T&R Endurance Sports: Testimonials
Hey, we can always tell you how well we coach but... you may want to hear it from a few of our athletes!
Meghan "Legs" Long
In November 2010, I joined T&R Endurance Sports Learn to Run program. I soon fell in love with the sport thanks to all of Coach Mike's encouraging words and teaching methods. In January 2011, I joined the Winter Marathon Training Program. A short six months after I began running I completed my first marathon. Coach Mike is the reason I have come so far is such a short amount of time. Every Wednesday night and Saturday morning Coach knew all the ways to push me to help me become a better and stronger runner. I will forever be grateful for all the hard work and dedication that Mike put in to me crossing the marathon finish line in less than five hours. Mike you are an extremely talented athlete and an exceptional coach. I can not wait to train with you and the rest of Team Life for future marathons. Thank you so much for a great season.
Jennifer "JD" Decrecenzo
_ Back in Winter of 2008 I walked into a little running shop looking for running shoes preparing to run my first 4 mile race. Coach Mike helped me find a pair of sneakers and told me to come out for a team run sometime. So that following year, I showed up for a run and little did I know the conversations I would have that night would lead me to go from running a 4 mile race to a Marathon! Over the past year I have completed 3 Marathons and 2 Marathon Training programs with Mike. Coach Mike’s endless support and dedication have erased the words "I can't" from my vocabulary. Those words have been replaced by many PR's and a mental toughness I never thought I had. He goes above and beyond to help me reach new goals. When I lost my beloved dog this past season and was about to quit training Coach Mike dedicated a special training session to me to help ease my pain by bringing his four legged running buddy Benson, I like to call it "doggie therapy". Running and Team Life have changed my life in so many positive ways and from it I have made friendships that will last a lifetime. Growing up a little chubby kid who used to dread gym class - I was never very athletic, now I am always striving for my next PR!"
Melissa "WTF" Wobbe
Coach Mike has given me the foundation I needed to start to transform myself and who I am as a person. With your help - you reminded (constantly) that I am a strong athlete every time I made excuses that I couldn’t do something, that I can keep going even when I think I can't & that something that I once saw as a necessary evil to fitness - is also fun. Because of you, I've become to realize that the journey is my destination. Thank you. Thank you for telling me to "stand up, pump those arms and keep moving" in May 2010. Thank you for your quiet encouragement and helping me get past my self doubt and personal demons after my first marathon challenge - enough to buy some bright orange Newtons and lace up & try it again. And for what will forever be one of my favorite and proud lifetime moments - Thank you for EVERYTHING on May 1st, 2011 - thank you for being by my side for what felt like the entire marathon, for your encouraging words every time I saw you that day "ahead of schedule", for the GUs, for every positive word, salt tablets, heckling me about my bad music, your company, the silent moments when I needed them etc
Thank you for never letting me forget that I am an athlete and for inspiring me to stick with it ....and who knows ...maybe one day .....This "blah" girl that went in for sneakers 3 years ago has an Ironman in her future and a fab Coach Mike by her side! Hey! You never know!
Danielle "Babs" Toscano
_My relationship with T&R Endurance Sports stemmed from an early onset quarter-life crisis and the need for a new challenge. Only until years later would I realize the full impact that this store around the corner would have on my life. Founder, Mike Kasper, has a natural gift for coaching. He is the man with the heart and love for endurance sports at the center of it all-and it's contagious. His passion and charisma draw out qualities in people that they never even knew they possessed. His talent lies not only in his ability to give individual attention to dozens of athletes at once, but to positively encourage them through rigorous and diligent training courses. He's that coach that believes in you even when you don't believe in yourself. T&R's running and triathalon teams have a camaraderie that bonds its members closer than a team and more as a family. As a team member, I can honestly say that we want to be better athletes not only for ourselves, but for each other. T&R Endurance Sports and TEAM LIFE is a home away from home, a safe haven: a place to train and grow. It's always welcoming to new members. Our success as a team is not measured by the amount of members strong we are, but by that love we've learned from our coach for our sport. "Team Life" changes lives. It's certainly changed mine.
Mike Coach Kasper
As some of you know, I have been that "go to" guy for many people. But, sometimes, I have the same needs and wants as the athletes that T&R trains. So, when I began preparing for Ironman Lake Placid, I turned to the best coach I know since the invention of aero bars. Yep, I'm talking about the one and only Coach Jonathan Rohl. Not only for his vast expertise in triathlon, running, and the sporting life, Coach Jonathan has an unique natural ability to convey his message, got me off my you know what and mapped out a plan that was spot on. He utilized our neighborhoods, some destination training spots, and even took me to the course I was preparing to race at!! Insane! I saw the course, rode the dreadful hills, swam the lake all under his guidance. He prepared me both mentally and physically where I needed to be come race day. And for that, I am grateful for his coaching, dedication, and most importantly his passion to see his athlete do well!
