In A Runner’s Life We’re going to look at every aspect of runners’ lives, from training to family. Through our blog posts, you’ll learn all about training, nutrition, how to race, sleep and recovery, strength and conditioning, how to reduce injury risks, gear, high altitude training, and so much more. You’ll be able to read post race reports, join our community, and interact with our coaches and guest posters. But first, meet the team…
Tawny grew up with high hopes of becoming a basketball superstar. Even though she won a school mile race, wearing basketball shoes, that wasn’t to fuel her with the running bug. Finally, the politics of basketball forced her to quit and take up running. And so, she gave the 300m hurdles a lash—because her dad hurdled in high school. She popped out to the track by herself and tried to jump hurdles. Little did she know, the track coach was watching her. The rest is history…
Tawny ran about 15-20 miles a week. She had two top ten finishes at state in the two years she ran cross country and, in her senior year, she was top five in the 1600m and 3200m in state. Luckily for Tawny, Coach Houle at Southern Utah University (SUU) saw some potential in her and she received a full scholarship to run there.
At SUU, she only ran 35 miles a week max and yet made the top ten all time boards in almost every event she ran. She learned to steeplechase and that became her main event. She refused to date runners, but a blind date with four-minute miler, Dustin Bybee changed things…
She left SUU and competed with Dustin at Brigham Young University (BYU). They married in 2006 and raced all over the country together. She was lucky enough to compete in Hawaii, Europe, Mexico, New York, Florida, Oregon, and the list goes on.
She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from BYU in 2008, leaving with a 10’33” 3000m s/c, 9’47” 3k, and 17’ 5k.
One year after graduating, she had her first child. Ten months later, Tawny ran her first marathon and thought she would break three hours—alas, the best laid schemes of mice and women: the marathon smashed her and she finished in 3hrs 15’. Over the next three years, Tawny had two more children. Eight months after her third child joined the world, Tawny broke three hours for the marathon.
During the time from her first child to the third, she coached the boys and girls distance teams at Lone Peak High School in Cross Country and Track. Even with a busy family life, she took a team that could barely fill varsity to one of the best in the state.
Then in 2015, she had her fourth child. After this, she trained hard but sickness and joint problems plagued her. She discovered she had Lyme Disease. Eventually, she overcame Lyme disease and was able to train again. She won the Nebo Marathon, but wrecked one of her knees, taking Boston away from her.
Amanda grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado where she spent most of her time playing competitive soccer. Aside from an unforgettable and very brief experience attempting hurdles in junior high (it resulted in bruised knees and several attempts to push hurdles over) she only ever dabbled in running. It wasn’t until she moved to Utah to attend BYU that she finally decided she could try running without chasing a ball. After a few fun-runs and marrying into a family of ultra-marathon runners, she caught the running bug and ran her first half-marathon in 2014. Now, a mother of two young children, she continues to keep running a part of her everyday life and finds creative ways to get her kids involved (even if she has yet to convince her husband). When she’s not running, Amanda enjoys playing soccer, cooking and eating good food, reading, and finding any excuse to put off doing the dishes.
Born and raised in Orem, Utah, Dustin’s the eighth of nine children. His mom was a cheerleader and a swimmer and his dad was a gymnast. Out of those genes grew several collegiate class runners.
His parents didn’t run and never thought about running. When his oldest sister was in Junior high, one of her friends asked her to come to track practice with her. From there, it became a family affair.
Dustin grew up playing soccer and running fun runs when his older siblings were competing. In Junior High, he decided running was too hard and he chose soccer. One of his brothers told him he was crazy and that wasn’t really an option because the Bybees were runners. So he continued to run, and saw some early success which kept him going.
While in high school, he was part of two national championship cross country teams and also part of two national runner-up teams. He went four years of high school, never losing a team title. In track, throughout high school, he was a four-time state champion and ran a 4’07” mile. He went on to compete at Brigham Young University (BYU), where he won three individual conference championships. As a team, while at BYU, he was part of sixteen team conference championships title wins. He also raced at Nationals five times. His best marks at BYU were 4’01”mile, 8’04” 3000M, 14’10” 5K.
