Local Staff Contacts
Phoenix, AZ 85014
Meet the Coaches
Rick Karl, Marathon Coach
My first experience with the Team was nearly 7 years ago now. My friend was diagnosed with CLL and I needed to do something. I received a postcard in the mail from TNT, I went to the meeting, signed up and began fundraising...I haven't stopped! I successfully fundraised for 16 TNT events and have been coaching the TNT marathoners for 6 years now.
I have been a runner forever, completing 10 full marathons, 3 half Ironmans, 2 full Ironmans a countless number of half marathons, century bike rides and shorter triathlons. In my spare time, I coach beginner cyclists, work at the UA to support my training habit, run with my dog Tesla, and read books on the politics of war.
Brian Bindschadler, Marathon Coach
I first attended a TNT information meeting with my wife in January of 2006. At the time, we really didn't know what we were getting ourselves into, but we took a leap of faith and signed up for the marathon in Anchorage. The whole thing turned out to be such a great experience that I've stayed with the group ever since - completing marathons, century rides, and triathlons - and now I'm back for my eighth season as a coach!
Before I joined TNT I was an occasional runner, but I never thought I'd be able to complete a marathon. Every season, we watch people gain in confidence and ability as they prepare for their event. There's no better feeling for me than being present at the moment during the event when they realize for the first time they're actually going to make it to the finish line. It's an incredible thing to witness, and that's what keeps me coming back for more.
Sarah Gowell, Marathon Coach
I first joined Team in Training in 2006 when I lived in Texas - having never run more than I had to in gym class. I have been a part of the Tucson Team since 2007. While the passion for raising money to help those with blood cancers has always been there, the passion for running/walking took a while to develop. I truly thought my first event would be my last. Being a part of such a wonderful organization changed that, I have since completed several marathon events and I don?t plan on stopping anytime soon.
Coaching with Team In Training is a continuously rewarding experience. Having come from a non-running background, I understand the trepidation that goes along with starting to train for a marathon or half marathon. One of my favorite things is to hear a participant come to the realization, "Hey, I CAN do this!"
Mike Wilhite, Cycle Coach
I was a sporadic bicycle rider and avid tennis player for many years. In August, 2006 at age 60, I began riding a road bike in Tucson and decided to ride in El Tour for whatever distance I could cover. GABA (Greater Arizona Bicycling Association) leads training rides for the tour so I joined that group on Sunday rides. I met some very helpful cyclists and was able to complete both the Tumacacori Century in October and the 109 mile El Tour in November. At the Bike Expo, I found the Leukemia & Lymphoma TNT booth. My oldest son was a lymphoma survivor of 3 years and I wanted to do more in support of the society than just give money.
I joined TNT for America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride in Lake Tahoe and had a wonderful experience completing the fundraising and the event. The Saturday training rides with the team became a highlight of my week as I made friends with some terrific teammates and mentors. Getting in shape was fun with all the positive support. After the Lake Tahoe ride, I was asked to coach and am delighted to participate in such a great organization with enthusiastic staff and volunteers.
Mike Ingram, Cycle Coach
My first experience with TNT was in 2009 while I was riding El Tour de Tucson. I rode alongside a group of cyclists who were all wearing green and purple jerseys, and who were all smiling and having a really great time. And, they seemed to have brought their own cheerleading section with them, complete with flags and cowbells!
This was the first I had heard of Team in Training, and it scratched my interest. Then a couple of months later, I found myself at a meeting where one of my new best friends told me what TNT was all about and invited me to fundraise and cycle with them for America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride in Lake Tahoe. I had never fundraised a dime before, and wasn't quite sure that 100 miles at 7000 feet was wise, but I leaped in, and I am glad that I did! A couple of events later, I was asked to coach the Tour of the Tucson Mountains ride, and now I am helping coach our Tucson El Tour de Tucson Team.
It is really something to see a new rider complete their first long training ride, where they begin to realize "yes, I can do this"! And then keep coming back week after week, getting themselves stronger and more confident, and then finishing an endurance bicycle ride. They know that they have helped to fight a disease that has struck so many friends and family. TNT is a team of friends from all walks of life who come together to do something special, and that is pretty unique. I so am happy to be a part of it!
Chris & Candy Minker, Hike Coaches
Our experience with TNT began with supporting and cheering our daughter in the Nike Marathon and then the Deuces Wild Olympic Triathlon. She was recruited by her husband, Josh Farr, who has participated, mentored and coached numerous TNT events. While cheering at these events we witnessed the great support the coaches gave to all TNT participants and were moved by the stories from honored team mates and their families. Chris?s sister Mary lost her battle with Hodgkin?s Lymphoma in the late 1970s, and we are volunteering our time and expertise in her memory.
Our first coaching experience with TNT was the Grand Canyon Adventure Hike in June 2010 and we loved meeting and mentoring our team that year. TNT is doing a fantastic job fighting blood cancers and we are so excited to be a part of this effort. We will do our best to help each person on our team succeed in reaching their goals.
Candy is a software engineer (computer programmer) in the healthcare industry. Chris is a musician, singing and playing guitar. He also teaches swimming during the summer and is Vice President of the Southern Arizona Aquatics Association.