Know Your 2020 Board

Renee – President

GGRC president of the decade (so far!)

Possibly the nicest person on the planet and living proof that the Canadian stereotype exists for a reason. Renee shot to the top of the kudos leader board in late 2018 when, after fracturing her wrist at Church of 8 Wheels (she was the victim apparently), she posed for her 2019 GGRC board picture while planking, and successfully incorporated her formidable external fixation device (read splint thingy) and accompanying rods into her Christmas relay costume – and yes, she competed that day too! She loves stand up comedy, concerts, cooking, long exploratory walks, friends and family – so there’s no way you’ll be stuck for conversation material with her- and is typically one of the last to leave our happy hour events. Renee thinks she’s cheesy (we think she’s lovely) and wants you to love GGRC as much as she does – which is a lot! 

Chris – Treasurer

Chris “luscious locks” Latura

Treasurer, lover of homemade costumes and purveyor of many sunglasses. You may know him as “the guy with the hair”. A man of few words, Chris has many energizer bunny qualities and prefers to let his tenacity and focus do the talking for him. If it’s hard, then he wants to do it. Twice! He likes racing, trail running and steep hills – preferably all together. He was one of those kids who walked uphill (both ways) to school while barefoot in the snow (even though he grew up in Texas). But, what sets him apart from the others is that he loved every minute of it! As part of his platform, he vowed to clean up the streets, so look out for him sweeping the track and Planks on a weekly basis before our runs. Oh, and for those of you who don’t know him, expect him to aggressively collect those dues!! (I wouldn’t bet the house on that) 

Leah – Race Coordinator

Race coordinator extraordinaire and all round baller

Leah recently completed her first 35km trail race and did it with a smile on her face (see photo). She’s an avid runner and started her running career early featuring in a black and white film as a child in which she placed second in a running race. The film is called “Bullet Head” – check it out!  Leah has lived in/visited more places than I’ve had hot dinners (ask her about horse riding in Namibia), likes to support worthy causes in races, and then crying at the finish line. In her spare time (spare time???), she writes children’s books, and is going back to college this year to realize her goal of being published. Oh yeah, she’s also incredibly tolerant of Dad jokes – she’ll actually laugh!  Leah wants nothing more than to create an epic and memorable race line-up for you this year, and appreciates the value of food and good swag being offered as part of a race.  Have you seen her race calendar? It’s AWESOME! 

Will – Coach

Will “believer in track” Barkan

Will is one of those elusive San Francisco natives.  Like the real deal.  He’s actually from here.  Aside from that, he’s a devote ultramarathon runner, and is described by many as an amazing human being (this is not one of the fake news situations).  He hiked the Pacific Crest Trail solo in 2016, and recently spent 31 hours running the 100 mile Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance Run, which is even more of an achievement than you first think given he’s legally blind and had to run during the night too!  Will is all about track training, and believes in the utility of speed towards all running.  He’s hardcore in his own training, and has been known to carry weights in his hands or in a backpack while doing treadmill workouts for some cruisy “added resistance”.  When Will is not coaching in circles, he enjoys long trail runs with tiny little zip lock bags full of homemade snacks.  He reckons trail sushi (?!?!), trail pizza, trail carrots, and of course salt baked potatoes are the key to making running long distances delicious (I never thought to make long distance running delicious – must be where I’m going wrong).  Also, please note that emergency pop-tarts (DL strawberry flavored please) and mini-colas are his holy grail of trail gear.  This über approachable guy is your coaching guru for the year, and he couldn’t be happier to impart some knowledge and get you “on track” to meet your goals (get it!!).  Now go to track!!

Amanda – Social Chair

Amanda “social sensation” Rickert 

Amanda is a relative newbie to San Francisco – originally from Delaware – and was smart enough to relocate from Palo Alto last year (no offense PA!).  Amanda is a cross country, track and field superstar, and had a successful running career at Boston College.  You’ll hear this gazelle throwing out running paces that start with a seven in the circle at Sunday run.  But don’t worry, she’s happy to run with us plebs too.  Also, her road to glory wasn’t always smooth.  Her coach had to bribe her with a lollipop at her first ever meet because she didn’t want to compete with everyone looking at her.  They even had a stand in, just in case.  Despite her speed, she must stop to smell the roses every now and again, as she got stung by a caterpillar on one of her runs.  Seriously! It’s a real thing! I checked.  Amanda is all about the trail and destination races this year and loves most outdoor activities.  In fact, her life goal is to make it to every national park in the US.  And, like every good Social Chair, she enjoys making and eating good food, and having a drink in each hand!  Don’t get me wrong, she’s very responsible!  Well except for that time she put her brother’s phone through the washing machine.  But rumor has it he might have deserved it.

