Paul has been a triathlon coach for almost ten years, working with athletes of all types to accomplish their goals. He has coached hundreds of athletes across finish lines at every distance of the sport and most recently coached 80 finishers across the finish line of Ironman-series races. Athletically, he quickly rose through the ranks of the triathlon world and has now transitioned his passion from racing to coaching. (He manages to fuel his competitive fire, however, by bike racing. Along with multiple Ironman finishes, Paul races as a Cat 3 Road Cyclist.) He has cycling, triathlon, and running race wins under his belt and has qualified “accidentally” for the USAT National Competition at the Olympic distance. Paul is a member of PowerBar’s Team Elite.
Hailing from the hot-rocking, flame-throwing berg of Buffalo NY, Paul worked in the snowboard industry for 11 years, lived in 5 states and has ridden just about every mountain in North America. As a designer of footwear from snowboard boots to athletic shoes, he is an expert in running shoes, running biomechanics, running errands, running for coffee, running to the bathroom - you get the point. Paul coaches in honor of his older brother Franklin, who taught Paul that coaching is more than about building athletes, it’s about building people and character.
Coach Murray has been a runner as long as he can remember. His first marathon was the 1985 Chicago Marathon and he has completed races of all distances from the mile to marathons over a 40 year period including the 1996 and 2006 Boston Marathons. He has trained with several coaches including noted authors Jeff Galloway and Pat Connelly. Murray has worked with several world class runners, including Cosmas Musyoka and Jonathan Ndambuki, who was the second place finisher at the Los Angeles Marathon. He has assisted runners and walkers of all different levels in completing marathons and half marathons for the past 13 years with a 100% completion rate for those who "toed the line" and has been a coach with Team Challenge since its inception in 2007. He is employed by the State Bar of California as a supervisor and enjoys going to wine country, sporting events and music. One thing which especially excites him is the prospect of a new team and helping those team members to reach their goal of completing a half marathon.
Coach Maureen was up and walking at a year, and she hasn’t stopped since! As youngster she always loved participating in running sports. After being inspired by her husband (Coach Bob) and their children’s athletic accomplishments, Maureen decided to try taking up running for a hobby but found walking to be her passion. She walked her first half marathon in San Francisco in 2007 and has continued to walk ever since. Along with being a wife, mom of four children and grandmother of five little ones, she is a registered nurse, CPR instructor and early childhood educator, at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. Maureen is driven to help in need people so feels very privileged to have the opportunity to coach for Team challenge.
With the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon fast approaching, for runners eager to get into the thick of night time racing, here are 4 tips to help you prepare to take on the night:
Q: I’m not currently running or walking more than a mile or two at a time a few days per week. How will I be able to finish a half-marathon?
A: Your coach will design a program for you based on your current level of fitness, whatever it may be. You’ll gradually build your mileage over the course of the coming months until you can walk or run (or with a combination of walking and running) a ten-mile workout. From there, well over 99% of our participants complete their half-marathons.
Q: What kind of shoes do I need?
A: Everyone has different feet and biomechanics. The staff at your local running/walking specialty store will be able to fit you for these needs, as well as your mileage level, and the surfaces on which you train. To find a local specialty store, head to www.runnersworld.com/store-finder
Q: What’s a “GU”?!
A: “Gu” and other sports gels (PowerGels, Cliff Shots, Hammer Gels, etc.) are concentrated forms of carbohydrate about the consistency of honey. They are an alternative to sports drinks and are designed to provide athletes with energy for endurance activities. Each gel contains about 100- 110 of concentrated carbohydrate. Many half-marathons will provide gels in the later stages (around mile 10) to give runners and walkers an energy boost for the last few miles. Although they are generally pretty easy on the stomach, especially when taken with water, it’s always a good idea to try gels several times in training first before using them on race day.
Q: I had to miss three days of training. How do I make up the lost days?
A: You don’t! If you’ve missed anything less than a full week of training, just jump right back into the schedule. If you missed more than a week, talk to your coach about modifying your schedule to get you back on track.
Q: My fingers swell during my training walks. What’s going on?
A: Your heart beats harder and faster when you train, so blood is sent more forcefully to the extremities. Muscle action helps to return blood back to the heart, but many walkers don’t pump their arms very much when they walk (they should!), so blood pools in the fingers. Swollen fingers are more common with changes in temperature, during pregnancy, and when electrolytes are out of whack. Clenching and unclenching your hands, or shaking them over your head will help to pump the blood out of your swollen fingers.