We've created the best pace teams in DFW to help you reach your goals! Whether its your first time or 20th time running a half marathon, we could all use the support of someone by our side and the Cooper Fitness Pace team is here to get you there. See you at the finish!
Meet your pacers:
|Pacer 1||Pacer 2|
|01:40||Kevin N||Brian N|
|01:50||Scott M||Danielle W|
|02:10||David G||Robin Wallace|
|02:25||Cathy F||Teri A|
|02:40||Michael H||Victor S|
|02:55||Kevin B||Melissa Coody|
|03:00||Angela S||Tiffany M|
Kevin Newton and Brian Nath
I've always been a competitive runner but have found the joy in helping others to achieve their running goals and experiences in the last couple of years. Group runs have become my running family and the camaraderie i get fulfills a much deeper joy of running... sharing the experience.
For me, pacing is a way to share my knowledge and experience with those around me and i often find i give out advice as to what has helped me overcome many roadblocks in my own journey of running. I also like to leave the impression that running is as much of a personal journey as it is a life journey.
My most recent struggle in running is overcoming the logical decision to pull out of my latest marathon due to conditions; this has proved to be a much deeper mental struggle than anything but can also be the hardest hurdle to get over. So i leave it at this, Keep on Keeping on... for the journey is one step in front of the other!
After serving my country as a United States Marine in the late 90's, I let myself go and got lazy when I started working in the corporate world. At a weight of 200 lbs in the Marine Corp, I got up to 245 lbs within the first five years post Marine Corps. In 2005 I had the opportunity to spectate at Ironman Florida and that is what motivated me to get active again. I was living in San Diego at the time and started running a little and got on the bike. Over the past 12 years I have transformed my body and life to what it is now. I have spent the past 10 years competing competitively in triathlon, and now my focus will be running, my family, and just staying fit. I stay active, because I know that with a healthy body I have a better chance at a happy life!
James Allen and Tracie Akerheilm
James Allen, of Frisco, is a native Texan and grew up in Central Texas. He currently works in project management for a Dallas based mechanical contractor. He played sports and ran track in high school. After college, James took on running with his wife, Robyn Allen, as a hobby to get back into shape. He has since completed races ranging from 5K's to full marathons. Most recently he finished the California International Marathon, BMW Dallas Half Marathon, and Rock n Roll New Orleans Marathon.
I'm an avid runner who currently competes for Altra Running and Trail Racing Over Texas teams. I enjoy both racing in the dirt and on the roads. Years ago I was a cross-country and track athlete for Texas Tech University. I'm excited to help runners at the Texas Big Star Half-Marathon reach their race goals!
Scott Manis and Danielle Walker
Scott is an accomplished endurance athlete having run over 25 marathons including 3 of the marathon majors (Boston, New York and Chicago) and 1 Ironman. He has also paced multiple marathon and marathon events. He is respected and involved in the Dallas running community. Scott is caring and companionate. He lives with his family in Richardson, Texas.
I started running in middle school with the annual track meet, which turned into track and cross-country in high school. This is where I developed a passion for running and racing. I really enjoy the thrill of a race.
Years later after getting married and starting a family, I got back into running to keep up with my son and stay in shape. In March 2014 I ran my first half-marathon and realized I was hooked. I love the distance of a half marathon and the thrill of the race. I have run several half-marathons and my first full in December 2016 and LOVE the thrill of the race, the sound of my feet moving along the course and the spectators cheering, the thoughts that run through my head through the race and the pride it brings my 2 sons to know their mom works hard to accomplish goals.
I started pacing my son, Alex, who is now 9 in 5k races. I love showing him the joy of running and teaching him race tips. Sharing the joy for running and helping runners meet their goals is a fulfilling experience that I hope I can bring to many.
Miguel Tovar and Emily
Miguel started running in 2015, in celebration of his birthday. He sign up for a 5K. It has been more than 20 years since his last one. With two days of training and the support of his family, he crossed the finish line. The feeling of accomplishment, motivate him to start running and training to complete his first 10K.
Early in 2016, Miguel ran a half marathon and soon after he started training for the full marathon with Frisco Running and the Cooper Fitness Runners. He felt blessed to have met good coaches who have supported him and have provided guidance throughout his trainings. He is now a dedicated runner.
Miguel enjoys running and helping others achieve their goals, and feels grateful for the support and motivation of his two daughters and wife. He is also grateful that with this journey, he has made good friends along the way.
