Fort Bend Fit – Chapter Coaches

Fort Bend FIT Coaches

Fort Bend 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!

Terrie Gorney

Organizer - USA Fit Fort Bend

I am a Founding Member of Fort Bend Fit. I ran my first marathon in January 2000 after training with my best friend Jeanne. We wrote our own training program and after finishing the marathon “badly”, we decided to join a new training program the following year – FBF. My running immediately improved and I met the most amazing people. Since joining FBF, I have completed a lot of marathons including several 50Ks, two 50 milers, The Rocky Raccoon 100 mile endurance race, and the 2006 Boston Marathon – after qualifying with my FBF friends. I have also completed seven sprint triathlons – one with my 3 oldest kids; and one relay tri with my hubby and youngest son. I love every minute with FBF. This will be my 19th season with FBF and 16th season as Head Coach. My personal motto: Life is not about what happens to you, it’s about your reaction to each happening.

Todd Breton

Head Coach - Fall Program

Assistant Coaches:  Julie Nguyen, Tracy Boland Hughey, Janica Owens

Susie Comstock

Head Coach - Green Group

My running story is below but I want to begin with the amazing support our FBF family exemplifies;  April 15, 2013, eight of us from FBF ran the most (sadly) memorable Boston Marathon. No matter where we were located along the 26.2 mile run we were all affected that day by the two horrific bomb explosions at the the finish line.  Upon returning to Sugar Land, the following Saturday (although that time of year was considered our “off season”) over a hundred FBF members welcomed us home with a run/walk then breakfast in the parking lot!   Then five months later I was then diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer.  Again, the support from FBF was amazing!!  With friends & family like this, we can overcome so much ~ we can accomplish so much!!

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Stacy Garcia

Head Coach - Green Group

I have been a runner since I was 28 years young, however the furthest I had run was a 10K. I am also a 4th grade teacher. Every year in class I would tell my students that someday I would run a marathon. In 2013, one of my student’s parents approached me. She shared that her daughter had told her of my goal. She then challenged me to bid on a silent auction item which included a FBF training membership and an entry into the USA Fit marathon at my school’s spring carnival. She boldly told me that I wasn’t getting any younger. She did not let me forget, so on the night of the carnival, I bid the minimum bid and left to complete my volunteer shift. At the end of the night, I was congratulated for winning the bid. Thus, in 2013 I began my journey.

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Darwin Williamson

Head Coach - Blue Group

I used to dislike running. It was a few friends that convinced me to do some 5K Fun Runs back in the mid 90s that got me interested in running. After seeing a flier at the gym about a marathon training group that was forming in the area called Fort Bend Fit, I decided I would check it out. That was the inaugural year for Fort Bend Fit. Initially, I had intended on only running the marathon once and then being done with it. But after making new friends in Fort Bend Fit and having a positive experience at the Compaq Houston Marathon in 2001, breaking 4 hours, I decided that I could do even better and have been a member of Fort Bend Fit every year since. I was the Blue Coach for several years in the past, but had to step back from coaching when my work schedule made it too difficult for me to give it the proper amount of time and dedication that was required. I am happy to be back to coaching. I have completed multiple marathons, including Boston, and ultramarathons in several states and different countries and have also completed several triathlons including two Ironman Triathlons.

Melinda Phillips

Head Coach - Yellow Group and New Members

This will be my fifth season with FBF. I’ve completed two Chevron Houston Marathons, one USA Fit Marathon – Sugar Land and the Big Sur Marathon in California.  I’ve also done nine half marathons. My favorite race so far was in Big Sur, and I loved every minute of those glorious views of the Pacific Ocean.

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Linda Calles

Head Coach - Red Group

I started running as a kid and was no good at it back then.  I was the clumsiest kid in school. One of my 4th grade teachers continuously told me I would never run a mile within the 45 minute class time.  That sticks in your head when you are little. Through-out high school my parents always forced me to run 3 miles a day at 5 a.m. before I ever started school.  I swore I would never run one more mile after I left their house! I started my first real job after college when I was 25 and joined their running team. I was once again running and now no longer living with my parents.  One of my coworkers soon asked why I had never run a marathon if I ran 9 miles daily.

