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About Running Lilly Coaching

A native of South America, Running Lilly Coaching owner Lilly Johnson has lived and run in Boulder for more than 15 years. She is the former owner and manager of Fleet Feet Sports, Boulder; a USATF Level 1 track and field coach; and a certified Nordic Walking North America instructor.

Lilly grew up with four sisters and six brothers in San Gabriel, a province of Carchi, Ecuador, which is a small town very close to the Colombia border. When she was 13, Lilly moved to Quito with her brother, Silvio, and sister, Wilma to attend Simon Bolivar High School. It’s here that she discovered and thrived at, competitive running—becoming a four-time champion in the 800m and 1500m events. Lilly also earned the opportunity to represent her province, Pichincha, at Nationals, and Ecuador in the Sudamerican Championships, where she won a bronze medal in the 800m event.

She graduated as a certified running coach from the Instituto Nacional de Deportes in Quito, Ecuador, in 1992. After studying English and earning her college degree as an English teacher, Lilly quickly jumped at the opportunity to come to the United States to advance her English language skills and her running.

In 1999, Lilly made her way to Boulder to be with her brother Silvio—a move that proved to be a boon to her running career and personal life. Lilly is proud to be a two-time Bolder Boulder citizens’ race champion (2002 and 2003), and since 2005, has been happily married to Jay Johnson (former co-owner of Fleet Feet Sports Boulder and former World Mountain Running Champ).

Just a year after her marriage and second BB10K citizens’ race victory, Lilly put running on the back burner and invested her time and efforts into building up Fleet Feet Sports, Boulder as a vital resource in Boulder’s running and fitness community. In December 2010, Lilly became a U.S. citizen and truly loved working at Fleet Feet Sports Boulder where she could interact with customers and help them reach their fitness goals.

Lilly’s passion for running and connecting with the community served as a natural segue to starting her next venture: Running Lilly Coaching. What started out at Fleet Feet as a non-intimidating running program for beginners of all ages has evolved into a tight-knit group that supports one another in running and in life. Through her new business, Lilly is excited to continue to be a role model, providing energy and motivation to her athletes—not just to cross the finish line or to set a PR, but to maintain fitness as a lifestyle.

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