Our Coaches


David (Super Dave) Raines

Organizer -

I began running in my mid 20’s, but not competitively.  Running to me at the time was more of a way to be healthy and stay fit.  It was not until the summer of 2011 that a co-worker asked if I would be interested in running the Aramco half marathon.  I became overwhelmed by the thought of running over 13 miles straight.  But, in spite of that I set my fears aside and decided to take the challenge.  I became so excited after finishing the Aramco half and learning that my time was 1:49.  Afterwards I started signing up for other races in the area.  To date I’ve run over 10 10k’s, 10 5k’s,  14 half marathons,  and over 7 marathons and including The Boston Marathon, New York and Chicago.  Check out all of my races on Athlinks.com.  It was all the hard work and training that got me there.

I joined Bay Area Fit in the summer of 2012.  With the training that I have received from the club I was able to improve my time over the years and just become a better more competitive runner.  I did this by hard work and committing to the program.  Not only did I increase my running time but I’ve also gained countless friendships.  Now I am a better more experienced runner, thanks to USA Fit Bay Area.  We have a great coaching staff who will definitely get you to the finish line with proven results.  Come run with a fellow runner/walker.  We will help you every step of the way  – no matter what your goal.  If your goal is a Marathon/Half Marathon, if you are walking or running, Bay Area Fit will get you the training necessary to get you to the finish line.  I am looking forward to a new season with BAF.

“We all have dreams.  But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort.”
-Jesse Owens-

draines6068@gmail.com

Priscilla Fierro

Organizer -

Hey ya’ll, welcome to Bay Area Fit!  I joined BAF in 2006 when I trained for the Aramco Half Marathon.  I loved the way I felt and the friendships I made at BAF, so 10 years later I’m still at it.

I have 10 marathons under my belt and between 30 – 40 half marathons.  It’s addicting!!!!!!  I hope I can help you accomplish your goals while you’re with BAF.

runnerbrat@verizon.net

Don Davis

Organizer -

In 2011, my company initiated a walking program and I wanted nothing to do with it; but, peer pressure is an amazing tool.  To participate, I needed to start with 10,000 steps a day (about 6mi) and I was hard pressed to incentivize myself to the idea; however, about three weeks into the program I noticed that my chronic lower back pain had all but disappeared.  Attributing it to strengthened core muscles, I decided to slowly transition from walking to running and I’ve never looked back.

Everyone has their reasons for starting, and I want to tap into your specific reason to help incentivize ‘you’ to reach your goals.  Walk, run, slow, fast… all are movements in a forward direction and all are incrementally able to be improved upon.  I believe that USA Fit Bay Area has a great program and an awesome coaching staff to enable you to attain your fitness goals.  I look forward to sharing some miles with you this 2018 season.

I’ve attached a running picture from 2018 Houston Chevron marathon.

Don D.

281-961-6668

dondavis.3991@gmail.com

Bill Carr

Head Coach - Orange Group

This will be my 4th year with Bay Area Fit and my 1st year as assistant orange coach. I’ve run numerous half marathons and 8 full marathons since 2012 when I first started running.

I’ve been blessed with having a lot of success achieving my goals for such a short running career. I own most of my success to the fine coaches of Bay Area Fit, and the USA Fit training programs.

I look forward to helping all of you achieve your goals, and also to show you how to have a little fun along the way.  The improvement in your health and the friends you make along the way will change your life!

 

bill.l.carr@dynegy.com

Grant Bue

Assistant Coach - Orange Group

Thirteen years ago I had knee surgery to repair a meniscus that was torn in a fall.  I had become overweight and I think that contributed to the weakness in my knees.  Once I was cleared for exercise I joined a fitness class at NASA that focused on running.  I did the second part of the class in the summer and was invited by the instructor to try a marathon.  In January of 2004 I ran my first marathon training all by my lonesome.  The next two years I did the same.  My wife had joined BAF and invited me to join.  It was so much better in BAF.  The camaraderie, experienced coaching and support have kept me on track.  This will be my 10th consecutive season as a fitter, and my first as a coach.  I have completed twelve consecutive Houston Marathons, one other Marathon, three 50K and one 50-mile trail race.  What I have learned through all these seasons is Fitters are family.  Welcome to the BAF family!

Warren Hall

Head Coach - Red Group

Warren Hall

After a twenty-year hiatus from marathon training, I joined Bay Area Fit 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.

What I found with Bay Area Fit is a group of very nice people who share a passion around running and improving their fitness.  I enjoy the conversations and mutual support on the long runs and the ability to meet with other runners during the week for other training distances.  In addition to their training plan and organization, Bay Area Fit provides me with the discipline to get some core exercise and stretching every week along with a forum to learn about nutrition and advice from individuals who have run Boston and other marathons around the world.