Emily bio coming soon.
Reinaldo Medina and Ayanna Bradley Backs
Running has become a very important part of my life. About five years ago, for health related issues, I needed to find a way to step outside more and get exposed to the sun. After a period of thinking how, I decided to join a running club where I met wonderful people who instilled in me the love for running. I started running 1.5 miles and five years later I have ran multiple half marathons and four marathons. About three years ago, I joined the Cooper Fitness Runners (a phenomenal running group!) and pacing was added to my running experience. It has been a great one! To be able to help people achieve their goals is priceless and more enjoyable than achieving personal records.
Like life, running is a journey full of learning experiences different and interesting every time.
Ever since the Kelsey Norman Kids Classic race in Joplin, Missouri (circa 1989) running has been a part of my life. From track club in grade school to most recently full marathons I think it's the best sport in the world! In 2014 I ran my first marathon. I love the variety that this sport provides; a distance for everyone. I really enjoy being outside when exercising and the ease of being able to run anywhere I have a pair of running shoes. I have moved around a lot and running has given me an immediate connection with the local community. I also love the structure that training for a race gives my workouts. Running! What's not to love??? Pacing is a wonderful opportunity to share my love of running and help others reach their goals and get hooked.
Ayanna Bradley Backs
Meghan McKee and Ed Steinkamp
My name is Meghan and I am a running teacher/mother. I run for many reasons and I still haven't figured out exactly why.... But I think running gives me relaxation, clarity, therapy, fitness, and fun! I can be a social runner or an individual runner, so whatever you need during the race I can be that. I guarantee to get you to the finish on time, but also to have a great time for 13.1 miles!
About 10 years ago Ed realized that he was becoming fat, unhealthy and lazy and decided to do something about it. He got a heart rate monitor, some shoes and an iPod and joined the mythical ranks of those known as Runners. He made it about half a block. He kept at it, went a little farther each week and has now run multiple half and full marathons. His running goal isn’t about scoring a Boston qualifying time, or running races in each state. He just likes how he feels when he runs and wants to keep running as long as he can.
David Gonzales and Robin Wallace
I've been running since February of 2015. I started running for my health and (TaCOS, love them) I had become overweight and wanted to change my lifestyle. I set a goal to be complete a full marathon in 12 mos which I achieved this past January in Houston. My family is my motivation and support. I have a wonderful wife and 6 children that push me everyday to be a better me. Running is always been a passion and now I love running again thanks to my Cooper Fitness Running Crew!
Hello! My name is Robin Wallace, and I have lived in McKinney for a little over a year now. I am married with two boys and have a german shepard dog named Obie. I have a degree in Kinesiology and Health Science from SFA, a certification in physical education and health science, and I just became an instructor for Baby Boot Camp! I have been running for several years now but really started getting serious about it when I ran my first half marathon in June 2016. I am looking forward to running other races in the future!
Amy Ross and Joe Perez
I took a running class in college and, with the exception of a 5-6 year running hiatus to focus on having a family, I have been running ever since. Over the last several years, I have increased my distance from only running 5k and 10k's to longer distances from half marathons to marathons. Running with various groups around town has allowed me to see other areas of the community and I am thankful for all the friendships I have made along the way. Becoming a pacer is new for me, yet exciting and challenging. I enjoy encouraging others to meet their goals. When I am not working, running or at the gym, you will see me on the soccer field cheering on my boys.
Joe enjoyed running 5K’s but certainly did not want to run further than that. During his wife’s training for the Dallas Marathon in 2012, they got lost on the route and ended up running close to 6 miles. After the run, he felt great that it got him to try for his first 10K the following weekend. That would be his longest distance so he thought. When his wife would leave the house early for a training run, Joe couldn’t get back to sleep comfortably . He had also met her running friends at the Dallas Marathon and they encouraged him to sign up for the training. He figured since he was already waking up so early, why not join them and train with the group for his first marathon.
Since then, he has gotten the running bug and continues to run marathons in different states with a goal of hitting all fifty states someday. More importantly, Joe simply loves being part of the running community and enjoys the friendships he has built through it.
Kathy Williams and Grant Permenter
Raising 4 boys, I needed something for me so I set a goal to run a marathon before age 40 -- which I did at the 2002 White Rock Marathon. Many marathons, half marathons and 5Ks later, I set another goal to complete a full Ironman before my 50th birthday. I finished IM Texas in 2011 and IM Arizona 2013. Running is fun, relaxing, and a great sense of accomplishment. Join me as we run together to achieve your goal.
