Coaches

ANHS

Lisa Hungerford | Head Coach | anhs@werunockids.org


Lisa H
This is my second year as a coach at ANHS. The experience that I had last year was incredible!! I was so inspired by these kids day in and day out. I admire their persistence, motivation and determination to accomplish a goal that very few people will ever take on in a lifetime. I am so grateful to all of the parents for trusting us with your children and giving us the opportunity to be a part of their success story forever!!!

As a coach my goal this season is to dedicate myself to each runner and guide them individually to achieve their specific goals. I am committed to motivate them on their best days and encourage them on the more challenging days. I hope to provide an environment that is an obvious choice for a high school student that wants to be part of a team but might not want to compete at a high school level.

My history with WeROCK

In August 2011 a goal of mine for the upcoming year was to run a 5K.  In September of 2011 my 6th grade son and I joined WeROCK and my new goal was to run a marathon. We finished the marathon in May of 2012 and my son and I have great memories and a bond that we share forever.

I was asked to coach the 14/15 season at the high school and without hesitation jumped at the opportunity. I was asked to be head coach for the upcoming 15/16 season and I can’t wait! WeROCK has become my home away from home, my family, my pleasure and at times my pain (yes a little bit is involved in running 26.2 miles).

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!

As a parent runner in  the 11/12 WeROCK season I ran all of the races on the schedule that year with my son. I also ran the Turkey Trot 10K and the Long Beach and Hollywood Half Marathons that year. Last season I coached and ran the same races that I had as a parent. This season I plan to do the same races but I have added the New Years Half Marathon in 2016 and hope to start of the year with a personal record.

Everyone has a favorite WeROCK race and my favorite race is the Coaster Run! How can you possibly had a bad time running through an amusement park without fighting crowds?? I enjoyed that day because two other coaches and I set a goal and ran the race together. It was fun to motivate each other and share the same goal. The three of us crossed the finish line together and accomplished our goal of doing it in less than an hour!!  A good running buddies always makes the races more fun!

AVMS

Gina Hylton

Head Coach

avms@werunockids.org

 

Hi all, I look forward to meeting everyone this season as we take this journey together.  My goal as a coach is to bring the love of teamwork, hard work and accomplishment into the hearts of these kids.  I am inspired watching them fight for goals many feel is out of their reach. As an individual, I look forward to crossing the finish line in May too.

What is my history with WeROCK you may ask?

I began coaching kids 12 years ago when my son ran the Students Run Los Angeles (SRLA) program. I have been a WeROCK Coach on and off since the beginning of the program, my youngest son was part of WeROCK’s first year.

 

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history

I have ran numerous 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons and 3 full marathon.

Everyone has a favorite race that WeROCK will run and my favorite race is the Tustin Hanger 5K, it’s really fun running through those huge hangers!

 

 

ipad 4-3-15 027John Birle

Assistant Coach

I have been a WeROCK parent runner for three years and this is my second year as a coach for AVMS.  My goal for the year is to pass on my love of running to the kids, but most importantly help them reach goals they never thought possible.

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!

I have run the OC marathon with all three of my kids in WeROCK.  I have finished ten marathons and three ultramarathons.

Everyone has a favorite WeROCK race and my favorite race is the Southern California Half Marathon.  It is flat and it the first time the kids figure out they can really accomplish something big.  I look forward to a great year of perseverance and accomplishment for the kids this year.

DJAMS

Lori Robinson | Head Coach | djams@werunockids.org

Lori RobinsonMy history with WeROCK?

My son joined WeROCK in his 8th grade year. At the time I had been running consistently for several years. I had already run a few half marathons and wanted to train for a marathon. I decided to take the opportunity to become a parent runner and trained along with the team. My son and I both completed our first marathon in May 2012 and we never looked back. He went on to compete on the cross-country and track team in high school and I joined the WeROCK coaching team when my daughter started 6th grade. She is now a sophomore in high school. This will be her fifth year in the program, my fifth year coaching, and my third year as head coach at DJAMS. I found my passion for running 11 years ago, and now I’ve discovered a love for coaching that I never expected. I’m so excited to be a part of this amazing group and blessed to be able to lead these kids through the process of training for the marathon.

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!

My very first race was the Disneyland Half Marathon in 2007. I didn’t have any clue how to train for a race and barely finished within the time limit. I set a goal to come back the next year to run the same race again, only better. During that year I learned how to train properly and came back to complete the race much stronger (and faster) than the previous year. By then I was hooked on running. I have since run many races – countless 5K’s, 10K’s and half marathons. I have run 12 full marathons and 8 ultra marathons. My first ultra marathon was a 40-mile run I organized for my 40th birthday (that’s what people do to celebrate their 40th, right?!). I don’t run races for the medals or race shirts. I run to challenge myself physically and mentally, and to see just how far I can go (which I still have yet to find out). But the biggest reason is simply for the sheer joy of running!

