Shreveport FIT – Chapter Coaches

Shreveport FIT Coaches

2021-2022 Shreveport Fit Coaches

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

Elka Anderson

Co-Organizer and Marathon Green Pace Group Coach

Years Running: 20 years

Elka began running a little over 20 years ago on a '"whim" & has been running with USA FIT Shreveport since its inception. Having always been interested in team sports, the idea to start running just popped into her head & she has never looked back!  In her words, "I love running, but more than the actual running, I love all the people that it has brought into my life & the relationships I have formed through running."

Favorite Race Distance:  15K

Favorite Race:  New Orleans Mardi Gras Marathon is her favorite race because of a marathon PR of 3:52:07 in the Big Easy!

Other hobbies include kayaking, camping, cycling & hiking.

Christopher Dzurik

Co-Organizer

Chris started running in his mid 40’s when his physician ‘suggested’ he start some form of aerobic exercise. For years I told myself, “I’m going to start running when the weather cools off in the fall” and never followed through. After my physician’s suggestion, I finally started running. I had no desire to run more than 5K distances when I started. A friend who coached me through my initial running ‘tricked’ me into running 5 miles on a cool Saturday afternoon. I thought, “That’s close to a 10K, maybe I can run that distance.” Since then I have enjoyed the challenge and satisfaction of running further distances.

Chris has run numerous 5 milers, 10Ks and the Fresh 15K in Tyler. He has run half a dozen half marathons including the Logjammer and Cowtown. He ran the Cowtown Marathon with USA FIT in 2019.

Michael Hart

Course Coordinator

Michael did not take up running until his 50’s. While in high school, he hated running around the track because he wasn’t fast, but he always knew he had good endurance. He started running 5K and 10K races in 2005 and has been running and training seriously since that time. This is his ninth year of training with USA FIT and fifth year in a coaching capacity.

He has run 9 marathons including the Louisiana Marathon and the Cowtown Marathon; 12 half-marathons, including the Log Jammer; the Dallas Rock-N-Roll; Seattle Rock-N-Roll; Wounded Warrior Half in Dallas; Cypress Half, and numerous local 5K and 10K runs. In addition to running, he also teaches Spin, TRX, Boot Camp, and Kick-Boxing group fitness classes.

His favorite distance is still the Full-Marathon because the training is so rigorous and the distance so challenging. New motto: “Fear No Run.”

Glenn Desoto

Walking Pace Group Coach

Glenn began reluctantly running to join his wife and daughter in races despite some knee pain he was experiencing. He ran several 5k’s and 10k’s and then had to switch to walking from his doctor’s advice.

His first year with USA Fit was 2016 where he trained and completed Louisiana Half Marathon with a knee brace. In 2017 Glenn had a total knee replacement. He was excited to get back out walking with no pain! In 2018 he began coaching the walking group of USA Fit and completed the Cowtown Half Marathon that year.

Glenn enjoyed both Cowtown and Louisiana half’s and hopes to do them again this year in addition to the New Orleans Rock N Roll.

Besides walking, Glenn enjoys movies, reading and spending time with his two year old granddaughter who has captured PawPaw’s heart!

Julia Grubb

Newsletter Author

I've enjoyed running off and on since I played soccer in high school, but I didn't run any longer distances until I completed my first 1/2 marathon with my dad in New Orleans for his 60th birthday! Since then, I've run lots of 1/2 marathons, 2 marathons, and an ultra-marathon trail run. I like running the roads with friends, but also love running trails with my dog and some good tunes (and sometimes friends, too).

My favorite race I've done was the Mexico City Rock n Roll 1/2 marathon, which I ran with a friend in 2017. It's a night run that goes past a lot of the major monuments in the city and has lots of entertainment along the way (Fire-breathers! Mariachi bands!). I can't say enough good things about the people, the city, and the race support.

When I'm not running, I enjoy traveling, trivia, reading, a good beer, and spending time with my family.

This will be my 5th year running with USAFIT. I really enjoy the friends I've made through this group, and look forward to meeting new ones this year.

Mike Pittman

Marathon-Blue Pace Group Coach

Years Running. Mike started “running” (more like trot/walk) his senior year in high school to lose the extra pounds he added for football. He kept running through college and law school to stay in shape and reduce stress. Mike ran his first marathon (Dallas White Rock) in 1997 to prepare for Ironman Canada which he did in 1998 on his honeymoon.

Mike has been with USA FIT Shreveport for 4 seasons and, along with Mike Kuhr, has lead Run for God.

Mike has a passion for wellness and helping others to be the healthiest and best they can be. He loves being a personal trainer to his 11-year-old granddaughter who enjoys running.

Number of Marathons/Half Marathons. Mike has completed 25 marathons (including Boston twice), 2 Ironmen (Canada and Florida), 12 half Ironmen and 30+ half marathons.

Hobbies Besides Running. Mike is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and enjoys biking, swimming, hiking, cooking, woodworking, and training his German Shepherd, Belle.

Favorite Races. Next to the Boston Marathon, Mike’s favorite race is the Louisiana Marathon because it is flat, runs across LSU’s campus (where he went to law school and met his wife Frances) and has the best after party and food ever!

Favorite Distance. Half marathon because it doesn’t hurt as much as a full marathon!

Gulya Chandler

Head Coach - Double Half

I joined USA FIT Shreveport in the fall of 2012. Before that I ran a few 5Ks and never thought that I would be able to run a longer distance. Since joining USA FIT I have run about 20 half marathons and 1 full marathon. In the past few years I have been assisting as a coach for the Double Half group and served as the Tuesday workout coordinator.

In the off-season, I love playing tennis in the Shreveport/Bossier area. Besides sports, I like to read, knit, cook, and play piano. I also love to travel and try to incorporate running into my travel plans. One of my greatest memories is running in Paris at night with a local running group there.

To me running helps release everyday stress, clear my head, and have a little social time with friends. For inspiration/motivation, I like to look into Pinterest: “No matter how slow you are, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch”.

Brenda Lanham

Head Coach-Half Marathon

Brenda is from Northeastern PA, but now calls Louisiana home after retiring from the Air Force. She has a BA in Business Administration from Louisiana Tech University and is the office manager for Shreveport Periodontics. Brenda is a certified personal trainer, group exercise instructor and BLS instructor. She enjoys teaching fitness classes, running, hunting, fishing, camping, and riding her Harley, but most of all, spending time with her husband and family. After seeing her daughters train and compete in  marathons and triathlons, she got the itch and joined USA Fit in 2016.  Since then, she has finished 13 half marathons and 2 sprint triathlons. The best part about the running world is the great friends she has made!

Brian Cockrell

Marathon - Red Pace Group Coach

Brenda is from Northeastern PA, but now calls Louisiana home after retiring from the Air Force. She has a BA in Business Administration from Louisiana Tech University and is the office manager for Shreveport Periodontics. Brenda is a certified personal trainer, group exercise instructor and BLS instructor. She enjoys teaching fitness classes, running, hunting, fishing, camping, and riding her Harley, but most of all, spending time with her husband and family. After seeing her daughters train and compete in  marathons and triathlons, she got the itch and joined USA Fit in 2016.  Since then, she has finished 13 half marathons and 2 sprint triathlons. The best part about the running world is the great friends she has made!

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