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Paul Martin

Head Coach - Orange Group

I probably had the most surprising route to my first marathon. A friend of mine runs each year for a charity, and they had a slot free to run in the 2011 Chevron Houston Marathon. After months of saying “Hell No”, then “No”, then “Let Me Think About It”, then “Maybe”, I finally said “OK”. This lead me to Fort Bend Fit where I was taken under-wing by the coaches to prepare me for the race. Needless to say I survived my first marathon (finishing a whole 3 minutes before the cut-off) and then had to find out if it was a fluke or not. After 5 years I have to say I am addicted to FBF and running – it’s the positive can-do attitudes, the family-like friendships, and basic blood, sweat, and tears that make it worthwhile!  Since then I have completed six seasons with FBF, 10 marathons and all the training runs in between.

Needless to say behind every runner is a great support crew, mine takes the form of my wonderful wife Tanya and my children Glen and Emma (honorary Hydration Crew members). Having them there to scrape me off the road and cheer me along makes the difference!

I firmly believe there is a marathon inside of everyone, you do not need to be in perfect shape – I am a good example of this – it’s more about attitude and training. Trust me when I say this is a life changing experience, you will be amazed at what YOU CAN do! Running a full or half marathon is a journey, the reward is all the moments you share along the way as-well-as getting to the finish line. I look forward to seeing you out there, rain or shine!

We are very lucky to be supported by a great team of assistant coaches who bring many years of experience, fun running tales and good advice to keep you going strong.

Assistant Orange Coaches:

Myron Dianaska
Dustin (Dustinator) James
Laura Lessard
Vicki Margita
Tomi Scantlebury

 

Bobbie Browne

Head Coach - Purple Group

My daughter, Jennifer, talked me into joining Fort Bend Fit in 2004 to just get out of the house and walk a little each weekend. She had joined the year before and completed her first marathon in January 2004. The day she completed her first marathon was so exciting I forgot to go to my own birthday party that afternoon. Instead, I went to lunch with her to relive her day and celebrate her accomplishment. I joined in July to walk a little – not to train for a marathon. But it didn’t take long to get me hooked. The mileage increased slowly each week and I began to think that I could do it. In January of 2005 I did; I completed my first marathon.

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Peggy McElroy

Head Coach - 5K/10K Group

I became a member of FBF in 2002.  I never did anything more than 3 miles on a treadmill before the start of my divorce in 2000.  My attorney’s assistant told me to meet her over Thanksgiving weekend…she didn’t show and I ended up walking 12 miles in the wrong shoes and socks…on the levees!  I was hooked.

In January 2002, I had completed my first Full Marathon at Disney World at the age of 50 with the Leukemia group, in honor of my Mother, and wanted to continue my training in the fall.  I knew only one FBF member at the time (Tessy Phillips) but was welcomed with open arms by many which I now call my Running Family. You will understand the Family part when you join us for Saturday breakfast at Skeeter’s! The following year I became Assistant Coach for the Orange Group with Terrell Smith, along with assisting Jeanne Megna with Registration. Four or five years ago, when Jeanne decided to summer in Minnesota, she asked me if I would like to take charge of Registration while she was gone…BIG shoes to fill but I said a BIG Yes!

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Kevin Walker

Head Coach - Trail Group

Kevin ran his first marathon at Houston in 2001 after training with Fort Bend Fit during its inaugural year. Since then he has finished more than 35 races of marathon or longer distance including Ironman Florida and Bandera 100k. He prefers trail ultras to road marathons but holds a special place in his heart for Houston. “You never forget your first time.” His desire is to run trails with his friends and help them achieve their running goals. As FBF’s trail coach, Kevin has led folks on many exciting adventures. Ask him what craziness he is cooking up for this year..

