Sept. 19, 2011
Magazine highlights Duluth coach's running
By Kevin Pates
Fame has tracked down running coach Gary Lepisto
of Duluth. His expertise in working with citizen and elite athletes
is detailed in the October issue of Running Times, in a story written
by coach and ultrarunner Ian Torrence.
Torrence’s story features top-level runners
who have succeeded in the world of trail racing, including Lepisto’s
prize pupil, Brandy Erholtz, an International Falls native now living
in Evergreen, Colo.
Erholtz, 34, the former Brandy Griffith, ran cross
country and track at Minnesota Duluth, then found she had an aptitude
for trail races, specifically those designated as mountain running.
She was the 2008 U.S. Mountain Running women’s champion, runner-up
in 2009 and 2010, and was 10th in the 2009 World Mountain Running
Championships in Italy.
Lepisto, 51, has coached high school and adult
runners in the area for more than 25 years and is the Duluth Denfeld
High School cross country co-coach. Much of his coaching acumen
comes as a disciple of the late New Zealand coach Arthur Lydiard,
known for helping to popularize running as exercise, whose motto
was: “It’s not the best athlete who wins, but the best
“Torrence called to talk about Brandy and
then asked if I would contribute a training schedule for trail runners
and road runners. Her success gave me a chance to give my coaching
opinion,” said Lepisto, a Denfeld graduate and CT scan technician
at St. Luke’s hospital, who was fifth in the 50-54 age group
in the 2011 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon.