Houston Marathon Committee, Inc.

Meet the Speakers

2017 Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute EXPO
Meet the Speakers

Friday, January 13, 2017

11:30 AM
Robert Key
Conquering Race Day Mental Demons

Robert Key has been doing motivational speaking for more than 25 years to athletic groups, businesses, conventions, schools, youth and other organizations on the topics of goal setting, and has been featured in television, newspaper and radio interviews. He has competed in more than 200 races ranging from 5K to ultra marathons. His most notable athletic achievements include:

-20x marathon finisher, including 10 Houston Marathons and 3 Boston Marathons
-10x Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run) and 10x half-Ironman finisher (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run)
-4x 100 mile ultra run finisher with a personal best distance of 120.2 miles
-September of 2016 completed the inaugural 106 West Triathlon (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run), the highest altitude triathlon in the world having a minimum elevation of 9,100 feet and reaching a maximum elevation of 10,290 feet
-One of only 15 athletes in the world recognized in the “2011 Ironman Performances of the Year”
-Earned “Ironman All World Athlete” status in 2015 and 2016

Notable recent running related speeches include:

-Keynote speaker at the 2015 Houston Area Road Runners Association annual banquet
-Guest speaker at the Houston Marathon Expo in 2014, 2015, and 2016, and is once again a scheduled speaker in 2017
-Keynote speaker at the Houston Marathon Run for a Reason luncheon in 2013, 2014 and 2015 honoring local charities
-Keynote speaker at the 2015 Prince of Wales Island International Marathon in Alaska
-Keynote speaker at the 2016 USA Fit National Directors Conference
-Only athlete asked to speak at the 2012 Ironman Texas Athlete Dinner with more than 3,000 in attendance
-Keynote speaker at the American Heart Association’s Houston city-wide kick-off luncheon for the 2014 Heart & Stroke Walk
-Keynote speaker at the 2015 American Heart Association’s Montgomery County banquet honoring local sponsors

12:00 PM
Christina Curry MS, RD, LD – Memorial Hermann
Sports Dietitian

Christina is a licensed and registered dietitian with Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute where she works with clients ranging from adolescence to adulthood to help them reach their sport performance and wellness goals through evidence-based nutrition programming. Christina earned her bachelors of science in biology at Furman University where she was also a Division 1 volleyball player, and went on to obtain her masters of science in nutrition from Texas A&M.  Previously, she worked with collegiate athletes, as well as athletes training for the NFL combine to optimize their nutrition for performance.

 

12:30 PM
Ashley Benson
Running the Houston Marathon – Final Tips

Ashley Benson – runcoach Head of Product is a USATF certified coach and former Wisconsin Badger track and field athlete.  Ashley helped lead the Badgers to a fourth-place finish at the 2006 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships. Ashley was head cross country coach at Cal State University – Bakersfield before joining runcoach where she has recently been promoted to Head of Product.

 

1:00 PM
Anastasia Hansen
Discovering Houston Hot Spots on Race Weekend

Anastasia Hansen is an unofficially official Houston ambassador looking to put her favorite city on the map and have it recognized by people all over the world. She blogs at ItsNotHouItsMe.com and shares her experience and expertise about Houston and inspires readers who are new to the city or want to explore more in their hometown. She regularly writes about brunch, first looks at new businesses, cool fitness spots in Houston, in addition to travel guides around the world. She’s a Digital Ambassador for the Greater Houston Partnership #HoustonNoLimits campaign, a volunteer for the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee, and participant in this year’s Aramco Half Marathon.

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3:00 PM
Calum Neff
Pushing for Your Best Marathon: Tips and Stories from Half & Marathon Stroller World Record Holder Calum Neff

In 2016, two weeks after running 2:23 at the Houston Marathon, Calum Neff broke the Guinness World Record for Fastest Half Marathon at the Katy Half with his youngest daughter Holland in 1 hour 11 minutes and 27 seconds. Later in the year at the Toronto Marathon with his four-year-old, Alessandra, they ran 2 hours and 31 minutes and 22 seconds to break the previous record by over 10 minutes. Come and hear Neff’s stories of the records and his tips for training, racing, and balancing running with life.

 

3:30 PM
Brett Singer MS, RD, CSSD, LD
Sports Dietitian- Pre-Race Nutrition

Brett Singer is a registered and licensed dietitian who holds a master’s in nutrition. He is also board certified in sports dietetics. As a sports dietitian, Brett has worked with high school, college, and professional athletes with a focus on improving performance through proper nutrition. Singer also enjoys working with endurance athletes ranging from first time runners to experienced IRONMAN athletes.

