Our Coaches


We have years of experience in the sport and are passionate about helping you achieve your goals and run free!


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Ryan Hall

Co-Owner Lead Coach

Ryan Hall is a two time Olympian for the United States in the 2008 and 2012 Marathon.  He is the fastest American to ever run the marathon (2:04:58) and half marathon (59:43) distances. Ryan retired from professional running in January of 2016 and now is focused on being a good husband, father, and coach..  He is also an author, speaker, and enjoys his hobby of weightlifting with current best of 405 lb deadlift, 395 lb squat and a 315 lb bench press.

 
 
 

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Colin Shultz

Senior Coach

Colin is a recent graduate from Liberty University, where he ran for the T&F/XC team for five years. During his time at Liberty he broke five school records. He is currently serving as the Head Coach of XC/Assistant T&F Coach at BASIS Flagstaff HS. He has a passion for the sport and using coaching as a platform to positively impact others.

 
 
 
 

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Jimmy Stevenson

Senior Coach

Fifteen plus years ago Jimmy’s love for distance running began and that childlike zeal for the sport has only continued to grow. After running Division I cross country at Elon University, where he set the school record in the outdoor 10k, Jimmy worked for MileSplit and FloTrack as the head video content creator for high school XC and track & field, enabling him to cover the sport all over the country as he showcased athletes of all levels. With a deep love for connecting with people, Jimmy decided to pursue becoming a collegiate coach providing him with the opportunity to serve as a volunteer assistant coach at his alma mater and Georgetown University while he served in Christian college ministry. God rerouted those plans and Jimmy quit his job to coach his best friend as that friend pursued the audacious dream of coming off the couch and breaking the 4:00 mile barrier within a year’s time. It was during this year in Flagstaff, AZ where Jimmy and his athlete, Connor Mercurio, connected with Ryan Hall, which turned into Ryan and Jimmy striking up a coach/athlete relationship. Ryan coached Jimmy to a personal record 2:23 marathon. Their current goal is to qualify Jimmy for the 2020 Marathon Olympic Trials.

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Jay stephenson

Co-Owner Lead Coach
With over 20 years of competitive running and coaching experience, Jay has acquired a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience in coaching people of all ages and abilities. As an athlete Jay was the 2004 USATF Club Steeplechase National Champion, 9th at the 2005 US 10k Road Championships, and a 3-time All-American in cross-country and track and field.  He has PR’s of 29:43 for 10k, 14:18 for 5k, 8:53 for 3k SC, 3:53 for the 1500m, and 4:12 for the Mile.

Jay has a M.S. in Exercise Science and is a USATF Level II certified coach.  Jay is the co-owner of GoGoRunning, a run specialty store in Rome Ga.  Jay and his wife Karmen have two children Milaina and Simon.

 
 

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Rico Nunez

Senior Coach

Running was never in the forefront of my life in high school, it still isn't. When I moved to Flagstaff for college 4 years ago to pursue a degree in Fitness Wellness, I had given up running to focus in school. Only to realize that Flagstaff is a mecca for distance runners, bringing high-caliber athletes, even Olympians to train here year round. Decided to get back into running after almost 1 year of not running and got into road racing and just recently fully pursing the marathon, then a very old dream resurfaced. To run in the Olympics! A dream I quickly tossed away and suppressed from my mind back then. With high school PRs of 5:07 in the mile and 19:25(now 17:20) in the 5K, my chances to make an Olymic team... well very slim. I don't know what my future in running holds but I do know this, God gave me a body and mind capable of enduring rigorous training. And with a righteous work-ethic plus simplicity and consistency in training, that will produce results that makes the impossible possible.


Rachel Johnson

Senior Coach
Rachel discovered her love for running at a young age. In high school she won three state championships, was the Nike Cross Country National Champion, was runner up at Footlocker National Championships her senior year. She went on to run at Baylor University where she became a 6X NCAA All American and broke 5 school records while getting her degree in Exercise Physiology. She has placed fifth at two USA National Championships (steeplechase in 2014 and Club Cross in 2018). She now runs professionally for ASICS and trains under Ryan Hall in Flagstaff, Arizona. Rachel discovered her passion for coaching a year ago when she started private coaching for high school athletes. Over the year she has branched out and now coaches athletes from high school up to post collegiate marathoners. This past year she has coached high school athletes to four state championships and has trained a post collegiate half marathoner to a four minute PR.  Rachel’s favorite part of coaching is watching athletes improve no matter what their talent level and she loves being there to inspire, empower, and encourage each athlete.


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Jared Carson

Senior Coach

Jared first started running when he was 14 years old as a freshman in high school.  The goal at first was to stay in shape for soccer season. It didn’t take long before he knew he wanted to invest more effort into his running.  Jared continued running at the collegiate level, where he was a two-time All American in cross country and track, under the guidance of Run Free Training co-owner and fellow coach, Jay Stephenson. 

Over the years, Jared has coached and consulted others with their personal running goals, whether it be running their first marathon, looking to qualify for Boston, or to just start living a more active lifestyle.

Jared currently resides in Portland, OR with his wife Megan, and their son Brady.  Jared has PR’s of 14:48 in the 5K, 66:39 in the half marathon and 2:17:50 in the marathon.  Currently, he is preparing for the 2020 US Olympic Marathon trials, which will take place in his hometown of Atlanta, GA next February.