I succeeded in running the 2017 Houston-Chevron race, took close to an hour off my time earlier this year at the 2018 race and I am entered in the New York City Marathon in November and the 2019 Chevron Marathon.

Running and exercising is much more enjoyable when done with a group.  We have recruited a great group of coaches for the red group to help you achieve goals that you may not think possible.

Come and experience the ‘esprit de corps’ that is Bay Area Fit.

GO RED!

warrenhall@comcast.net

John Riekert

Assistant Coach - Red Group

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.

 

Mary Sailors

Assistant Coach - Red Group

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.

In 2013, I started a new job at Chevron. I was surrounded by individuals preparing for the Aramco Half Marathon or the Chevron Marathon. Everyone was so excited about their training plans and race day.  Thinking back to my running days, I knew I could do this, so in 2015 I signed up for the 2016 Aramco half marathon and started training on my own. Weight started falling off and I knew that this is the change I needed. Before I knew it, I was signing up for multiple races to keep myself focused and motivated.

However, I felt something was still missing. I had been back to running for a couple of years, and I was starting to lose interest.  Afraid I would slide back into a sedentary lifestyle, I knew I needed to add something new to my routine.  I had been noticing an enthusiastic running group at the local races. They looked like they were having SO much fun and the support I heard from members for their fellow runners was amazing. Hoping this was the thing I need to get out of my running rut, I signed up for the 2017-2018 season of Bay Area Fit. I had always considered myself a solitary runner, so it was a HUGE leap for me to join a running group.  

I remember nervously pulling up to my first Bay Area Fit Saturday run. I was so anxious that I sat in my car for at least 5 minutes watching all the runners arrive. Finally, I got out and walked towards the registration desk. Almost immediately, I was enthusiastically greeted by the coaches and veteran members. As the season progressed, I set PR after PR on my races. While that was great, what was even more amazing to me was the sense of comradery and the growing friendships that were being created. I actually looked forward to my training sessions with my friends! Now with 2 marathons and 9 half marathons under my belt, all completed through a variety of training programs, I can definitely say, Bay Area Fit is the best way to train! My only regret is that I didn’t join sooner.

Now as an assistant coach for the red marathon group, I look forward to helping others reach their running goals while creating lasting friendships. This group will change your life!

marysail@msn.com

Digna Martel

Assistant Coach - Red Group

I am so proud to be a fitter! I have been running for a long time but never thought I could run an endurance race. That changed when I became a member of Bay Area Fit in 2016. Since then I have run numerous 5k’s and 10k’s, several half marathons, and in 2018 my first marathon! I am very excited to be back this season as a red group coach. Here is wishing everyone a fantastic running season.

 

Do not over think it, just do it.

 

dignamartel@me.com

Kristin Martin

Assistant Coach - Red Group

In December 2012 my husband, Chris, bought the family a membership to the local YMCA as a surprise Christmas gift.  It was his hope that it would start a fire for all of us to get back into fitness and get ourselves healthier.  We all started to use it and saw results.  Things were going well there for several months.  Then, in the spring of 2013 he started up a conversation with me about this running club he heard about called Bay Area Fit.  He learned that if we joined Bay Area Fit they would train you to start running.  Soon thereafter we joined and committed to the marathon training.  I did it for him at the time, thinking maybe I could enjoy running with other people.    I was thinking again at the time as long as I do it with him it’ll be alright.  Soon after I did not only started to enjoy the core workouts, friendships and the results that followed, but I also developed a love for running.  Sadly due to physical injuries I did not complete my first marathon, but I didn’t give up.  Running became a way of life for me.  It really kicked in when I was invited to participate in the Texas Independence Relay (TIR) in 2014.  The things I love about running are, it got me through the rough days, kept me inspired through my pregnancy in late 2014 into 2015 and is what I look forward to when I have plans that don’t pan out in life.  I enjoy the training, the friendships, the time alone, the physical and mental changes that running has brought to my life.  Though my husband still is my biggest fan, I now run because I love it and I am on a mission to keep getting better.  I plan to show the other mothers out there how to make this happen with kids in your schedule.  It can be done.  I will be completing a marathon with you all in 2017 and I can’t wait to make that happen.

caducia.kristin@gmail.com

Christie Shell

Assistant Coach - Red Group

I loved distance running growing up, throughout University and up until I had kids. Then I took a long break until 2016 when I decided to join some friends running a half marathon.  I would run spiratically when my schedule would allow but definitely not enough to say I trained. In April 2016, I ran my first half. When I crossed the finish line I was filled with mixed emotions; happiness for completing the race and disappointment for letting running become so difficult.

