Our Coaches

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All of our Fit programs are overseen by our program head coach, Katie Johnson. Katie is uniquely qualified for this title because of her knowledge, experience and passion for running and walking. She holds a degree in kinesiology from UCLA, a masters in counseling as well as a teaching credential and has run dozens of marathons and half marathons. She is also an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, as well as a RRCA Certified Coach.  But, best of all – she's just plain fun.

In addition to Katie, our Fit programs are fortunate to have an outstanding group of coaches and assistant coaches, all with a passion for fitness. Each of our dedicated coaches embody enthusiasm, sense of humor, and the desire to help members reach their goals. While we are certainly serious about providing our members with the very best training programs and information possible, we never lose sight of the fact that it has to be fun. That is our promise to you.

Meet the Coaches!

coach pic - katie

Coach Katie

Single best benefit of running/walking: It makes me stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally which allows me to perform better in all areas of my life. 
Best running/walking advice ever received: Start slow, finish strong!
Favorite pre-race ritual: Lay everything out the night before!!  Pin bib number to shirt and attach timing chip to shoe.  Pack clothes to change into, as well as snacks.  

coach pic - alicia

Alicia Degracia

Favorite role model and why:  Dean Karnazes, Marathon guru, taught me that you are never too old to get started on getting healthy.  He started at 30, and I started at 47 years old!
Best running advice:  Ice baths after a long run really do work!  It speeds the recover process when your muscles are worked out to the maximum.
Single best benefit of running:  Positive attitude with a healthier and happier outlook on life!
Favorite pre-race ritual:  Angel hair pasta with an olive oil and garlic sauce with about an ounce of smoked salmon for the dinner the night before.  Oatmeal with raisins and cinnamon the morning of and sushi for the recover meal!

Mission Bay- Green Color Group

coach pic - angela   


Angela Kanish

Favorite role model and why:  Yolanda Holder, known as the Walking Diva, has crushed all kinds of distances as a walker.
Favorite post-race meal:  Guilty pleasure - In 'N-Out Double-Double Protein Style with ketchup and mustard.  After 13.1 miles, I've earned it!
Best running/walking advice:  Don't worry about being the last finisher. It's not about speed, it's about distance. My mile may not be as fast as your mile, but our distance (and medals) are the same.

Mission Bay - Purple Color Group

coach pic - beth

Beth Herzog

Favorite role model and why:  My parents for teaching me the importance of determination and never giving up- even when you really feel like it!
Best running/walking advice:  Have fun!  Don't be in competition with anyone other than yourself.
Single best benefit of running/walking:  Enjoying the beautiful weather and beach on a regular basis.
Favorite pre-race ritual:  Making reservations for a post-race brunch!

Carlsbad- Red Color Group

Coming soon!

Bill Aaron

Favorite role model and why: Survivors, because overcoming odds typically bring out the best in people. 
Favorite race: San Dieguito Half Marathon; great course, wonderful beer garden 
Favorite post-race meal: Phil’s BBQ or carne asada

Mission Bay- Site Adminstrator

Coach pic - jodi

Jodi Hays

Best running/walking advice ever received: Don't let not feeling good keep you from running. Head out for ten minutes, then decide how you feel!
Favorite running/walking gear: A running buddy. If I don't have that I like to listen to music.
Favorite pre-race ritual: Stretching & listening to 'Today is Your Day' on my iPod.

Carlsbad- Yellow Color Group

coach pic - kim

Kim Guillen

Favorite role model and why: My father. I grew up watching him run races (I especially remember the Coronado Bay Bridge race) , stay physically fit for the military, and raise two daughters on his own.
Best running/walking advice ever received: Enjoy every minute and don’t be too hard on yourself.
Favorite pre-race ritual: Get up early, shower, and take my dog out for a brief walk.

Carlsbad- Orange Color Group

coach pic - larry

Larry Padilla

Favorite role model and why: Winston Churchill because he overcame a speech impediment and bad decisions in his early life to become a great speaker and leader.
Favorite workout weather: California coast, 76 degrees, sunny, slight breeze.
Favorite pre-race ritual: Drink Gatorade diluted with water 1:1.  Eat two slices Banana Chia bread.  Give wife a big hug and kiss.

Carlsbad- Purple Color Group

coach pic - laurie

Laurie Adam

Favorite workout weather: San Diego most of the year -- overcast and cool.
Single best benefit of running/walking: There are so many ....  The single best benefit probably is that I set goals for myself, and I accomplish them, leading to self-confidence and pride.
Favorite running/walking gear: I always carry my water bottle.  I have tried different water belts over the years.  I like the 20 oz. bottle in the center of my back.  I felt like Batman when I ran with the belt with multiple bottles...

Mission Bay - Red Color Group

coach pic - lilly 

Lily Kinninger

Single best benefit of running/walking:  It improves my mental health - those endorphins feel oh-so-good!
Favorite role model and why: 
Steve Jones (former marathonr ecord holder).  He stopped for a bio-break and still won the 1985 London Marathon!
Favorite post-race meal: 
Ribeye steak dinner!

Mission Bay - Yellow Color Group

coach pic - maureen

Maureen Ferrel 

Favorite role model and why: My mother because she always tells me, 'The more you move the better you feel!'  She also tells me when she thinks I'm getting to fat!
Single best benefit of running/walking: Feeling good!
Favorite post-race meal:  Cheeseburger with fresh tomato, onion, and lettuce.

Carlsbad- Green Color Group

coach pic - richard

Richard Currier

Favorite race: Carlsbad Half Marathon - great course, great weather, great organization, and great people.
Favorite pre-race ritual: Visiting with running buddies.
Favorite post-race meal: Pizza and champagne.

Mission Bay- Orange Color Group

coach pic - shanthi

Shanthi Lackey

Favorite role model and why: Meb Keflezighi. He has defied many odds and overcome them. He is very down to earth and an amazing runner.
Single best benefit of running/walking: The camaraderie and motivation of running with others.
Best running/walking advice ever received: Add mileage slow don't do too much too fast whether you are just starting out or coming back from an injury.

Carlsbad- Orange Color Group


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