Fall Coaches

Coach Linda

Organizer - Coach


  • Years Running – 20+
  • Years with Austin Fit – 9
  • Number of Marathons – 15
  • Half Marathons – 11
  • Favorite Race – 3M
  • Goal – Run a full or half marathon in all 50 states

Linda is a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) through NASM who enjoys the art of fitness. Linda coordinates a local boot camp in her community and is always amazed at how people become receptive to exercise by simply being exposed to it. Linda is a Personal Trainer at UT – Division of Recreational Sports and a Professor at Huston Tillotson University

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Coach Janice

Head Coach - Team Fit - Summer & Fall


  • Years Running: 30+
  • Years with Austin Fit: 8
  • Number of Marathons: 23
  • Number of 50K: 3
  • Favorite Race:  Medoc Marathon – France (wine stops and costumes)
  • Years doing Triathlons: 20
  • 140.6 Ironmans:  4 and 70.3 Ironmans: 7
  • MS150 rides: 12
  • Goal:  Live a Good Story

Coach Janice enjoys sharing her training and racing experiences and stories.  She also enjoys traveling and believes the best races are those you travel to with a group of friends.  In addition to being an Austin Fit Fall Red Group Head Coach for several years, where she created many of the running routes used by Austin Fit Saturday long run groups, she has also coached triathlon training groups, and provided “Tour Guide” monologues during many Saturday long runs.  This season Janice takes over Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  Feel free to ask her about stretching routines, hydration and nutrition options for a wide range of races and conditions, and about her many “destination” races.

Coach Rafael

Head Coach - Green Marathon Group (8:59 and below)


  •  # Years Running  – 23 Years
  • # Years with Austin Fit – 15 Years
  • # of Half or Full Marathons  – 15 Full Ironmans and 8 Full Marathons
  • Favorite Race  – Ironman Lanzarote Spain
  • Goal – My goal is to get my runners to the starting line ready and pumped to go!  I want them to have a great experience at running and not feel overwhelmed with the process.

Rafael has a lot of experience in long distance sports. He has learned from some of the sports great professional athletes in Triathlon and Cycling.  Feel free to pick his brains on any questions you might have.  He is open to providing feedback on running form and training plans.


Coach Gracie

Assistant Coach - Green Group Full Coach - 8:59 and below


  • # years Running – 22 years.
  • # years w/Austin Fit = 6
  • # half or full Marathons & Ironman’s – 5 Marathons/20 Half Marathons/6 Ironman’s/About a dozen Half-Ironman’s
  • Favorite Race – Ironman Lanzarote – Isla Canaria, Spain
  • Goal – be an open book that shares and gives all to love and support our Runners and their Loved Ones as they chase their awesome, self-authored successes to earned Starting Lines and FinishLights as we all grow together and support each other; to share my Love of the Negative Split handed to me by my Track & Cross Country Coach and Hero
I Love to Run and started at a very young age, a seed my Parents planted when I was 4 years old. Like every Mexican Family living South of San Antonio, we constantly went to San Antonio for shopping (like every Mexican Family) and recreation. The distance from Laredo to San Antonio is 149 m. I was learning numbers, and while everyone napped, I kept my Dad entertained as the MILES ticked away asking, “Who do you think would win? A lion or a shark? An orca or a tiger? A lion or a shark? …” Eventually, being the energized 4-year-old Dreamer that I was, I said to my Dad that, one day, I’d cover the 149 miles from Laredo to San Antonio.

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Satwinder Kahlon

Head Coach - Yellow Marathon Group (9:20 - 9:39)

  • Years Running:  9
  • Years with Austin Fit:  4
  • Number of marathons:  8
  • Favorite Race:  Los Angeles
  • Goal:  to see everyone in his group finish the race strong

 Satwinder has been running marathons since 2005.  Before getting into long distances, he has always enjoyed running, earlier short distances.  He has been with Austin Fit since 2010.

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Coach David L

Assistant Coach - Yellow Full Marathon Group (9:40 - 9:59)


  • Years Running – 5
  • Years with Austin Fit – 5
  • Coaching with Austin Fit -4
  • Marathons – 5
  • Half Marathons – 10 Plus
  • Triathlons- 3 years
  • Favorite Race – Austin Marathon
  • Goal – To enjoy Gods creation through running and doing triathlons

David started running five years ago after being challenged to compete in the Triple Threat in Wichita Falls.  The race consists of a Mountain Bike ride, Road Bike ride and a Half Marathon trail run.  Since then David was bitten by the Triathlon bug and plans to finish this year with two half ironman’s with the goal of doing a full next year or the year after. David loves the fellowship that running provides and always loves to find a hill to run up.  David is looking forward to stepping up from the 1030 pace group to the 940 pace group this year.

