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Minnesota Distance Elite - formerly Team USA Minnesota - was founded in 2001 and is based in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.  Over the years, the training group has developed two Olympians, a NACAC Cross Country Champion and 24 national champions in distances ranging from the 1500 meters up through the marathon, achieved 81 top three finishes in U.S. Championships ​and placed 30 athletes on U.S. World teams.  

The team has also forged a strong presence in the Twin Cities community, and fostered ongoing relationships with sponsors and contributors, both locally and nationally.

Mission: To provide opportunities and support for post-collegiate distance runners to train as a team to compete at the highest level in the sport of distance running, and to forge positive connections with the community.

Vision: We are a team that achieves athletic and personal excellence, making a deep impact on our community while maximizing athletic achievement. 


To date, Minnesota Distance Elite has played a significant role in improving American distance running and plans to do so throughout the foreseeable future.  The Team’s function since 2001 is to:​

  • Provide an opportunity for talented distance runners to train in an environment that will prepare them to compete on a level with the best in the nation and in the world, including Olympic competition;

  • Raise awareness of the sport of distance running through promotional and marketing activities;

  • Participate in related community outreach programs, such as clinics, camps, school programs and speaking appearances, in particular working with youth to inspire and motivate them toward healthy lifestyles and goal setting; and

  • Serve as a focal point for distance running in Minnesota and the nation, a sport that attracts thousands of participants for fitness, exercise and competition.

Community & Promotional Activities

Minnesota Distance Elite athletes participate in selected community outreach activities, such as clinics, seminars and speaking appearances, with an emphasis on health, fitness, goal setting and motivation.  In particular, the athletes focus on youth running programs with several coaching high school and college cross country and track teams.

In addition, Minnesota Distance Elite helps raise awareness of the sport of distance running through a variety of promotional and marketing activities, including frequent news releases, a social media presence and sponsorship appearances.


Minnesota Distance Elite is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that has a coach, a medical team and a 14-member board of directors.  The coach is Chris Lundstrom.

Through sponsorship and pro bono arrangements, the medical team consists of two team doctors who specialize in sports medicine; physical therapists, massage, and chiropractic clinics with a range of services; strength & conditioning training at Training HAUS and health care services from sponsor Twin Cities Orthopedics; and exercise testing services from sponsor Human Powered Health.

The Minnesota Distance Elite Board of Directors is a volunteer group composed of experienced runners who are involved in a variety of ways with the sport of distance running.  Their professional experience includes marketing and promotion, fundraising, finance, management, technology, research, medicine and coaching.

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