A few months later, a friend urged me to join BAF for the half marathon training. I didn’t join the group untill August but knew instatly that I would stay. In fact, I asked to be put in the marathon group after the first weekend.  I loved the people and learning about running; it wasn’t really just walking out the door and putting one foot in front of the other. I was amazed by the acceptance and guidance from amazing and accomplished runners of the group. BAF became so much more than just a training group; I met so many wonderful friends who have become my running family.

I ran my first full with the group that year in the 2017 Chevron Marathon with the simple goals of finishing around my desired time and not being sore. I accomplished both.
Nothing’s better than the wind to your back, the sun in front of you, and your friends beside you” 
~Aaron Douglas Trimble
christieshell@gmail.com

Edith Gonzalez

Assistant Coach - Red Group

I joined Bay Area Fit in September 2017. I started training for my first Marathon ever and ran Houston Chevron Marathon in January 2018. With the help of my coaches and fitters an amazing experience took place in my life. A new journey begun and since then I haven’t stopped running. I never thought I could make this impossible possible. My dedication, motivation and learning experience is what I am ready to share with others. Running reminds me that even in my weakest moments I am still strong!

 

~One Run can change your day, many runs can change your life~

Cortney Bell

Head Coach - Blue Group

I began running in 2013. I had never really run before in my life. I wasn’t the athletic kid in school, I was the band kid. 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! I have since ran 9 half marathons, various 5k and 10k, and 2 sprint triathlons. I am so glad to be able to return to the support I received starting out in blue group!

“Running teaches me that I am capable of so much more than I ever imagined.”

cnbell720@gmail.com

Rachel Jarreau

Assistant Coach - Blue Group

I’ve run most of my life. My dad and a few uncles are runners and got me interested as a very, young child. I ran cross country in high school, but back then, running was to help stay in shape for other sports and to clear my head.

One day, a friend convinced me to compete in a sprint triathlon with her, and I’ve completed two. Before the triathlon training, I’d only run two to four miles. After, I started averaging four to six, but this routine ended abruptly. I got sick, and was placed on oxygen for four months. No one was able to find a reason why my body wasn’t getting enough oxygen. I was sent to get a handicap license and told it would possibly be permanent. I never could imagine my self as a non-active person, I felt this is something I have, but it’s not what defines me. Then, to the surprise of my doctors, I got better.

A few months later with the support of my husband, I got back to running. It was a difficult process, a fourth of a mile had me gasping for breath. Eventually, I made my way back to running regularly, again. Then, I was blessed and became pregnant. I was labeled high-risk, so my doctors ask me to stop running, yet again.

Four years ago my friend in BAF, convinced me to run the Galveston toughest 10k with her. I’d never run a 10k, but I felt well trained enough to give it a try. The next year, I trained by myself and completed the bridge series and my first half marathon. Two years ago, I joined BAF, because I didn’t want to train alone and wanted a support network. Since joining, I’ve completed seven more half marathons and numerous other races.

The support and friendship here is amazing. I’ve accomplished more goals then I imagined,  and the training schedule keep me accountable. Now as a member of the coaching team,‎ I’m very happy to have the opportunity to provided support to new runners.

I’ve learned that in growth there is always regression.  I’ve also learned that each day is a chance to begin again.

 

racheljarreau@gmail.com

Erika LaCourt

Assistant Coach - Blue Group

I started running in the summer of 2013 when I found out I could run at Disney. I never was very athletic but quite a few half marathons and a couple of Disney Challenges later I wanted more. I joined BAF in 2016 to train for Chevron my first full marathon. Then last year I ran my 2nd full as part of Disney’s Dopey Challenge. I mainly run for fun and run using intervals most of the time. I have met the greatest people though this program and  can’t wait to help you achieve your goals.

erika.lacourt@gmail.com

Jessica Wilbur

Assistant Coach - Blue Group

I started my running journey in 2011 using the C25K program and instantly loved it. I mainly ran 5k’s and 10k’s over the years, kept most of my runs under 5 miles and around my neighborhood. In 2016 I joined Bay Area Fit to train for a Half Marathon, have some company on long runs and commit to a program. What I gained was so much more than that. Shortly after joining, I decided to take a plunge and switch to the full marathon training program. Coaches and members soon became friends and like a second family. For me, training with BAF keeps running fun while also improving my running performance. In 2016/2017 I set a PR for every single distance I’ve ever run. 1 mile, 5k, 10k, Half and Full Marathon! I am so happy to come back this year as an assistant coach and help you reach your goals, too!

Jessica

 

Ed Lyon

Assistant Coach - Blue Group

Hello my name is Ed Lyon and my job is to get everyone in the group to finish the Houston Marathon. You will run places that you have not run before.  You ask what has this person done as far as running.  I have done 11 marathons 4 half marathons and numerous  smaller runs. I am the one that makes sure everyone has made it in on Saturdays run safely.  I am unusually in the back.  This will be my 12th Marathon and we are going to enjoy every mile of it.
I live in League City, Married 34 years to Deb and one son Chris. So RUN LONG RUN STRONG.