Rob – Merchandise

Rob “maker of merch” Spies

Mr Spies is like the James Bond of running – he likes to rock up to races in a suit, but instead of a martini glass, he’ll have a “shot ski”.  This half marathon pro (27 races in 26 months) has two speeds – stationary and fast – and, having turned his attention to marathon training last year, he ran his first marathon in under three hours. Just an average day for this guy! A lover of pink and matching outfits, he is quite the cheerleader and will tailor pick songs for you as you run uphill, blasting them from the two portable speakers strapped to the roof of his car. Also, his favourite designer is his mum (awww). When not running, you can find him participating in some crazy multi-day bike race, preferably overseas, or hanging out with his fluffy sidekick Carlita (just don’t touch her on the top of her head… really, don’t do it).  In his board position, he wants to be a force for change in the world by bringing the power of pink to the people. Ask him for a spin on his pink tandem!! 

Shannon – Assistant Coach

Shannon “Ass Coach No 1” Fuller. Ooops, I mean Assistant Coach No 1

Shannon, an ever smiling staple of GGRC, was stolen from orienteering, and we’ll never give her back. Shannon is best known for her phenomenal achievement of completing the 2019 Zion trail half marathon with a dislocated knee cap and a smile. But! Running isn’t always her number one priority. She openly admits to planning her runs so she can pass by dog parks, and has been known to take “breaks” just so she can pet dogs. When asked about her non-running interests, Shannon said she loves reading, hiking with friends and open water swimming. GGRC investigators have uncovered, however, some further extracurricular interests. These include goat yoga (no goats were harmed), watching dog surfing, and reading about Penny the Penguin, a rogue penguin who lives in St Louis, Missouri. A dark horse our Shannon. Talk to her if you’re coming back from injury, want to increase your cross training, or, more importantly, want to lift your doggo petting game!!! 

Brent – Assistant Coach

Brent Nowak, our veteran Board hero (sorry Sam)

Twice President, and now (more importantly some would say) “Ass Coach No 2”.  Don’t read into the numbers – this guy is always number 1! Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Brent came to San Francisco six years ago to flee winter, and promptly joined GGRC.  His first trail run was with Michael Howland, who tried to break him in the Marin Headlands.  Special shout out to Michael! But, joke’s on us, cause this Midwesterner is tough! And he keeps coming back for more!  To give you an idea of the epic level of toughness (and dedication), Brent has been known to smash out 5km open water swims.  5kms!! Open water!! In Chicago!! Even in the cold!! There aren’t enough exclamation marks for this kind of thing.  Oh, and just casually, he swims in the Bay….without a wetsuit (mic drop).  This guy is also a very cool dude (have you seen him in his black shades!?!?) and was the guy to be around in college as he was a vinyl turntable DJ on a public access radio station in Iowa (second mic drop!).  To add to that, he loves cooking so try to score an invitation to dinner or come to the destination races as he’s been known to cook (no pressure Brent).  Oh and check out his secret pasta sauce recipe here – not so secret any more, but delicious!!

Kate – Communications

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Kate “communications queen” Hoare  (if you look at her personal social media pages, you’ll see this is definitely not true)

Irish hooligan recruited by Australia (unofficially) to infiltrate one of America’s largest banks and create a looooong winter of discontent, Kate has found her running peace on the trails despite her tendency to trip on the smallest things. When she’s not face planting and eating dirt, she’s adding to her costume box and confusing people with her most colorful phrases (she doesn’t even know where they came from).  Ever the whirlwind, you’ll hear her before you see her- although she’d prefer if you did the talking during runs – and whatever you do, don’t let her pour your drink.  While reflecting on content for this blurb, Kate (who currently likes to refer to herself in the third person?!?!) realized that she lacked the accolades of the others. Consequently, her 2020 goal is to run an uphill 35k with a fractured wrist and dislocated knee cap, while wearing a suit and a blindfold with a drink in each hand, followed closely by a 5km swim in the Bay with no wetsuit. Please help support her in her goals!!