Meet Our Team
The Vancouver Spirit Run wouldn’t be possible without the dedication and effort put forth by its Board and committee members. These individuals have a unique skill set as well as diverse interests, with many being coached and mentored by Frank Reynolds. Through this complementary and dynamic team, which ranges from athletes and Olympians to entertainment executives and marketing professionals, the Vancouver Spirit Run comes together for the love of sport.
Mike grew up in North Vancouver as a middle distance and multi-event athlete, where he spent 6 years with Frank Reynolds as the head coach. It was in Frank’s training group where he developed a love for the sport, and all of the people that surrounded it. Frank created an atmosphere that taught not only sport but life lessons of dedication, perseverance, and hard work with the number one goal to just have fun. Mike has carried these values through his life and career.
After high school he continued to train and compete with the Thunderbirds Track & Field Club, while completing a 4 year joinery apprenticeship at BCIT. He later went on to get his red seal certificate, and gained 8 years of experience in custom millwork and cabinetry. He has now channeled his passions of woodworking and sustainability into LifeSpace Gardens, a North Vancouver company that specializes in self watering gardens and the initiative to help people grow their own food.
In 2012 Mike was brought into the Spirit Run as race director, where he has been reunited with old friends that all share the same vision that Frank had – to one day make the Spirit Run a world class event.
Barry retired as a high school teacher, counsellor, and coach after a long career with the Vancouver School Board. He has been a competitive runner for over 50 years and competed at all levels including representing Canada. He has experience as a director and volunteer at the club and provincial level working on runs and meets . Barry was a close friend of Frank Reynolds since high school and is dedicated to keeping Frank’s vision of coaching alive through the Vancouver Spirit Run. Barry is married and has one son.
Linda is qualified as an exercise specialist with the American College of Sports Medicine. She is an expert in the fitness leadership and cardiac rehabilitation fields, and aided in the implementation of the Cardiac Rehabilitiation Program at Lion’s Gate Hospital. Bakk is dedicated to promoting health and fitness in the community, and helping to realize the vision of her late partner Frank Reynolds – to bring an annual world class track event to Whistler, and later Vancouver, in order to promote amateur sport in Canada. Presently, Bakk also works as a certified exercise physiologist for the Healthy Heart Program.
Markus has extensive experience in the sporting goods industry. Markus has been involved in the organization of major sporting events as well as organizing tours to international events including marathons, Olympic games, track and field and cross-country championships. After moving back to Vancouver from Switzerland, he was responsible for the overall implementation of some of the Landmark Group Pacific events, which included the Vancouver Sun Run, the Vancouver Sun Jerome Track Classic, the Vancouver In-Line Skating Festival and the Vancouver Canucks Fan Appreciation Day Celebrations. Markus is now part-owner of Prime Travel/International Sports Tours Ltd., a travel agency & tour operating company in West Vancouver specializing in Switzerland, Europe and worldwide sports tours. He is a father of three children who are heavily involved in Track and Field and Cross Country Running.
Jessica joined the Norwesters Track & Field Club as a grade 10 student and was coached by Frank Reynolds throughout high school. This allowed her to recognize the potential she had in the sport and choose to continue athletics at university. After graduation, she accepted a scholarship to compete for Simon Fraser University where she had a successful collegiate career becoming a multiple NAIA National Champion, All-American, and school record holder. Jessica graduated from SFU in 2013 with a degree in Criminology.
Throughout her track and field career, Jessica has had the opportunity to represent Canada at a variety of international competitions as a junior and senior athlete 800m runner, including the 2012 Olympic Games, 2013 FISU Games, 2014 Commonwealth Games, 2015 Pan American Games and 2017 Francophone Games. She continues her passion in the sport with the knowledge from Frank Reynolds to, “focus on the process, not the outcome” and enjoys sharing the love of sport with the community.
Rachel is an elite Canadian distance runner based out of Vancouver, BC. She has represented Canada on numerous senior teams including the IAAF World Championships (2017 & 2019), the Commonwealth Games (2018) and Pan Am Games (2019) – where she won a medal in the 10,000m, and is also the previous Canadian record holder in the Half Marathon and Marathon. Rachel has a real interest in health sciences and completed her B.Sc. in Biomedical Toxicology at the University of Guelph and a M.Sc. in Occupational and Environmental Hygiene before turning her attention to professional athletics. She first fell in love with distance running in high school and credits her success to the many positive mentors she had in her formative, as well as more recent, years.
Peter is an experienced entertainment, marketing, media, & technology executive with global experience and perspective. He has a long-term and excellent track record in promoting, developing, and growing world-class brands. Diemer has a unique combination of skills, depth of knowledge, relationships and a very clear understanding of the changing landscape and new business models.
