Adrien Cooper – Durham Running Coach

5.00 out of 5
(5 customer reviews)

From: $99.00 / month and a $19.00 sign-up fee

I love helping runners transition to ultras and surpass their expectations utilizing my over 20 years of coaching experience.



Durham trail running coach Adrien Cooper is excited to be a part of your running journey, whether you’re a beginner runner just getting started on trails, or an intermediate runner looking to increase distance or PR in your next ultra. Reach out to Adrien below to get started!

Contact Adrien

LEVELS: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
TYPES: Road, Trail
DISTANCES: 5k/10k/Half Marathon, Marathon, Ultra
TRAINING PLAN: Individual, customized training plan
COMMUNICATION: Unlimited email, unlimited phone, unlimited text
RESPONSE TIME: Within 24 hours
IN-PERSON SESSIONS: No, online coaching only


Trail, Ultra, beginner through advanced, runners transitioning to ultramarathons


Throughout my coaching career my goal has been to inspire people to perform beyond what they thought was possible. I believe that performing beyond your own expectations is accessible to anyone regardless of background or experience. Whether I’m coaching high school kids who are learning how to high jump or do the hurdles for the first time or an adult runner who realizes that they can perform beyond the boundaries they have set for themselves I get the greatest joy from watching my athletes have that “aha moment” that lights up their face. I strive to bring this realization and excitement to all of my athletes.


My professional coaching experience includes:

  • 2001-2006 Head Men’s Cross Country Coach, Southern New Hampshire University DII (2003 State Champions)
  • 2000-2002 Intramural Athletic Director, Southern New Hampshire University
  • 2002-2003 Head Boys’ & Girls’ Track & Field Coach, Bishop Brady High School
  • 2012-2014 Asst Boys’ & Girls’ Track & Field and Cross Country Coach, Carrboro High School (2012, 2013, 2014 State Champions)
  • 2014-2015 Asst Boys’ & Girls’ Cross Country Coach, Durham School of the Arts


I live in Durham, NC with my wife Margaret and our dog Max. I met my wife during a trail race in 2014. Margaret was a race volunteer and I was running the race, it was a very cold and rainy day. I was in the lead pack about a mile into the race when I slipped off of a bridge and severely broke my ankle. Some of the runners ran back to the start to alert the race organizers. The race director asked Margaret if she would go into the woods to wait with me until the paramedics came and that’s how we met! Margaret came to visit me several times after I had surgery (I have a 5″ plate and 9 screws holding my ankle together now) and then we began dating. Margaret is an accomplished marathon runner and we train together often.

After my injury I took a hiatus from coaching to focus on my recovery. During this time I really missed sharing my running knowledge and experience so in 2021 I began the YouTube channel, MountTinMan, a play on Mountain and my nickname thanks to the metal ankle, Tin Man. I really enjoy interacting with the running community in this way but I’ve missed the one on one interaction with athletes which led me to return to coaching with Team RunRun in 2022.

In addition to running and coaching I am a huge car and motorcycle fanatic. My current vehicles and projects include a 2020 Jeep Gladiator, a time attack style 1993 Mazda Miata, and 1977 Datsun B210 that I’m converting into a vintage rally car, as well as two vintage motorcycles, a 1974 Honda CB360T (my first motorcycle) and a 1978 Suzuki GS550.


My biggest coaching influences are the coaches I had growing up, Earl Mills of Newfound High School and Mike Owens of Mars Hill University. I was fortunate enough to come from very small but successful cross country and track programs. Due to the small nature of the programs EVERY athlete was an important part of the team. One of my favorite things about these two coaches was the way they would mentor newer athletes and walk on athletes. In bigger programs these athletes might have been written off or left to their own devices to figure it out on their own. In our programs these athletes would get just as much attention as the top scholarship athletes. I loved watching these athletes grow and learn at the direction of these coaches and in some cases becoming some of the top performers on our teams.

As a coach I’ve taken these lesson of never discounting or underestimating any athlete and made it a core tenet of my coaching philosophy. I strive to instill this idea into all of my athletes, you’re more capable than you think you can be. Achieving your goals is accessible and I’m here to help you reach them!


