Are you interested in joining our team of volunteer coaches?
Mallory has been with Fleet Feet Sports since 2011. She has led our popular No Boundaries program since 2012. Certifications: Good Form Running
I love how running can bring people together, but also affords us the opportunity to go out on our own and clear the mind. I love knowing that whether I’m out on the roads alone or with a group of my Fleet Feet friends, the Syracuse running community is friendly and welcoming! I am so proud to be part of the Fleet Feet Training team, especially No Boundaries; it is the program that helps to transition individuals into confident, educated and healthy runners!
Mandy has been with Fleet Feet Sports since 2012. She leads all of our longer distance running programs. Certifications: USATF Level 1, Good Form Running, Fleet Feet Sports Certified Coach, RRCA Level 1.
As a coach for Fleet Feet Sports, I value above all, the chance to meet so many different people from all walks of life, and get to know each and every one of their stories. Their struggles, goals, and dedication inspire my own training as an athlete. My ultimate goal as a coach is to teach my runners to be comfortable with uncomfortable, to confront challenges in both life and running, with courage and respect.
Laura Henry is a USA Triathlon Level I Certified Coach, IRONMAN Certified Coach, USA Cycling Level 3 Coach, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, VFS Certified Bike Fitter, and is certified in RockTape Functional Movement Techniques. From Connecticut by birth and Baldwinsville by choice, she has been involved in endurance events for more than eight years. She has raced virtually every distance that triathlon and running offers. As a former swing shift worker with a demanding schedule, Laura knows what it’s like to set goals and train as a time-limited athlete on a non-traditional schedule, and she focuses on helping other time-crunched athletes navigate the balance between training and life. Her enthusiasm and passion for helping athletes of all ability levels reach their personal goals has enabled her to coach many athletes to success. She is an active volunteer leader with Team Red, White & Blue, and aside from endurance sports, Laura’s other interests include traveling, hiking, photography, mountain biking, cooking, skiing and snowshoeing. Coach Laura is the head coach of both the Fleet Feet Sports Syracuse Triathlon Program and of Fleet Feet Cross Training (FFXT).
Michele has been with Fleet Feet Sports since 2013. She leads our Winter Distance running program, as well as Spring Marathon & Half Marathon programs until the return of Head Coach Mandy Howard. Michele has previously coached Personal Best and Trail Running, as well as assisted with No Boundaries.
My coaching philosophy is simple. I want to help everyone be the kind of runner they wish to be, whether that’s a consistent runner, a fast runner or a far runner. I will try my best to push everyone out of their comfort zone enough to achieve their dreams but not so far that running loses its fun. Our athletes have infinite reasons to take up running so there are infinite ways I will try to inspire and lead runners in their journeys.
My personal running goals are to always strive for a PR in every distance. I just like the feeling of working hard and accomplishing something new with my running. After finally qualifying to run the Boston Marathon, I’ve set my sights on running a 100-mile trail ultramarathon in the next two years.
Alan Pack - Named 2015 No Boundaries Mentor of the Year by New Balance and Fleet Feet Sports - I started running 2010 to get into shape and did three half marathons and one marathon within the first year. I have completed five marathons, over a dozen half marathons and countless other races. I started coaching in 2011 to give back to others what I had received. I've taken and coached No Boundaries, 5K/10K, 1/2 marathon and marathon and I'm still thrilled to watch someone complete a new distance or PR.
Julie Burgess - I started running with NoBo in July 2015 as a way to better connect with my friends since all they talked about was running. I thought, man I have nothing to contribute and how boring, we need a new topic. Now after having participated in NoBo multiple times, NoBo2 and the distance program, I'm the friend that can't stop talking about running. Without the support of the Fleet Feet community and coaches, I wouldn't have been able to finish my first of many 5Ks, 10Ks, 15Ks, half marathons and Ragnar Races. I love this Fleet Feet community! They are always behind you to give you that added little push or that little extra encouragement at just the right time. I became a coach to show the world you don't have to look a certain way or fit into a box to be a runner. You just have to feel it inside and get out there and pound the pavement. My very first NoBo coach supported me through my first 5K and in my first half marathon she again was my coach. For me, it was full circle and now it's time to give back to this wonderful community!
