Twenty years of Team In Training
Team In Training

North Texas

ph: (972) 996-5900
Local Staff Contacts

8111 LBJ Freeway, Suite 425
Dallas, TX 75251

Marathon Coaches

Thanks for visiting our TNT coaches Bio page.


Northwest Cities Running Coach: Gus AriasGus Arias

"Welcome to the TEAM!  I started with TNT back in 2009 not really knowing what I was getting into. I was not a runner and I went from not running to jumping right into doing a full marathon. Ever since then, I've not stopped running. I have been a participant, a mentor, and now coach and have enjoyed every minute of it. What I find most rewarding of being a part of TNT is to see all the hard work that the participants, mentors, captains, staff and coaches put in for a great CAUSE! This is what keeps me coming back year after year. GO TEAM!






Dallas Running Coach: Joe Bacon   Joe Bacon

"I have been involved with Team In Training since 1997. I ran my first marathon with TNT then as a participant, which was my 17th over all. I was hooked on the program. I started coaching in 1999 and have loved helping runners of all abilities reach their fitness goal of finishing the half or full marathon. My full time job is that of being a Baptist preacher. I consider coaching for TNT part of my ministry. I have had the privilege of running the Boston marathon twice and finishing 92 marathons. I always tell folks if you run them slow you can run a bunch of them. My experience includes 300+ races, 2,515 miles in races and over 30,823 training and racing miles. Some of my marathon's are, New York, Marine Corps, Bermuda, Dublin, Ireland, Paris, France, Rome, Italy, and Madrid Spain. All proudly wearing my TNT jersey. We have helped over 2,500 participants finish their event and hope to help many more. I have had the privilege of personally raising over $76,800.00 over the years for LLS as well." 



North Cities Running Coach: Will Bacon
Will Bacon"Welcome to the Team. I'm looking forward to the best season ever!  I have been involved with TNT since 2004 as a participant, mentor, captain, and now coach.  I also earned my TNT Triple Crown in 2013.  My wife, Dianna Bacon, brought me to TNT through her niece (Allie) who was diagnosed with ALL at 7 months old.  Allie is now a healthy and happy 19 year old college student and has been a Team honored hero for many years.  Throughout our involvement with TNT we have met so many new friends, who we now consider family, that have been on this same journey in raising money and awareness through LLS and TNT.  We are not quite there but with your help we are getting closer and closer to the ultimate finish line - A CURE!  We will be sharing many things during training so I will start with a few quotes that I have picked up from my coaches over the years:
"If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good." - Dr. Seuss
I love these endurance sports and I want you to love this as much as I do. Again - welcome to TNT - GO TEAM!

North West Cities Running Coach: Robert Bateman  
Robert Bateman"I'd let myself go and, a few years after my mother passed, was looking for a way to fight back against cancer and get fit too. I discovered Team in Training in 2005 and signed up for my first half marathon. It became one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and I've been hooked ever since. As a participant, mentor, and coach I?ve completed several events and enjoy sharing my experiences to help others accomplish their goals. Becoming part of the TNT family is a great way to challenge yourself, try something new, discover new places and meet new friends; all while raising money to beat blood cancers."

Ft. Worth Marathon Coach: Dianna Bryan

Dianna Bryan"Welcome to an adventure that has the potential to change your life. It sure changed mine. I joined Team in Training in 2008 because I wanted to run a marathon and knew I wouldn't do it on my own. I fell in love with TNT, the people and the mission! I have been a participant, mentor, captain, marathon coach and I've also served on the North Texas Team in Training Executive Committee as the Chairman of the Fundraising and Retention Committee. Before I joined TNT I was walking my dogs about a mile a day. After joining TNT I have completed multiple marathons, half marathons, triathlons and even a century bike ride. If I can do it, so can you! My favorite aspect of TNT is the people!  I love helping a first time participant cross that finish line for the first time! I encourage you to take that step in becoming the best possible version of yourself and join Team in Training. Don't be afraid to be awesome!"



