Our Team

Our Team Pros

Our mission at Girls Run the World is to not only help women of all levels to achieve amazing, life-affirming goals in running and triathlon, but to empower the voice of female experts within endurance sport. 

By showcasing the training they provide on our platform, we hope to elevate women in endurance sport from participation to coaching.  Women are not small men, and we require coaching that reflects this. 

Kelly Gentry, Swim Coach

Kelly has an impressive pedigree when it comes to swimming. She started training with a team from the age of six in California although she's the first one to admit, it didn't come easily. 

 'I was better at football but when I had to choose between the two when I reached the age of 11,I decided to pursue swimming. I liked the challenge and knew that I could get better.' And her hard work paid off. 

After racing competitively throughout university, Kelly eventually switched to open water swimming. welcoming the chance to enjoy the experience of outdoor swimming rather than racing for the finish times. 

Kelly has now been coaching for over a decade, first under the tutelage of Olympic level coaches, then coaching masters level, alongside coaching and guiding for the open water holiday specialists, SwimTrek. 

'It’s my pure joy to show swimmers what they’re capable of and I love it when they reach their goals and realised they can exceed and do more than they ever dreamed was possible.' 

Coaching Qualifications
• ASCA Level 2 Swim Coach (American Swim Coaches Association)
• SLSGB Surf Lifeguard 
• WOWSA Open Water Coach
 

Achievements

  • SCAR Challenge (67km - 4-day lake challenge in Arizona)(Skins)

Saguaro Lake (15km) 3:53.27

Canyon Lake (15km) 4:01.06

Apache Lake (27km) 8:55.11

Roosevelt Lake - night swim (10km) 3:50.22

  • Coldest Swim: Lake Bled winter swimming champion (25m & 50m Breastroke & 25 & 50m Freestyle) (skins)
  • Dock 2 Dock 10km swim: 3:05.07
  • Croatian Race Series: Several top 3 finishes for 5k races

 

Tara Shanahan, Run Coach

When Tara runs, she gets all the Strava crowns! But this wasn't always the case - and she certainly did not come from a background of running.

As with many of us, Tara decided to run a marathon in 2010, increased her mileage too quickly and came away with a time of 4 hours 48 minutes and shin splints. But she was hooked. 

With consistency, she's gone against the perceived opinion that you get slower with age and has just got faster and faster.

Her marathon PB is now 3 hours, 9 minutes but she still thinks of her first marathon as the most special because, 'it was the day I discovered that I was capable of something that had seemed impossible.'

At 50, she's now a sub 18 minute 5km runner but understands how to train all levels of runner. A particular proponent of Chi & Pose running techniques, she believes consistency is the key to unlocking performance gains.  

Coaching Qualifications

EA Running Coach Level 2 

Achievements

  • Sussex 10km Road Racing Champion in age category 40-49
  • Personal bests, 5km: 18.22, 5th fastest UK parkrun in age category 45-49 (2017), 10km: 37.43, Half Marathon: 1.26, Marathon: 3.09

Fran Bungay, Head Triathlon Coach

Fran had just become a mother for the first time, when she started triathlon 15 years ago. 

She completed the swim doing breast-stroke and loved it so much, juggled motherhood and training, tying the  baby monitor to the handlebars of her turbo to fit it in. 

'It was all about balance and time management,' she admits. 'I got used to early alarms and evening swims!'  Her focus paid off with several podium finishes at Ironman, Challenge and European Triathlon Union events. 

Fran continues to compete alongside coaching as a Level 3  British Triathlon Federation coach, where she also mentors and teaches new triathlon coaches. 

' I have met so many inspiring athletes throughout coaching and competing, it is incredibly rewarding to be part of someone's training journey.

'It's not all about being competitive, quite often it's the process to get there which is the biggest achievement of all.'

Qualifications

  • BTF L3 Triathlon Coach 
  • BTF coach Educator 
  • Trisutto and Ironman University Coach
  • Nutritional Advisor for Sports Performance

Achievements

  • ETU bronze: Rimini middle distance AG // Limerick standard Duathlon 
  • ETU Silver: HORST: long distance Duathlon two years in a row. 
  • ETU Gold: Horst Sprint duathlon, Long distance Triathlon Vichy 
  • First place Ironman 70.3,  European AG champion Weisbaden
  • World Championships 70.3 Qualifier, Utah 2021

Becky Goodwin, Triathlon Coach

Becky tried her first triathlon after being persuaded by a friend over a glass of wine. Within four years, she was gracing the podium at sprint to middle distance in both the European and World Championships. And this while holding down a full time job as a branding graphic designer. 

She now combines this with being a level 3 BTF and was awarded Coach of the Year 2020. 

'Triathlon is such a versatile and complex sport, there is rarely one training solution,' she explains. 'No two journeys are the same, and navigating the sport to help others is highly rewarding.'

And as a coach who continues to perform at the top of her game, she never loses sight of those she coaches or the juggle required to fit in smart training. 

'Being a coach gives me a lot of self-reflection and motivation,' she says. 'From expecting them to get out on a soggy day, to always keeping me on the ball with questions, hurdles and successes whether it be physically or mentally. '

Qualifications 

  • British Triathlon Federation Level 3 
  • BTF Coach of the Year 2020
  • Head Coach, Windrush Triathlon 

Achievements

  • 2019 European Middle Distance Championships 1st
  • 2019 World Sprint Distance Championships 2nd
  • 2019 National Elite Duathlon Championships 5th
  • 2019 World 70.3 Ironman Championships 8th
  • 2017 + 2018 European Olympic Distance Championships 3rd

 

Katie Wright, Swim Run Strength

Renowned for her bubbly personality, don’t be fooled, this mother of two, has a steely determination and a fierce belief that, with the right mindset and training, anything is possible. 

Katie, 37,  started swimming and running competitively at school, where she ranked in the top 10 in the UK at 300m. Nowadays, she combines her love of swimming with running.

“I love the experience of competing, from the pre-race nerves right through to the lactic burn as you cross the finish line.” 

Coaching Qualifications

  • Level 3 Personal Trainer
  • Kettlebells Instructor
  • England Athletics Leader in Running Fitness 
  • Suspension Fitness

Achievements 

  • National Aquathlon Championships 2019 – 6th AG
  • Marathon Swims 2019 – 3rd Woman
  • Great Britain Age Group Aquathlon Team 2020

 

Lucja Leonard, Ultra Coach

Like many women before her, and many more to come, Australian born Lucja started running in a bid to lose weight. It turned into a love for running ultra distance race and a career in coaching.

After completing her first ultra marathon of 34 miles in seven hours in May 2013,  she went on to her first multi stage ultra, the 160 mile Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon five months later.

'It taught me how amazing the female body is, and how mentally resilient it is possible to be.'

With a string of ultra marathon races from all over the world under her belt, including the notorious Leadville 100 in Colorado, Lucja is well qualified in helping coach women in the mental resilience and physical fitness that is part and parcel of ultra running and is available as a 1-2-1 remote coach through Girls Run the World.

Now based in Tennesse, and online programmes for GRTW focus on helping women get strong and mobile so that they can keep running and doing what they love, no matter what their age. 

Coaching Qualifications

  • Level 3 Personal Trainer
  • Functional Anatomy and Sports Biomechanics

Achievements 

 

  • 2nd female - Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon 2013 & 2014
  • 1st female - Run the Blades 50k 2015
  • 1st female - Mongolia Ice Marathon 2016
  • 2nd female - Bodrun 50k Turkey 2016
  • 2nd female Conquer the Wall marathon China 2019
  • Ran 500k in 5 days 2016 across the length of The Netherlands