Richie Blake – Head Coach
I coached Cross Country and Track at Tyngsborough Jr. Sr. High for 13 years, and I always took pride in the fact that I coached runners to much faster times than I ever ran. I started my own running in the 7th grade, when friend of mine told me about how "In cross country, you get to run around in the woods". It sounded like fun to me, and since then it has been a great source of stress relief for me. In the summer of 2001, I left working at the high school to follow some of my own dreams, which included driving across the country, taking lots of photographs, and living in Alaska for 4 months. I've traveled in all but five states (But I have Alaska and Hawaii in the bag.) Since leaving the school, there was an empty place in my heart, which has been fulfilled by the honor of coaching the best running club in the area.
Keith O’Brien – Assistant Coach
I have been a teacher in the Tyngsborough School District since 1997. Presently, I am a 7th grade geography teacher at Tyngsborough Middle School and I am the head cross country coach for boys and girls at Tyngsborough High School. I am also a registered EMT and have worked on an ambulance for 16 years. I have been running competitively since the 7th grade. I ran college cross country and track at The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester. I have had coaching stints at Chelmsford High School, Westford Academy and since 2001 have been coaching at Tyngsborough High School. Coaching at Gate City has been a great experience.
Justin Soucy – Assistant Coach
"Started my running career in 6th grade. Got lazy in college and stopped for 2 years. When I couldn't run 3 miles comfortably anymore I decided it was time to start up again. I started coaching Pelham High School Cross Country once I graduated from Merrimack College and it has influenced all major decisions in my life since. I'm proud to say that some of the kids I've coached have gone on to run faster than I ever could and continued competitively in college and after. I've learned a lot from coaching, running, my coaches, my athletes and continue to discover things since becoming a member of the GCS coaching staff. I've got a lot to learn and look forward to learning it. Some of my PRs 4:42 - mile, 16:13 - 5K, 36:09 - 10K, 1:21:15 - half, 3:05:29 - full."
Amy Doyle – Assistant Coach
I live in Merrimack with my husband and 3 little kids (Maddy 8, Emily 6 and Stevie 4). I have been in Merrimack since September 2000, when I was hired as a YMCA Director (Merrimack YMCA). At the YMCA I was at one time or another the director for Aquatics, School Age Child Care, Day Camp, Youth Sports, Tennis and Competitive Swimming. I switched gears in 2012 to work part time in the Wellness Department at the Y. I am certified in personal training, group exercise, running & competitive swimming. I teach several adult fitness classes including running, swimming and a variety of strength training. Running you ask….I ran track in high school (VT) and a little in college. Then, any race longer than 400 meters was considered distance! I still have a bit of sprinter speed left in me and can manage to give a good kick to the finish. I have done many races and do run often but distance running is still not my thing…for now. I usually race 5k-10k and I can squeak under 22:30 on most days for a 3.1 race. For the team or for a series I will run long. I attempted the Mountain races and well…they were just so hard (and far away)! I love trail running, dabble in a few annual sprint triathlons, workout most days at the gym and love coaching! One of the coolest thing about running is that is connects so many different people; people that probably would have not connected otherwise. I believe that pace or speed or distance shouldn’t matter in order for someone to consider themselves a runner and I love that I have met so many great people through running. I am proud to coach and race for the Gate City Striders.
Michelle Poublon – Youth Program Director
I have been a GCS member since 2003 and board member since 2006. I live in Nashua with my husband, Mike, and children Danielle, Eric and Michael. The first marathon I completed was the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. Since then, I have run 5 marathons: the Vermont City Marathon, the Chicago Marathon (twice), the Boston Marathon, and the Bay State Marathon. My proudest moment was completing the 2004 Chicago Marathon. My worst experience was at the 2005 Boston Marathon in 80+ degree heat, knowing I was in trouble at mile 6. My PR is 3:38:29, which I ran at Bay State in October 2008. My favorite races include the Lake Winnipesaukee Relay and the Mill Cities Relay. My Goals for 2009 are: to improve my half marathon PR and compete in my first triathlon. Things I live for are: my family, the beach, Margaritas, long runs with the Breakfast Club (“hsmrg”), good food, chocolate, and outdoor adventure!
George Lecours - C25K Program Director
George Lecours has been coordinating the Gate City Striders Couch To 5k Program for the first three years of it's existence and will be working with a great group of experienced GCS coaches who will help bring you from walking, to running, to completing a 5k in just 10 weeks.George has coached the beginner/instructional running program for Gate City Striders 10 years, been a Certified Aerobics fitness instructor at the Nashua YMCA for 9 years, coordinated the Couch to 5K program in Nashua and Hollis for the Gate City Striders for 2009, 2010 & 2011, worked with Saucony Inc. Expert in athletic footwear and clothing 11 years. He also has years of experience working with beginner exercise enthusiasts, keeping them safe on the roads and injury free.He's been a Veteran runner of 32 years and completed 24 marathons, 10 half marathons, 100's of 5k to 5 mile races.He also holds a Certificate from the National Safety Council in CPR and AED training.George is also a member of the GCS Hall of Fame and is HOF credentials can be found here.
Dave Salvas - Marathon Program Director
I have coached adult marathoners for the last 9 years, six for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society, which they had me certified in Florida. I havecoached the Gate city group for the last three years. I have completed 89 marathons and finished as high as 9th.I have run down the state of NH (221 miles) and across the state (116 miles) and run down the state of Mass. From Nashua to Rhode Island. I was a certified NH State Track and XC official. I also was a National Ski Patrol member. I am a current coach for the Souhegan High School XC and indoor and outdoor track teams. I have completed 5 half IronMan Triathlons. The last two finishing as an age group winner. I have climbed all the 4,000 foot mountains in NH and ran the Mt Washington race a number of times. I was honored to be chosen to carry the Olympic Torch as it came into NH. I was the founder of the Crisman Memorial 5K and have volunteered at numerous races.