Caitlyn Ferber - I joined the Fleet Feet distance program in January 2016 after a friend convinced me to sign up for the inaugural run Disney Darkside half marathon. Prior to January 2016 I hated running. However, after a few group workouts I was hooked and quickly signed up for numerous races and the Fleet Feet racing team. Joining Fleet Feet Distance Training was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I have made lifelong friends, pushed myself to new limits and made amazing memories. I love coaching No Boundaries because it allows me to share the joy of running and the incredible Fleet Feet community.
Grant Fletcher - In 2014, I started training to run the Marine Corps Marathon in memory of my father. I run for the personal challenge. After three years of being coached, I wanted to return the experience to others. It is easier to finish than it is to start.
George Gates - I started running in 2014 as part of my path to better health. It was a love hate relationship but I kept at it because it was a challenge and a great workout. I was so excited when I finally broke the 2 mile barrier. I started doing 5Ks and my ability to run longer was improving, so I signed up to do a half marathon. I took the Fleet Feet personal best class while training for my first half marathon in 2016 to keep me accountable for doing speed work. The next year I signed up for the distance training. Since then I have run numbers of 5Ks, 10Ks, Half Marathons, and my first full Marathon in 2017. Somewhere along the way I grew to enjoy running, and a large part of that was from running with Fleet Feet. I’ve made many friends, found out I love company while running, and really improved with help from the Coaches I’ve had. I decided I wanted to contribute to the program that has helped me, and share what I have learned with others. I have coached No Boundaries, and am currently coaching distance.
Dianna Joslyn - I joined NoBo when my sisters decided we should run a family 5k in the spring of 2014. I never thought I could be a runner, but NoBo showed me I was! I then signed up for Personal Best, followed by the distance program. After my first half marathon, I wanted to help others who didn't consider themselves runners. Meeting new people and making running fun keeps me coaching! I'm my proudest when participants call themselves runners and honored to help them accomplish their goals.
Ryan Krahmer - Hi Everyone! I’m Ryan. When I started running after college, I couldn’t run more than a half mile. I joined Fleet Feet in Winter of 2015 and I found myself running distances I couldn’t even imagine before. I completed the Syracuse 70.3 Half Ironman in 2016 and have continued a variety of races over the past few years. My success was dependent on great coaches who knew my personal goals, and a team who pushed me every run. My goal as a coach is to help you find your reasons for running. Once you find it, there’s no reason to stop! I look forward to meeting you!
Matt Lamphere - I started running in 2012 at the advice of a dear friend and also in part due to my own desire to be healthier. I haven't looked back since. I started as a participant in the NoBo training group, running 5k races primarily and eventually moving on to running longer distances, including to date 2 half marathons, 2 Ragnar Relays, 2 Mountain Goats, the Boilermaker in 2017, and I have a marathon coming up this year. Coaching felt like something I was drawn to, so I started coaching No Boundaries in 2016. I run because it always guarantees me something positive in my life that I don't have to doubt. I have never not gotten a gain of some sort from running, and I coach in hopes that I get to give that back to others who share an enthusiasm for it similar to mine or in search of something just as fulfilling in their life. There are many things that float through my head when I run, but the one saying that has stuck with me is "Just Keep Moving". Whatever you do, don't stop. Whether it's working in your mind, or working in your body, just keep that positivity moving and continue to let yourself be drawn in the direction of what seems to be working for you at that time.
Bob Manfredi - I started running with the Spring 2011 NoBo program, progressed with 5K/10K, half, then marathon programs. I have run four marathons, seven half marathons, the Mountain Goat a couple times, the Boilermaker and a few 10K's and numerous 5K's. My running goal is to qualify for Boston, but mainly I run because I actually enjoy going out for a run, even at 4:30 in the morning! A lot of people have helped me become a better runner and I strive to do the same for others.
Lisa McClay - I've run off and on over the past 10 years and participated in the No Bo program, 5k/10K and FFXT. I recommitted to running in December 2015 and started coaching in the spring of 2016. I run because it’s a great form of exercise and having people cheer and give you a medal at the end of your workout is pretty motivating! I love coaching because I get to meet and encourage wonderful people. It allows me the pleasure of witnessing their transformation from “I’m not sure I can” to “I did!!”
