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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

Jessica O'Connell

5000m Olympian,
MSc Exercise Physiology


Faye was heavily involved in running through high school and university and competed on the University of Calgary’s track and cross country teams. Her career highlights include achieving “All Canadian” cross country status and running in the 2008 Olympic trials in the 5000m. After graduating with a Bachelors of Kinesiology she began a career as a personal trainer, sharing her love of fitness with a diverse clientele while inspiring anyone she encountered to live healthier and fitter lives.

It wasn’t long after Faye retired from competitive running that she began her next athletic endeavor, obstacle course racing! Faye's strong running background and skills in strength training led to nearly instant success on the OCR circuit. In 2016 she was signed on the Spartan Pro Team and has been a prominent figure in the sport after a bronze medal performance at the Spartan World Championships! 


Faye still competes with the best and has since  achieved two 4th places finishes at Spartan North Americans and two 4th place finishes at the Spartan World Championship. No female athlete has had as many Spartan podium finishes over the past decade as Faye - a testament to her longevity in OCR.

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.

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.​

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