Grant played various sports on a near year round basis as a child. Baseball and basketball were favorite. To stay in shape and for a new challenge, Grant took on running, along with biking and swimming. In early 2014, Grant hooked into the Cooper Fitness Running group in McKinney, Texas, and has been enjoyed running ever since. Grant enjoys running with various groups of people in order to learn more about people and their running styles. Pacing is the next step in that evolution of helping others enjoy running. He is often asked “what are you training for?” Nothing he likes to respond. You don’t always have to have a race in mind – running allows you to get out and breathe fresh air and enjoy what God has created. Recently, Grant completed his first marathon in Houston.
Cathy Faber and Teri Anderson
I was a sprinter on the track team in high school, so I never imagined myself to be a distance runner. When I turned 40, a good friend challenged me to train for and run a half marathon with her (and I had never run more than a 5K at the time). During the process of that training, I found that running is so much more than putting your feet to the pavement. Through running, I've gained physical achievement, emotional well-being and amazing friendships. I ran that first half marathon about a year ago, and have since completed 5 more and 2 full marathons. Running has given so much to me, and I'm excited to be a pacer for the Texas Big Star Half Marathon so that I can give back by helping fellow runners achieve their goals.
1 Teri Anderson
2 I've been running for 5 years
3 My favorite half marathon is the Dallas Rock & Roll since it was my first.
4 I love being able to help people reach their goals. There is nothing better than someone you have helped crossed that finish line!
5 I love all things Star Wars.
Kristin G and Myriam Iglewski
I've been running since I was dragged out early mornings with my dad at about 12 years old. I ran middle distance in high school and started distance running after college to challenge myself. I ran my first full in 2009 and feel in love with the camaraderie that came with training with others.
I have paced many half marathons and enjoy helping others achieve their goals.
Kristin Gonzales Vega
I have always been interested in running from a young age. My parents registered me for my first 10K when I was 10 years old, and ever since then it was always a family activity. My family would always select 5K and 10K runs to participate in together. Later in life I wanted to continue running, but I was more interested in the "running + socializing" part. My favorite part of running, is the group training runs. I enjoy having long conversations with my fellow runners as we all work towards accomplishing 18, 19, 20 or 22 miles. I formed some of the closest friendships with my running buddies and the best part is that it has also served to keep me in shape. I have run several marathons, and too many halfs to count. I have been training for marathons since 2009 and it has now been a part of my lifestyle.
Tessa Whitaker and LaVette Murphy
I'm Tessa the 40 year old mom with seven children who decided to take up running in March 2015 in an effort to manage my anxiety and feelings of depression. I often joke that my running shoes are my therapists because they have been with me through thick and thin and together we have gotten through some pretty tough times. Running hasn't always been fun or even enjoyable. In the beginning it sucked. Running was hard, but I made my emotional wellness a priority and stuck with it. I pushed past my fear of failure and ran my first Half Marathon in April 2016. Much to my amazement I crossed the finish line with a time of 2:04 and was excited to race again. I joined the Cooper Fitness Running Club in June and had the honor of being a pacer for the 2016 McKinney Half in November. For me, crossing the finish line is amazing but giving back and helping others cross the finish line is beyond rewarding!
I am thankful to have a wonderfully supportive family that not only puts up with my running schedule but celebrates my running successes with me. I look forward to this next pacing adventure and celebrating with everyone at the finish line!
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, I lived in Atlanta for 14 years before moving to Texas in 2004. I was bitten by the running bug in 2014 when a friend convinced me to join him for a 5K. I was painfully slow, but watched so many run with ease. I finished the run determined to "do it again" and to be able to run as effortlessly as so many runners had during that first run. I joined a local 5K training program and quickly learned that running was an awesome stress reliever and mood lifter for me. While it wasn't always easy, I began to look forward to challenging myself and enjoying the company of other runners. Finding a "Running Family" taught me alot about injury prevention, nutrition, the importance of cross training, etc. Since that first 5K in mid 2014, I have completed one 3K Relay, ten 5Ks, three 10Ks, a Quarter Marathon, a 15K, a 10 miler, 23 half marathons (including 2 virtual races) and 1 Full Marathon. You might say I'm a little addicted to Road Races. Running with groups has been key in my running growth and I am excited to share my passion and help others achieve their running goals through pacing.