 

Everyone has a favorite race that WeROCK will run and my favorite is by far is the OC Marathon. It’s the ultimate test of endurance for these kids. It represents the culmination of months and months of dedicated training, running in the heat and in the rain, persisting through sore muscles, stomach cramps, and blisters, enduring through long training runs on Saturday mornings while their friends are sleeping in and playing video games. The amount of personal growth they go through during their training is incredible. Seeing the looks on their faces as they cross the finish line of the marathon is worth every moment. It’s an amazing accomplishment, one they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. And just being a small part of their marathon journey is truly something special.

 

Jaime Barbieri | Assistant Coach

Jaime BMy name is Jaime Barbieri but you can call me Coach Jaime. I am so excited to be a part of the WeRock team this year. My goal this year is to work with the kids to help them achieve their personal running goals. There is nothing more rewarding than watching these kids cross that final finish line.

My history with WeROCK?

My niece was a part of WeRock back in 2011 and that is how we learned about the program. My daughter Shaelynn was in WeRock last year and she is returning for her second year.

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!

I have been running various races over the past 5yrs with my husband and kids. We have run everything from 5k to Marathons. I also enjoy doing the Gladiator Runs as well with my husband.

My favorite race that WeROCK will run during the season?

I can’t wait to run the OC Marathon this season. This will be the first time I have completed this race.

 

Brian Barbieri | Assistant Coach

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Good day, I’m Coach Brian and I am proud to be here for this years team at DJAMS. I am most looking forward to seeing these amazing kids learn to lean on and rely on their team. It seems like this program erases the prejudice of age and grade level from their brains and instills nothing but admiration and determination to make sure all of their teammates get to their common goal of running the OC Marathon (full or half).

What is my history with WeROCK?

Last year I was a WeROCK waiver running parent, present on Saturday runs and a couple of the races. I got to run the OC Marathon with these amazing kids and my 12 year old daughter. A few years before I got to see my little niece dressed in her orange and black cross the finish line for a race I thought was insanely far for any child to run (2011 OCM). But it was seeing her and her awesome group of WeROCKers that inspired me to get some running shoes and start hitting the pavement myself.

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history

Since then I have done a Disney 5k, many local 5 and 10k races, the Surf City Half twice, the OC Full Marathon, and the Illustrious 2015 WEROCK 20 Mile Qualifying Run.

The WeROCK race I most look forward to is this year’s Santa Run. There are many cool races but this one takes the cake. I mean do I really have to explain, ok I will, SANTA IS THERE!!!! I absolutely love him. Who doesn’t right? I’m getting so super duper excited just thinking about December 12th.

Hankey/Newhart

Andrea Kooiman | Head Coach | hankey@werunockids.org | newhart@werunockids.org

Thumps UpHi!  I’m Coach K and I LOVE to run!  Believe it or not, I like to do other things as well.  I used to be a mobile KJ (Karaoke DJ) and I enjoy singing.  I also have a passion for rollerskating.  My goal for the team this season is for each person to challenge their fears and their doubts.  I would like to see every runner meet or exceed their goal of distance, time or endurance.

My history with WeROCK

My coaching began with SRLA – Students Run Los Angeles back when my son was in 6th Grade at Newhart Middle School.  There I coached with the program for 3 years before co-founding WeROCK.  I learned very early the positive impact that training for a marathon has on the kids that run with us.  For that reason, I will continue to work with our amazing coaches and the surrounding community to assist in growing the program for as long as I can.

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!

I have run over 100 marathon/ultra races.  Although a bulk of my runner has been on the street, I have learned to love and respect the trails.  The fact is, anytime I have the opportunity to lace up my shoes and run outside, I feel lucky.

Everyone has a favorite race that WeROCK will run and mine is the OC Marathon.  As the official WeROCK sweeper, I spend my entire race at the back of the pack.  It is exciting to receive phone calls and text messages about the progress of the runners.  It also allows me a lot of time to reflect on the season and the people that have forever been changed during the year.  Since OC was my 1st and my 100th marathon, it will always hold a very special place in my heart.

 

Brittany Latson | Assistant Coach

Hi! I am Coach Brittany! I am always very excited to guide these incredibly young runners to hit their PR, run their first marathon, achieve goals they never thought they could and help them grow overall. Running will change your life in the most amazing ways and I’m so excited to take this journey with these amazing runners.

What is my history with WeROCK?

I learned of WeROCK in 2014 while running some of the So Cal races after my husband and I moved back from NYC. I was impressed with the Mission and Goals of WeROCK and reached out to see how I could get involved. I have had the pleasure of coaching the past 4 summer seasons and 3 marathons seasons.

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!

I fell in love with running while living in New York. To date, I have completed 50+ half marathons, 8 marathons, countless 10k’s 5k’s, trail races, mud races, Spartans, and 10-milers across the country and globally! Needless to say, I love to run and I love inspiring others to as well. What do you aspire to do? If you set your mind to something, you can do it, all you have to do is believe in yourself.

What’s my favorite WeROCK race during the season?

The first half of the OC marathon is hands down my favorite course of the program races. What an awesome scenic route for a first marathon or a PR. See you out there!