North Cities Run/Walk Coach: David Burdette
David Burdette
"I have been with Team In Training since 2006 as a participant, mentor, and coach. I have trained for and completed 10 marathons, six half-marathons, and have coached many Team In Training participants to their own marathon successes.  I am excited to be a part of the Team In Training coaching staff, and look forward to helping you achieve your goals!  You will be amazed what you are capable of! Joining Team In Training is an experience that will change your life in ways that you never imagined, as well as change the lives of so many others.  Congratulations on having the courage to take the first step toward accomplishing your personal goals, while also supporting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in the fight against blood cancers.  Training for an endurance event is a lot of work, but the rewards are phenomenal.  I can't wait to see you cross that finish line!"





North Cities Run/Walk Coach: Meg Burdette 
Meg Burdette"Welcome to the TEAM ! I am very excited to meet you, train with you, fundraise with you, and carb load with you! You have already taken the first and hardest step - making a commitment to join our team. I have been involved with Team In Training since 2005, and had never intentionally run or walked a mile before then. Since then, I have raised over $35,000, and have completed 23 marathons and 27 half marathons. I guess you could say I'm hooked! This is a wonderful program that saves lives and changes lives. Thank you for joining us. Your life will be changed by this experience!


Fort Worth Marathon Coach: Erin Froehner
Erin Merriman"We
lcome to Team in Training!  My first season with the team started in 2010.  I completed my first full marathon in the spring of 2011 after no experience in running.  I signed up because I received a flyer in the mail and wanted to be involved in something that would help others.  I had only run a few times before joining the team, and the furthest distance I had ever gone was a few miles.  I struggled through my first race, but thanks to the support of TNT coaches and other participants, I was able to make it through.  You will be told over and over again that it is a life changing experience, and it really is.  I would have never thought just three years ago that not only would I have completed a marathon by now, but completed four full marathons and over twelve half marathons.  The experiences I have gone through with the team and amazing coaches are ones I will never forget.  You find inspiration to keep going when you think you don't have the ability to go any further.  You will find you are able to accomplish things you never thought possible.  As always, I look forward to another great season with the team.  Go TEAM! 


Dallas Walk Assistant Coach: Valeria Gray
Valeria GrayI have been involved with TNT since 2002, when I competed in the White Rock Marathon event. I met so many wonderful people and decided to make LLS my charity of choice. A person does not have to be rich to make a difference; one can make a difference just by putting one foot in front of the other. It is an honor to raise money for LLS knowing that the funds raised are benefiting the North Texas area. A phrase of encouragement, "As long as you pass one person, you will cross the finish line," so keep moving forward.




Fort Worth Assistant Coach: Tim Harlow 
Tim HarlowAfter a number of years off from running I joined Team In Training in Dec 2007 as a participant. I didn't really have a connection to the cause but I kept seeing these purple jerseys at local races and after asking I was invited to an informational meeting. I signed up to run the 2008 Vancouver Marathon. I made so many friends during that season that I knew I was hooked. Here was an opportunity to do something I loved and it gave me opportunity to give back. Since then I have been a mentor, assistant coach and starting in 2011 I became a coach with the National Flex program. In addition to coaching, I am usually in training for some kind of race. This October 27 I will be running in the Marine Corps Marathon. This will be my 8th marathon. I am grateful for all of the blessings I have received through the Team In Training program.



Ft. Worth Running Coach: Rick Heard
Rick Heard"My first marathon was with Team In Training in 2007. Since then I have run 6 marathons, 2 - 50km races and numerous half marathons. I have been fortunate to be a Participant, Mentor, Captain and Coach. I am very excited you have taken this step to make a difference to save lives and help wipe out blood cancers. The team is here to help you through this journey. The friends I have made through TNT are the most giving and most generous people I have had the privilege to know. Congratulations, Welcome and GO TEAM!!"