Out of College, he started a career at Marriott International. He spent a few years there before starting a live-in weight loss facility with a few business partners. They hosted thirty people at a time for a duration of four weeks each. They managed all their nutrition, exercise, physical therapy, and emotional therapy. They operated this company for a few years, moved it to St. George, and then moved on to other ventures.
While at BYU, he studied Advertising. Post BYU, he pursued a Masters Degree in Human Performance from Southern Utah University. In 2014, he was asked to join a young start-up and helped it successfully grow for four years. He was the Vice President of Business Development and Marketing. In summer of 2018, he chose to leave the company and become a partner in another start-up business in the oil and gas world.
All during this time, Dustin and Tawny have run their household with four children and kept their running dreams alive. Over the years, Dustin has flirted with running, wining local races, but not taking things too seriously. But now, he has a new running dream…
In his younger years, Stazza won several county (Shropshire) track and cross country championships, competed in national (Germany) track and cross country championships, and also competed at national schoolboy level in the United Kingdom (UK), finishing thirteenth in the 1981 English Schools 3000m Championship.
After studying sports science, he served in the Royal Air Force (RAF). During his RAF years, he boxed, played rugby, and competed in track and cross country, winning representative honours. While serving in the RAF, he started his successful career as a coach and developed an interest in journalism.
Following his RAF years, Stazza spent time in Africa (Kenya and Botswana), running, coaching, and working for tabloid newspapers. Starting out as a cub reporter, Stazza quickly progressed into the world of undercover journalism. He thrived in the murk and sleaze, exposing crime and corruption. After some time out in the field, Stazza took on the role as Editor of The Voice Newspaper. With his team, they steered The Voice from a provincial fortnightly to Botswana’s top-selling tabloid. But like many a great man, Stazza’s downfall came suddenly. In his own words: ”Her smile floored me.”
Married to the spellbinding smile, he moved to Ireland (Tipperary) and then back to the UK, while maintaining ties with Botswana and Kenya. In the UK, he returned to full-time education and studied Philosophy and English Literature at Warwick University. He then went on to further his studies in drama, sports science, physical therapies, and nutrition.
Stazza set up the world renowned fitness company, Peak Sporting Performance Ltd (PSP). Operating out of the iconic Iffley Road Stadium, where Bannister was the first man to break the four-minute mile, Stazza provided a full range of fitness services (coaching, nutrition, physical therapy, fitness testing, and pitch side assistance etc) to over fifty sporting teams at the University of Oxford. While running PSP, Stazza helped many Olympians.
After selling PSP, Stazza spent four years working as a Cluster Business Manager for a worldwide health club provider. From here, he spent a year in Cyprus—his wife (The smile) took on a position as an editor on The Middle East Times. Throughout these years, Stazza continued to coach and inhabited the world of organised crime—infiltrating firms across Europe; he played an integral role in some big crime busts, including carousel fraud.
Since leaving Cyprus in 2008, Stazza has funnelled his skill set into producing a dynamic and global coaching business, where he caters for a range of runners from beginners through elites. He’s also utilised his work in journalism to drive the anti-doping crusade and tackle the exploitation of Kenyan athletes.
Coach Stazza in Kenya
Over the past thirty years, Coach Stazza has developed strong ties with Kenya. He first visited Kenya in 1989 and since then, he has spent extended time living, working, and visiting Kenya. The Stazza’s Stable Headquarters is based in Iten, Kenya.
Many of the runners whom Coach Stazza coaches spend time at the Stazza’s Stable High Altitude Training Camp. Most of the funds raised from the Training Camp are invested back into runners in Kenya, the US, and Europe. Coach Stazza and the Stazza’s Stable Stablemates support a number of young athletes who struggle to support themselves. Weekly allowances for food, monthly rent allowances and utilities, training gear, GPS watches, travel expenses, and free coaching are provided to help young athletes fulfil their athletic and personal potential.
During his years in Kenya, Coach Stazza has worked with undercover journalists in the fight against doping and the exploitation of Kenyan athletes—most recently, working with a team of Spanish journalists on a case involving a major shoe company and their involvement with corrupt coaches and agents. In the continued fight against doping and exploitation, he now utilises his experience and knowledge to educate runners.