Michael Hutchison and Victor Salazar
I started running as a way to lose weight. I dropped 70 pounds in 3 months, but by that time I had discovered that I really enjoyed running. I started pacing as a way to give back to the running community. I enjoy helping others reach their goals during a race. I have paced many half marathons and have never missed goal time. Pacing presents a greater challenge to me than just running a race. When I run a race, my finish time only matters to me. When I pace, it matters because there are other runners who are depending on me to maintain that constant pace.
Victor has been running on and off since 2011 when he completed his first turkey trot. He only ran a few times a month at that time, but he stayed committed by traditionally running that same race every year. He had forgotten his passion for the hobby for several years until he joined the Cooper Fitness Runners in 2016. This is when he decided to really commit to making a lifestyle change by making running an essential part of his life. While running with the Cooper Fitness Runners he started running much longer distances and really increased his speed and endurance. Later on in 2016, he accepted the challenge of being a larger part of the running community by pacing a half marathon. It was during this race that he realized how essential it is to have pacers to help runners achieve their pace/distance goals. The Texas Big Star will be the 4th half marathon he has paced. He looks forward to further challenges in the future and to continue to motivate runners by pacing many more races to come … perhaps even a marathon.
Gladys Evans and Amy Hall
Gladys completed her first race at the 2005 Bay to Breakers 12K in San Francisco, CA after her now husband (a marathoner) said it would be “fun to run a race together”. That was her first and last race…. Till 2011 when she decided to give running another try. Ironically, she now lived in Texas where the weather is less kind to runners than CA. She ran on and off through the years, running 5K’s here and there and then moving up to 10K’s. In 2014 she decided it was time to get serious and consistent about running and step it up to running a half marathon in September 2014. She’s been consistently running since and hasn’t let the crazy Texas weather stop her. Since 2014 she’s done numerous 5K, 10K, 15K, Half Marathons and even crossed over to the Obstacle Course Races. Gladys has been running Spartan Races since 2014.
Her most memorable running moment was earning her Double Spartan Trifecta in 2016 and completing all 3 different Spartan race distances in 2 days in the beautiful state of Hawaii. She also achieved a new Half Marathon PR by 14 minutes at the Fairview Half in April 2016. She is now looking forward to keep improving her Half Marathon pace. She hopes to one-day jump into the Full Marathon world but for now she says she’s only “half crazy!”
Gladys is always happy to be given the opportunity to pace, it makes her heart happy to help others reach their personal running goals. It’s her way of paying it forward to the running community that have cheered and encouraged her to be the runner that she is today!
I started running in 2012 on a dare. After a few weeks of struggling through a couch to 5k program, I realized I had dropped 2 pant sizes, and I felt great. That was enough to keep me motivated. I started running races about a year later. I discovered my love for pacing when I helped a friend of mine beat a personal record she had struggled to beat for 13 years. Personal development and attaining goals is a constant struggle. Encouraging others to achieve their own goals is so gratifying.
Belinda Ponce and Terry Murphy
My name is Belinda Ponce. I was raised in Fairview and currently residing in McKinney, Texas. I began fast walking and running 4 years ago, when I was asked in 2015 to train for my first half marathon. I currently run with, Lifetime, Cooper, MRC & RunOn. Running has become my passion. I love to pace, to inspire others to run and make them feel that they can "ACHIEVE" their goals. I have completed several 5Ks, 10Ks, 15Ks, ten half marathons, one marathon & a 50K. I look forward to pacing the Texas Big Star Half Marathon in April 15, 2017.
Terry started running 3 1/2 years ago and has completed 25 1/2 marathons and 1 marathon.She enjoys running to clear her mind, spending time with her twin sister, Karen Evans who is also an avid runner and being part of the running community who she considers to be her family. She is part of Cooper Fitness Runners and McKinney Running Club.
Besides running, Terry is also a black belt in Tai Kwon Do and has participated in several Jui Jitsu tournaments.
She is the mother of 2 wonderful children - Taylor who is an actress and Ryan who works for The Weinstein Company which is a well-know production company in LA.