Coach John

Assistant Coach - Yellow Half Marathon Group (9:40-9:59)


  • Years running: 8 years
  • Years with Austin Fit: First Year
  • Number of Half Marathons: 3
  • Favorite Half Marathon: Austin Half Marathon
  • Goal: To help runners safely and effectively attain their goals.

John is a native Austinite; he graduated high school in Austin, Texas and then attended Texas State University where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science (Pre-Physical Therapy). Currently, John is attending Texas State and will earn his second degree in 2017.

Although John started running later in life, he is an experienced runner. He completed three (3) half marathons, one (1) 10 mile race, and five (5) 10k races. Running is an important part of John’s life; he appreciates its simplicity and straight forwardness. John believes an active lifestyle can help a person live a happy and healthy life. So please stay active and keep on running.

Favorite quote: “Everyone looks good running downhill.” – Anonymous

Coach Jeff

Assistant Coach - Red Full Marathon Group (10:00-10:20)

Fast Facts:

  • Years Running:  5
  • Years with Austin Fit: Newbie
  • Number of Half Marathons:  3 Full, 4 Half
  • Favorite Race: The Cowtown in Ft Worth
  • Goal:  Finish each marathon

Jeff and his wife signed up for a running class at their gym 5 years ago.  Before the class began, he typically ran 2-3 miles a half dozen times a month.  Five months later, he ended the class with a 9 mile run.  That success prompted him to run the Cap 10, which led to the Austin half the next year, and his first marathon that fall.  When he’s not running, Jeff teaches at Concordia University-Texas and cheers on his wife during her triathalon events.


Coach Janice R.

Assistant Coach - Red Half Marathon Group (10:20 - 10:40)


  • Years Running – 6
  • Years With Austin Fit – 4
  • Marathons – 1
  • Half Marathons – 7
  • Favorite Race – Austin Half
  • Goal – Run for enjoyment, but always be working toward a goal race.

Janice started running to satisfy a health need for weight bearing exercise.  While training for her first half marathon her brother passed away and she discovered the immense opportunities to run for charities.  After meeting her charity goal for American Cancer and her race goal she was hooked on running.  Janice joined Austin Fit to train for her first marathon and again met her charity goal for American Diabetes in honor of a dear friend who had lost her son to diabetes and her race goal thanks to Austin Fit.  Janice has settled in yearly on the half marathon goal and is anxious to share the running experience with new runners!

Coach Cassandra

Head Coach - Orange Full Marathon Group (11:00 - 12:30)


  • # of Years Running:  15
  • # Years with Austin Fit: 14
  • # of Half Marathons:  8
  • # of Full marathons:  22
  • Favorite Race:  Moe’s Better Half Marathon
  • Goal:  Run the Boston marathon, continue education, promote autism awareness, and believe in my dreams.

Cassandra Medrano is a lifetime Austin Fit coach and member. Cassandra reports that she never imagined running more than a block in her life, but in 2001 a friend of hers had a crazy idea for them to run a marathon (which she realized during the 2nd week of training that meant 26.2 miles) but she still agreed.

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Coach Brenda

Assistant Coach - Orange Full Marathon Group (11:00-11:20)


  • Years running: 30+
  • Years with USA FIT: 3
  • Number of Marathons: 2
  • Number of Half Marathons: 5
  • Favorite Race: Cap10K, Beach to Bay Marathon Relay
  • Goal: Participate in the run Disney Star Wars Half Marathon and the Hatfield McCoy Marathon

Brenda has been running since she was 12 years old, and was a long distance runner in middle and high school as part of the cross country and track teams. Throughout the years, running has been her one constant and has seen her through many changing seasons in her life. Finally deciding to run a marathon in 2015, she came across the USA FIT program. She looks forward to continuing to learn about herself and sharing her experiences with other runners looking to take on the challenge of running their first marathon.

