Team Chances' Coaches

Our CoachesThe coaches for the Team Chances program are all experienced runners, with many completed marathons behind them. They are committed to helping others succeed, and provide each local team with support and encouragement through the program's entire duration. To learn more about the coach for your area, click on the links below:


Susan Loken - Program Director - Tempe Location

Susan Loken Susan Loken is, among other things, a mother, elite runner, mentor, coach and an inspiration to many. She was born on July 28, 1963 and laced up her running shoes 35 years later with the goal of completing her first marathon. The rest is in the records. In the next four years, Loken minced her marathon time from sub four hours in the 1998 San Francisco Marathon to a sub three in the 2002 Grandma's Marathon. In 2005, she won the USA Masters Marathon Championship. In 2006 and 2007, she did it again. During those three years, she also captured three consecutive wins at the New York City MORE Marathon. Loken's elite times qualified her in the 2004 and 2008 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. She is now sponsored by Sole Sports Running Zone.

Her newfound passion inspired her to instill a healthy lifestyle in others, and she is now the program director and lead coach for Chances for Children - Arizona. With these titles, Loken coaches others to success by leading fundraising running teams and developing programs for Arizona's less-fortunate youth. Loken has three sons, Michael, Taylor and Chris. Many are inspired by her story, but even more are inspired by her passionate, soulful lifestyle. She is also a USATF Level 1 Certified Coach and NPTI-Certified.

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Katie Ellis - Phoenix Location

Katie EllisBorn and raised in Phoenix, Coach Ellis grew up in a very competitive household. "Training" (more like having fun) was and continues to be her lifestyle of choice. From 1993-2002 Coach Ellis competed in numerous inline races ranging from 5K to marathon distances. Throughout high school she competed in swimming, cross-country, and track. Despite a less-than-successful triathlon debut at the 1995 IronKids Triathlon, Coach Ellis dabbled in sprint triathlons for a few years before becoming serious.

In 2005 Coach Ellis competed in her first Ironman Triathlon, which is when she claims the addiction took root. The following year, training paid dividends with an age group win at Ironman Arizona and a podium finish at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. Since then Coach Ellis has focused on shorter, faster races such as the - Collegiate National Championships, Age Group Nationals, ITU Age Group World Championships, Best of the US, Boise 70.3, and SOMA Half Iron-distance. In May 2007 Coach Ellis graduated from Arizona State University where she studied Kinesiology. Currently she works at Sole Sports Running Zone in Tempe.

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Mirisue Galindo - Maricopa Location

Mirisue Galindo Wife, Mother, Athlete and Business Owner; Mirisue is passionate about everything she puts her heart and mind too. Faith, Family and Friends are a few of her favorite things. She has a BIG heart for helping Children and making a difference in the lives of everyone that crosses her path. In 2010 she laced up her first pair of running shoes and ran 3 half marathons in 3 months. Life has thrown Mirisue curve balls and running has allowed her to pull through what seemed to be the worst times in her life. It was during those times that she was reminded how precious life is and she vowed to live life on purpose no matter what was thrown her way.

Mirisue has been passionate for helping children since she was little. Finding Chances for Children AZ was her dream come true. She now could fulfill her passion for helping children and running. She has since completed 5 half marathons. Her 2012 goal is to complete her 6th half marathon and her 1st Full Marathon. Mirisue considers herself the voice of the children in her community and is passionate about bringing the Fit Kids program back to the children and their families in the City of Maricopa.

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Emmet Acebedo - Sole Sports Coach

Emmet AcebedoA Long Beach, California native. Emmet was the typical surfer until moving to Arizona in 1995. In the desert, he found running and became obsessed with the sport until his 2nd knee surgery. Not being able to run for 9 months, he turned to swimming and ultimately the triathlon.

In 2002, Emmet became a group running leader for Scottsdale Running Co. and now Sole Sports. This is where his passion for competing turned to supporting and inspiring new runners/walkers achieve goals they never thought possible.

For the last 9 years Emmet has lead over 1200 group runs. His passion to educate others about the sport has him speaking to local business, hospitals and non-profit organizations. If he is not speaking about motivation he is talking about nutrition, injury prevention and getting fit in the proper shoes and gear.

"I'm fortunate to surround myself with great people who share the same passion for running/walking, this has allowed me to be the official pace leader for the Women's Half Marathon and supporting Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series in their grassroots efforts".

"You can't think of Sole Sports and the local running community without thinking of Emmet Acebedo" says Terri Antonino, one of his group runners. "He's inspired so many beginners who started out in the sport and have become life long runners because of his support, guidance and sincere interest in their progress".

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