Our Coaches


Gary Schancer

Organizer - Albuquerque FIT

I am an exercise physiologist, a certified running coach and have been working in the fitness industry for 20 years since retiring from the Air Force. My wife, Kathy, is a dietitian, Albuquerque Fit’s nutritionist and has run many marathons and ultra marathons. We have two children and four grandchildren.

I began running in high school 100 years ago and then ran on and off for many years. In 1994, I got very serious about my health due to bad family history of heart disease, and I started running regularly. Since then, I have run 66 marathons and 31 ultra marathons, including numerous 50 and 100 milers and at least one marathon in all 50 states.

Although I don’t necessarily recommend this much running to most people, it is all about challenging ourselves to see what our bodies are capable of. Whether your goal is to run around the block, 100 miles, or anywhere in between, I would like to help you reach that goal. I totally agree with the race director for the Leadville Trail 100-mile race who says, “You are better than you think you are. You can do more than you think you can.” I think that Albuquerque FIT will help you to determine your capabilities and reach your goals. I would love to be there to watch you cross that finish line for the first time. Your life will never be the same.


Steve Nunley

Head Coach - Marathon

I’m 56 years old and recently retired from the National Nuclear Security Administration where I spent the last 22+ years working in the nuclear weapons program.  I have lived in Albuquerque since 1971.  I graduated from Manzano High School in 1974 and attended UNM where I earned a BS (1985) and MS (1991) in Chemical Engineering.  My wife Kim, a CPA, is an Albuquerque native.  Kim and I have two daughters, Mary and Maggie.  Kim and our daughters are also runners.  Kim finished the Chicago Marathon in 2006 after joining Albuquerque Fit and running her first 5K in the Spring Program.

I started as a long distance runner in 2004 and have completed 6 marathons, a 50-mile ultramarathon and a 62.5-mile ultramarathon.  I’m working my way up to running a 100 mile race.

I’ve been a Coach for Albuquerque Fit since 2007, in the Beginner 5K Group in the Spring Program and in the Marathon Group in the Summer Program.  I’ve met a lot of great people and, best of all, I’ve been able to work with people to help them become runners and accomplish their running goals.  It’s a great feeling to be there when someone accomplishes their goal.  We’ll work hard but we’ll have a lot of fun too!



Stephen Wright

Head Coach - Marathon

I am a native New Mexican and grew up in Albuquerque, attending UNM where I did my undergraduate and graduate work in engineering. I worked as a consultant for over 10 years, and in 2001, went to work for the Federal Government in the areas of project management, applications development and operations management.

The Albuquerque Fit motto is “Change Your Life” and nothing could be more true for me. After a few years of diminishing fitness activity, increased stress, poor diet and weight gain, I had a major wake up call at the beginning of 2013. That began a journey for me that led to running (something I had never done before) and ultimately losing nearly 100 pounds. I began running for distance in late 2013 and joined Albuquerque Fit at the beginning of 2014 to help me with my running. By the end of 2014, I was able to achieve several goals, which included completing several 5K’s, a 10K, my first half marathon and ultimately my first marathon. I have no plans to stop running and continue to train for future events.

My journey was such a powerful and positive experience that I wanted to help others achieve and celebrate their goals. In 2015, I began coaching with Albuquerque Fit to help others transform their lives and find the joy, not only of reaching their goals, but with running itself.

Denver Half October 2015

Kim Gieck

Head Coach - Half Marathon

I am the Achievement Coach for the School of Business & Information Technology at CNM.  I am a licensed clinical counselor (LPCC) and board certified coach (BCC).  I am currently completing the Dietary Manager and Fitness Technician Certificates at CNM.

During my 20s, I was a competitive bodybuilder.  My 30s were spent bicycling.  I didn’t begin running competitively until my early 40s. I have completed five marathons and 12 half marathons.  I wake up at 5 a.m. and start my day by running on the treadmill or strength training or practicing yoga. I have been a member of Albuquerque FIT since 2005 and a half marathon coach since 2012. My husband Max also runs and will be running with us!

I have a passion for coaching beginning runners towards their goals, be it a 5k, a marathon, or anywhere in between.  Please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions you may have, and if I don’t know the answer, I will find out.  I am looking forward to getting to know you and running with you!

Champion Pat

Pat McCreery

Head Coach - Half Marathon

I have been a runner for over 40 years, racing every distance from 100 meters to the full marathon. As a Kansas native, I was active in many sports throughout high school, particularly track. Winning a state high school championship as the anchor of the 4 x 440 yd relay team and being a member of the state 5A runner-up cross country team eventually led to a track scholarship at Wichita State University in 1977. At that time a track scholarship meant I was automatically on the cross country team as well, thus my entry into serious long distance running.

In 1982, my husband, David, and I moved to Albuquerque so that he could pursue a graduate degree in engineering at UNM. I found a job in a medical laboratory with my newly acquired medical technologist degree from WSU and we settled here raising two daughters. During those years I would run from time to time, and enter the occasional 5K on very little training. Ran my first half-marathon in 1993 and though I trained alone with no coaching guidance, I posted a respectable 1:48. And then in 2010 a friend introduced me to Albuquerque Fit.

Since joining Albuquerque Fit, I have completed 9 more half-marathons, and, at the age of 55, finished my first full marathon in Oct 2014, qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Being a part of the Albuquerque Fit coaching staff is an honor, and I look forward to sharing my knowledge and love of running with other like-minded people.


Deana Fowler

Head Coach - Performance Group

Hi! My name is Deana Fowler, and am a transplant from rainy Seattle Washington. I’ve been an educational assistant at the public schools in Rio Rancho for 10 years, and I’m finally back in school to get a degree in teaching. I am also fluent in American Sign Language. I’ve been married for 28 years and have two college aged children. I’m the only crazy runner in the family, but all are supportive and encouraging in my journey.
After moving here in 2005, with that glorious blue sky and rare rainy day I had to get outside and get moving! I started with triathlons and lost 25lbs. Triathlons take up a lot of time training in three different events so I later joined ABQFIT. I’ve been a member of Albuquerque Fit since 2006. I love ABQFIT because you never have to run alone. We have runners of every ability and I am always more motivated when running with other people. After my first marathon, the Duke City Marathon in Albuquerque in 2006, I joined the 50 state Club. We run a marathon in every state. I have completed 43 marathons in 43 states. I will finish in Colorado, October 2018 for my 50th birthday; and you are all invited! Even my children are planning on running my last state with me.
I absolutely love helping others reach their running goals. No matter the pace, we should all set a goal and I would like to assist in helping you achieve it. I’ve reached many of my own speed goals, including qualifying for Boston, and have been running my 50 state goal for 11 years. Please ask us questions, and we’ll help you find the answers and help you reach your goals. No pace is too slow or too fast, we’re all here to improve and keep moving.