Brian McMonagle - I ran track in High School, but just started running again last year after keeping away from it for many years because of ACL issues. I did the 5K/10K program last summer and then again this spring. This spring I coached both sessions of No Boundaries and I assisted the high school track coach when my kids ran varsity track. My running goals are to improve my 5K time, learn how to run longer distances and ultimately complete a half marathon. My goal as a coach is simple: help inspire other runners to see and reach their running potential. It's hard to put into words the feeling I get when coaching; I simply cant stop smiling as I do the workouts with the group I am coaching.
Maureen "Mo" Mulderig - I began running in 2014 when I was not exercising at all but thought I wasn’t getting any younger and could stand to get moving! I was also motivated by my teenage son who is a runner. Every time I watched him cross the finish line I thought it would be so gratifying to be able to do that. Not being able to run down the street and wondering how I could ever do it, I started with No Boundaries at Fleet Feet and since then I have done countless 5Ks, a few four milers, two 10Ks and one half marathon. While I am not breaking any speed records (although my best 5K time is 10 minutes faster than my first), I enjoy the gratification it brings me after a run, the friends I have met, and the variety of interesting race routes I have explored along the way. When not running, I am a school principal and enjoy traveling with my husband and son! Coaching allows me to help others as my coaches helped me!
Karen Perry - I started No Boundaries in July 2016 with the goal of improving my overall health. At the time, I didn’t believe that I would ever be able to run one full mile without walking - I really didn’t think it was possible! Thanks to the program and supportive coaches, I discovered that I CAN run and I was able to complete my first 5k by the end of that 10-week program. More importantly, I learned how to set goals for myself and crush them! I have since graduated to distance training where I have completed a 10k, a 15k and the Mountain Goat 10-miler; I have also scheduled my first half marathon for February 2018. I have truly fallen in love with running, and the camaraderie that comes along with being a Fleet Feet athlete.
Cathy Verginio - I have been coaching NoBo now for over eight years and love every minute of it. I love to encourage and motivate our participants to a level that they don't believe they can achieve. I love giving them great information and motivation in all aspects of training going above and beyond what they expected. My own training has included completing NoBo, 5K/10K and FFXT twice each. My goal as a runner is to complete a half marathon and a marathon one day. My goal as a coach is to help our runners through education and motivation to achieve their personal goals. Coaching with Fleet Feet programs has helped me develop a longstanding love for running and being healthy and I can't say enough about the great programs Fleet Feet has to offer.
Steve Challis - As a runner, I have completed 26 5K’s, five 10K’s, the Mountain Goat 10-miler twice, three half marathons, the 18.12 race and two marathons. My goals are to get faster, qualify for Boston and improve my pacing. I have coached the marathon, half marathon, 5K/10K, NoBo and NoBo2 programs. My goals as a coach are to pass on the Fleet Feet experience to help others reach their goals. I want everyone to feel like they belong, they are not alone and they are part of our team! I want to continue to learn so I can be a better coach in the future.
Harold Smith - I live on a small farm in Hastings with my two children, where we raise dairy goats and chickens. I started running about a year and a half ago with Fleet Feet, starting with NoBo and then moving up to half marathon. To me, its all about positive thinking. When I started half marathon training I didn’t think I could do it, but my coach convinced me that with positive thinking, it was possible. Coaching allows me to give back because I’ve been there, just starting out, thinking you can’t do it.
Kelly Neish - I started as a No Boundaries participant in 2007. I then did the 5K/10K program twice and last fall I completed my first half marathon. My running goal is to complete two half marathons this year (both are scheduled in October). I have now been coaching for over five years. As a coach, I enjoy meeting new people, watching people succeed and motivating others to reach their goals.
Bill Karl - I began my Fleet Feet experience by participating in the 5K/10K program in 2008, began coaching the same year and have been coaching every year since. My running goals are to complete a half marathon in less than two hours, run all of Disney's half marathons and complete 100 races within two years (I am up to 81). As a coach, I believe ALL participants can be successful in completing the program. It is the start of a life long journey in believing in yourself and being able to conquer anything you put your mind to. Coaching NoBo is an amazingly rewarding experience for me. I am so proud of each runner that puts forth the effort to succeed.