Coach Charlotte

Assistant Coach - Orange Full Marathon Group (11:20 -11:40)


  • Years Running – 5
  • Years with Austin Fit – First year
  • Number of Half and Full Marathons – 2 half-marathons (another in November) 1st Full in January
  • Favorite Race – Galveston Half-Marathon
  • Goal – To look decent in one of those race photo! (JUST KIDDING). To continue to improve myself while motivating others to achieve their goals.

Coach Michelle

Assistant Coach - Orange Full Marathon Group (12+ )

  • Years Running: 9
  • Years with Austin Fit: 5
  • Number of Marathons and Half Marathons: 6 Half and 1 Full
  • Favorite Race:  3M Half Marathon
  • Goal:  Keep running for the rest of my life….for my health, for a challenge, and for fun.

Michelle’s running experience started in 2007 after a friend suggested running to get through a divorce. She had never run more than around the block since grade school so the idea of running a long distance race was daunting. She accepted the challenge and joined Austin Fit for the 2007 running season as a complete newbie.

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Coach David

Head Coach - Orange Fall Half Marathon (11-12:30)


  • # Years Running – 8 Years
  • # Years with Austin Fit – 6 Years
  • # of Half or Full Marathons – 3 Full and 4 Half Marathons
  • Favorite Race – Austin Marathon I enjoy running up hills.
  • Goal – Ensure that Austin Fit members have fun while reaching their goals

Be it running or riding, David enjoys long distance events.  He especially likes the friends you make while training with groups.  After all, the comradery you develop while training can take you a long way on long distance runs.  To me Austin Fit is about health, excitement of training and the friends you make while reaching your desired goals.

Coach Donna

Assistant Coach - Orange Half Marathon Group (11-11:20)


  • Years running: 8
  • Years with Austin Fit: 5
  • Number of Marathons: 12
  • Number of Half Marathons: 15
  • Favorite Races: Austin Marathon and 3M Half Marathon
  • 2016 Goal: Assist runners to safely finish the Austin Marathon

Donna began her marathon quest in 2008 when a cycling friend spotted her in a grocery store and asked if she would like to run the San Antonio Marathon.  After training solo for a couple of years, she joined Austin Fit to ensure a structured training schedule, more accountability, increased safety during runs and the added benefit of belonging to an amazing running family.

Coach Monica

Assistant Coach - Orange Half Marathon Group (11:20-11:40)


  • Years Running:  4
  • Years with Austin Fit: 3
  • Number of Half Marathons:  3
  • Favorite Race: Thundercloud Turkey Trot
  • Goal: Improve my running form, time and endurance-and to have fun doing it!

Monica has only been running for a few years, but it’s already become a way of life. She loves the challenge of both 5Ks/10Ks to improve speed, and half marathons to gain endurance. Her favorite running experience was participating in a Ragnar Relay in Washington state. She also loves shaking things up with cross-training, particularly rowing and strength training. She loves the Texas Longhorns (Hook ‘em!) and her adorable Boston terrier BFF, Mookie.

Erica Deleon

Assistant Coach - Orange Half Marathon Group (12-12:30


  • Years Running – 8
  • Years with Austin Fit – 6
  • Years Coaching – 4
  • Number of Half or Full Marathons –  10 Full Marathons
  • Favorite Race – Austin 10/20
  • Goal – Instill a sense of fun and keep everyone committed to training
  • Run/Walk Interval Ratio – 2/1

Erica joined Austin Fit in 2009 at the urging of a friend who encouraged her to run with her. When that friend stopped showing up after a few weeks, Erica kept running and eventually finished both the 3M and Austin Half Marathons. [Read more…]

Rita Kemner Salyer

Assistant Coach - Orange Half Marathon Group (12:00 - 13:00)

Interval: 2 minutes run/1 minute walk


  • Years running:  12
  • Years with Austin Fit:  12
  • Number of Half Marathons:  13
  • Favorite Races:  3M ½ Marathon and Austin 1020
  • 2016 Goal:  To help her runners get to the start line so they can cross that finish line.

Rita started doing triathlons in 2001.  As a way to stay in shape during the winter months, she joined Austin Fit in 2004.  After finding out just how friendly Austin Fit people are, she was hooked.  The next year she started coaching.  Rita loves to help her runners prepare for their first ½ marathon or their 10th ½ marathon.  She coaches the ‘back of the pack’ group and believes that finishing the race is winning the race.

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