 

4:00 PM
Trevor Cottrell PhD, CSCS
Director of Human Performance
Cramping, Sodium & Glucose

Dr. Trevor Cottrell is the Director of Human Performance for the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute where he oversees integration of athlete performance development through the use of strength coaches, physical therapists, athletic trainers, physiologists and dieticians.

4:30 PM
Bernie Tretta
Meet the Athletes with Disabilities Field

The Athletes with Disabilities Program at the Chevron Houston Marathon was started in 2014.  In Jan 2015, 10 handcycle athletes participated in the marathon with 3 guides and 20 volunteers along the way.  In the last 2 years the field has grown to also include wheelchair duo teams, mobility impaired runners and blind/visually impaired runners.  Between the 3 races this weekend, there will be a total of 225 athletes, guides and volunteers!

On our panel there are 4 athlete speakers representing our 4 major categories of racers:  Jeff Chaffin representing the handcyclists & wheelchair racers, Hailey Danz representing the Mobility Impaired runners, Lisa Thompson representing the blind/visually impaired runners and Michelle Jones with her son Charlie representing the Wheelchair Duo teams.

BIOS

Jeff Chaffin
Jeff Chaffin is an Marine combat veteran who served in Iraq.  He lost his leg in an accident in 2008.  While he cannot easily wear a prosthesis, with the help of Achilles International Houston he discovered handcycling to stay active.  He has completed 14 marathons and will be competing in his 3rd Chevron Houston Marathon on Sunday.

Michelle Jones and son Charlie Jones
Michelle Jones and Captain Charlie Jones are the founders of the Wings of Texas chapter of myTeam Triumph International. In 2014, Michelle and her husband started running to get healthier. Since then, that exercise plan has blossomed into a full-fledged mission: to share the joy of crossing the finish line with persons of all abilities. Through their efforts, Captains (persons with disabilities) from the Coastal Bend crossed the finish line 231 times in 2016.

Hailey Danz
Hailey Danz is an elite sprint distance triathlete, cancer survivor, and member of Team USA.  In September 2016, she won the silver medal in the inaugural triathlon at the Paralympic Games in Rio.  In addition to her success in triathlon, she holds World Records in the 400-meter and the marathon (above-knee amputee classification).  She will be running her third marathon on Sunday, where she hopes to break her own record.

Lisa Thompson
Lisa Thompson is a local Houstonian that has been tearing up the running scene for 8 years now.  She is visually impaired and has won the VI division at the Houston Marathon and at the Boston Marathon twice.  In 2014, she won the female VI division of the Marathon National Championships at the California International Marathon.  She is a former president of the Bayou City Road Runners, a local running club, and Sunday will be running her 7th Houston Marathon.

Bernie Tretta
Bernie Tretta has managed the Athletes with Disabilities program at the Houston Marathon since its inception in 2014.  Through this program over 350 runners, guides and volunteers have participated in the race festivities.  Bernie is also the director of the Houston chapter of Achilles International, an international non-profit that aims to keep disabled people active.  She launched the chapter in 2013 which has helped disabled athletes run and wheel thousands of miles in the last 4 years. She will be running her 12th Houston Marathon on Sunday.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

 

10:30 AM
Robert Key
Conquering Race Day Mental Demons

Robert Key has been doing motivational speaking for more than 25 years to athletic groups, businesses, conventions, schools, youth and other organizations on the topics of goal setting, and has been featured in television, newspaper and radio interviews. He has competed in more than 200 races ranging from 5K to ultra marathons. His most notable athletic achievements include:

-20x marathon finisher, including 10 Houston Marathons and 3 Boston Marathons
-10x Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run) and 10x half-Ironman finisher (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run)
-4x 100 mile ultra run finisher with a personal best distance of 120.2 miles
-September of 2016 completed the inaugural 106 West Triathlon (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run), the highest altitude triathlon in the world having a minimum elevation of 9,100 feet and reaching a maximum elevation of 10,290 feet
-One of only 15 athletes in the world recognized in the “2011 Ironman Performances of the Year”
-Earned “Ironman All World Athlete” status in 2015 and 2016

Notable recent running related speeches include:

-Keynote speaker at the 2015 Houston Area Road Runners Association annual banquet
-Guest speaker at the Houston Marathon Expo in 2014, 2015, and 2016, and is once again a scheduled speaker in 2017
-Keynote speaker at the Houston Marathon Run for a Reason luncheon in 2013, 2014 and 2015 honoring local charities
-Keynote speaker at the 2015 Prince of Wales Island International Marathon in Alaska
-Keynote speaker at the 2016 USA Fit National Directors Conference
-Only athlete asked to speak at the 2012 Ironman Texas Athlete Dinner with more than 3,000 in attendance
-Keynote speaker at the American Heart Association’s Houston city-wide kick-off luncheon for the 2014 Heart & Stroke Walk
-Keynote speaker at the 2015 American Heart Association’s Montgomery County banquet honoring local sponsors

11:00 AM
Stacy Holden
Sharing stories of runners from Memorial Park and how the course intersects with the Park

Stacy is the author of the newly released coffee table book titled People of Memorial Park: Stories From Houston’s Favorite Trail. She is a native Houstonian, and began running at seven years old, only to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and celiac disease three years later.

