Our Coaches


Wendy Riley

Organizer - RRCA Certified & Hill Work Coach

I have always been a fairly active person with a background in dance, aerobics, and weight training. Until I joined USA FIT Cypress, running was not my exercise of choice. Luckily, a friend asked me if I wanted to join USA Fit Cypress. She shared with me about the camaraderie, educational seminars, race medals, and socials, so I decided to give it a try.

At first, I was afraid that I would hold everyone back because at the time I couldn’t even run 1 mile without stopping. I didn’t know what to expect, but went ahead and attended my first group run. There I found out that they had several groups I could choose from and found one that fit my ability and pace. I continued through the season following the USA FIT training program and implementing the information I learned from the seminars.  At the end of this first season, I finished my first half marathon! After this, I was hooked and running became my exercise of choice. Since then, I have participated in 2 Marathons, 21 Half Marathons, 2 Triathlon races, and 4 Ten Miler races and am looking forward to doing more.

Joining USA FIT Cypress has been one of my best decisions – I’ve learned a lot, made new friends, and achieved more than I thought possible. It’s amazing what a confidence boost achieving your goals can be.

Now as a coach and co-organizer, I enjoy encouraging and helping others achieve their goals. USA FIT Cypress is truly a positive and supportive group. Come join us! It can change your life.

Donya Brewer

Organizer - RRCA Certified & Tempo Coach

For a long time, running has followed and underlain the rhythms of my life.
I ran my first full marathon in 2005 with USA Fit, a distance ten years before I would have laughed if you suggested me doing it in anything other than a car with the accelerator pressed and the radio turned up. Although I remained active after that race, I like to say that much like child birth, it took me 10 years to forget all that was involved and decide to train for another full in 2015. I was about to be taught what pain really was.
What I did not know as I trained is that a few days before that race my life would change significantly. Without airing too much of the tragic events that occurred, suffice it to say that my heart was completely broken. I had trained for six months for an event that I no longer felt capable of or the slightest bit interested in participating in. The rug had been pulled out from beneath my feet and my devastation was paralyzing. The hardest part was that I was not mentally prepared to share the events with anyone aside from my husband. If I didn’t run the marathon everyone I knew would ask why….which could lead to talking about my pain. So, I ran. With a lump in my throat, tears streaming down my face, and weakness in every part of my body, I ran. One foot in front of the other and hitching breaths from my cry, I ran. I’m sure my fellow runners must have thought I was in pain or simply overcome with the emotion of the run but inside my heart ached more than any other part of my body possibly could. Running could not heal what I was dealing with, but it helped me deal.
When I finished that race, I stopped, convinced I would never run again. A year went by, while I grieved and I fought off the idea of ever running again. Associating the pain I felt on that day with the run and afraid it would return again.
Finally the summer of 2016, I found the courage to “suit up”. At first, I walked. I was in horrible shape and it showed. I even found myself having to sit under a tree a few miles in to regain the energy and finish a long walk. Eventually, I ran again. Some days, I would set out to run, so angry at the turn my life had taken and as a result at how far my fitness had fallen – I shed more tears of frustration under a tree that stood there and only watched my struggle. A wise friend told me, I was “praying with my feet”. I think she was right! The more I ran, the better I felt! When I found the courage to join Cypress Fit that year and run alongside others again, I felt even better. I listened to others talk and slowly I felt like talking too. I cannot express what this group has meant to me and what my fellow orange half members have given to me. Even those I did not get to know that first season, helped me with their presence, a smile, some encouragement, and energy. Today, I still face the struggles that life offers, but inside I am stronger. I am ready to face the pavement and “pray with my feet”. I am grateful that running took me back and helped me to find myself again. So, for me running has made the “why me?” Turn into “why NOT me?”

Mario Calvo

Assistant Coach - Green Full and Half Marathon & Advanced Training Coach

I have helped lead and assisted the Blue/Green groups and the interval training practices with Cypress Fit going on 5 years now. I have a special interest in trained and non-trained individuals body’s adaptations to endurance events like marathons and triathlons. From my own experiences and interests in strength and conditioning, I’ve gained valuable knowledge in how to train for these events and have shared these tools to help others achieve their goals. I enjoy helping Cypress Fit being a fun, safe and enjoyable club where like minded individuals can do what others might think is impossible or insane in their eyes. I have completed many 5K, 10K, 26K, half marathons, full marathons, Sprint Tris, Olympic Tris, and Half Ironman Tris. I hope soon to add more to my list and do even longer distances. If you have a goal or goals for your next event or questions about running or how to be an effective runner, feel free to ask me or one of your other coaches, we all don’t bite. Looking forward to seeing you on the trails.

