Albuquerque Fit – Chapter Coaches

USA FIT Albuquerque Coaches

USA FIT Albuquerque coaches are ready and here for you to being your training! For any program or season, these coaches will help prepare you for any race!

Bob Samala

Organizer

I am the new organizer for USA FIT Albuquerque (aka Albuquerque Fit).  My journey here has been rewarding and challenging, but most of all truly enjoyable. Running a marathon will “Change Your Life”.  It certainly has for me.  In 2014, I made the resolution to finally knock it off my bucket list.  I did not have a running background.  I tried training on my own by reading books, following various online programs, but I was running without any real direction.  Running alone was not very fun.  Then I joined the Albuquerque Fit Summer Program that June.  I never knew there was such a large group of runners – all ages, all levels of ability, all shapes and sizes and most importantly all friendly and supportive.  My once dreaded runs turned to miles of joy!

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Vicky Samala

Co-Organizer/Administrator

I am a wife, mother of twins (and fur babies), Art Director, singer, crafter, shopper, and so on. One thing I am not, is athletic. After the urging of my husband (yes, the USA FIT Albuquerque Organizer), I joined Rio Fit several years ago for the fitness aspect of it. I did not want to run races, but found myself running some 5K's, 10K's and even some fun runs; Warrior Dash and Dirty Dash with my whole family (we named ourselves the Asian Leprechauns, after our marriage of our Filipino and Irish backgrounds).

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Gary Schancer

Head Coach/Performance Coach

I am an exercise physiologist, a certified running coach and have been working in the fitness industry for 22 years since retiring from the Air Force. I began running in high school 100 years ago and then ran on and off for many years. In 1994, I got very serious about my health due to bad family history of heart disease, and I started running regularly. Since then, I have run 69 marathons and 31 ultra marathons, including numerous 50 and 100-milers and at least one marathon in all 50 states.

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Steve Wolinsky

Half Marathon Coach

I’ve been running with ABQ Fit for going on five years now and I’ve loved every minute of it even the long runs when I’m just not feeling it—well at least I enjoyed being done afterwards. ABQ Fit has been great for my marriage since my wife and I have people other than each other to run with since I used to annoy her because I would try to coach her and we run different paces. It’s also been great for my 16-month-old son to see us being active from an early age.

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Matt Massey

Half Marathon Coach

“Running” to me was always something I had to do to stay in shape and keep the weight off. It wasn’t until I joined USA Fit Albuquerque in Spring of 2014 that I realized running was something I get to do. USA Fit helped me set goals and provided structured training programs to help achieve those goals. It wasn’t long before I started looking forward to every run, especially the long runs on Saturday. USA Fit coached me through my first half marathon in May of 2014 and then to my first full marathon in October of that same year. Six years later with multiple half marathons and another full marathon under my belt I enter the world of coaching. Whether it’s the first time lacing up a pair of running shoes or wanting to improve upon PRs, I look forward to helping you achieve those goals while staying injury – free and having a little fun along the way.

Fran Ferguson

5K/10K Coach

Running, to many, is a therapy. For others, it satisfies a social hunger. And then to some, it sets a challenge to be met.  Whatever reason that we run (or walk), whether to clear the mind, to support each other in fitness, or to beat ourselves at a PR (personal record) or a set goal, we confess that USA Fit is “a social group with a running problem”.

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Dan Aragon

5K Coach

Why Running? Two years ago, I was asked to participate in a 5k fun run for our wellness program at work. I had not run in years and was quick to turn down the invitation because I was not a runner and preferred to ride my bike. I had many “legitimate” excuses on why I could not participate. My co-workers did not give up on me, but were finally were able to convince me to give it a chance.

Growing up here in Albuquerque. I played many sports; Soccer, Swimming, Basketball, Football. As young adult I jogged, played League Basketball, Softball and Volleyball. I even completed a few 100-mile bike rides and finished a Triathlon. I always considered myself to be a good athlete.

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Kathy Schancer

Walk-to-Run Coach

Throughout my school and motherhood years, I loved to be active in all kinds of sports EXCEPT running/track. Then the USAF moved my husband Gary, our 2 teenage kids & me to Albuquerque in 1991. Gary became Forrest Gump before the movie idea was even conceived! Needless to say, his running enthusiasm began to grow on me. After I finished one 5K, I went right to the 10K, and in the blink of 22 years, I have done 6 La Luz races, 13 half marathons, 16 marathons, 8 50K’s, and 2 50-milers. Thanks to all the wonderful friends I’ve made through Albuquerque Fit the past 10 years, I stay inspired to run, saying “just one more race”.

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Theresa Torres

Social Media Coordinator

I've been running off and on since high school. Over the last 10 years, I've done lots of fun runs and 5k's. It was only in the past 3-4 years that I even considered myself a "real runner." When I started running in high school, it was so I could stay in shape for the other sports I played. Running wasn't very much fun way back then. Thankfully, it became something that I've really come to love. I continue to run because I also love to eat (who doesn't?). Running is also a form of meditation for me. I can hit the trails, clear my mind, or have great conversations with my running buddies. I joined the USA FIT Albuquerque (or Albuquerque Fit as it was called) about three years ago. I had trained for my very first half marathon alone, and I did okay, but the training was pretty lonely.

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Deana Fowler

Community Outreach Coordinator

I ran my first marathon with USA FIT Albuquerque in 2005. I then proceeded to run one marathon in all 50 states. I completed that goal in 12 years, two weeks before my 50th birthday in Sept. 2018.  I love motivating people to get out and run. If you show up, I’ll get you to the finish line. This club though is more than running, it is about all the wonderful friends you will make and comradery. We are here to listen and assist you every mile of the journey. If you can’t talk and run, that’s ok we’ll get you so you can do both, but until then, I can do the talking for you! I can tell you about where I am from, and how I started running, but I’ll save it for the trail.

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