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Meet The Coaches

Mary Johnson | Founder, Running & Strength Coach

Rochelle Basil | Running Coach

Katie Edwards | Running Coach

Kirstin Ritchie | Running Coach

Montana DiPietrantonio | Running Coach

Lauren Floris | Running Coach

Heather Caplan, RD | Dietitian 

Kaci Brandt, DPT | Physical Therapist & Running Coach


Lift | Run | Perform was founded in 2017 upon the concept that performance running and lifting go hand in hand - and, with the addition of a positive, supportive coaching team: the potential for success is limitless. 


Rochelle Basil joined the LRP team in August, 2017, as a running coach.
Katie Edwards joined the LRP team in October, 2017, as a running coach.
Heather Caplan joined the LRP team in November, 2017, as the team dietitian.
Kaci Brandt joined the LRP team in January, 2018, as the team physical therapist, and began coaching runners in July, 2018
Montana DiPietrantonio joined the LRP team in August, 2018, as a running coach.
Lauren Floris joined the LRP team in October, 2018, as a running coach.


Mary Johnson

After working in the fashion industry for 6 years, Mary made a career transition in 2015 and joined the team at Ranfone Training Systems, in Hamden, CT, as a strength coach. She began coaching runners with Mckirdy Trained in 2016; and launched LRP in 2017.

She has had the pleasure of coaching runners of all levels and abilities - from sub 3:10 marathons to beginner 5ks. She believes in a slow progression and constant communication between coach and athlete. She specializes in injury comeback.

Mary started running in 2010 as a hobby and has since whittled her marathon PR from a 3:44 to a 3:06, and her half marathon from a 1:48 to a 1:25. 

She decided to create Lift | Run | Perform after speaking with several runners and realizing there was a need for personalized lifting instruction and guidance in the weight room, and is excited for more runners to incorporate lifting into their training routine.

She also writes the blog itsamarython.


Rochelle Basil

As native of New Zealand, Rochelle competed in equestrian, volleyball, and netball ( You’ll have to Google that!) before taking up running in her final year in high school. She was fortunate to enjoy some immediate success which secured her a D1 scholarship to the United States, and has resided since. She received Academic All-American and All-Region honors in 2010 and 2011 and holds her school indoor record over 5000m. 

Rochelle took some time away from the sport to pursue graduate school for a number of years but in 2015 realized how much she needed movement for overall health and wellbeing - and set herself the goal of breaking four hours in the marathon. A year later she debuted over the distance in 2:51. 

Within the Washington DC/Northern Virginia area Rochelle is an active member in the running community. She was named 2016 DC Road Runners Club Female of the Year. Having recently completed her RRCA Coaching Certification she has helped athletes move towards their running goals from Couch to 5k programs through the marathon. 

The concept of Lift | Run | Perform has been something we have talked about for a while now and I am thrilled to be joining Mary on this adventure. Her own training has evidenced the importance of strength and conditioning within a distance running program.  


Katie Edwards

Katie is a lifetime CT resident and a "late bloomer" to running - never having run in high school or college. In 2008, at age 26, Katie ran her first marathon (and first road race) at Hartford in a time of 3:37, securing a BQ and also the idea that she would never run a marathon again.

Three years later after having her third child, she reconsidered the marathon distance and ran Hartford again--this time finishing in 3:17. Her competitive spirit found its place that day and as they say, "the rest is history."

Katie has dropped her marathon from 3:17 in 2011 to a 2:41 in 2014, securing a 2016 Olympic Trials Qualifying time. Katie was self-coached until she hit 2:58 in 2012 and then decided hiring a coach would be helpful in reaching her goals. In turn, she realized her own passion of helping others through coaching, and became USATF certified - truly believing that you can do anything you set your mind to and a little help and support goes a long way.

Katie recently took a break from running to focus on her career and is now back to training with the goal of a second Olympic Trials qualifying time for 2020. She has set numerous PRs in the midst of heavy marathon training; including a 1:17 half marathon, 35:40 10k and a 17 minute 5k.

Katie resides in South Glastonbury with her 3 children ages 11, 10,  and 7. She has a Bachelor of Science from UCONN and works full time. In her free time....well, she doesn't have much of that...but you can find her at her daughter's gymnastics meets or lacrosse games, cheering them on from the sidelines or running laps behind her very active son!