Robyn Stout

Assistant Coach - Yellow Marathon Pace Group

I am so grateful for the USA Fit Cypress community which has supported my running new personal bests including a 50K trail race I never would have imagined running prior to USA Fit and these great people! I am motivated to do more running and training as a function of Saturday group runs,, the mid-week workouts, the great conversations during our time together and the general support for all of us to meet our individually set goals. The non-running social events help me meet folks who run at different paces and learn from their inspiring running and life stories. I found USA Fit about 3 years ago and have been involved ever since where I am amazed each season at the new people I meet and the goals we achieve with the support of each other. I encourage you to join this great running club!

 

Mimi Nguyen

Assistant Coach - Yellow Pace Group

I used to hate running!  I would marvel at my coworker when she told me that she runs 3 miles around Memorial Park 3 days during the week and 6-9 miles on Saturdays.  I never imagined that I could run 3 miles let alone a marathon. Little by little I started to run with some of my coworkers. The most I ran was a few 10K races.

After the birth of my second child in 2012, I could barely complete a two mile loop. So it was fate that I saw a post from my friend who was running with CyFit. I decided to sign up and train for a half marathon two years ago. I have since ran 5 halves and 3 fulls. This group of amazing runners has changed my life and attitude when it comes to running.  They understand the joy and struggle of running. They have supported me and taught me to believe in myself and be fierce!  I believe that the hardest part of running is having the courage to start so I am super excited to continue with CyFit for my third season.  I look forward to meeting and making new friends, sharing my love of running with you, and supporting you on your running journey!

Jeff Streets

Assistant Coach - Marathon Red Group Pace Coach

During my youth in a small Kansas town, I was always active and athletic. In high school, I excelled at football, basketball and track. The 440 yard dash was my specialty. Yes, high school races were measured in yards back in the 80’s.

So, you could say that I have always been a runner. Still, distance running does not come easy for me to this day. I have had to learn how to run long training distances and endurance races. I started learning to run long distances in 2005 after noticing that I wasn’t as fit as I wanted to be and learning that my cholesterol was borderline. Heart issues run in my family, so I felt I needed to make a plan that would keep me healthy for many years.

I improved my diet and began walking. After a few months of walking, I began running on a regular basis. Gradual increases in distance led me to my first half marathon, which then led me to run my first marathon two years later. Now that I’ve completed the Houston Marathon 13 times, I get to train with you and share what I’ve learned.

I’ve trained with USA FIT Cypress for about 9 years now and I rarely miss a Saturday morning long run on the paths of The Bridgelands. These long runs are both social and a good way to measure your progress. The hill workouts at the Hockley Soapbox Derby Hill and the track workouts at a local high school track can make you a stronger runner. The seminars held immediately following the Saturday long runs will educate you on many of the topics critical to a successful running season, such as stretching, hydration, nutrition, running shoes, injury prevention, and more. Furthermore, there are many experienced runners in the group that are always ready to share their own experiences.

Please don’t be intimidated about joining USA FIT Cypress. We are your neighbors and friends, and we are not semi-professional runners. Everyone in the group remembers what it is like to attempt a distance that you’ve never run before. We also celebrate with you as your endurance gets stronger and stronger, enabling you to set new personal records. I look forward to running with you!

Summer Rivenbark

Assistant Coach - Red Half Pace Group

My love for running started when I was in Jr. High and High School. The longest distance I ran at that time was the 400 meter dash. I decided my junior year to trade my running shoes for dance shoes and quit doing track for drill team but the love of running was still in me. After I graduated, I started running again for weight control and got hooked!

I started doing 5K’s, 10K’s and then half marathons. That led to a desire to complete a full marathon, one of my “bucket list” challenges.
I trained with Kenyan Way running group and ran my first two full marathons. I then decided to stick with half marathons for running and move to my next bucket list challenge…..a triathlon! I joined a gym with a pool and started training on my own. During that time, one of my co-workers found USAFit Cypress and we both joined in 2013. She talked me into running a couple more marathons. I was thrilled to find another running group that was closer to where I live, it sure beat driving into Houston!
I have run 4 full marathons, 11 half marathons, 6 sprint triathlons and 2 mud obstacle races.

