Faye and Jess met in Junior High school and instantly bonded over their love for running. They share the type of deep friendship one can only have with a teammate - the ability to relate and be supportive while relentlessly pushing one another.
There is likely no other coaching duo in the world with the experiences of these ladies. Between the two of them are over 30 years of endurance training at a world-class level, two bachelor's degrees and a master's degree in kinesiology, CSEP-CEP Exercise Physiologist accreditation, a former personal training career, ample experience with scientific kinesiology research, and above all, first-hand knowledge of grit and the grind.
Elite OCR Racer
Faye ran on the University of Calgary’s track and cross country team and was an “All Canadian” cross country runner and went to the 2008 Olympic trials for the 5000m. After graduating with a Bachelors of Kinesiology she began her career as a personal trainer. She shared her love of fitness with a diverse clientele while inspiring anyone she encountered to live healthier and fitter lives.
It wasn’t long after she retired from competitive running that she began her next athletic endeavor, obstacle course racing, and she had fairly instant success. In 2016 she was signed on the Spartan Pro Team, finished 3rd at the Spartan World Championship, held the number one spot in the global world ranking throughout the year. In 2017 she started Grit Coaching with her good friend Jessica O’Connell and has been busy coaching clients ever since! Faye still competes with the best of the best and has maintained a top 5 finish at the US National Series every year, as well as two 4th place finishes at the Spartan World Championship.
Aside from being totally addicted to pushing her body to the limit, what keeps Faye coming back year after year is the OCR community. Nothing makes her happier than getting to travel and share her love of fitness and adventure with so many positive and inspiring people. She truly lives the “work hard play hard” mantra to the fullest.
MSc Exercise Physiology
Jess is an accomplished runner, specializing in the 5000m with a blazing personal best time of 15:06.66. She is a 2016 Rio Olympian in the 5000m and Canadian national record holder in the indoor 3000m. Jess's additional career highlights include: 17x Canadian national team member in track and field, cross country, and road running, 4x National Champion, Pan Am Games silver medalist, NCAA Division I All-American, and a 10km road race personal best of 32:22.
Off the track, Jess holds a Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University and Master's degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Calgary. She is a CSEP-CEP (Clinical Exercise Physiologist) with a High Performance specialization, the highest level of certification available in Canada. She now brings her practical athletic experience and education to her online personal strength and endurance coaching business, Grit Coaching.
In between work and training sessions, Jess serves as the athlete representative on the board of Athletics Alberta (the provincial governing body for track and field) and is an avid volunteer with Fast and Female, an organization empowering girls and young women to stay healthy and active in sport.