Louisiana Runs

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Louisiana Runs provides support to individuals and organizations dedicated to the advocacy and advancement of running in the state of Louisiana. Our story begins with the fact that Louisiana ranks consistently in the bottom of health and fitness levels of states in the union.  We believe that running can change this.

The mission of our blog is to serve as a resource for all things running in Louisiana, while building and cultivating a strong running community. Our objective is to promote, support and educate people on running. We will cover a variety of topics in a variety of ways, as they relate to running, health and fitness.

To kick off the blog, we’re rolling out a video series about running. The series features local health, fitness, and nutrition experts sharing their thoughts, advice and insights on a variety of topics related to running. This series covers everything from how to get started as a runner, to transitioning into long distant running, to making informed decisions about footwear, nutrition, rest and recovery, all the way to making running a family event. Our panel includes race directors, physical therapists, trainers, Ph.D’s, running store owners, health fanatics, many of whom are runners themselves. Below are a list of panelists and a short bio on each.

 

Ray Castle, PhD, ATC, LAT

Ray has been the director of the Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training at Louisiana State University since 2002 and also serves as associate professor of professional practice at LSU. He has had an impressive career as a trainer and has served on many professional boards and committees. Ray has also been heavily involved in large-scale athletic event coverage, including the 1992 US Olympic Track & Field Trials, 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, Louisiana Marathon, Boston Marathon, and Ironman Texas Triathlon.

 

Jonathan “Juba’ Dziuba

Born in Baton Rouge in 1980 and has lived here his entire life.  Graduated from LSU in 2002 with a Finance degree. He is married to Lindsey Dziuba and has two boys ages seven and four.  Juba worked in sales for many years, but recently went into business for himself coaching triathletes and distance runners.  He has been racing different endurance events since 2007 and has completed 5K, 10K, 5 & 10 milers, half marathons, marathons, 50K, ultra relays, and every distance triathlon.  He loves seeing people getting started and “catching the bug”.

 

Susan Hayden

Chairman of the Board of Rocketkidz Foundation (RKF), Race Director for Rocketkidz LSU and Rocketchix Triathlons, 2004 – 2012.  RKF’s mission is to create and sustain active, fit and healthy children, families and communities through programming advocacy and education.  RKF supports a vast array of programs for children and produces seven events yearly that span from three yr old kids triathlon to adult 10 mile running race and a half ironman distance triathlon event.  Susan is also a retired CEO/Owner of an Engineering Firm, wife, mother of two active daughters and an Ironman several times over.

 

Roland Leblanc

Ran in high school and in college at LSU focusing on the 3k steeplechase (PR-9:21  All-SEC 2004) and 10K for Cross Country (PR-31:45).   He worked at Varsity Sports for 4+yrs while in college, learning the basics of running shoes and general gait analysis.  Graduated from LSU with an engineering degree working in the Oil/Gas field for 5+ yrs after graduation, then returned to the running scene managing/owning a running store in New Orleans (Louisiana Running Company).   He is currently single and enjoying all that life offers at the moment.

 

Craig Sweeney

Craig has been the Race Director of The Louisiana Marathon since the idea of the event was first conceptualized with high school classmate Patrick Fellows.  He has been a runner and athlete all of his life, threw the javelin at LSU, has run races of all distances and competed in several 70.3 distance triathlons. He is a member of Running USA, USA Track & Field, and USA Triathlon and is member of several community and economic development organizations in the region. Craig has directed or been involved with the event management for more than 30 events along the Gulf Coast. His married and has three sons.

 

Pat O’Brien

Pat is a native of Baton Rouge, received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from LSU Health Sciences Center, and is now a Physical Therapist with sports medicine and orthopedics interest. Growing up, he ran with his dad, lost interest for a while (got lazy and became a musician) then started again to get back in good health. He started doing triathlons in 2003, and completed his first Ironman in 2009. He began race directing with Louisiana Triathlon in 2010 and in 2012 started the River Roux Triathlon, a half iron distance race, held in New Roads, LA. He enjoys the journey that is event management and meeting/interacting with the passionate people involved. He is married with two kids and a bun in the oven (due March 2014).

 

Pat Fellows

Pat Fellows is an endurance & health junkie. He is the owner of FreshJunkie Salads and wraps, a brand that serves up tasty food along with an ethos on healthy eating and living, the co-owner of FreshJunkie racing, a training and race directing venture he started with a friend, a co-founder of the RocketKidz foundation, and works for Mizuno. Pat has completed an impressive number of races of varying difficulty and once swam 32 miles in the Gulf of Mexico to raise money for charity and increase awareness of childhood obestity. Pat is a husband and father to two lovely children who are both avid swimmers.

 

Ryan Green

Dr. Ryan Green is managing partner at Varsity Sports Mandeville. He received his athletic training certification in 1997 and received his Ph.D. in Kinesiology from LSU in 2006.  Dr. Green’s sportsmedicine/biomechanics experiences include the United States Olympic Committee’s Sports Medicine Program, LSU Athletics, as well as coaching and consulting with sports medicine professionals and athletes from around the region.  He is an avid runner having completed eight marathons, an ultramarathon, and numerous other road races. He is most proud of being able to get out and run with his wife, Jill, and their children, Emma and Andrew.

 

Jenni Peters

Jenni is the co-owner of Varsity Sports’, which has twice been named the Southeast’s top running store by Runners’ World. She is also a running coach and one of the biggest supporters of the running community in south Louisiana. She’s had an impressive career as a competitive runner that took her to three Olympic Marathon Trials (’84, ’88, ’92), had her ranked in the top 20 in the world by Track and Field News, and earned her a spot on the Nike National Team and numerous U.S. Track and Field Teams. She’s run a mile in less than five minutes and her personal best marathon time is 2:39:43. Her life’s mission is helping people see themselves as runners.