Bay Area FIT – Chapter Coaches

Bay Area FIT Coaches

Bay Area FIT 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!

Mary Sailors

Co-Organizer

In high school, I was known as the “girl who loved to run”. Coming from a smaller town, it was considered “weird” that anyone would willing go for a run. Never one to listen to nay-sayers, you would often find me jogging around the roads by myself all hours of the day. However, once I started college and “life” got in the way, I stopped running. Over the next 17 years, I became more and more sedentary, until I was shocked to find out that I was obese and pre-diabetic. I couldn’t even walk upstairs without gasping for air. Other aspects of my life were going well, but I just couldn’t physically muster up the energy to be excited about any success or enjoy life.

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Warren Hall

Co-Organizer

After a twenty-year hiatus from marathon training, I joined Bay Area Fit (BAF) in the summer of 2016 to meet other runners and experience the comradery that comes from training with friends. The next thing I knew I was signed up for the 2017 Houston-Chevron marathon. Joining BAF that summer was one of the best things I have done in decades.

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Grant Bue

Orange Group Head Coach

I love running! I have run 17 consecutive Houston Marathons, one White Rock Marathon, three Boston Marathons, three 50k races and one 50 miler. When I graduated college, I weighed 140 lbs. When I turned 44, I was very much overweight and had knee surgery. Because of this physical slackitude, I had developed high blood pressure and hypercholesterol, and had doubled my medication twice in two years.  I joined a fitness program at NASA and 23 months after my surgery I ran my very first marathon in 2004.  During my 4th season of running I joined Bay Area Fit.

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Kimberly Etzel

Orange Group Assistant Coach

My running journey started some 40 years ago when I was just 13 years old in Jr. High. I loved basketball but I was terrible in track my 7th grade year. The next year my dad said to me “If you are going to do something, you might as well be good at it” and suggested I try long distance running, which during that day was only 1600m. During my 8th grade track season, I had to convince the coach to let me run the 1600m of which I started winning races.

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Janice Moody

Orange Group Assistant Coach

I started running 20 years ago for health reasons. Before then I did some swimming and biking. Over the years, running has taught me discipline and goal setting. I have met many amazing people along the way.

 

Tonia Coronado

Red/Green Group Head Coach

I have always had a heart for running. I started running in middle school and kept at it through high school. For many years after, I kept running as an outlet as well as to stay fit. At one point, I just stopped. One day, I started walking as I found I could not run one minute straight without wanting to fall out. I eventually started to get reacquainted with running and ran several 5Ks and set a goal of running a half marathon. So for my first half marathon, the Houston Half, I trained solo; it was tough mentally, and I lacked both motivation and knowledge of the running world but I got out there and did my best and crossed the finish line with some nice battle scars. Running tip #1; don’t run with a cotton zippered hoodie or you’ll look like someone slashed your throat area and not to mention the severe chaffing.

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Lawrence Maher

Red Group Assistant Coach

Sitting still has never been my forte. As a kid, if I wasn’t playing sports, I was getting lost in the woods or running around with friends. Needless to say, not much has changed as I have journeyed into adulthood. Naturally, my inability to sit still landed me into every sport imaginable and I loved it. As I matured and sports became synonymous with daily activities, I began to realize that sports were merely the vessel through which I attained what I was truly seeking: self-improvement through competition.

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Leslie Gamble

Green Group Assistant Coach

From a very young age until present day, sports have been a part of who I am. From Volleyball to Softball to Swimming and everything in between, competitive athletics have been a staple in my life. There is however one exception and that is running. I played and excelled on almost every court, field, or pool that I ever stepped on but running was out of the question. Playing 8 softball games in a weekend was no big thing, but ask me to run four laps around a track and I would tell you that you were out of your mind. This mindset continued on into my early 20’s until the opportunities to play team sports began to dwindle and I realized that a shift needed to occur. 

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Meg McDavid

Green Group Assistant Coach

I’ve loved going for runs as long as I’ve been old enough to lace up and venture a few miles from home on my own. It wasn’t until August of 2019 that I worked up the courage to join Bay Area Fit. Last year, I ran with new friends that I enjoyed hours of conversation with, I learned about speed workouts and tempo runs and stretching, and I finally volunteered at a water station and loved cheering on fellow runners.

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John Riekert

Red & Blue Group Assistant Coach

The satisfaction and joy of voluntary running were unexpected. As a young participant in team sports, I believed the reason coaches saved the conditioning for the end of practice is that we would all quit if practice started with all that running. Fast forward several years and I find the best way to start a good day, or a great weekend, is with a nice planned run. I never saw that coming.