Kate Elstad - I started running four years ago as a participant in the No Boundaries program. My goal at the time was to be able to run the Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World with my two best friends. Not only did I complete NoBo and eventually run that half marathon, I’ve gone on to run several more halfs and I am currently training for my first marathon. In the past year I’ve discovered that I really love trail running and I’m always on the lookout for the next great running adventure. I love coaching NoBo because it allows me to pay it forward and help new runners meet their goals. There is nothing more fun than running our goal races with my team and seeing all of them cross the finish line and see how far they’ve come. Running is an adventure, you never know where the trail will take you, and running with Fleet Feet and NoBo has been and continues to be a blast!
Mara Hanley Pallatto - I have been a runner my whole life, but I have become very serious about it within the last five years. To get myself back into running, after a few years away from it, I became a participant in NoBo. From there I participated in the 5K/10K program and followed it with the half marathon program. Soon after I started coaching for Fleet Feet. Being a coach for Fleet Feet means so much to me. I love meeting new people and helping them to achieve their running goals. Everyone that I meet also helps me to achieve my goals as a runner. I completed my first marathon in October 2014, and I could of not done it without the support of Fleet Feet! I followed that up with my second marathon this spring and I will be doing my third marathon this fall.
Nancy Walker - A few years ago, I couldn’t run across my living room! At almost 60 years old, I took my first No Boundaries class and have been running ever since. At 65, I have completed many 5Ks and 10Ks and even a half marathon! The encouragement I have received from the Fleet Feet coaches keeps me motivated. Today, although I may not be the fastest, I know how great it feels to cross the finish line and love seeing the faces on the newcomers when they complete their first race! As a retired teacher, I have always enjoyed sharing what I have learned and mentoring new runners, especially those of my “vintage.” It's the best way I have found to give back to those who helped me when I started out.
Marge Ventrone - I recently celebrated my four year running anniversary! I am also a two-time graduate of the 5K/10K program and currently training with Fleet Feet Tri Program to do the IronGirl for the second time. I have had the honor and pleasure of being a volunteer coach in the NoBo program for three seasons. It’s the perfect opportunity to share my passion for the sport and to give back to the program, which has given me so much. I’ve completed numerous 5Ks, the Mountain Goat three times (my most favorite race) and three half marathons. I am proof that “running changes everything.”
Maryclair Grace - Running has changed my life. I participated in No Boundaries about five years ago and it was a great experience. I actually repeated the program, the second time with a friend who saw me running and wanted to try it also. I’ve since done 5K/10K and the Half Marathon programs. I have met great people through all the programs who are very supportive of each other. I have completed three half marathons, the Mountain Goat twice and many 5K’s. I love being a coach because I can really relate to all those who come to the NoBo program with some anxiety. I always tell them, if I can do it, so can you!
Ellen Griffin - I have completed events from 5K to marathon. I am not competitive, just run for fun! My goal as a runner is to keep moving and not gain weight as I age. As a coach, my goal is to get inside people's heads and convince them that running is the most money- and time-economical way to be fit! In addition to co-owning Fleet Feet Sports in Syracuse with my husband, Ed, we also co-own two English Bull Terriers that we show in Conformation, Agility, Obedience and Tracking.
Tish Ferri - Hello runners!! My name is Tish, I have been involved with Fleet Feet Syracuse since 2010. I started out as an inexperienced runner in the No Boundaries Program and have been a participant with the distance, triathlon, and the FFXT programs. I was also an employee of Fleet Feet Syracuse for a brief time. I have coached both the distance and NoBo programs since 2013. The main reason I love coaching is I get to meet awesome people, see them achieve goals that they set for themselves and see them overcome life’s obstacle. Watching a participant cross the finish line with a smile on their face is all the reward I need. The camaraderie in all these programs is amazing that a person should just stop procrastinating and just sign up. When someone is struggling to achieve their goal, and feeling that is it just too hard, remember “the Hard Is What Make It Great” Tom Hanks – League of their Own.
