work hard, play hard, RUN FAST!


Michelle Gagnard, Founder


 Coach Michelle has experienced athletic success in competitive running, swimming, triathlons, and aerobics. Her coaching experience began with high school track and adult learn-to-run programs, however, her passion is helping kids find their passion for sport through intelligent training. Innovatively,  she unites concepts and  resources to develop training methods for the long-term healthy development of the entire child.  

Certification -USATF-Level 2, Sprints/Relay/Hurdles, International Youth Conditioning Association-Strength, USATF Podium Series, Muscle Activation  Technique-Level 1, Douglas Heel-Be Activated, Speed Training. American Swim Coach Association.

Coach Kirsten


Coach Kirsten started running with the Flyers in 6th grade! Her favorite memory of the Flyers was making life long friends with everyone and being able to compete against them or with them in high school.  Her favorite parts of practice were the hash runs and ultimate frisbee at the end of practice.   As a youth competitor, she competed at XC Nationals 2x and AAU Track Nationals 3x!  

She is now a freshman at the University of Oregon and runs with the XC and Track club team,  qualifying for NIRCA Nationals in Kentucky. During Kirsten's senior year at LT her cross-country team placed 3rd at IHSA 3A State and she ran her 5k pr of 18:08. She is  currently focusing on running half marathons and working her way up to a full marathon. 

Why Kirsten is returning for her 3rd season as a coach?  "I love coaching the Flyers because it is so fun to see kids find joy in the sport that I have been doing for years now. I also love watching them improve throughout the camp and even see where the running career takes them in high school."

Coach Gillian



Since 2009, Coach Gillian has loved spending time with the kids as a Flyers coach. She is excited to be coming back this summer because watching the athletes progress is both rewarding and fun. The Flyers has become a second home for her, seeing as she’s grown up going to races, being dragged through forest preserves for hours setting hashes, and attending practices. 

She is a second year at the University of Chicago majoring in Economics with a minor in Molecular Engineering. Her freshman year, she made the Dean’s List.

While she never really picked up running, she did go another route. Coach Gillian is a member of the varsity swim team. She competes in the 100 & 200 backstroke as well as the 200 & 400 medley and freestyle relays. Her freshman year, she received 4 NCAA All-American and Scholar All-American honors and placed 9th in the 200 backstroke at NCAAs. She has been a swimmer for almost 10 years and channeled that into coaching through strength and conditioning, attention to detail, and attitude. 

Coach Colin


Coach Colin began running with the Flyers after his first season of Middle School Cross County, and was also active with swimming and soccer.  Of those activities, running started to click and the Flyers provided a great opportunity to learn more about the sport.  Colin participated in local, regional, and national events for both cross country and track but more importantly, developed into a strong leader and became an assistant coach for the Junior Flyers.

In high school, Colin continued to develop during his four years, often returning to the Flyers to help out.  Colin ended his high school country career with an all-state performance, helping his team to a fourth place finish.  

Colin is now running for the Fighting Illini of the University of Illinois.  In his freshman year, he set personal bests of 25:11 for 8K at the Big Ten Championships and 32:23 for 10K at the NCAA Midwest Regional.

Colin’s philosophy on running? “Running is not necessarily easy but can be fun.  Putting in the effort and seeing the results is very rewarding.  I started out thinking that running was an individual sport, but came to learn that team matters.  I’ve gained life-long friends from this sport based on our mutual understanding of what it takes to succeed."

Guest Coaches

We welcome high school coaches, college coaches, older Chicago Flyers to guest coach at practices.  Kids have the opportunity to meet future coaches and be inspired by the older teammates.  High school coaches have the opportunity to see how the Flyers produce happy, motivated, injury-free athletes!

Find out more