Meet The Team - Running Wild

Meet The Team: Our Amazing Staff & Coaches

Paul Epstein

OWNER

From Naples, Florida, Paul graduated from The University of Florida where he went on to fly helicopters for the Army during Desert Storm. He met his wife, Cherie', in El Paso before moving to Pensacola in 1997. A few years later they opened Running Wild and had 3 beautiful daughters. A runner and coach for nearly 40 years, he knows running and enjoys helping others reach their goals.

Cherie Epstein

OWNER

From El Paso,Texas, Cherie grew up riding mountain bikes through the desert and working as a ski instructor in New Mexico where she met Paul. She ran competitively in high school and went on to run for Texas State University (formerly SWT) where she graduated with a degree in Communications and Marketing and then a masters in Education from UTEP. She has competed in countless running events including marathons and Ironman Florida when her three daughters were under the age of 5. She is now training to keep up with them.

Mike Overton

FOOTWEAR MANAGER

Mike is from Pensacola and after graduating from Catholic High School he lived in Los Angeles and then worked as a cycling guide through Vermont. He completed his first Half Ironman in the early 80’s and has the experience to lead any level of athlete. Graduated from FSU, Mike has an Excercise Science degree as well as a Masters in Business.

Bill Buckland

SALES ASSOCIATE

Originally from Clearwater, Bill lived many years in Tallahassee and recently moved to the area from Kansas City, KS. He has competed for many years in distance running from 5k to marathons. His main aim now is to stay healthy! Bill’s constant positive attitude and extended knowledge of all things running has made him a key addition to our team.

Ann Rush

Store Manager Extraordinaire

Ann is the rock to Running Wild in Fairhope. She came to that location and has raised it to a new level. Her energy and ability to connect with our guests to provide them a fantastic experience is above expectations. Besides being a key team member, she is a mom to three grown children and wife of 37 years to a very supportive husband while looking like she has just left her twenties. She loves the running community and loves running for the feeling of accomplishment she gets. Besides the health benefits, she loves being outside to enjoy the beautiful scenery that God has given us!

Misty Guess

Chief of Internal Operations

Graduate of Gulf Breeze High School, Misty entered the run scene by way of family intervention. Her brother, Adam is the co-owner of Run Pensacola which has a mission of turning our local community on to the love of running. Her first passion, however, is fishing and all mythical creatures of the sea.  She is one part runner and 3 parts mermaid.  She has a true love of people and is driven to help the guests at Running Wild reach their fitness goals.

 

Mary Mata

SALES ASSOCIATE

Mary is from Victoria, Texas and graduated with a business degree from Texas State University (formerly SWT). She and her husband own Creative Orthotic and Prosthetics which makes prosthetic limbs. She is a part time book keeper in her business and part time sales associate at Running Wild. She enjoys the fun environment at Running Wild and working with a team that helps people with their health. Mary enjoys weight training, spin classes and yoga. She also sprinkles in a dash of running for fun!

Leah Razzano

Sales Associate

Leah grew up in Warren AR. where she got her first glimpse into the world of running when she joined the track team at her Junior high school. Throughout her life, she has been involved in swimming, cycling, and basketball. She was a 4-year letterman and team captain of the basketball team her senior year at the University of Mississippi Colemiss and she is also a cancer survivor! Leah now calls Spanish Fort, Al home and when she isn't helping customers at running wild she is spending time with her girls.

 

Michele Kuczynski

SALES ASSOCIATE AND BUYER

Michele is a 1998 graduate of Gulf Breeze High School and 2002 graduate of UWF in political science and theatre. She came to Running Wild with a rich experience in run retail. Her work experience includes working at Road Runner Sports in New Jersey and then Atlanta where she managed 3 stores and then opened a new one in Alpharetta, GA. She is also the mother of 3 young children and is grateful for running to keep her sane. While she loves running, her secret passion is ballet. Michele loves the diversity of our running community that originates at Running Wild; so many different personalities that come together for a mutual passion. And that is different for everybody.

Dom Zambrano

Running Guru and Fit Specialist

Dom is originally from Mobile, Alabama, and developed a passion for running as a competitive outlet after playing collegiate basketball at South Alabama. After a few years of running "basketball player" style...doing HIIT every single day or something else very intense...he came to a group run at Running Wild and learned to run as a runner. And he loved it!!!  His first marathon was in a full Ironman!!!  Always looking for a new challenge, he jumped into the Krul Lake 1/2 marathon and grew passionate about trail running.  He recently ran the Cloudsplitter 100 Mile Race in Virginia.  Dom's favorite thing about working at Running Wild is the run community.  

Tiffany Walden

Sales Associate

Using her superior connecting skills from being an ESE and English teacher and then eventually school counselor for 15 years, Tiffany left that career behind shortly after receiving her master's degree to begin a career with Running Wild. She started running 9 years ago because she needed her "own thing" being the only female in the house with her husband of 23 years and 2 boys.  Her joy is contagious with our team and our guests.  Her gratitude for the industry is apparent with each interaction.  

Sydney

Sales Associate

Having had the opportunity to homeschool and dual enrollment, Sydney is now a junior at UWF. She is pursuing a degree in marketing and entrepreneurship so along with her superb customer happiness skills, she coordinates our Frozen Feet Challenge at the beginning of each year. Her dad, An avid triathlete, got her into running as a hobby they could share together and she fell in love with it. Now she wants to share it with everyone else!!

(One other side note: she makes the best macaroons on the planet for our staff.)

 

Laylah Curran

Sales Associate

Laylah graduated from Escambia High School this spring at the top of her class.  She is an honor student at UWF and plans to be the youngest lawyer ever to practice one day.  Her real passion comes from History and while just beginning her running journey, she shows real potential.  Her best skills come from her ability to listen and problem solve.  We feel very fortunate to have this rising star on our team.

Lynne Virant

Physical Therapist and Personal trainer

Lynne Virant has worked in the health and fitness field for over 18 years as a personal trainer, coach and now a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She is also a Master Instructor for TRX, training instructors all over the country. Her mission is to educate, empower and transform people to move and feel better so they can live and play better! Lynne loves the way running pushes her, and she empathizes with people who use running as a way to get in shape. However, she believes that runners may also need to get in shape to run thus minimizing injury risk and running longevity! In addition to directing the Training Program at Running Wild, Lynne is also the owner of The Movement Clinic, a Physical Therapy, Fitness, and Wellness Company in Pensacola.

Abigail Belcher

Sales Associate

Abigail is from Spanish Fort, AL and works as a sales associate at our Fairhope location. She was first inspired to run by her father who has been an avid runner for as long as she can remember. She enjoys painting shoes (yes, painting on shoes) in her spare time and she is currently in Real Estate school!

Lari Franklin

Training Program Director

Lari Franklin grew up running starting with being a sprinter and hurdler in high school. She joined Phat Girlz around 5 years ago and began coaching the My First 5K program around 2 years ago. She says she really enjoys the group run culture at Running Wild because it keeps her motivated. She and her husband were high school sweethearts, teen parents and now empty nesters just having celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary with their 3 amazing grown children. What keeps this couple together besides names that rhyme? Well, running of course!!!