Witnessing people from every walk of life achieve something they never thought possible is such great joy in my life.
At Gazelle Sports, we host an 18-week Run Camp Training program, twice a year: Winter and Summer. These programs are designed for runners of all levels, any pace, and every distance. What makes each location so unique are our amazing Run Camp coaches who lead their team of warriors to the finish line, cheering them on at every group run and/or race, responding to emails, and making sure runners are reaching their goals and believing in themselves.
You can find these fearless coaches at their appropriate Run Camp location - and though we may see them running and coaching others, they too, have their own running journey.
My favorite part of leading Run Camp is helping people meet their training goals, and become better runners.
Meet: Rob Andro
Gazelle Sports Grand Rapids Run Camp Coach
What is your running story/journey: I used to run for weight loss, but always dealt with sore knees. I went to the trails to find some relief for my knees and instead found a home. Fast forward 13 years later, the woods are where I put in the majority of my miles.
What do you enjoy most about being a coach for Run Camp: My favorite part of leading Run Camp is helping people meet their training goals, and become better runners. Not every training or race goal will be achieved, but I feel like if I can help them discover what works for them and get them to learn how to problem solve for themselves, they will be successful runners long after I'm gone.
Favorite post-race food: Pizza and trail mix
These people are the reason I wake up every day and work my butt off.
Meet: Angela Carron
Gazelle Sports Northville Run Camp Coach
What is your running story/journey: I joined the XC team my sophomore year of high school because my best friend thought it would be a good idea and ran on the team through my senior year. I went to college on a softball scholarship but continued running for leisure there. Soon after I left college I realized that it wasn't so easy to find a women's softball team to play on but I could always easily lace up and run a local race almost any weekend. The rest is ancient history. When I decided that running would be my main form of exercise for health and fitness in my adult life, I began challenging myself year after year to see what more I could do whether it be a longer distance or a faster pace. Here I am 20+ years later having ran every distance race from 5k to 100 Mile and even completed some triathlons. I love running, it feeds my soul. It is my happy place.
What do you enjoy most about being a coach for Run Camp: Simply the thrill of the RACE. In that I mean THE START LINE: meeting new people, seeing them come in with goals and convincing them that not only are their goals attainable, but that they are in fact capable of so much more than they ever thought possible. THE JOURNEY: getting to be a part of everyone's training. Running someone's "longest run ever" with them or seeing them crush a hill workout after having to walk up in the beginning. Seeing apprehension and doubt turn into confidence and positivity part way through the training program. THE FINISH LINE: being there to see them finish or having them share finish photos with me, or even getting to pace them in their race. Seeing it all come together with a happy ending. A smile, a hug and sometimes a few tears. These people are the reason I wake up every day and work my butt off. I want to continue to inspire people and help them accomplish things they never thought possible. With a little push, commitment, determination and this AMAZING group of runners we have in Northville....ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
Favorite way to unwind after a long day: Did you say "unwine"??? Haha! Nothing I love more than to have all the kids safely in bed at night while me and my hubby share a glass of wine and talk about our day and our future. Bonus: A glass of wine by a backyard fire in the summertime:)
Angela pictured in the middle with a blue shirt.
I get to be the cheerleader, the encourager, the person who helps people along their fitness journey.
Meet: Alli Land
Gazelle Sports Holland Run Camp Coach
What is your running story/journey: In later high school and early college I started running a little bit. But I always hated it. I never felt good doing it. So I always quit. I was the type of person who would just stop running when everyone else was done during the timed mile in gym class. It just wasn't my thing. It wasn't until after college and a significant amount of weight gain that I decided to try again. I knew I needed to do something. I hated how I looked, I hated how I felt. Running was going to be my free way to get in shape. I signed up for Lake Superior 5k in Marquette, only to discover it was a trail run. I hardly slept that night, but ended running in 39 minutes - for my very first race! I was hooked after that, and jumped right into half marathon training where I joined Gazelle Sports Run Camp program in Holland. Because of this team, I ran my first half, 25k and then marathon, and haven’t stopped since. I run because it challenges me, and I can’t imagine my life without running or being active.
What do you enjoy most about being a coach for Run Camp: When I first started running, I didn't have anyone. I slogged/ran on my own because I didn't have any other option. Almost every time I was out there alone, shuffling along, there was a guy who would always run past either coming up from behind or passing in the other direction. Every time he would pass, he'd speak some sort of encouragement to me. "Good Job," or "Keep it up" or "Keep going." I never knew his name, but it encouraged me to keep going.
Now I get to be that person. I get to be the cheerleader, the encourager, the person who helps people along their fitness journey. I am passionate about health and helping people live their best lives through movement - and one way I get to do that is by coaching. I get to help people grow in ways they never imagined possible - just by connecting with them and helping them to put one foot in front of the other. Witnessing people from every walk of life achieve something they never thought possible is such great joy in my life.
Alli pictured in the front on the left.
Favorite Race to Date: Hands down the Marine Corps Marathon. I've run it three times now - each time for a different reason. The first year as a charity runner for the organization TAPS, the second year with my cousin who was a Marine, and the most recent time for the ultimate reason - to honor that same cousin who ran with me before - who passed away in the line of service. Around 30 family and friends gathered to run the race in his honor, many of whom had never been runners before his passing but wanted to do this race in remembrance of him. It was a very memorable experience.
Movement is freedom and nothing feels better than being free.
Meet: Mike Limerick
Gazelle Sports Kalamazoo Run Camp Coach
What is your running story/journey: My Journey to movement started in the battlefields of Virginia as a small child. I use to play in the woods exploring, jumping creeks and climbing trees. I’ve been active throughout my whole life, bouldering in GA, cycling around the Tampa Bay, diving in the FL Keys, and now, trail running in MI. Movement is freedom and nothing feels better than being free. Let’s move together. Cheers!
Mike is pictured in the front
Favorite post-race/run food: A huge burger, medium rare and peanut M&Ms.
I look forward to doing as much as I can to support every member.
Meet: Spencer Miller
Gazelle Sports Birmingham Run Camp Coach
What is your running story/journey: I originally started running when I was ten because I thought that the winner of the gym class mile would become instantly popular. (Why did I ever think running would make me popular?) I continued to run competitively up until just a couple months ago when I finished my last collegiate steeplechase. Now I look forward to being apart of the Birmingham run camp community and doing as much as I can to support every member.
Must-have race item: A good pair of socks will change your life during a race.
Mike is pictured in the front
Favorite post-race/run food: My absolute favorite thing to eat post-run are popsicles! There is nothing better, trust me.