I’ve been racing since I was 10 years old. I began racing local 5ks with my dad during fall weekends in New England. From there I ran cross country and track in middle school, high school, and college. During my high school and college years I served as captain and competed in several championships earning All-Conference honors multiple times and setting several schools records including the decathlon record which stood for over a decade. While at Mars Hill University we won our conference championship in 1997, 1998, & 1999 and the team would go on to win the conference championship 18 years in a row.

After college I continued racing 5ks, 10ks, half marathons and marathons and finally transitioned to ultramarathons in 2018. I’ve run several 50ks, 40 milers, and 50 miles in the last several years and in April 2022 I ran my first 100 mile ultramarathon in 23:40. I learned a lot during that race and I’m looking forward to a huge PR in my next 100 this spring!


  • 100 Mile: 23:40:22: April 2022: Umstead 100
  • Half Marathon: 1:22:21: November 2014: Richmond Half Marathon
  • 5 Mile: 25:20: Fall 1999: NC State Championship


Finding a coach who is a great fit for you is really important. We encourage you to email your coach prior to signing up so you can connect, communicate, and ensure a good athlete/coach fit.

Give us a brief history of your running, and this can include what distances and/or races you’ve run, how long you’ve been running, any past or present injuries, if you’ve worked with a coach or a specific training program before, etc.
Any short term or long term goals?
Describe your ideal coach/athlete relationship.
Any questions/comments for Team RunRun or the Coach in general?


5 reviews for Adrien Cooper – Durham Running Coach

  1. 5 out of 5


    Adrian is a great coach! He is available anytime I need him and he spent a lot of time working out a good training plan that still works with my schedule. He also surprised me by showing up a a race just to see how things went.

  2. 5 out of 5


    I met Coach Adrien at a race a couple months back, he’s super down to earth and friendly. He helped build my confidence through training and was very understanding of my needs. 100% recommended!!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Josh Garmany

    For the short little while I have worked with Coach Adrien, he gives you his all. Even alongside the massive amount of other things he has going on including his work, coaching other runners, YouTube & family life. If you have any questions, he is pretty quick to respond & go in depth if it needs! He cares about you in a way I feel other coaches likely wouldn’t. It feels more personal & in-depth than some coaching places. Absolutely a coach I’d stand by.

  4. 5 out of 5


    I started working with Coach Adrien for a half marathon about two months ago. His expertise, communication, response times, and ability to explain the purpose of every workout has been so so helpful. He’s always available for phone calls, zoom meetings, text conversations, and more. He’s helped me with settings on my watch so I have the workouts available on the watch and spent hours on the phone with me answering all of my questions and making sure the workouts make sense to me so I know the intent of every workout going into them. I have a busy schedule with my job and he’s accommodating and knows how to flex the schedule so that it lines up better with my job and make sure I’m not missing important workouts or missing out on getting better. I’ve already seen improvements in my endurance and my speed over the last few months and I’m doing workouts now that would’ve crushed me just a few months ago. Another amazing thing about Coach Adrien is how he goes above and beyond the expectations someone might have for a coach. At a recent race when I got to first meet Coach Adrien in person he offered the group I was with a canopy, chairs, electrical outlets, lights, coolers, and more. His kindness and willingness to help others around him truly sets him apart from any other coach I’ve ever met or worked with. I can’t recommend him enough. Regardless of age, race distance, experience, etc, Coach Adrien will set you on the right path.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Caleb Clark

    I have only recently been under the direction of coach Adrien Cooper but I am already reaping the benefits. His ability to calmly explain details about the intent of each run has helped me to remain focused every time I lace up my shoes. This ‘direction’ is exactly what I needed to take my training to the next level. He is coaching me for my goal race of finishing the Umstead 100 endurance run. It is a big daunting task but Coach Adrien has began helping me to take steps towards making this a reality. He responds in a timely manner anytime I reach out (usually immediately). He has decades experience in coaching. He has personal experience in races ranging from 5k to 100 miles. Anyone looking for a coach would be very lucky and pleased to hire Coach Adrien.

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