Kalim "the Fonz" Malik
_ I started running just 3 months before my 50th birthday (yes, it is never too late) and with 4 months of training with Coach Mike, I completed my very first race (that happened to be a Marathon) in 4:51, the result that I will forever be proud of. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I could run 5 miles, let alone a Marathon. As an aging runner (I can now legitimately call myself a runner) with no running background, my goal was to find a coach that would spell it out for me, and someone who will hold me accountable for my runs. I found such a coach in Mike. Coach Mike is motivating, demanding, and a strict disciplinarian. Mike makes running fun with combining many challenging workouts. I want to run as many Marathons (to make up for the years of not running) as I possibly can, and I will be training under Coach Mike for years to come.
Lauren "Quick Step" Ellard
_ I ran my first race in September 2009 at the Hoban 5 Miler Run in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. I was pretty much addicted to running from then on. In January 2010 I decided to sign up for a marathon training program and train for my first marathon in Spring 2010. I had heard many positive things about T&R Endurance Sports marathon program with Coach Mike and knew it would be a good fit for me. Mike is an expert when it comes to endurance sports, but he is also caring, fun and dedicated. Training with Mike made me feel like I had a personal coach I could talk to at any time, whether it be knee pain or anxiety over marathon day. Another great part of training with Mike is the friendships you make while you are training with your fellow group runners twice a week for four months, and of course the additional runs you may meet up for during the course of the training. The encouragement you get from one another is really irreplaceable and it's very helpful to have people who can truly understand what you are going through during the training, whether it be good or bad. I enjoyed my training with Mike so much that after running my first marathon, the NJ Marathon, in May 2010, the San Diego Marathon in June 2010, and the NYC Marathon in November 2010, I decided to sign up for another marathon training course in Spring 2011. The second time around in the marathon group was even better. It was great to meet new people and to come into the program with knowledge from the previous year. On April 30th, 2011 I ran the Nashville Marathon and even though I wasn't actually with Mike on marathon day, he was 100% there with me from a far. The night before the race I spoke with Mike about race day jitters and plans, and I was receiving texts and email updates throughout the marathon since Mike and my group were tracking me. Mike and I spoke after the race as well to discuss the course and how I was feeling. I would highly recommend Mike's program to anyone who is looking for a training group on any level, whether it be running your first marathon or advancing your skill level. Thanks Mike! You rock!
Demetra "Determinator" Arapakos
_Coach Jonathan coached me as a new triathlete through my first season of competition. He also coached me when I ran my first half marathon. Jonathan is a great coach, and much of the joy I found in the sport and success I experienced my first season is due to him. He is an experienced triathlete and runner, very knowledgeable, enthusiastic, genuinely committed to his athletes' development, and a great motivator. Above all, he made the training and the racing fun, and always managed to find the right thing to say when I was nervous or had my doubts. He is also very accessible and never hesitated to answer all of my questions (and I had many my first year!)
Erin "Varoom" Volsario
_ Throughout my training with Coach Mike, he always teased me about loosening up. “Loosen up those arms!” he would shout, occasionally running or biking beside me and grabbing my wrist in jest to shake out my arm. During my first marathon, he yelled the same thing to me, but also threw in a “Have fun!” He has not only taught me to loosen up my arms and shoulders and have fun running, but also how to loosen up and have fun in life and not be so hard on myself. Training with Coach Mike has taught me how to be a tough and confident person, and I have learned so much about myself and how strong and resilient I can be. I think, “I ran a freaking marathon. I can do anything!” I have been able to translate everything I have learned while training with Coach Mike into my everyday life. I am so grateful to him for helping me to dig deep and find my inner strength, and for helping me to “loosen up” and “have fun!”
Lisa "Cinderella" Gretano
Dear Coach Mike: I wanted to thank you again for all that you did for me. When I joined the group in January I honestly didn't think I'd be able to finish a marathon. Now four months later, I did, and I wouldn't have been able to do so without your guidance, encouragement and support- during training and during the actual race! Thank you for pushing me to go faster, for listening to me complain about the fuel belt, for letting me wear my iPod, and most of all, for making me believe in myself. I can't wait to start marathon training again in the fall!