Through these health hardships, her exercise habits never faltered, and in 1988, she and her parents began training at Memorial Park for the 1989 Houston Marathon. All the dedication and hard work came to fruition when Stacy completed her first marathon at twelve years old in a time of 4 hours, 18 minutes, 49 seconds.

Stacy went on to run competitively throughout high school and college and has been involved in the Houston running community for the last 30 years. Today, she is married with two daughters and has completed 9 Houston Marathons and 3 Houston Half Marathons.

Although she was excited to finish her inaugural Marathon in 1989, more importantly, those long runs on the trail at Memorial Park sparked a new love for the Park and its people. Stacy recently started thinking about all of the people at Memorial Park who she recognized, but did not know their names, much less their stories.  Her desire to learn more inspired her to track them down and write a book.

11:30 AM
Carlos Reyes
Pace Team Introductions

Carlos Reyes has been the Pace Team Committee Co-chair for the past 12 years with Arlen Isham, and he will be introducing you to this year’s Pace Team group leaders.

The Houston Marathon takes great pleasure in introducing this year’s Pace Team.  It is comprised of distinguished local runners as well as members from across the country, and represents the cumulative experience of over 1,276 marathons and ultra-races.  After a brief introduction, members of each pace group will discuss their approach for Sunday’s race.

12:00 PM
Ashley Benson
Running the Houston Marathon – Final Tips

Ashley Benson – runcoach Head of Product is a USATF certified coach and former Wisconsin Badger track and field athlete.  Ashley helped lead the Badgers to a fourth-place finish at the 2006 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships. Ashley was head cross country coach at Cal State University – Bakersfield before joining runcoach where she has recently been promoted to Head of Product.

12:30 PM
Charlie Gremillion MS, SCCC
Human Performance Specialist
Plyometrics for Runners – Performance & Injury Prevention

Charlie has a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from Texas Tech University where he spent several years as a competitive member and head coach for the triathlon team. After studying under Master Strength Coach Tory Stephens and Katie Munger, he received his certification from the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association. After moving to Houston in 2010, Charlie took an instructor position in the Houston Baptist University School of Nursing and Allied Health where he taught a wide variety of exercise science classes. Joining the Memorial Hermann Ironman Sports Medicine Institute Human Performance Team in January of 2014, he works to bridge the gap between exercise physiology, strength & conditioning and sports medicine.

1:00 PM
Anastasia Hansen
Discovering Houston Hot Spots on Race Weekend

Anastasia Hansen is an unofficially official Houston ambassador looking to put her favorite city on the map and have it recognized by people all over the world. She blogs at ItsNotHouItsMe.com and shares her experience and expertise about Houston and inspires readers who are new to the city or want to explore more in their hometown. She regularly writes about brunch, first looks at new businesses, cool fitness spots in Houston, in addition to travel guides around the world. She’s a Digital Ambassador for the Greater Houston Partnership #HoustonNoLimits campaign, a volunteer for the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee, and participant in this year’s Aramco Half Marathon.

Connect with It’s Not Hou It’s Me:

https://itsnothouitsme.com/about/

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Subscribe to weekly newsletter

1:30 PM
Dennis Rogers
Strongman Demonstration

2:30 PM
Kimberly Gandler MS – Memorial Hermann
Human Performance Specialist

Kimberly holds a masters degree in bioengineering and specializes in human movement mechanics and injury prevention. Her experience includes management of the SHRI-CORE Motion Analysis Lab in Sun City West, Arizona, and ten years in a clinical setting with expertise in motion capture. She was an Adjunct Professor of Biomechanics at University of Houston Clear Lake who has presented at national meetings on biomechanics.

3:00 PM
Joe Carey
Houston Running Clubs- Who are They, Why Join and How to Start One?

3:30 PM
Calum Neff
Pushing for Your Best Marathon: Tips and Stories from Half & Marathon Stroller World Record Holder Calum Neff

In 2016, two weeks after running 2:23 at the Houston Marathon, Calum Neff broke the Guinness World Record for Fastest Half Marathon at the Katy Half with his youngest daughter Holland in 1 hour 11 minutes and 27 seconds. Later in the year at the Toronto Marathon with his four-year-old, Alessandra, they ran 2 hours and 31 minutes and 22 seconds to break the previous record by over 10 minutes. Come and hear Neff’s stories of the records and his tips for training, racing, and balancing running with life.