The Coaches

Catherine Allen – Organizer

For some people, running is in their blood from birth, others need a transfusion. I am in the latter group only I needed four transfusions before it stuck!!! I joined Round Rock Fit in 2005, and left because it was too cold in December to run early in the morning. Then I rejoined in 2007 and 2009 only to leave again with injuries that I couldn’t figure out HOW to overcome. You see, I was the kid in class that sat in the back quietly never raising my hand or socializing. Then came 2010. I registered with two friends and we stuck around and listened to the lectures, followed the training schedule, and with everyone’s support I completed the first of eleven half marathons. The next year, 2011, I came back by myself (my two friends did not continue with running) with the intention of running the Austin Half Marathon again. I was registered for the San Antonio Half Marathon in November as well so I decided to run with the Red Pace Group to help get me ready for it.  I made such strong connections with the Red Pace Group during that time that I decided to keep running with them; after lots of preparation and running all the long distances, I decided that I too could run a full marathon. So, in 2012 I ran my first of four full marathons and am now registered for two more in 2017. One of them being the Marine Corps Marathon this October, my first out of state run! 2012 was also the year I signed up for the Austin Distance Challenge. In addition to all of this I’ve ran the Cap10k four times, two of which I had a team of 25+ running with me. All is this is because I learned how to ask questions and joined a great support/training group and now…. I’ve found myself as co-organizer of that same great running group. Who would have thought way back in 2005 this would have happened to the kid that didn’t want to run because it was too cold!

Randall Chapin – Organizer/Head Coach : Blue/Green

I have been running for many years and have completed over 30 full marathons as well as numerous shorter races. This will be my eighth season coaching at Round Rock Fit, and my first season serving as a coordinator. I coach the Blue/Green group for the full marathon. I enjoy working with new marathoners and watching them progress, but I am always happy to discuss training, race tactics and taper strategies with the experienced runners as well.  I am looking forward to accepting the challenge of coordinating the entire group this season and hope to make it a memorable season for everyone.  

James Brandenburg – Head Coach : Blue

I started with Round Rock Fit 18 years ago, when it was founded, as a coach for the blue group. Over the years I have completed several events including: Austin Distance Challenge Series, Boston Marathons, Berlin Marathon, Half Ironman events, and others. I’m looking forward to another great season helping the blue/green group and other runners achieve their athletic goals.

Enes Medic – Assistant Coach : Blue

I have finished 14 full marathons (including the Boston marathon), many shorter races and 3 Tough Mudder challenges. I joined the USA FIT Round Rock blue – green group in 2011. This will be my first season as coach and I am excited to help others meet their long distance running goals.

Carl Martin – Head Coach : Yellow

I began running with Round Rock Fit in 2010 after having four stents placed around my heart, and realizing that I needed to make a change.  My wife had already ran 10 full marathons and as many half marathons, so I thought I’d start out with a full marathon.  I have learned and continue to learn the good and bad practices surrounding marathon training, and want to share with those who continue to strive to improve.  I have enjoyed for many years the camaraderie of the people who continue to show up on not only the great days, but also the cold windy and rainy days.  The marathons are the icing on the cake, but the real achievements to me are during the training leading up to those races.  I look forward to supporting and cheering on the group going forward.

Roy Silva – Assistant Coach : Yellow

This is my 7th year with Round Rock Fit and my 1st year as an assistant coach with the Yellow Marathon Group.  I joined Round Rock Fit in 2011 with no intention of running a marathon.  I considered myself a lifelong runner but had never run more than 10 miles.  With the training program and support of the coaches and fellow runners I finished the Austin Marathon.  Since then I have completed 6 marathons and 2 half marathons.  I continue to run for my health and mental well being, and have met some really great people along the way.  The program is enjoyable and convenient for my crazy schedule.

Joyce Akin – Assistant Coach : Yellow

This is my seventh year with Round Rock Fit and third time as assistant coach for the Yellow Marathon Group. I have had so much fun making good friends, completing 8 marathons, numerous half marathons, and collecting finisher’s medals (bling). Every medal has memories and a story to tell. All of this is the reason I get up early on Saturday mornings to be a part of this awesome running group. I love running and am looking forward to another season with my Round Rock Fit friends.

Craig Carter – Head Coach : Red

I joined Round Rock Fit six seasons ago as a new runner at age 50.  In my six years of running I have finished 8 marathons and a number of half marathons and other races.  I look forward to Saturday mornings when I get to see the friends I’ve made over the last six years. My goals for this season are to encourage and support new runners joining the program, and to cross the finish line of the Houston Marathon in January 2018.