Ft. Worth Running Coach: Russell HimesRussell Hines
"I never considered myself an athlete before becoming involved with the Team In Training Program in 2002.  Since then, running has become a passion along with the challenge and the ability to contribute to the necessary research for blood-related cancers, patient care as well as the ability to make a difference in people's lives!  I have been a Fort Worth Marathon Team Run Coach since 2005 and I have been the Event Coach for multiple events.  My entire week is centered around preparing for the day I get to put on my purple jersey and meet the Team for an awesome time of running.  My goal is to create a training environment that is meaningful, informative, fun and productive - for both the first-time runner and the seasoned veteran.  And to be allowed to share in each participant's success crossing the finish line is truly remarkable! GO TEAM!"


North Cities Marathon Coach: Joy Hunkins Joy Hunkins

"You have joined a team with one of the most rewarding experiences you can imagine.  I first started with TNT in 2004 as a participant to walk the Half at the Nike Marathon in San Francisco. Next thing I knew I was running the full and loving every minute of it.  Mind you I had never run a lick prior to TNT.  I later went on to be a Team Captain/Mentor then a Coach.  I've lost count of how many Full & Half Marathons I've accomplished since 2004 but each and every start I say to myself "Tell me why I'm doing this"  and then at the end I say "oh yeah, when's the next event?" 

Fort Worth Walk Coach: Brandi KapkaBrandi Kapka

"Welcome to Team in Training!  I know you will love your experience with us; I did when I first joined.  I have been a part of the TEAM since 2009 and have enjoyed every minute.  Starting out as a participant, mentor, and now a coach, I can relate to all uncertainties that come along with this new experience.  I joined TNT as a way to stay in shape, find a place to fit in, and complete an endurance event for the first time.  Little did I know, within weeks of joining, I would find a personal connection to the cause through a diagnosis of a cousin of mine.  Now, every blood cancer patient and survivor I meet becomes another reason I walk and run to save lives!  I love every minute of my Team in Training experience as a coach and can honestly say, this is my family and my passion! 



Northwest Cities Anna Love Walking Coach: Anna Love
 "In 2003, I accompanied my sister, a TNT coach from North Carolina, to the San Diego Rock N Roll marathon.  Bruce Cleland, the "father" of TNT, spoke at the pasta party and said he was missing his daughter, Georgia's, senior prom to be there with us.  He explained that, if it wasn't for TNT and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Georgia would not be alive to have a prom.  After hearing him speak, there was not a dry eye in the house and, although up to that point in my life I had been a professional couch potato, when I got back to Dallas I signed up for my first event.  I completed the Disney Half Marathon in January 2004, two months before my 50th birthday.  Since that time, I have fundraised for five marathons, seven half marathons, three Century Cycling events and two olympic distance Triathlons with TNT!  Along the way, I've been a mentor, captain, and finally a Marathon Coach. I can say, without a doubt, that TNT has changed my life. The knowledge and support I've received from being a TNT participant has been invaluable to my success as a
race-walker and has taught me a lot about myself as a person. TNT is a program to help you succeed in training but, more importantly, it is a way for you to raise money to find a cure and to help the patients and their families who have been touched by one of the blood cancers."

Fort Worth Coach: Melanie McNamara 
Melanie McNamara
"Welcome to the TEAM! I took my first steps with TNT as a participant in 2010 and finished my first marathons: Vancouver, B.C and the Nike Women's marathons. Along the way I have been a mentor, a team captain and now a coach.  Each step of the way has been a true joy, not just because of my love of running but because with each step I am helping to find a cure for the cancer that took the life of my friend, Carrie.  I"m excited about the upcoming running season and being able to share that "happy feeling" I get during a run with you. Together we can achieve our personal running goals. More importantly we can take many more steps to find a cure."


Moms In Training Coach: Maria Minter 
Maria Minter"I have coached two seasons, Winter 2011 and Winter 2012 for the Northwest Cities Marathon Team.  I'm so excited to be coaching again! My first TNT event as a participant was the Nike Women's Marathon in 2006.  I joined Team In Training in 2006 to run in honor of my sister-in-law, Stephanie Henkel. One month before my first TNT event, Stephanie passed away. I continue to run in Stephanie's memory, and I also run in honor of the wonderful Honored Heroes I've met. You will form meaningful and lasting relationships with fellow participants.  TNT is how I met some of my dearest friends and my wonderful husband, Ryan."