I especially like training with BAF. The cooperative atmosphere and peer group support has really helped me develop as a runner. Young or old, experienced or green, BAF has something to help you reach your next logical level of fitness in the 2016-2017 running season.

Red Group

Digna Martel

Red Group Assistant Coach

I started running as a child with my Dad who was an elite soccer player in El Salvador. As a child I would ask him to time me to see how long it would take me to run to the post office and back. In high school, I would go running at the track during my lunch hour.  Running gave me a feeling of self-worth and accomplishment.

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Maria Arriaga

Red Group Assistant Coach

I first started running in Jr. High it was more of a way to get out of regular PE where we did nothing and into athletics. I wasn’t a fast runner so I did long distance races which back then were only a mile or two. I later joined cross country which is where I really fell in love with running. In high school I was often the one taking 1st place at track and cross country meets for the 2 mile race of course, like I said I wasn’t fast but loved running.

After getting married and having kids my running stopped for a bit.

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Cortney Bell

Blue Group Head Coach

I began running in 2013. I never really ran before then. I wasn’t the athletic kid in school, I was the band kid and we only ran when we got in trouble. My husband (the tall guy) told me that he really wanted to run to get into shape, so, wanting to be supportive (and get into shape as well), I told him I would run with him. We began running on our own and I could only go a block or two before I had to stop and catch my breath. Great support I was! We joined BAF and little by little I was able to run further without having to stop and before long I ran a mile!

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Mechelle Kennedy

Blue Group Assistant Coach

I started running track in Jr. High and High School but once I joined the army and was “forced” to run I lost interest.  Once I left active duty and could run at my own pace I quickly fell in love with long distance running.  I have trained with Team in Training and Alamo 180 (in San Antonio), 12 ½ marathons and 1 full marathon between the years 2012-2017. Looking to meet other runners I found BAF in 2018 after moving to Pasadena.  Unfortunately, health issues kept me from finishing out that season.  I came back strong last year, met some amazing people and had so much fun. I’m looking forward to coaching this year.

 

 

Leti Cavazos

Blue Group Assistant Coach

I started running in order to get fit, but I never, ever thought I would run a half marathon or be crazy enough to register and finish a full, but I did – and you can too!  Thanks to all the support, encouragement, and training I’ve received from Bay Area Fit (BAF) I was able to complete Houston Chevron Marathon in 2019 & 2020.  I was not in any high school or college sports, so being active was relatively new to me.  Joining BAF in 2016 made it possible for me to run my first half that same year, and now, with their guidance, I have completed six half marathons, two fulls, and a few 5Ks, 10Ks, and relay races.  All of my races and trainings are done via intervals (run/walk segments).  This will be my second year as a BAF assistant coach, and I am excited and looking forward to our new running season!

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Ric Montelongo

Blue Group Assistant Coach

I started running when I was in graduate school at Indiana University. It started with a dare from a friend to complete a 5K. At that time, I was looking for a way to lose weight, get fit, and to have a more active lifestyle. After completing my first race, the Dick Lugar 5K in Indianapolis, I was hooked on running! I completed 8 Indianapolis Mini-Marathons (half-marathon where you run full lap on the famed Indy 500 oval), 2 Chicago Marathons, and numerous other races in Indiana.

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Janet Jones

Purple Group Head Coach

I’m Janet Jones and enjoy being a Fitter. I started Racewalkng 5K’s in 2009 but was SLOW so I joined Bay Area FiT eight years ago to get faster. I learned so much from the program and the coaches, and improved my speed while having fun too.   Now I’ve done over 30 half marathons! I look forward to coaching and seeing you this year!

Marty Yost

CORE Coordinator

I’m Janet Jones and enjoy being a Fitter. I started Racewalkng 5K’s in 2009 but was SLOW so I joined Bay Area FiT eight years ago to get faster. I learned so much from the program and the coaches, and improved my speed while having fun too.   Now I’ve done over 30 half marathons! I look forward to coaching and seeing you this year!

Paula Clemens

Events Coordinator

When I was growing up, I avoided all things athletic.  I ran a few 5K’s in my 20’s, but then fitness took a back seat to balancing family and career.  At age 50, with my youngest child graduating from high school, I was able to focus on fitness again.  After losing 50 pounds, I started running to maintain my weight loss.  On a whim I ran the Turkey Day 5K in 2009, and I was hooked on running.  I trained for and ran progressively longer distances. Read More

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