 

 Tiphany Kane | Assistant Coach

I am a 5th grade teacher up in Garden Grove, California. I have coached my school’s 4-6 running club for many years. In fact, I met Coach K 8 years ago at a coach training for one of these races! I love how running makes me feel. When I run, I feel like I can conquer any challenge that comes my way. Running instills grit, perseverance, growth mindset and positive self-talk. I believe the lessons learned by training for an endurance run spill over into every other aspect of life. You realize you are stronger than that hill, have the endurance to go another mile, and have people supporting your goals.

My history with WeROCK:
I met Coach K 8 years ago and have been amazed with her accomplishments and the incredible running community she helped to foster with WeROCK. I was so incredibly excited for my son to run with WeROCK in 6th grade. I was able to witness an incredible transformation in him as an athlete, scholar and wonderful human from the lessons learned in this program. I came to as many practices as I could and ran with my son. This was such an incredible bonding experience. I was so impressed by the organization and dedication of the coaches that I asked Coach K if I could have the honor of being a part of WeROCK! I am so excited to join the awesome coaching team!!
My race history:
I have run dozens of 1/2 marathons, participated in several sprint triathlons, and ran 2 marathons. I am also the coach for my elementary school’s running club. When I began running 8 years ago, 1 mile seemed so difficult, now running 4 miles is a “short run”.

What’s my favorite WeROCK race during the season?

This is a hard one to choose!!! The absolute most amazing race was the OC Marathon. I had the privilege to run beside my 6th grade son for the whole race. In fact, we crossed the finish line holding hands! This race was incredibly challenging…it poured freezing cold rain on us for the first 5 miles! My son hit a wall that lasted for miles and miles. Every WeROCKer that we came into contact with encouraged him and told him he could do it! I was so impressed by the kids and coaches in this WeROCK community. It was a truly beautiful experience.

Saturday Coaches

Lee Robinson

Welcome, I am Coach Lee.  As the Saturday Coach, my goal during the year is to learn all the kids’ names from all the schools since I do not practice with them during the week. I love getting to know the kids from the different schools, so by the marathon I can cheer for them by name.  It amazes me how the kids get determined on running the marathon as it gets closer.  When the kids cross the finish line with the big smile on their face is worth the time spent with them through the struggles at the practices.  When the season ends, the change that happens with the kids have encountered since the start of the year is astonishing.

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!

Before coaching with WeROCK I ran a couple of 5K’s and a Half Marathon, since I started coaching with WeROCK, I have run several marathons as well as a couple of Ultra Marathons (50K & 55K Trail). I am looking forward to running with the upcoming WeROCKers.

 

My favorite WeROCK race is…

I always look forward to the Surf City Half Marathon and the OC Marathon every year watching the kids grow and seeing the accomplishment on their face.  However, my favorite race is the Tustin Hanger Race at the District in Irvine.  It is amazing race because we get to run inside the Tustin Blimp Hangers from the Old Tustin Marine Base.

 

Christina Sepe

Hello! As a coach and teacher my goal is to bring more awareness to the club on the high school campus.

My history with WeROCK

I started two years ago as a coach and the ANHS advisor on campus.  Last year I didn’t coach but I am looking forward to another year.

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!

I started in 2012 doing the Disney Half Marathon and I got addicted.  To date I’ve completed 11 half marathons and several 10ks and 5ks.

Everyone has a favorite race WeROCK runs and I really like the Southern California Half Marathon.  It’s the 1st half marathon WeROCK does and it’s a nice course.

Our Rockin’ Coordinators

RachaelRachael Vargas

Volunteer Coordinator

Hi to all the wonderful parent volunteers, coaches and our inspiring student runners!  As the aid station coordinator, my goal is to encourage all parents to get involved with our Saturday practice runs and cheer on our runners as they achieve a new milestone every Saturday for the next 7 months.  WeROCK is grateful to all of those who volunteer their time, energy and encouraging words.  We couldn’t do this without you.My history with WeROCK

Several years ago, I encouraged my son to join this running program called Students Run LA (SRLA) where I met Coach K as an energetic and passionate parent volunteer with a dream!  My son was not thrilled to run a marathon but wanted to be part of something great so he teamed up with Coach K and provided Saturday bike support to all the student runners including his mom! It was my first marathon. 5 years later, my daughter joined the WeRock team.  I volunteered and finished 3 marathons with my daughter.  She will forever been known as a Legacy Runner at her middle school. What an accomplishment!  Fast forward 3 more years, my daughter moved onto Cross Country in High School but I continued to volunteer as the aid station coordinator and the (unofficial) Saturday sweeper.  This is a wonderful program and I am grateful to be part of this amazing WeROCK family.

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!
Before WeRock, I was proud to be a short distance runner and formed a small running club at my workplace.  We ran during our  lunch hour and participated in local 5ks and 10ks.  With the support of WeRock and Coach K, I have completed 6 full marathons (and counting) and several 1/2 marathons.

My favorite race that WeROCK will run
My favorite race is the Surf City 1/2 marathon.  We are half way through the training program and the crowd is energetic with the Super Bowl Fever!