Dallas Marathon Coach: Claire Oliver
Claire Oliver"Welcome to Team In Training! You are in for the time of your life! I started with Team In Training in 2003 and have enjoyed every moment of it since then. I've been coaching for about 9 years now and have coached probably 700 people to their first, or 20th triathlon or marathon. I love endurance sports! I hope you can feel the same passion for the sport that I do. I've completed 3 Ironman races, and about 50 shorter triathlons as well as 17 marathons and countless other road races. I look forward to working with you soon!





North Cities Running and Walking Coach: Coby Pewitt
Coby PewittCongratulations on making a decision that is destined to change your life! My own transformation began in 2002, when I joined Team In Training as a participant. After my first marathon in Anchorage, Alaska, I became deeply connected to the cause and made the decision to bleed purple for the rest of my life! Since then, I have served Team In Training has a mentor and team captain, and now as a coach since 2009!  After successfully finishing more than 20 marathons, traveling across the globe in my purple jersey, and raising over $50,000, I invite you to join our TEAM and support our cause! You will never regret it such an incredible life-changing opportunity! Go TEAM!




Ft. Worth Running Coach: Manuel Rodriguez
manuel rodriguez"
Greetings Team. I am honored to be a coach for what I know is one of the best organizations around. I have been with TNT since 1997. I have been a coach with TNT since 2002. I have run 56 marathons countless half marathons and endless races of different distances. I've been fortunate enough to have been friends with coaches from other groups where we share tips, ideas and methods. I say all that not to boast but to say I am passionate about running and coaching. I joined TNT with no knowledge of the organization or leukemia and lymphoma. I wanted to help out a newly diagnosed family I knew. It was one of the best decisions in my life. I can honestly say if you join us you will not be disappointed. You will be richly blessed by what you receive in return. This will be an incredible adventure. I encourage you to give us a try. I like to repeat what a survivor/participant/good friend says about TNT - "Get plugged in!" Go TEAM!


Northwest Cities Running Coach: Neil Sobol
Niel Sobol

"Welcome to our team. Having served as a participant, mentor, and coach, I know from personal experience that joining Team In Training will be an amazing, life-changing experience. As part of our program you will accomplish goals that you probably never thought you could do, you will make many new friends, and most importantly, you will help raise funds and awareness to help people afflicted with blood-related cancers. I have been a marathon coach with TNT since 2001, and during that time it has been my privilege to help so many runners and walkers obtain and surpass their goals. I welcome the opportunity to help you whether you are a beginner or an experienced athlete."



Northwest Cities Running Coach: Dan TranDan Tran

"Hello and welcome to the Team!  I joined TNT in 2003 as a marathon participant to challenge myself and to improve my fitness.  That connection with TNT changed in 2011 as my Mom was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma.  She succumbed to the disease in 2012, and I was glad to have the TNT family there to comfort me.  I am sure you have different reasons to join TNT, and I am happy that you made that decision as you will find your TNT experience life-changing.  Looking forward to meeting and running with you in Grapevine!" 


Dallas Running Coach: Rick TidwellRick Tidwell

"Welcome To Team In Training! I have been with TNT over six years completing nine marathons and one century bike ride. Running is my passion and I feel privileged to share this with you as an assistant coach. You are about to embark on an unbelievable experience, meeting life long friends which result in life saving benefits."





Northwest Cities Running/Walking Coach: Sue Warriner
Sue Warriner"I joined Team In Training in 2005 as a way to honor my mom, Sallie Toups, who passed away in 2004 from Hodgkins Disease. My first event with TNT was the 2006 Austin Marathon. Since that time, I have completed 8 Team In Training running events including San Diego Rock n Roll marathon, P.F. Chang Rock n Roll marathon, Anchorage marathon, Nike Women's marathon, White Rock half and two relay legs. I also became a triple-crown member after completing the  Galveston Olympic triathlon, U.S. Open traithlon, and the Tahoe century bike ride. I became a mentor in 2006 and started coaching in 2009. Currently, I am coaching the DFW metro Spring season and looking forward to another fantastic season."





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