of training with Lisa and Jay. I asked for a camp that would have me falling asleep in my soup at night and this was a recipe the Batchen's made to deliver. I was challenged in new ways and went home with new ideas and ways to push my limits.

Bob Gentile

Bob Gentile

Like anything in life if you want to get good in any specific area, you have to find a way to learn from those who have done what you want to do, well camp is a great avenue to get that knowledge you need to be a better runner....and do it much quicker then trying to figure it out yourself, this reduces the trial and error part!

Joe Gallioto

Joe Gallioto

There are so many great things to say about the DreamChaser Training Camps - great locations, agenda, etc. - but in my mind, two things really help separate their camps from the others. First, unlike some camps and on-line coaching where a "big name" headlines the camp but you interface with a "lesser coach," at the DreamChaser Camps, you get Lisa and Marshall as your coaches, thereby benefiting directly from their incredible first-hand experience and knowledge. Enough cannot be said about this.
 
Secondly, is their enthusiasm. Lisa is as genuinely enthusiastic about the participant who wants to run around the world as she is for the person whose goal it is to complete the local 5K - everyone is not only made to feel special, but they also learn things that are specific to their own goals! A highly recommended experience."

Ed Mafoud

Ed Mafoud

I came out to a Teton Training Camp because I wanted to broaden my horizons. Under Lisa's online tutelage, I had been making steady gains in my running abilities. She guided me through the New Jersey Half Marathon back in April of this year and under her continued instruction I have been making great strides toward running my first marathon (hopefully later this year). On her advice and my desire, I enrolled in her camp so I could receive face to face instruction in the anticipation of more improvements in my distance running. And yes, it worked!

Aran Gordon

Aran Gordon

Arriving for my first camp in preparation for my first Marathon des Sables in early 2005 included a lot of nervous excitement. That said, from the moment I met Jay and Lisa, in person at the camp, I knew that my training up to that point with Lisa would be taken to a new level given the time and effort they put into making me feel welcome and at ease as they shared so much knowledge and experience about my achieving my goal and fully understanding the race I was about to participate in. That said, it was clear that what Jay and Lisa offer is NOT limited to preparing for such ultra races and those wishing to complete their first 5k, or whatever the race might be, will be met with incredible insight and care by two of the most wonderful people in the running world. Everyone should make an effort to attend their camps to experience firsthand these two incredible professionals in their element as they work with you and guide you to achieve your personal running goal. You will, no doubt, look back on the experience with great appreciation.

Clayton Smith

Clayton Smith

I attended Lisa's camp in the Grand Tetons in 2005 in preparation for a 500 mile charity trail run I was doing later in that year. Lisa had been coaching me on-line prior to the camp and she had brought me along so well with no injuries. I thought I was in fairly good shape when I arrived at
the camp, but Lisa and Jay and their guest instructors introduced new elements to my training that challenged muscles I never even knew existed!

What I really liked about Lisa's camp was that it didn't matter what your level of fitness was upon arrival, you did not feel out of place. This was not a camp for just elite athletes, although there were a few of those there. There were many group learning sessions, but there were also
training sessions broken down into smaller groups that accommodated the differing levels of the athletes. Mixed in with the training was a chance to share laughs and learn from other like-minded individuals which was a real treat. I would highly recommend Lisa's camps to anyone, regardless of their level of fitness or the insanity of their goals.

Nattu Natraj

Nattu Natraj

Although I was a very satisfied online coaching client of Lisa's, I attended her training camps to gain knowledge on aspects of training that are difficult to obtain through online coaching; things like foot care, running and power walking form, nutrition and hydration and mental aspects of long endurance events like Badwater. The camps helped me tremendously as evidenced by the fact that I buckled in my first attempt at Badwater with virtually no feet or stomach issues. I highly recommend attending Lisa's camps. You will get your money's worth and more.

Steve Wolk

Steve Wolk

I had certain running goals for races in mind prior to camp. I found out that training for races did not always have to involve endless running. Afternoon discussions about pertinent running topics were very helpful. I was impressed how Lisa, Jay and Marshall integrated everyone in camp even though there were people with different running abilities. Their availability to address everyone's individual situations made for a great learning experience.

George Velasco

George Velasco

I am only too happy to share my experiences at Lisa and Marshall's camps. I have had the pleasure of attending camps in the Tetons as well as camp at California's Death Valley park. I also train with Lisa as my coach throughout the year.

For me, camp is a way to see and experience the technique I am trying to emulate throughout the year. At camp, Lisa pushes my back just a tiny bit and suddenly I am POWER walking instead of just plain walking. Marshall shows me how to negotiate a hill and dig deep when it seems like the tank is empty, and suddenly I am moving on high octane.

But all this is sounding entirely too academic... For me, training camps are a way to spend time with coaches I love and people who become friends for what I hope will be a lifetime. And of course, for those of you who know me, my harem is always open for new applicants!

Now, if only Lisa could help me with this poison oak I picked up on the trail over the weekend training for Western States!

Terry Madl

Terry Madl

I have been to camps with Lisa and Jay in Death Valley and the Galapagos Islands. Both were extraordinary experiences. Our days were a good mix of practical training (running, drills, fitness exercises, etc.) and classroom sessions (nutrition, gear, race/training strategy, gait analysis, etc.). In addition, I had the chance to meet other runners and to spend some real quality time together with them in just unbelievably special environments. As a result, I formed deep friendships that I am certain will last a lifetime. Those camps were a great experience no matter how I look at it, and I'm sure I'll continue to attend them whenever I can fit them into my schedule. Terry Madl.

