The Coaches

Ranak Amin, 5K/10K Head Coach

Greetings and welcome to the 5K/10K Program at Woodlands Fit. I started running late in life to combat health issues, and never having run before, joined WF in 2011 with the intention of “just trying it out”.  It was difficult at first, because I felt “everyone was faster and better” than me. But the coach and other members were so supportive and encouraging that the training miles flew by, and I ran my first Woodlands Half Marathon in 2012.   I have come back to Woodlands Fit for 9 years, first as a runner and then as an Assistant Coach in the Half Marathon Program.  Since that first race, I have run 15 Half Marathons, several 10-milers and many 5k’s/10k’s.  I completed my first Full Marathon this June. The camaraderie and friendships that developed over that first season have continued to this day. Sharing the highs and lows with other members who are on the same journey to a healthy lifestyle is something that I look forward to every weekend. Today, I hope to share this same enthusiasm with you and make your experience with Woodlands Fit an unforgettable one.

Vicky Gillmor, Half Marathon Head Coach & RRCA Certified Coach

Welcome to Woodlands Fit! This is my 7th year with Woodlands Fit and 6th year as head coach. I love Woodlands Fit for so many reasons but mainly because of the people and the accountability it provides! I began running in 2008 when I found a local running program that would train me to run 5 miles!! At that time I remember thinking “Wow, to be able to run 5 miles would be amazing!” Well…I ran my first 5 mile race on Thanksgiving Day 2008 and it was awesome…I was hooked! From there I trained for the 10 For Texas and then my first half! To date I have completed many more races including 18 Half Marathons and 5 Full Marathons. I became an RRCA certified running coach in 2011.   I now coach all levels of runners from beginners to intermediates with an emphasis on cross training!  I love coaching and hope to pass along my love of running while helping you get to the finish line!

Mike Smith, Full Marathon Head Coach

Welcome to the Full Marathon Group.  The full groups have the most fun … since we do spend a lot of time together… sharing the miles, our lives and our story with each other. My running story started in 2009, running 5Ks for some weekend recreation. After getting hurt, my wife signed me up for a 5 mile group training program. The “training program” became my new daily routine and the “group” my new friends. I joined Woodlands Fit in 2011 and I’ve been the head coach since 2013. Through the support of the Woodlands Fit running community, I’ve been able to make and achieve new personal goals and to complete 50 marathons in all 50 US states. We are looking forward to a new season, to all the fun times on the way to the finish line, on hearing your running stories and in helping you achieve your goals! Run Happy!

Laura Faria, Co-Organizer & RRCA Certified Coach

Co-Organizer - RRCA Certified Coach

Welcome runners! I am thrilled to have the opportunity to assist Melissa as a co-organizer of Woodlands Fit and still run with the amazing runners in Blue/Green full marathon pace group. I have been with Woodlands Fit for eight years. In 2011, I decided to train for a half marathon. By the time race day arrived, I was hooked and ready to sign up for a marathon. Since then I have run more than 15 marathons, multiple half marathons, and a number of other races, including the GE Run Thru the Woods, the 10 for Texas, and the Texas Independence Relay. I love running the Goofy Challenge at Disney World. This race is terrific because it allows me to run a half marathon with my husband and then challenge myself to run a full marathon the next day. I have run four Boston Marathons and will be running the Berlin and London marathons this year. After that, I will have run five of the six World Marathon Majors. I hope to finish with Tokyo in 2021. Not only does running help keep me fit, but it allows me to challenge myself and is a great way to relax. I can’t wait to help you reach your running goals in a fun and supportive atmosphere. My husband, Ian, and I live in The Woodlands. We have two teenage daughters and an twelve-year old son, who keep me busy with their sports practices, meets, and games.

Melissa Holloway, Organizer

Woodlands Fit is an amazing group of people who come together each Saturday morning during the season to share time and training as we prepare for marathons, half marathons, and races of other distances. I'm excited to lead the 2019-20 season along with Laura to help create a solid season of training. This is my fifth season with Woodlands Fit and second season as organizer. No matter your training goal this season, you’ll find Woodlands Fit coaches and members who will help you succeed. Through the miles, you’ll learn new things about yourself, develop friendships that can last a lifetime, and enjoy the support of the Woodlands Fit family. It’s going to be another great season with miles of smiles!