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Chris Forti, Team Coach
Chris joined the Whippets in August 2013 after – literally – running into the Whippet founders on a run in Prospect Park. Growing up in the Boston area, running has always been part of his life: spectating the marathon as a kid, running competitively in high school and college, working in a running store, coaching at various levels including youth, high school and adult and a certified USATF official. While his true passion is the team aspect of cross country, he competes on the road, track and trails at distances ranging from 400m to the marathon. His coaching goals include helping individuals improve themselves both mentally and physically and while maintaining the life/ athlete balance. Chris is an RRCA-certified coach.
Scott Batten, Team Coach
Scott has been a Dashing Whippet since 2009 and has served as a team coach since 2010. His focus is on helping runners improve at races shorter than the marathon, with a particular emphasis on developing speed at the 5K to 15K distance. Brad Hudson, Matt Fitzgerald and Renato Canova have been the most influential on Scott’s training plans. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, and works as a systems analyst for The City of New York. Scott is an RRCA-certified coach.
Megan Jones, Team Coach
Megan has been a Whippet since 2013. Born and raised in Staten Island, she was introduced to running at the young age of 7, and joined her local CYO track team. Megan continued running for fitness during college. After graduating from Pratt Institute with a BFA in Fashion Design, she went on to work for Donna Karan Collection and currently works for Carolina Herrera. Taking running dedication to the next-level, Megan became a USATF Level 1 coach in 2016 and a RCAA Coach in 2017. She is VDOT certified. Her favorite race distances to train herself and others for are half marathons and marathons. When not racing or planning for races, Megan loves to cheer on her fellow Whippets as they crush their goals!
Fred Hines, Team Coach
Fred ran cross country and track at Williams College, competed in triathlons after college and has been running with the Whippets since 2014, competing in races ranging from the mile to the marathon. Fred teaches high school math in Brooklyn, where he also coaches his school’s Cross Country and Track & Field teams, including individual and team qualifiers for the NY state championships. Fred is an RRCA- and USATF-certified coach and helps support Whippets in Brooklyn.
Emmi Aguillard, Strength and Mobility Coach
Emmi Aguillard has been a competitive distance runner since she was in the 7th grade, competing DI Track and Field/XC at Tulane University. She graduated from Columbia University with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2016, and has been a Physical Therapist at Finish Line PT since June of 2016, where she specializes in treating runners and endurance athletes, with a focus on both “prehab” and performance. Emmi completed her Fellowship in Applied Functional Science through the Gray Institute in 2017, and is also an RRCA-certified coach. Emmi has been a member of the DWRT since her move to NYC in 2013; she has completed NYC Marathon twice and has run Boston three times. In her spare time, Emmi also enjoys exploring NYC’s food and beverage scene and Saints Football. Don’t hesitate to reach out to her for questions on strength and mobility training for runners, injury prevention, or returning to running after time off.
Laura joined the Whippets in 2017 shortly after moving to NYC for graduate school, but has been running competitively for over 10 years. Laura ran Division One Cross Country and Track & Field at Drake University, where she specialized in the 800m and mile. Since then, Laura has run multiple marathons with the Whippets, but she still prefers the track! As a captain for the Whippets, Laura leads the Brooklyn long runs each week and often attends the Brooklyn weekday workouts in Prospect Park. Laura holds a Master’s degree in Public Health Nutrition and is pursuing a license in dietetics along with her RRCA coaching certification. Laura is passionate about the intersection of sport, nutrition and mental health and currently works at Balance Eating Disorder Treatment Center in Manhattan. Feel free to reach out with any short distance or nutrition related questions.
Jason has been a runner since he was 15 years old. First running in high school, then running at division 1 Florida State University, and finally running with various teams in NYC. Jason earned his doctorate of physical therapy from Long Island University in 2012. He has been privately coaching NYC based athletes since 2017, including coaching two 2020 Olympic marathon trials qualifiers. His experiences as a runner, coach, and physical therapist have given him a unique perspective on what makes a runner successful. Jason is excited to share his experiences and learn from all the Dashing Whippets athletes!
Originally a tennis player, Jeremy played competitively for Vassar College and the University of Oxford before focusing on running in his late-twenties. After a few dispiriting marathons, he joined the Whippets in 2016 and never looked back: he competes in distances ranging from 400m through 26.2 miles and leads many of the Manhattan runs. What Jeremy enjoys most about the Whippets is its blend of community, ambition, and fun; he regularly volunteers as a focal point for new members and is keen to discuss running goals at all levels. Jeremy is a USATF-certified coach with a focus on longer distances. He supports Fred with the Whippet’s Performance Team and is also an IAAF/World Athletics ranked marathoner.
Kristyn Smith, Team Coach
Kristyn came to running rather late in life with little to no previous athletic background, coaching herself from couch to half to marathon, through study, lots of reading and plenty of trial and error. The formula worked because she qualified for Boston with her second marathon. Since then Kristyn has run many more marathons and qualified multiple times. In 2017 she joined the Whippets and has committed herself further to the study of running earning her RRCA coaching certificate and officiating for USATF meets throughout NYC. Although her favorite races are the half and marathon, she loves to run, race and coach people for every distance from the mile to an ultra.
In the middle of a timed one-miler, Danny once asked his coach “Can I stop now and run the rest later?” That was back in fifth grade but it had a lasting impact. His coach scoffed – and Danny’s competitive fire was lit. A standout runner and athlete throughout high school, Danny has always maintained a love for the sport. But life took its many detours, including a long hiatus from running, before he rediscovered his passion. Danny has competitively raced distances ranging from one mile to ultras, with his attention shifting most recently to the ultra. Since joining the Whippets and becoming an ACE CPT and RRCA certified Running Coach, Danny’s passion for running has grown into helping others achieve their own running goals, with a focus on strength training for performance and resilience.