Fort Bend Fit is pleased to recognize Kevin as their 2009 Road Warrior

Bob Tyson

Head Coach - Half Marathon Group

Bob, Old Head Coach Bob, Long Bob, Knot-head Bob, Kona Bob, Old Bob or just Coach Bob, by any of these names I am excited to welcome new members and vets to another training season for Fort Bend Fit.  I’m a long-time member of Fort Bend Fit, having served in various coaching positions.  This year I’ll be serving as your New Member Head Coach.  My job, with the help of some very capable assistant coaches, is to help new members come on board and achieve their running / walking goals.  I’m excited about the new season and look forward to meeting each of you – new members especially.  For more than 40 years I’ve been a passionate runner.  Since the start of FBF, I’ve been a passionate believer in our motto:  “Run a marathon, change your life.”  Only I change up the words a bit with equal conviction: “Join Fort Bend Fit, Change Your Life.”

Fort Bend Fit is pleased to recognize Bob as their 2004 Road Warrior

Jeanne Megna

Organizer - Administration/Registration/Pasta Dinner

I started marathon training with my running buddy Terrie in 1999.  We completed the 2000 Houston Marathon with the knowledge that our
neighbors were betting against us finishing.  That is all it took for me to finish knowing that someone thought I couldn’t…. oh and there was a “finishers” shirt waiting for me.  I convinced Terrie to join FBF in the inaugural summer of 2000.  It was one of the best decisions ever as we both found our “running family”, friends that may as well be family. I have been an assistant coach and in charge of registration/administration forever. The past few years I have been spending time in Minnesota, but still do some admin work where ever I am :). I have done numerous marathons/1/2 marathons, 50 K’s, etc. I am married to a great guy, and have 2 daughters and a son-in-law, as well as 2 scottie dogs, and a granddog named Winston.   We all do races together, even Winston joins us occasionally!

Fort Bend Fit has changed my life, and I know that it will changes yours too!!

Keith Cox

Assistant Coach - Maps/Routes

Half Coach and Route Man, Keith is a Founding member of FBF. He is also the 2012 Road Warrior.  He lives with his beautiful wife, Cindy, and has two great kids in college. Keith’s first love is baseball and then FBF. Keith is aka Taco Man because of his great breakfast provisions. Keith thinks that Coach Terrie is the best thing since sliced bread!

Fort Bend Fit is pleased to recognize Keith as their 2012 Road Warrior 

Steve Pondell

Organizer - Hydration Crew

Hi all!  This year is my 10th year with FBF!  What a blast it has been.  I’ve gone from being a couch potato to now preparing for my 16th marathon.  The most special is always the first – for me, Houston in 2009.  What a great feeling crossing that finish line, culminating a tough training season and doing something that less than 1% of humans have done. I’ve been coordinating the road hydration crew for six years now.  We have over twenty volunteers taking care of the coolers of water and Gatorade that keep us all refreshed and hydrated during our morning runs. Join us!  It is not hard but is certainly appreciated by all.  See you on the run!

Shelley Lendermon

Organizer - Volunteer Coordinator

Hi, I’m your FBF Volunteer Coordinator. You will be hearing a lot from me via email, & Facebook. I’ll be asking you to volunteer at races and FBF events in exchange for “volunteer points” that will provide you with a discount to our annual Pasta Party in
January.

The “points” are a perk, but the heart and soul of FBF is running with others and helping our community.

Welcome to Fort Bend Fit! Hoo Yah!

This will be my 5th season with FBF. I joined as a purple member, and plan on running with the red group this season. I have completed numerous Half marathons, and my first Marathon last year.

Looking forward to running & volunteering with you!

FBF salutes Shelley as the 2013 FBF Volunteer of the Year!!!

Terrell Smith

Assistant Coach - Roster Girl

I have been a member of Fort Bend Fit since the summer of 2001, training for my first marathon in January 2002. Prior to that, I had never really been much of an athlete. In high school, I was in the band, choir, science club, National Honor Society – you know, pretty much a geek. I started running when I was 35; having had a friend complete a marathon, I was inspired to see if I could work up to running a whole mile. With the encouragement of friends, I got there, then added another mile, and kept running. Some time later, my husband Randy saw an ad for Fort Bend Fit, and I signed up, showed up for Saturday runs, and learned a lot about marathoning. I ran the Compaq Houston Marathon in January 2002; since that time, I have completed 18 marathons, 3 ultra marathons (50K), Dozens of half marathons, and lots of other shorter distance races.

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Fort Bend Fit is pleased to recognize Terrell as their 2006 Road Warrior

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