MEET YOUR COACHES:
Meet the people behind the magic of our training programs. This patient, super-encouraging and fun crew is sure to challenge and motivate you all while helping you achieve your goals.
Coach Rich Dillon:
My running life began in 1958 when I was cut from my high school freshman baseball team and I have run pretty consistently since then although, admittedly, I have taken a few years off here and there as life got in the way and time just did not permit me to dedicate the time necessary to train consistently. I always found my way back to the tracks, roads and trails, however, and have been a consistent runner since my first retirement in 2006. Over the years, I have run a multitude of races over a wide variety of distances. While I don't run that many races any more, I still, when healthy, put in 10-15 miles each week. My main motivation these days is to maintain a healthy life, make it to my next birthday and keep my cardiologist happy. Most importantly, I just want to spend as must time with Dotti, my lovely wife of over 50 years.
I have been involved in coaching Fleet Feet West Hartford Training Programs for 10 years. I am presently the head coach of the NoBoundaries 5K Program but have over the years been involved in the organization of the 5Mile, 10K, Half Marathon and Full Marathon Programs also. I have literally helped thousands of folks in their efforts to cross the finish line after their training efforts. I have a Fleet Feet Coaches Certificate and am CPR certified. I have also attended many physical therapy and nutrition information classes to better understand how to help folks become more informed as to the proper most current training trends. I am also a part-time employee at Fleet Feet West Hartford (9 years - my second career) so I am also well versed in the most current products and trends in running equipment.
I have always really enjoyed helping people reach goals they think are unreachable and coaching lets me do that. At the start of Week 1 sessions, I often get the comment from folks “... One Mile – I can't run One Mile..... I haven't run One Mile in my life.....”. Ten weeks later as I'm running near the finish line of the 5K (3.1 miles) goal race with the same Week 1 doubters, I remind them of their Week 1 negativity and tell them to be sure to smile as they cross the finish line. Knowing I was part of their journey – well, .….IT JUST NEVER GETS OLD. And it helps me never get old.
Coach Amy Frey:
Little did I know when my son took up running and later began working at Fleet Feet that it would have an impact on me. I was never a runner. The most I recall running was either the mandatory runs we had to do in gym while in high school, or, running after my boys when they were young. Other than that, I had no particular interest in the sport other than supporting Schuyler through ten plus years of racing and Gabriel when he did a short stint of running in high school. My athletic abilities – such as they were – tended to be geared more towards water sports (swimming, canoeing, sailing, waterskiing). And, as a child, I took dance lessons for years. Beyond that, I tended to be a prolific couch potato 'til I wanted to lose weight and began walking for fitness – post-son #2. Even that was done sporadically and half-heartedly.
In 2008 my sons decided to register me for the No Boundaries 5K training program at Fleet Feet as a Hanukkah present. So, in January 2009, I laced up my new running shoes and went out for my first real run (well, run/walk) on a very chilly Saturday morning- about 18 degrees Fahrenheit, if I recall, with a pretty good wind/chill factor. I survived. And I continued showing up and doing my homework. Unfortunately, I hurt my knee about a week before the O'Hartford 5K – our goal race – and reverted to my old habits, thinking that running and I were parting ways.
Fast-forward to spring 2010. I decided I need to finish what my sons had encouraged me to start, and I signed up on my own for a re-do of the No Boundaries program. I ran my first 5K at the Celebrate! West Hartford road race in June 2010 and was able to run the whole thing, having progressed through run/walk intervals to all-run before the program ended. I was elated! On a high from that success, I signed up for the summer program, and I ran the Old Wethersfield 5K, even placing 2ndin my age group! (One of the advantages of starting to run at an older age!) Well, obviously, I was now hooked. Numerous 5Ks, 10Ks, and a few half marathons later, I'm still out there running and will be doing so for as long as I can!
Sometime in 2011, after running a few more 5Ks and a 10K or two, I was asked if I wanted to coach. I was a bit surprised, as, in my mind, I was barely a runner. However, after some cajoling and reassurances, I took on the challenge and have loved every moment of being a coach. I see it as a great way to give back. I love seeing the smiles as small and then bigger goals are achieved. As I've told all the people with whom I run, a) you will not be the last over the finish line, b) tortoise and the hare, they crossed the same finish line, and c) you're out there moving and that's what matters most! And, you meet the nicest people along the way. That last factor is the one that keeps me going and makes coaching so much fun – you all motivate me.
To this day I thank my sons for getting me off the couch and out the door. They gave me the incentive, but I've found that the community of runners at Fleet Feet are the catalyst to keep going.
Coach Anna Park:
Coach Ronda Guberman: