The LA Road Runners are led by knowledgeable and experienced mentors whose focus is to ensure that you cross the Los Angeles Marathon Finish Line with a smile on your face.
LA ROAD RUNNERS COACHES
Born in Dublin, Ireland, Gerard Deegan started his running career at St. Aidan’s CBS under the watchful eye of Peter McDermott, where he won national titles as a high school athlete. Gerard went on to have a successful college running career, while training as a nurse at London’s Hammersmith Hospital. In 1992, Gerard came to the US for warm weather training and ended up staying – 23 years to date.
Always a consistent runner, Gerard started his duathlon career in 1997-98 and competed for Ireland in the 1999 World Short-Course Duathlon. Gerard started racing long course duathlon in 2003 and won the American Duathlon Championship (10k 60k 10k) that first year. Since then, he has raced both on the American stage for Team Universal Cycles and in World Championships for Ireland, with several impressive top 10 finishes in the American Duathlon Championships and World Long Course and Short Course Duathlon Championships.
In 2005 Gerard started coaching cross country at John Borroughs High School in Burbank, California and led them to their first league title in 21 years.
In 2008, Coach Deegan started Griffith Park Sports, a full-service coaching company specializing in running, cycling, swimming, duathlon, triathlon and fitness training.
In 2010 Coach Deegan was appointed head coach of the ARC Racing Project. Under his guidance the team has won the California Cross Country Grand Prix team title on two occasions while also earning the California and regional 4x800m championship with a record breaking performance.
In 2011, Gerard was named Head Coach and Team Manager of the Irish National Triathlon Team. After a brief hiatus, he resumed the position in 2014 and is currently coaching the team through the 2017 season.
In August of 2015, Coach Deegan became the Head Coach of the LA Road Runners, the largest marathon training program in Los Angeles. He will lead a group of 90+ Pace Leaders and over 1,200 runners as they train for and complete the 2016 LA Marathon.
Throughout his career, Gerard has drawn on his medical training and nursing skills specializing in orthopedics to benefit his own athletic career and develop the careers of his students and clients. He still works in the Operating Room at St. Vincent Medical Center while maintaining his coaching responsibilities.
When you run your first marathon, you will either catch the fever or it will be your first and last. Mark found his passion in marathon running and never looked back. He started his marathon career as a member of the LA Road Runners, the official training program of the Los Angeles Marathon. For Mark, it became one of numerous marathons spanning multiple countries on two continents.
After completing his tenth marathon, Mark decided to pay it forward by inspiring others when he became a pace leader for the LA Road Runners. Mark went on to become a senior pace leader for the LA Road Runners, and he is now the LA Road Runners Program Coordinator for the 2016-2017 season. Mark is proud to be a LA Road Runners Program Coordinator for the organization that not only trained him for his first race but also taught him he can achieve the unimaginable.
Coaching Career & Philosophy
Mark is a Boston Qualifier, a USATF Certified Coach Level 1 and an RRCA Certified Endurance Coach. He coaches with the South Bay Runners Club in Los Angeles, where he coaches track and marathon training sessions. His goal over the course of his running career has been to inspire other athletes. This is what first brought Mark to coaching.
Mark believes training is fifty percent physical and fifty percent mental. It is his job to define the objective of his runners, analyze their results and provide constructive feedback. As a coach, Mark provides the runner with his expertise by explaining the “why” with the goal of empowering the runner to train optimally. He tries to instill the power of belief, so when his runners are truly tested, they believe in their ability to accomplish their goal. Mark believes this approach will sustain them in their darkest moments when they want to quit. The time and effort required to achieve such mental strength is immense but truly rewarding. Steve Prefontaine said it the best, “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”