Denfeld News

Sept. 19, 2011
Duluth News Tribune

Magazine highlights Duluth coach's running tips
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 prepared.”

“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.

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