Jennie Mura - I started my running as part of my life style change to lose weight and get healthy about five years ago. I started with No Boundaries and then with the encouragement of my coaches took a big step to the half marathon. As a runner, my personal goal is to continue to be "comfortable with being uncomfortable." I want to have fun challenging myself with new long distance runs, while exploring new places and meeting other great runners! I have coached NoBo, Half Marathon and the Boilermaker Distance program. As a coach, I encourage the participants to remember how strong they are. It takes a lot of motivation, confidence and work to reach our goals, but everyone can achieve it! My goal is to help participants remember this, especially when the little voice inside their head says that they can't! What I love about coaching is the people!
Holly Skiff - I have been running on and off since junior high, but have stayed consistent since finding Fleet Feet. I joined their Personal Best Training Program in 2012 and knew immediately I found the place for me. Since then, I've run more than a dozen half marathons, two full marathons and also discovered a love for triathlon and have even completed two half iron distance races so far. To me, running is as much about the social aspect as it is about the physical. It's a wonderful way to spend time with friends and make new ones. I love coaching because I get to share my love for running with people and encourage them towards their own goals, whatever they may be. I like to tell runners when it feels hard to smile.
Tammy Gower - Named 2017 Stellar Support of the Year by Superfeet and Fleet Feet Sports. I started running in 2015 as part of a new healthier lifestyle. I trained on my own and was able to run a few 5Ks . On a trip to Fleet Feet to purchase some new shoes, I met a wonderful coach who encouraged me to try Fleet Feet’s distance program. After several trips back to the store to get more insight into their training programs, I took the leap and joined the distance summer program in 2016. I have been a part of the Fleet Feet Family ever since. I started as a runner, but after a few sessions, and with a couple of half marathons under my belt, I volunteered to be a coach in their No Boundaries program. I continued and have coached several sessions. I love encouraging runners and helping them to achieve whatever running goals they have. This year I started coaching in the distance program and am helping runners achieve their half marathon goals. I absolutely love the support that the Fleet Feet members give to every runner and am proud to a part of such a wonderful program. My goal as a runner is to continue to incorporate running into my everyday life. My goal as a coach, is to help the athletes have fun and enjoy the journey while working hard to achieve their individual goals.
Tony Petrarca - I started running when I joined the military and have enjoyed it ever since. I have run numerous 5Ks, 10Ks, The Mountain Goat, and Half Marathons. My son joined No Boundaries and has now transitioned into the Personal Best Program. I continue to run for the bonding time with him. He got so much out of the program I felt I needed to be part of it as well. I have coached No Boundaries and NoBo2 for almost a year and enjoyed it immensely. I feel by coaching I get the fulfillment of helping people and seeing them accomplish their goals. I take pride in knowing that my team members are getting healthy and finding a passion in what they do. I live my life by the motto, "There are two types of pain in the world, pain that hurts you and pain that changes you!"
Christine Brown – I have been a runner for years, running multiple 5Ks and half marathons. While training for the Lake Placid Marathon in 2012, my friends and I decided we needed a change. We signed up for Gillie. After completing the marathon, we had about 6 weeks to prepare for Gillie. How hard could it be?! After all, we just finished a grueling 26.2. I ended up fearing the water and swam the race backstroke. Well, you would think I had learned my lesson, but no. After my mother’s death that fall, I did a foolish thing and signed up for 2013 Syracuse 70.3. I felt like this was something I could control at a time when my world was falling apart. I knew I needed help, so I signed up for Fleet Feet Winter Tri and there has been no looking back. I completed that 2013 Syracuse 70.3 and have gone on to finish 3 sprint triathlons, 3 more 70.3s and 2 full Ironman races. I still have my water demons, but Fleet Feet Tri has taught me how to work through them and so much more. I love coaching because so many athletes are/were just like me. I want to help them squash their fears! It is the best feeling in the world! Someone once told me “You’re not as pathetic as you think!”
