David Andrews Assistant Coach
My name is David Andrews, I’m excited to be a new coach for the 2022/23 season! I’m the father of a WeROCK runner Ashleigh (who was born in China, lived in Hong Kong and Australia before New Jersey and now California) and have been inspired by this amazing program and the determination of Ashleigh’s first marathon finish last year. I am excited to be a Saturday coach and should the body be willing will be running my 3rd full marathon with WeROCK in May 2023.
Jen Thomas Assistant Coach
Hi! I’m Jen and I’m a Saturday coach. This is my first season coaching with WeRock. I’m a working mom of 3 boys who loves beach volleyball, board games, and being at the beach. I have run on and off over the years and have found that running quiets my mind and boosts my mental health better than anything else.
I started with WeRock thanks to my middle son Graham. He started with the team in January after deciding to try a new sport. He found his niche and I loved seeing his eyes light up as he talked about his runs and watched his times drop. I decided to follow the same training plan and joined him for the Saturday runs. I’ve always run solo but found that running with a group was so much more energizing. I was moved by how much support the team gives each other – lots of “good jobs!” and high fives as they pass each other. I ran a half marathon about 15 years ago but wasn’t sure I had the motivation to do another one. But being out on the bike trail with 100+ other people made it so much more enjoyable!
There is also nothing more fun than wearing a We Rock shirt on the OC half/full marathon course. There were over 100 kids from We Rock running in May. It’s amazing to have that many families in the crowd cheering you on. WeRock is also well known in the running community, so other runners in the crowd are cheering you on too.
Keiko Shimada Assistant Coach
Hi! I am coach Keiko. I am so excited to join this new season as a WeRock coach. I have been running almost my whole life since I was in middle school in Japan. Running is my favorite activity and the only sport I’ve done. I believe running is the simplest and easiest sport to start. It requires only your running shirt, pants and a pair of shoes. We are fortunate to have such beautiful trails around here in Orange County.
My History with WeRock
I was introduced to WeRock when my daughter joined in 2016. Through my daughter’s experience with WeRock, I rediscovered my love of running. I still remember on the first day of practice, I decided to run with the kids just because I was too shy to hang out with the other parents. And what happened? I became obsessed with running with WeRock and ran every single practice with my daughter until she completed the middle school program at the end of 8th grade. I was impressed by the positive change in our lives. My daughter carried her running career into high school and college. I kept running as my hobby. I love that it helps me stay healthy. WeRock helped me find the beauty of the trails around us and the joy of participating in local races, which I would never know if my daughter did not join this program.
I ran my first half marathon in Bali, Indonesia in 1995
5 OC full marathons and many half marathons.
A bunch of small races in between.
Favorite WeRock race
OC marathon. This completes the season and what we’ve worked for over 9 months. I love to see the strong emotion among our kids, parents and coaches.
Allison Schoeberl Assistant Coach
Hi, I am Coach Allison! This is my first year with weROCK and I am beyond excited!!
My History with WeROCK
I have run Surf City and OC for years now and always noticed all of the people in bright orange shirts supporting each other and having so much fun out there! I just knew I wanted to be a part of it!
It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!
I ran my first Half Marathon in 2013, and since then have run countless 5ks, 10ks, and Half Marathons. In 2021, I trained for my first Full Marathon and it changed my life! I always said I would NEVER run a Full Marathon, and even when I first signed up for it I wasn’t sure I would be able to finish. After months of training, pushing past my fears, and putting in the work, I learned that I CAN do hard things. I am looking forward to sharing this journey with all the runners this season!!
Favorite WeROCK Event
The OC Marathon!! I can’t wait to cross the finish line with everyone and share that incredible feeling of accomplishment.
John Russell Assistant Coach
Hi, I’m Coach John and this is my first year as a coach with WeRock. I have truly never trained for a marathon like WeRock does, so this will be my first time working hard to achieve this personal goal. I’m excited to do my second full marathon alongside the kids as a coach in 2023.
My History with WeRock
My daughter joined WeRock last year and my son will join this year. Watching my daughter transform from a device addicted kid to an athlete competing in a marathon made me want to be a coach and watch more kids proudly cross that finish line.
Races I’ve Done in the Past
Running and doing triathlons are my thing! I’ve completed several half Ironman triathlons, a full Ironman, a Tough Mudder, a full marathon, 2 half marathons, and countless 5Ks and 10Ks.
My Thoughts on WeRock
This program teaches kids important skills of goal setting, planning, perseverance, and hard work that that they can take and apply to all areas of life. It is so inspirational, what this program helps kids achieve, that I can’t pass up the opportunity to be involved in it.
Ed Arpawong Assistant Coach
I started running in 2007 and this happened: I dropped 20 pounds, knees and feet pain disappeared, hot weather didn’t bother me anymore, and my cholesterol profile greatly improved. It was one of the best things I’ve started and I think everybody should be running too!
My history with WeROCK
My older two children were both 3-year WeROCKer and my youngest is starting his third year. Thanks to WeROCK, they’ve become fast runners and have something they can be proud of. Training to run marathons is not easy and one of my favorite things to see in WeROCK is to see how kids are truly part of a team. They encourage each other while running, cheer teammates as they finish races, and sometimes the faster runners will even go back and help other teammates finish their runs. Kids from different grades and different schools all help each other. I believe WeROCKers will be able to run for the rest of their lives to be fit, learn important social skills, and be part of the healthy running community.
It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!
Each year, a small group of us have a tradition of running the half-marathons at Long Beach, Surf City, OC, and Laguna Hills. By the end of 2020, I have run over 50 half-marathons and one full marathon.
Favorite WeRock Race
They’re all good! The first race of the season is always exciting. Same with the first half-marathon. If I had to pick a race, my favorite is the OC. It’s the culmination of all the kids’ hard work and about a hundred kids finish a full marathon. From the early morning wake-up and meeting before the sun rises. The kids do the usual morning warm-up run and stretches, like they’ve done every Saturday, but it’s different. When they’re are all warmed up, they toe the starting line of a full 26.2-mile marathon. I run the half and meet them at the finish line. Watching them all the come in is truly wonderful and fulfilling! Pandemic has reminded us how much we miss all the large WeRock races with camaraderie and friendship.