Mike Weston

Mike Weston

It was a great camp, and a huge part of that was the people. Lisa, Jay, and Colleen are great people, willing to open their homes, their lives, and their love and knowledge of running to runners of all levels. They went out of their way to include my family in events; in fact, they all attended some of the core/cardio classes during the week with Lisa’s enthusiastic encouragement. I learned many things, and I was tired at the end of each day. Not quite enough to go face down in my soup, as Lisa threatened might happen, but there was no question I had worked hard.

Before I went, I figured this was probably a one-time thing, but I have to say I won’t be at all surprised if I’m back for another camp in a couple of years. If this sounds at all appealing, I would highly recommend that you find a way to attend one of their camps.

Jennica

Jennica

For me, camp was an opportunity to learn skills that have helped me get stronger and faster. I learned valuable things about nutrition and flexibility, as well as mental tricks to stay motivated during a tough workout. The best thing about camp, though, is to be surrounded by amazing people and be able to learn from their experience.

Andy Boyd

Andy Boyd

Dreamchasers' Camp is our golden opportunity to meet new friends and renew old friendships with people who have a common interest in excellence in sports and living life to the fullest. One of my inspirational quotes is by T.S. Eliot; "Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go". We will learn skills that will help us achieve our goals and see just how far we can go.

Joe Johnson

Joe Johnson

My first visit to Death Valley was to attend Jay an Lisa's MDS camp. Met and roomed with Terry Madl. Spent the next four days running and laughing in the desert together. 18 months later I got to come back to Death Valley to help crew Terry during Badwater 2009 w/Lisa and friends. Remarkable people doing extraordinary things! Thanks Everyone!

Colleen Woods

Colleen Woods

A friend who attended last year's camp had told me that there's nothing like the Teton Training Camp experience. Whether listening to the advice and amazing adventure stories of Lisa and Marshall Ulrich, testing boundaries in a setting both beautiful and challenging (Grand Targhee's base elevation is 8,000 feet), or reveling in the stunning views from the Teton mountain tops, he assured me my experience would be both beautiful and memorable. He was so right.

Darren Worts

Darren Worts

I recently traveled to Lisa Smith's Dreamchasers Training Camp in Victor, Idaho. It was truly a "dream" weekend. Along with two others, I flew into Jackson Hole, where Lisa and her husband, Jay, greetedus. From there we traveled to Lisa's home, a short but beautiful drive through the Grand Tetons. For anyone who hasn't been to this scenic part of the world, it is a breathtaking sight.

Lisa and Jay had planned five days of training, including running, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and ice skating. They had worked out all the details, everything from a time schedule for our activities to a menu with all of our meals. They had even included a list of equipment that we were to bring along. It was very organized.

Shortly after arriving at their home, we headed out for a ninety-minute run/walk, which allowed us to get used to the altitude. The weather was cold but, thanks to the equipment list, I was well prepared. When we arrived back home, we settled in while both Lisa and Jay prepared dinner. Afterwards, we plopped in front of the television and watched the Running on the Sun video, the documentary about the Badwater 135 Ultramarathon.

Day 2 had usscheduled for a four-hour snowshoe through the mountains. It was my first time on showshoes but, with some assistance, I quickly picked up on the techniques involved. We meandered through the trails of the nearby mountains - ending up at 8700' and some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. After we descended back down the trail, we headed back to the house for lunch. AFter a delicious meal, we were back outside again, this time for an our and half cross-country ski on the nearby trails. Then it was back home for a little relaxation time and some dinner.

The third day had us back in the mountains for more snowshoeing. Lisa had planned a 6-hour trek, again, through the scenic trails of the Tetons. We ended up at 9200', where we stopped to grab a quick bite to eat, and get a few snapshots of the views of the surrounding mountains. And then it was back down the trails. Upon arriving at the car, I decided to do the short run of 2 miles back to the house; I was on such a high from the previous six hours and all I had seen. After arriving back at the house, we headed out for some ice-skating, a quick hour workout on a rink located right by their house.

Day 4 was slotted for cross-country skiing. A short drive of 30 minutes, and we were on a well-groomed trail that was 12 kilometers long. Words alone cannot describe the beauty of the views we had. Just a short distance away, we could see the Grand, the tallest mountain in the Tetons. The skies were a clear blue, the air was crisp - it was truly awesome. After a 90-minute workout, we headed to a local ski resort, where we had a great lunch. After the drive back to the house, we were back out on the roads for another hour and half run/walk.

Our final day of the camp included a 2-hour snowshoe. It was back up to the mountains and the trails. Jay and I separated from the rest of the group and climbed our way up to an open field for a few pictures and last minute views of the beautiful countryside. We then ran back down the trail, met with the rest of the group and headed back to the house. We showered up and packed our gear for our trip back to Jackson Hole and our flight back home.

The five days I spent at the Dreamchasers Training Camp were indescribable. I enjoyed every minute of it. The entire camp was well-planned, which made the whole thing run very smoothly. Whether you are training for a big race/event or looking for a get-away weekend to enjoy the great outdoors, I would personally recommend this to anyone. Thanks Lisa and Jay!