Our Coaching Team

Kokopelli Racing Team Coaches:                                                                                             

Head Coach – Lisa Rainsberger

Hometown:  Battle Creek, Michigan

Education: University of Michigan

USATF Level 1 Coaching Certification

Family: Husband Bud, Katie (21), Ian (18), Puppies Ledger and Lola

https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Triathlon/News/Blogs/My-Story/2019/March/01/Women-Shaping-Multisport-Part-1

 

I enjoyed an athletic career which spanned over three decades, competing in Swimming, Running and Triathlon. Notable victories include winning the 1985 Boston Marathon, 1988 & 1989 Chicago Marathon and three time Olympic Team Marathon Alternate. I am now enjoying the opportunity to share my knowledge and coaching experience with athletes of all levels of ability from those who are "just getting started," to World Class Runners. 

In 2009 I founded the Kokopelli Kids Trail Running Series which was named 2013 "Youth Race of the Year" by Running USA.  In 2010 I develped the Kokopelli High Altitude Running Camps and this year we are expanding our programs to include The Kokopelli Racing Team.  All of these events and programs are an extension of my passion for running and there is no greater joy than seeing an athlete cross the finish line having surpassed their expectations and goals. We welcome you to become a member of our Kokopelli prorams.

 

Castle Rock Head Coach – Adam Christians

Hometown: LeMars, Iowa

Education:  Iowa State University

Family: Wife Jennifer, Tyler (17), Leah (15), Turner (13), Carly (10)

My wife Jen and our 4 children have been living in Colorado for 7 years after escaping the head and humidity of the Midwest.  When I’m not running or coaching, I stay busy with my career as an aerospace structural engineer.

My earliest memory of running goes back to my first real job, a paperboy!  I had to deliver 100 newspapers every day after school during elementary school and into junior high.  I remember racing through the route everyday trying to get done as fast as I could so I could play with my friends!  Unfortunately, growing up in rural Iowa, there wasn’t a lot of opportunities for youth running.  I ran track and cross country competitively in high school, but didn’t get involved with racing again until my mid 20’s.  After my oldest son started showing an interest and aptitude for running, he joined a JOXC team in Wichita and I started coaching.  I’ve been coaching Junior Olympics for 6 years now and have 3 kids of my own running with the youngest one very excited that she gets to start this year. 

I’m very excited about the new Kokopelli Racing Team and the opportunity to share my experience and enthusiasm with the runners.  I believe that starting the kids at an early age using appropriate training principles & methods, along with promoting character development, self-motivation and a competitive spirit, will provide a solid foundation for the kids to reach their peak potential as runners and as people.  Providing this in a fun, caring environment will lead to a lifelong love of running and create a lot of good memories along the way.

BIYA SIMBASSA


Biya was born in Ethiopia but emigrated and became a United States Citizen.  Biya ran for and graduated from Oklahoma University.  He is a professional runner and currently a member of the American Distance Project training for the 2020 Olympic Games. 

Personal Bests: Mile: 4:05.5; 3k: 8:04.44; 5k: 13:25.79; 10k: 27:45.78

- 4th-place 2017 US Outdoor Championships (10,000m)

-2016 US Olympic Trials Qualifier 5,000m

- 2015 Big 12 10,000m 5th

- 2015 Big 12 5,000m 3rd

- 2015 Big 12 3,000m 5th

- 2014 Big 12 3,000m 3rd

- 2014 Big 12 5,000m 3rd

- 2014 Big 12 Cross Country Runner-up

Luke Rodriguez

Hometown: Fernley, Nevada      

Education:  University Colorado-Colorado Springs

I grew up in a small town near Reno NV, playing all the traditional team sports (baseball, basketball, football etc.) until  my sophomore year of high school. I fell in love with running that summer when I was challenged by my basketball coach to lose weight for the upcoming season.

I joined the Cross Country and Track team and spent the next 3 years of high school dedicating myself to the pursuit of being the best runner I could be! By my senior year I had become one of the best distance runners in the state of Nevada and decided to accept a scholarship to UCCS to continue my quest to become the best runner I can be.

So far I have been fortunate enough to be an alternate for the team that got 12th at Division II Cross Country Nationals in 2018 and been a part of an incredible team culture that continues to strive for excellence.  At UCCS I have gone through a numerous amount of moderate to serious injuries but this last summer after partially tearing my Achilles I was able to become a coach at Monument Academy for Cross Country and Track.

I have found a new passion in the realm of running through coaching and helping out others in pursuing their potential in the sport of running,  teaching them what it takes to be successful, healthy, learn more about the sport and most importantly have fun. I will be pursuing coaching certifications from USATF and also USTFCCCA this winter.

I’m a nutrition major with the long term plan of getting a graduate degree in exercise physiology or sports nutrition to become a registered dietitian and also pursue coaching even more runners!

JANEY HEARD                       

My name is Janey Heard and I am so excited to be joining Kokopelli! I grew up in Parker Colorado and am a could not imagine living in a different state. About 2 years ago I moved to Colorado Springs a little over 2 years ago. I love all the Colorado activities; camping, hiking, running, anything that gets me outside. I currently am teaching at the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind (CSDB). In the Spring I coach track at CSDB and I love watching my students and athletes succeed!

 

Running has played such a big role in my life! I started running when I was in middle school and I actually started running to make myself a better swimmer. Little did I know I would fall in love with running. So going into high school I quit swimming competitively and ran in high school. I ran both Cross Country nd track and went on to run at the University of Northern Colorado. While in College, I founded the UNC Running Club. I am so excited to coach for Kokopelli and help young runners grow, achieve goals and become amazing people

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