I have really enjoyed running with the people in USAFit Cypress. Everyone is so positive and encouraging and the neighborhood is great. Come and join us in this crazy addiction we call running!

Brian Credeur

Assistant Coach - Red Half Pace Group

After “taking off” about 18 years from exercise and fitness I’ve been striving to develop a better me and to set a good example of a healthy lifestyle for my kids.  I had generally considered myself a fit and healthy person, but when starting to exercise and train again, I discovered it to be a bigger challenge than expected.  On that journey, a friend introduced me to triathlons and a cousin got me hooked on long-distance relays (Ragnar Trail Race!).  Initially, I wasn’t much of a swimmer or long-distance runner, but after individual research and training, things began to come together.  A few years ago, a friend who was a member of USA FIT Cypress suggested I sign-up.  Having only trained on my own, I was a little nervous about running with others.  I’m so glad that I decided to give it a try, because I have enjoyed sharing the hard work and its rewards, fun times, and experiences with my fellow CyFit-izens.

 

As a kid, I was always active.  I played various team sports including high school track and field and recreational tennis and volleyball in college.  After returning to fitness, I’ve been able to build upon the habits and methodologies instilled in those formative years by seeking and incorporating new information in sport science.  I am happy to say that I’m making progress toward my goals and love to be part of helping others attain their goals.  I appreciate sharing with and learning from others, and always look forward to the next USA FIT Cypress activity.

Ramona Lauterbach

Assistant Coach - Red Half Pace Group

My childhood was dedicated to gymnastics. In high school, however, I found the love for running. I used to be a fast runner, unbeatable fast😊.  Due to other priorities, however, I stopped running after college many years ago.

One of my goals, when I moved to this community, was to start running again. I do not like running alone; it had to be in a group. I found CyFit three years ago through the communities Facebook page. One of the organizers, Donya, touched base with me after she read my post requesting information about a running group and provided details. I decided to join without knowing what to expect.  I remember how tense and insecure I was felt my first day.  Well, the heartwarming welcome of the CyFit coaches and members made me return and continue my running journey, with what I call today my CyFit family. Thanks to the great coaching, I was able in the shortest time to sign up and run several half marathons. My Saturday’s motivation is the early wake up to join the group for a run, great communication and laughter!

Mike Pallatto

Assistant Coach - Orange Half Marathon Pace Coach

Joining USA FIT Cypress training group has been rewarding in many aspects personally, such as becoming healthier and more physically fit, and really being part of a family of runners that extends beyond the scheduled running days.  We are like a family that sincerely cares for each other.  I never ran a half marathon in my life, or signed up for a race until 2018.  Initially starting off at age 50 and being seriously overweight, the mental challenges of running a half marathon seemed liked a crazy idea.  After all, I had nothing to prove to myself anymore as I had already accomplished so many things in my lifetime.  But this wasn’t about accomplishing something to say I accomplished it, but rather a new lifestyle to enjoy life to the fullest in my latter years of life.  A new purpose, and a renewal of saying that age is just a number and not a limiting factor.

Along the way since starting three years ago, I’ve had so many coaches and members be an amazing support system.  We as a group are not super competitive, but we do strongly encourage each other along the way to help you meet your personal goals in a positive and constructive manner.  It’s not about who finishes first with the group, it’s about ALL of us finishing the run and/or walk.  If you do aspire to finish first, that competitive spirit will be fully supported as we all have personal goals too.  It’s always fantastic to have a runner who is pushing themselves to become faster, as that also inspires others to try harder.

The heart and passion of our running/walking group begins with the two organizers, Wendy and Donya.  Their commitment to us is overwhelming, so I felt compelled to be part of the team at the coach level to be more involved.  My first season coaching the Orange running group began in spring of 2021, and I look forward to helping you achieve whatever it is that drove you to join our family.  I’m here to support you in any way possible, and to let you know that you will not be alone.  Together, we can figure this out.  We all have our struggles in life, I still battle my weight issues and my eating lifestyle.  So, don’t be afraid, let’s help each other overcome our obstacles and persevere to a greater future and happier life!