 

Tara Ready

Assistant Coach - Blue Group

I joined Bay Area Fit in 2015 to become more physically active and stay healthy.  When the season began I joined the Purple Walkers Half Marathon group.   Soon thereafter I decided to try running and became immediately hooked.  Since then I enjoyed running so much I decided to take the challenge and  moved up to the Blue Half Marathon group.  Then after carefully thinking about it I became so excited about running that the challenge became even greater.  I decided why not run a full marathon and so I finally ended up with the Red Marathon group.  Mind you that prior to joining USA Fit Bay Area I had never ran before.  Since joining the club I have completed one ultra, one marathon, six half marathons, two ten milers and numerous 5K’s.  And I am not finished yet.

I enjoy doing intervals and running and walking.  I am working on increasing my speed in order to improve my time during my races.  One of the perks of running is I enjoy the training but best of all the medals “Bling” I get from the races at the finish!

There are a lot of things I like about running.  You become healthier, more in shape, less visits to the doctor, but the best thing is the many friendships the club has brought into my life.    I have met some of the kindest, most supportive and motivating people that have now become my long lasting friends.  Bay Are Fit has become indeed my second family.

I had the courage to start, the strength to endure and the determination to finish.  I am excited to be part of the coaching team and look forward to helping you achieving your goals.

 

 

tj_ramsey_2@hotmail.com

Ric Montelongo

Assistant Coach - Blue Group

I started running in graduate school at Indiana University on 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 the Dick Lugar 5K in Indianapolis, I was hooked on running!  After that first 5K, I completed eight Indianapolis Mini-Marathons (half-marathon where you run full lap on the famed Indy 500 oval!), two Chicago Marathons, and numerous other races around Bloomington, IN.  Here in Texas, I ran so far 3 full Houston Marathons and 6 (I think!) Aramco Houston Half-Marathons.  I also enjoy running the Toughest Bridge Series with Bay Area Fit during the season and other races. Running has been one of the best lifestyle decisions I have ever made. I found running helps me not only stay fit, but also helps me handle the stress and craziness of being a college administrator and professor.  One cool outcome of running is that once my students and colleagues find out about my running, they also want to connect with the running community!  I look forward to helping reach your personal training goals…and maybe have a craft brew or two after those long training runs!

ricmontelongo@hotmail.com

Ana Torres Thornton

Head Coach - Purple Group

Ana Torres Thornton

Bay Area Fit Member Since 2008
First Half Marathon 2009 Aramco Houston Half Marathon
Most Recent Half Marathon-Divas Puerto Rico 2014
My motto: You don’t have to look cute when you finish a race. What matters is that you finish.

Marty Yost

Assistant Coach - Core & stretch

This will be my 8th year with USA Fit Bay Area, mostly as a coach for the Yellow Group.   I began my running career with the club back in the summer of 2007.  During my years with USA Fit Bay Area I’ve run numerous half marathons and so far 14 marathons.  During the 2016 Chevron Houston Marathon my finish time qualified me to run the 2017 Boston Marathon.  I’ve recently earned the title of events coordinator.  2015 was my last year as coach for the yellow group but I have and still hold the title of coach for the core workouts held every Monday evening @ 7pm from UBC.

What I remember most about being a coach with USA Fit Bay Area is how I was able to have an impact in the success of so many of our members during the years.  I was able to help them to reach their individual goals. I got as much, or more, enjoyment from a BAF member’s success as I did my own success.  Helping someone cross the finish line for the first time was really the best part of being a yelllow coach.  It was such an awesome feeling.  Although I will not be returning as a yellow coach I still hope to share this feeling with my fellow returning and new members!  I’ll see you out there.

myost@dow.com

Ileana Sepulveda

Assistant Coach - Events Coordinator

My first race ever was in 1986, The Crescent City Classic 10K in New Orleans.  Little did I know that 27 years later I was going to start running again. In 2012 I started running a couple of miles to stay in shape and shortly after ran a 5K with some co-workers. That was the 5K that changed my life and motivated me to join BAF in 2013.  BAF has given me so much encouragement and support that in my first season I ran a 10K and two half marathons.

Last season I coached Blue with the goal of motivating and encouraging as many Blue Fitters as I could into achieving their running goals.  This season I am taking a new challenge;  running the full marathon and helping with the Red Group.  Along the way I hope to transmit my passion for running to all the Red Fitters.

Running has changed my life and BAF has provided me the tools to enjoy it more and make new and lasting friendships.  I hope BAF will also change your life and that I will be able to help in the process.