Kevin Bailey and Melissa Cody
During my service as a United States Marine, I was devoted to body building and muscle growth. When I got out, I focused my energies on my faith, my family and my career. As a result, taking care of my body took a back seat. I soon found myself on blood pressure and stomach medicine. In September of 2016, I weighed 175 lbs … most of which was “fat”. I decided I needed to get healthy again and started running with Cooper Fitness Runners. The weight began to melt away, and I soon found that I no longer needed any medication. The Cooper team accepted, motivated and encouraged me to continue to run. Today, I run for many reasons which include a healthier life, a commitment to the team and longevity to be with my family. Last October, I got the chance to pace the Colony Half Marathon and was blown away by the feeling I got helping others achieve their goals. I am so excited to pace the 2:55 group at the Texas Big Star Half Marathon.
Melissa is new to the world of running, as she previously believed that the only reason to run was when being chased by zombies. However, after having her second child, she was looking for a new challenge to help her focus on her health and a healthy example for her girls. Having previously competed in equestrian sports – specifically eventing (Triathlons of the horse world), she turned her sights to completing a triathlon. In order to complete her goals she knew she had to learn to run! Now Melissa will begrudgingly admit that she enjoys her runs and even looks forward to getting together with her Cooper Fitness running friends.
Angela S and Tiffany MacCoubrey
Angela would not have called herself a running enthusiast unit she and her husband decided to sign up for a half marathon in 2015. Before that Angela would only run a few times a month on the tredmill at her gym. While training, running on a treadmill starting to become boring as her runs started to get longer, so Angela started to run in her neighborhood. It was during these long runs outdoors that she began to enjoy running. She and her husband were successfully able to complete their first half marathon and decided to join Cooper Fitneess Runners in 2016 to keep their running mommentum going and learn technics to improve their running. With the support of the Cooper Fitness Running Club Angela has continued her running journey and has decided to encourage others to complete their running goals by serving as a pacer. The Texas Big Star will be the 2nd half marathon that Angela has paced. She hopes to use her enthusiasm to encourgae other racers.
I started running in high school as a sprinter and hurdler. It wasn't until recently (last 4 years) that I started running longer distances. I have grown to love it! I enjoy making new friends while getting some exercise and de-stressing from my crazy life. I'm not a fast distance runner; I've adopted the motto: slow or fast, miles are miles! I treasure the opportunity to be part of the Pace Team because it allows me to meet new friends in the running community. When I'm not running, you can find me with my family. I'm married with two very active boys, ages 6 and 10.
Kim Cummins and Ann Marie Sims
My name is Kim Cummins. I have lived in Texas for 4 years and moved here from the Chicago area. I am married and have 3 children. I have recently started exercising again and joined the Cooper Fitness Runners in November 2016. I am very excited to be part of the Texas Big Star Half Marathon and look forward to many more.
I am Ann Marie Sims. My family and I moved to Texas, 12 years ago, from Overland Park, Kansas. Raising two daughters, in a new place, without family, did not give me time to take care of myself. This past year I have tried to focus more on my health. I joined the running club at Cooper in November and have made it part of my regular workout every week. The running group has motivated me to walk more, and to try and run a little bit. This group has inspired me, to try harder every time we meet. I’m excited to be a part of the Texas Big Star half marathon, and hope to be a part of more half marathons this year.
Ann Marie Sims
Tim Montano and Marcos Vargas
I run to relax and get away from the stress of life. I enjoy the journey as much as race day. The friends I have made through running are numerous and interesting. I have been married for 24 years and have two beautiful kids.
I have been running for three years, but discovered my passion when I joined Cooper Fitness Runners.
In April of 2003, I had the dreaded knee surgery to "fix" the many injuries I had suffered throughout my youth. I had been an avid soccer player all of my life, and the many years of playing the sport had taken a toll on my knees. So with my surgery came the dreaded "your soccer days are over" from the doctors, and the beginning of a sedentary life without the physical activities I was so used to doing.
As with any injury, recovery comes along with days and weeks, that eventually turn into months of very little exercise, and as you might guess, with that came the weight gain. One day I woke up and saw a very different man in the mirror and decided to do something about it. So, I started running and just never stopped.
In 2013, life dropped me off in McKinney, TX and stumbled upon Cooper Fitness Running Group. I had been running on my own to stay fit, but didn't know much about the actual sport, and had certainly never even contemplated on running any races, let alone any marathons. Today, I have a few Half Marathons under my belt, two Full Marathons, and yes, an Ultra.
Running gives me freedom, it gives me goals and inspires me to not only become a better runner, but to help others with their own goals. I enjoy "pacing" at some events as much as I enjoy setting new PRs. Running has become part of my every day life, and today I'm not just Marcos Vargas, I am Marcos Vargas the runner, and I enjoy every single minute of it.