Kirstin Ritchie

Kirstin grew up as a gymnast and walked on to the Bucknell Track and Field program as a pole vaulter. After spending one summer running with some of the distance girls, she was offered a spot on the cross country team. She went on to compete for two years as a D1 distance runner specializing in cross country and steeplechase. After graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Neuroscience, she moved to Boston to do research at Harvard Medical School. While in Boston, she took her passion for distance running to the marathon as a member of the Boston Athletic Association. She has since run five marathons including two Boston Marathon finishes and two sub three hour finishes with a personal best of 2:57 at the 2016 Hartford Marathon

Now at Yale School of Nursing Kirstin is pursuing a degree as a Nurse Practitioner specializing in Mental Health and Psychiatry. She has two years of hands on experience as a registered nurse and will graduate in May as a Nurse Practitioner with her master’s degree.

Kirstin has always been interested in the interplay between the body and mind, having seen first-hand how negative thinking, distractions, and self-esteem impact athletic performance. Conversely, she has seen how filling the mental tool box has had a significant impact on finding joy and success in running. She is looking forward to helping athletes appreciate and train their minds as tools for improved performance.


Montana DiPietrantonio 

Montana was a four-year Division I Varsity Cross Country Track athlete at Bucknell University, where she earned PRs of 17:25 in the 5k and 36:30 in the 10k. She has coached at the high school, collegiate, and adult levels, and has completed internships at the US Olympic Training Center and with professional running groups. She also spent a year with the Michigan State Cross Country and Track teams, the year after they won the NCAA Championships.

Coaching is her passion -- she loves getting to pay forward her years of knowledge and experience in the sport, and getting to work one-on-one with runners of all ages, backgrounds, and ability levels who are passionate about getting better.

Montana specializes in smart, customized training (because no two athletes are alike), constant communication and support, and adaptable goal setting.

She lives with her fiancee in Providence, Rhode Island, where they are planning their wedding next Spring. She maintains the blog and Instagram page APRES RUN, where she shares training talk, healthy recipes, her philosophy of eating like an athlete, strength training workouts, and more.


Lauren Floris

Lauren is a lifelong runner with 16 years of competitive running experience. Growing up in Hopkinton, MA, her love of the sport was first sparked watching the start of the Boston Marathon every spring in her hometown. After watching 30,000+ runners embark on their journey to Boston year after year she decided that she wanted to be a marathoner one day!

She joined her middle school cross country team in 7th grade and the rest is history. Lauren ran four years of Division I Cross Country & Track for Pepperdine University. During her time as a Wave, Lauren set 5 school records in the 1500m, 3000, 3000m steeplechase, 5000m, and DMR - all 5 records still stand today. Since college, Lauren has shifted her focus to the roads, but she still makes appearances on the track every once in a while.

She currently runs for rabbitELITE and 361 Degrees and holds personal bests of 16:50 5k, 35:16 10k, 1:18:39 half marathon, and 2:44:16 in the marathon, which qualified her for the USA Olympic Marathon Trials, which she will be running in February 2020.

Lauren lives in Southern California with her husband and her daughter, Lavinia. Their family is due to welcome a second little one in January 2019. Lauren is a full-time coach and has a Masters in Kinesiology. Her favorite thing about coaching is not only guiding her athletes to reach their goals, but to realize their true potential, and that they can achieve more than they ever imagined possible! She loves workin with athletes of all levels and experiences, but especially loves helping mamas coming back to running after welcoming their babies, and helping runners qualify and train for the Boston Marathon.


Heather Caplan 

Heather Caplan is a registered dietitian with a private practice. She focuses on intuitive and mindful eating practices for athletes, primarily runners, to help them hone fueling strategies and reduce risk of injury. She is also a co-founder of the Lane 9 Project—a nonprofit raising awareness of, and providing a community for, women who have struggled with the Female Athlete Triad. Her work has been published on a variety of national publications such as Runner's World, Motiv Sports, Women's Health, Women's Running, Outside Online and Runners Connect, and in FITNESS and EatingWell magazines. 

Personally, she prefers trail running to road races, and (often) champagne to water. More of her nutrition and lifestyle writing, and information about her nutrition coaching services, can be found on her site: heathercaplan.com.

Kaci Brandt

Kaci, a native of Toronto, Ontario, was a national figure skater for Canada and the US, and competed at an elite level through her undergraduate degree. While running was always a personal interest and supplement to training, Kaci took an interest in long distance running upon retiring from her skating career and having the need to maintain a competitive edge and an unrelenting passion for physical fitness.

Kaci embarked on her doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Hartford, and since graduating, has shaped her career with a focus on sports medicine and rehabilitation for athletes. In addition to being a coach with the US Figure Skating Association, she has also trained youth hockey teams to achieve optimal on ice performance.  

Having a history of personal injuries throughout her skating and running career thus far, Kaci has an invested interest in combining her clinical skills and passion for strength training as way to prevent injuries in sports. Kaci is joining the team as a clinical specialist and gait analyst for clients who are looking to identify causes of injury and prevent future setbacks with targeted strength training based on gait abnormalities and muscle imbalances.