He also has a degree in Television, Stage and Radio Arts, from S.A.I.T. (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) in Calgary, Alberta. Diemer has been actively involved with various music and arts organizations, including The Juno Awards, Business for The Arts – Vancouver and is also a past Board Member of the Norwesters Track and Field Club and the Chair of the Marketing and Sponsorship Committee for the Achilles Track and Field Society.
A retired teacher and coach (thirty-four years with the Burnaby School Board), Iain has been a competitive athlete all his life and is an Athletics Canada Level V international official. He has worked at the start line of the 1994 Commonwealth Games, Victoria, and 2001 IAAF World Athletics Championships, Edmonton. Lain is married with two adult children.
Chantelle has been involved in Athletics in one form or another for the last 20 years. She started out in the NorWesters Track & Field Club and her love for the sport grew from there. Chantelle attended the University of Illinois and ran for the Cross Country and Track team while majoring in Kinesiology. Her main event was the 3000m steeplechase and her most notable results were being a Second Team NCAA All-American in the steeplechase and Big Ten Runner-Up all in her senior year.
Post-collegiately Chantelle ran for Speed River Track & Field Club and went on to compete for Team Canada twice most notably winning a silver medal at The World University Games in Kazan, Russia.
Since moving on from Track, she now works as a Kinesiologist and Certified Nutritional Practitioner while studying to become an Osteopathic Practitioner. Her love for running is now expressed through the challenging yet invigorating sport of Mountain Running, which, in 2017 she represented Team Canada at the World Mountain Running Championships in Premana, Italy.
Chris is a teacher and coach at St. George’s School. During his time at St. George’s, his cross country and track and field teams have captured 7 provincial team titles. In addition to coaching at St. George’s, Chris is the head endurance coach for the Vancouver Thunderbirds Track and Field Club and an assistant coach for the UBC Cross Country and Track and Field teams. He was notably selected as a Canadian national team coach at the 2013 Chiba International Ekiden Relay in Japan. As a member of the Achilles International Track and Field Society, Chris has served as the technical director for the Harry Jerome Track Classic. He has also been on the executive for BC High School cross country and track and field. Chris is passionate about distance running and looks forward to being a part of the growth and development of the Vancouver Spirit Run.
Sports and running have been an integral part of Andrea’s life since she was very young when she would often run in community races, participate on school sports teams and play in the local soccer league. Andrea continues to be very involved in the soccer community in Vancouver playing with Van City FC in the Vancouver Metro Women’s Soccer League and on various Urban Rec teams. Andrea is a firm believer in the power of sport to build communities and inspire youth. She received her Bachelor of Commerce from UBC in 2008 and has since been working in post-secondary education.
Chris is a former elite Middle Distance runner who competed for the Speed River Track and Field Club based out of Guelph, Ontario. Winter grew up in North Vancouver where at 9 years old he joined the Norwesters Track and Field Club, coached by Frank Reynolds. He continued to train with Norwesters throughout high school until graduation, where he received a scholarship to attend the University of Oregon. Chris competed for the Ducks on both their track and field and cross country teams and in 2009 he won the PAC-10 Steeplechase Title.
After graduation he continued to compete at an international level, representing Canada at the 2013 World Track and Field Championships, 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
In addition to his athletic pursuits, Chris graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Sports Marketing. Since retiring from elite competition, Chris has started a career in Sport Administration where, he currently, serves in the role of Director, Domestic Program & Safe Sport with Athletics Canada.
Two time Olympic 1500m runner, Thelma competed for Canada all through the 70’s winning Commonwealth, Pan Am and International Cross Country medals. She has spent close to 40 years teaching and coaching students and athletes of all ages ‘to be the best that they can be’. With cross country running as her passion, as well as being on the Vancouver Spirit Run Board, Wright has served as the Alumni Coordinator for Athletics Canada and also a member of the IAAF Cross Country Committee and Pan Am Cross Country Commission. Inducted into both the UBC and BC Sports Hall of Fames as well as a recipient of a Queens Jubilee Commemorative Medal and YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, Wright presently is an Instructor in the School of Kinesiology at UBC.
Gillian is a physical education teacher at West Point Grey Academy, in Vancouver, BC. As a former NorWesters athlete, coached by the late Frank Reynolds, Gillian pursued her own passion for running beyond high school competing for the University of Victoria and BC Provincial teams. Her passion for coaching and volunteering in the sport of Cross Country and Track and Field, stem from the influence Frank Reynolds had on her own running career. In addition to her school coaching commitments, Gillian is a member of the BC High School Track & Field Commission, which is responsible for organizing the provincial championships for 2000+ student athletes each year, and has supported our Canadian National Team Athletes as Team Manager at the 2017 World Cross Country Championships and 2016 Pan American Cross Country Championships. Gillian has been volunteering at the Vancouver Spirit Run since its inception and is excited to be a part of the Spirit Run Committee to help further develop Frank ‘s vision and passion for running.