Sarah Conger - I started my own exercise adventures in 2011 after going through a dramatic weight loss of 125 lbs following having my second son. Wanting to find a way to keep motivated and healthy I signed up for Fleet Feet’s Beginner Tri Program. I have gone from crossing the finish line on my first 5k and then Irongirl to completing Syracuse 70.3, the Philly Marathon, the Patriotman Aquabike and competing in the Olympic distance at Nationals last year in Milwaukee. I went from being an athlete to coaching after that first year and have loved every minute of it. I have coached the 5K/10K program, the kids NoBo group and the beginner, intermediate and 70.3 Triathlon programs. While swimming and biking are my favorites, I have recently begun training for trail running races and am looking to do my first 30k trail race later this year. My goals as a coach are to help people see that the impossible is very possible and that the journey is so worth it! Seeing the athletes crossing those finish lines and doing what they had not dreamed of doing or had feared doing, that joy on their faces from realizing they accomplished a dream is the greatest joy!
Jessica Eckerlin - I joined the Fleet Feet Triathlon training program in 2014 because I was intimidated by the sport but really wanted to try and complete a race. I was incredibly grateful for how well the training program prepared me for Iron Girl that year and my initial fear was replaced with enthusiasm. I started training year-round and have been a podium-finisher in every race since then. I have raced Sprint, Olympic distances and a 70.3 (relay/run) and an Aquabike. When I’m not training or racing, I stay in shape by chasing my two little kids around. I was invited to join the coaching team in 2017. I appreciate the opportunity to give back to the program by sharing my knowledge and helping others to achieve their goals, just as I was helped. I am so proud to stand with the Fleet Feet team and cheer our Iron Girls, Iron Men and everyone in between across the finish line.
Monica Gnyp - In 2011, I attempted the Iron Girl Sprint. I didn’t have anyone to train with, or know what I was doing. I could swim, but not well. I could run, but not fast. And I could bike, but my mountain bike was heavy and slow. After, I said I’d never do it again, but I haven’t stopped. Now I eventually want to race a full. I noticed the family and support system that Fleet Feet had at those races, and wanted to be part of it; so in 2014 I started training with the intermediates. I tri because other people believed in me, so I started to believe in myself. Every year my goal is to improve on the past. Somewhere along the way, I believed all those people cheering for me, and I want others to believe it themselves. I coach because I want others to see in themselves, what people saw in me. I love encouraging people to do better than they believe they can. “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” - A.A. Milne
Julie Matyasik - I began training with Fleet Feet in the summer of 2011 with No Boundaries. I progressed to A5K (Personal Best) and signed up for Winter Triathlon in 2011. I then participated in the Spring Tri program and completed my first tri in August 2012 (Iron Girl). I have since completed several triathlons in the Sprint and Intermediate categories and several half marathons. I have been fortunate enough to have been coaching since Winter Tri 2012. Why do I tri? I tri because I love it! I love the challenge it gives me, the satisfaction from a great workout and the wonderful community and friendships I’ve made as a result. I love coaching because of the athletes. They bring an energy and enthusiasm that is amazing. I enjoy helping the athletes recognize the potential they have, even if they don’t realize it themselves in the beginning. There is nothing like watching someone finish their first race when they didn’t believe they could do it. Some favorite quotes: “Be the change you wish to see in the world” –Gandhi; “Don’t let the fear of striking out hold you back” –Babe Ruth; “Be somebody who makes everybody feel like somebody” –Kid President; “Believe you can and you’re halfway there” –Theodore Roosevelt
Tina Poppe - I started running in 2008 with the Cold Feet runs. I was asked to help coach the A5K program and I completed my first marathon in 2009. After that I wanted to challenge myself so I signed up with the Fleet Feet Beginner Tri program. I completed Iron Girl in 2010 and was hooked! I went from being an athlete to a coach in 2011. I have coached the beginner, intermediate, 70.3, and Ironman programs with Fleet Feet. Since Iron Girl, I have completed several sprints, an Olympic distance (Delta Lake), two half Ironman 70.3 (Syracuse and Tupper Lake), and Ironman Lake Placid in 2015. I have enjoyed coaching with Fleet Feet for the past 10 years. My favorite part of coaching is building a rapport with the athletes and watching them grow. My goal as a coach is to get them to believe in themselves. I get tremendous joy in seeing them go from believing that they can’t do something to watching them conquer that goal and more. What I say to motivate athletes are: “Believe”, “Forward Motion”, “Hills are your Friend”, and "Anything is Possible”.