Mitchell White – Assistant Coach : Red

My running with Round Rock Fit started in the fall of 2014, when my gym trainer suggested I consider joining the group to help me reach my overall fitness goals. I had no plans to run in timed events of any length. During the first morning’s run of two miles, I considered quitting; frankly, I was struggling. Coach Mika paced me through to the “win,” though, and I’ve been going ever since. My first season I participated in several runs in the 5K to 10K length, and also ran my first two half-marathons: Disney ’15, and Austin ’15. All the coaches and participants encouraged me throughout that season, and we all became a family of supportive runners. By the next edition several coaches suggested I try out the Reds, “just to see if you like it.” I thoroughly enjoyed that training, though I was still convinced that a marathon was out of my reach. During my second season I ran several shorter events, eight half-marathons, and I completed my first full marathon: the Austin. I also completed the Austin Distance Challenge, a total of six events that included shorter and longer runs. For my third season I committed to the Disney World Marathon Dopey Challenge, and I finished it! I’m pleased and honored to be an assistant coach of the Reds in 2017-18. I look forward to helping others reach their running and fitness goals, injury-free. My motto: “If I can do it, you can do it!”

Raj Kannan – Assistant Coach : Red

This is my 3rd year with USA FIT Round Rock as a runner and first as an Asst. Coach. I had not run except the occasional elementary school wellness walk events, since I had a hamstring injury after a long run more in 2003. Going through a long physical therapy made me cautious about running until I saw the USA FIT Round Rock flyer one day at Clay Madsen in the summer of 2015. I took a month to decide and register. Six months later I was a marathoner, thanks to amazing guidance from our coaches and fellow runners every session, especially Coach Keith, Coach Craig, Coach Belinda and my neighbor Roy. The single most important factor for my success in training and races so far is the USA FIT Round Rock camaraderie. The inevitable addiction to the Saturday runs and the unpredictability of every run has kept this fun. Running has transformed even mundane business travel destinations into exciting running opportunities. I rarely leave a new destination without pounding the pavement at least for 3 miles. I continue to be a student of running, however I look forward to help our coaches in whatever ways I can. I hope to identify fellow runners who can benefit by not making the various mistakes I have made. I am training earlier this year for the TCS NYC Marathon on Nov 5th, something I would not have imagined just 3 years ago. My goal for this year is to beat Oprah's marathon time, yes, look it up.

Belinda Frye – Head Coach : Half

I have been with Round Rock Fit since 2000 and have completed 12 marathons, numerous half-marathon, marathon relays, 10k and 5k runs. Though I had been running for several years prior to joining Round Rock Fit, I was never able to run further than a 10k but with the help of Round Rock Fit and the assistant coaches I was able to complete my first marathon. Kat and Marks’s coaching inspired me to also help others finish their running goals. This will be my fourth year coaching and I just love it. I love helping other succeed and will do whatever I can to make sure you too can cross the finish line.

Anne Couch – Assistant Coach : Half

I have been running with Round Rock Fit for 4 years.  Prior to joining, I had only run short mileage.  With the help of the incredibly supportive coaches and excellent running advice I have completed 18 half marathons and numerous 5 and 10k races.  I love setting and working towards a goal, and the camaraderie of the running community at Round Rock Fit.  I look forward to another great running season.

Lorraine Barnhouse – Assistant Coach : Half

Four years ago I came across a flyer for USA FIT Round Rock.  I had taken several years off from running to have a family. USA FIT Round Rock was just what I needed for a fresh start.  I found the coaches very supportive and encouraging.  The group has a family feel and I've made many friendships along the way.  I'm proud to be an assistant coach for this season and hope that I can pass on the support that I feel has been given to me.  Running the half marathon has always been my preference.  I try to run a few a year and have completed 10.

Alvino Ojeda – Assistant Coach : Half

I have been with Round Rock fit for 10 yrs. I have completed 14 marathons and several half marathons. I enjoy helping people reach their goal in completing both half & full marathon. I also enjoy meeting new people and look forward to our Saturday runs.

Deanna Potts – Special Teams : Social Media

My first season with Round Rock fit was in 2012. I was a brand a new runner and I completed by first half marathon that year. In 2013, I decided to move to the Red group with whom I completed my first full marathon. Since then, I have completed 7 full marathons including the New York Marathon in 2015. Round Rock fit has not only helped me meet my goal of running a full marathon, it has also given me many dear friends who continue to push me to do things I once thought impossible. I look forward to the new season of Round Rock Fit and the new adventures it holds. Happy Running!

Arcy Mims – Special Teams : New Member

This is my eighth season with Round Rock Fit.  I started out with the half marathon group and after two seasons decided to take on the challenge of a full marathon.  Without the training and support provided by Round Rock Fit, I do not think I would have even attempted it.  Training for and running a half marathon or marathon is an empowering experience.  You’ll work hard, run in all kinds of weather, experience aches and pains, and you may even lose a toenail or two.  You’ll also find yourself getting stronger, both physically and mentally, and you’ll get to share that with a great bunch of people. I am eager to begin a new running season and share the journey with my fellow runners.