The Coaches

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John Fitzgerald, Founder & Ultra Running Coach with Carmichael Training Systems

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Originally from Massachusetts, John moved out west to attend school at The University of Montana where he raced on the triathlon team for 4 years. In Montana, John found a love for trail running and exploring wild places on his own two feet. John has gone on to race in over nine 100 mile events in the past four years, in addition to multiple wins and top three performances in trail marathons up to the 100k distance. He also competes on the mountain bike, taking 1st place at the 2015 Steamboat Stinger 50mile MTB/Trail Marathon. When not hosting trail running camps, John is an ultra running coach with Carmichael Training Systems and can usually be found running in the mountains with his dog, Murphy.

 

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Sean Meissner, Running Coach with Sharman Ultra Endurance Coaching

Sean was born and raised in Washington, and after college in Idaho, eventually decided to move south east to live and play in the big Rocky Mountains. He's been a runner for 35 years, focusing on ultramarathons for the past 15 years. Since he started running ultras in 2001, he has 167 ultra finishes (plus 76 marathons), and he's won at least one ultra each of those years. While focusing on ultras, he enjoys dabbling in a variety of race types and distances (road, trail, xc, 1 mi to 100+ mi). He definitely loves racing, but what he really enjoys the most is running all day in the mountains with his dogs. Being out all day, playing in the mountains, with everything he needs in a small pack, is about as cool as it gets. Sean is the founder and race director of the Peterson Ridge Rumble 20 and 40 mile trail race in Sisters, OR. Since 2003, this race has served as the primary fundraiser for the Sisters High School Cross Country Team. His coaching career has spanned from volunteer coaching Sisters XC for 10 years, to coaching athletes of all abilities across the world; he currently coaches with Sharman Ultra Endurance Coaching. He is proud to be supported by companies that he truly believes in: Montrail, Nuun, Trail Butter, and Clif.

 

Kristina, DPT 

Kristina is originally from the East Coast, but quickly fell in love with living in the mountains after moving out west almost a decade ago. She finished her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree this spring and is passionate about promoting healthy lifestyles, particularly among children and families. She has been running for more than half of her life and has competed in everything from track events to 100 milers. She has never been particularly fast, but runs to explore her physical potential, surround herself with inspiring and fun people, and for the sheer joy of being on the trails and exploring new places with the power of her own two feet. When she’s not studying, running, or chowing down on mac ‘n cheese at an aid station, she can most likely be found curled up with her dogs and a good book.

 

Hannah, Ecologist 

Born on summer’s solstice, Hannah thrives on sunshine. Regardless of the day’s length, she finds balance in work and play in nature. She will earn her Master’s degree in ecology in 2017 and hopes to work protecting water, the world’s most valuable, simple resource. It’s hard to say whether she prefers running along a river or up a mountain, but a good run with friends and canine are essential. Running has been in Hannah’s life since tweenage years. For better or worse, it has been a constant in life’s journey with home bases in Nevada, Montana, and Colorado. Hannah rarely goes anywhere without a planner, a good book, and a water bottle.


The Assistants

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Ardy

Ardy originally hails from the Arizona desert, but quickly fell in love with the mountains once he realized how much fun it is to roll in the snow! He is always up for a trail adventure and has put in many miles in the San Francisco Peaks and San Juans. His happy energy is contagious, as he is a picture of pure joy as he bounces along on the trails. He seems to be a magnet for dirt and mud. It doesn’t matter if he is running in the mountains or desert or whether it is sunny or rainy, Ardy always manages to come home a happy mess. He has raced everything from 5ks to 20-milers, and has a few Top Dog titles under his belt. When he’s not running or napping, he can be found carrying squeaky stuffed animals around his house.

Milo

Milo was born and raised in southwest Colorado and is proud to call the San Juan Mountains his home. He was rescued into a life of running and hiking, and luckily for him and his family, he loves that life. He is always up for a mountain adventure, and has impressed many fellow trail users when they see him at the top of a 14,000ft peak, as they are impressed that a dog his size could make it up that high. He does not let his size hold him back, and instead uses it to help him power up steep climbs. His favorite adventures include ones with swimming holes en route! He has raced some 5ks, but often goes out really hard in the first mile and has a hard time pacing himself, as the starting line is just so exciting! As much as he enjoys being out on the trails, he is also particularly fond of post-run naps, as well as post-breakfast, post-dinner, post-swimming, and post-nap naps.

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Murphy

Murphy (Murph) is our expert Tahoe dog guide. From growing up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Murphy knows the Tahoe Rim Trail and surrounding area like the back of his paw. Murphy will make sure that everyone is taken care of from the front, middle and back of the pack. Muphy is an Australian Shepherd Cattle dog mix.