Come Run in 2021: A Program to Deliver New Vigor to Your Running

by Christine Bishop and Mat Nark

The running community has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic with race after race cancelled. Gone was the excitement of real races and with it the motivation they created. Slowly races have returned but in a different format that is strictly regulated for safety with social distancing and mask wearing required. ARE has staged races carefully following New York State regulations and they have been highly successful energizing the running community.

Races will slowly return to normal as the virus eases and vaccines are available. To be ready for this, Mat Nark has created a program called: Come run in 2021: Sports and Fitness. It is comprised of seven leading experts in the field of running and it disciplines who together will help to revolutionize your running. The program will last for a month, starting with an introductory program on December 7. Each day of the week one of the 7 experts will feature programs with talks, videos, demonstrations, posts, etc. related to their field. The program will be on Facebook and Instagram. In addition, Josh Merlis will organize races and Mat will hold group runs that will be announced on this platform. So, remember to check back frequently.

The Experts

Mat Nark

Mat brings a wide array of knowledge to the group with specialties in both run coaching and strength training. He is a McMillan Certified Run Coach, Original Strength, FMS Advanced and a kettlebell expert with over 20,000 hours of experience and results.

He said, "Hopefully this platform can help to motivate runners through the end of this pandemic to stay active and focused on their goals for the upcoming 2021 spring racing season. It's been a long grind over the course of the past year and the running normalcy that we all crave can't return soon enough." Let's make 2021 the best running year of your life and Come Run in 2021 is here to help!

Yes, you can train seriously and run PR's during the pandemic. Meteor Nutrition's Kelsey Beckmann rocked a 13 second personal best at her Thanksgiving Day 5k (16:44 - 5:23) This came in Florida where races are becoming more readily available as we close out 2020. Tomorrow she competes in South Carolina at the elite only MNHM with only 100 participants. Running and racing can only get better as we roll into 2021. Get ready and be prepared to be at your best as the spring racing season approaches.

Michelle Merlis

Michelle is a mountain, ultra, and trail runner who favors steep and technical terrain.

In addition to having won races across the East Coast such as the North Face Bear Mountain Half, the Escarpment Trail Run 30K, and the Superior 50K, she has also completed unsupported runs of Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim in the Grand Canyon, the Pemi Loop, the Great Range Traverse, and the Presidential Traverse, and holds several Fastest Known Times in the Catskills, including the Devil's Path.

Her passion for trail running is deeply connected to her love of the outdoors and the process involved in training. She aims to embody and foster these elements within the spirit of adventure for all of the athletes, trail and road, that she coaches through MNTN Goat Running. Through MNTN Goat Running, athletes not only work toward their running goals, but are also encouraged to engage in environmental activism through the MNTN Goat Running Environmental Lab.

She looks forward to bringing you content that will encourage you to give trail running a try or increase your trail running skills, and most importantly, inspire you to adventure.

Kelsey Beckmann

Meteor Nutrition arose after lifelong athlete, Kelsey Beckmann RD, LDN, wished to pursue her passion for the impact of nutrition on the human body in motion. Kelsey grew up playing competitive soccer, and eventually ended her career as a D1 soccer player to transform into a distance runner who since has qualified for the 2020 marathon Olympic trials. Through several instances of her athletic background, she felt the ebbs and flows with nutrition on performance. She knew she was destined to help other athletes benefit from the implementation of optimal nutrition. Aside from working with ambitious athletes, Kelsey has worked in the clinical arena with a multitude of different medical complexities. Having a variety of different experiences in dietetics has given Kelsey the necessary tools to allow wholesome food heal and fuel the remarkable human body.

Meteor Nutrition propels active endeavors by developing optimal fueling strategies for the individual. We favor sustainable methods that nourish the most healthy, strong, and powerful bodies.

Meteor Nutrition loves science. In this day and time, there is plenty of readily available information on nutrition. We have the background and experience to provide the most safe and current information that is evidence based and practical. One must realize, not every shooting star is the same. Therefore, it is imperative that athletes are mindful and feed these differences appropriately.

Josh Merlis

Josh ran his first 5K at age six, began computer programming at ten, and started assisting with the production of races at sixteen. In college he created the Albany Running Exchange, began directing his own races, and built an online registration system (now known as

ARE Event Productions (AREEP) was formed in 2006 as the race timing and event management arm of the ARE, and has since provided services to over 1,500 races from coast to coast, including multiple national championships with his signature certifying new American Records. AREEP also provides custom software to enhance the participant experience and has been part of numerous major Nike events across the US and Canada providing both timing and digital activations.

He is a consultant to other timers and event directors, helped found timing companies in DC and WI, and has repeatedly been invited to present on timing and technology at the annual Running USA Industry Conference.

While in a normal year his company finds itself working races near and far, home is where the heart is, and his greatest joy is bringing people together to run and race in the Capital Region.

Todd Shatynski

Todd Shatynski, M.D., Sports Medicine, General Orthopedics (Non-Surgical) is a sports medicine specialist with an emphasis and interest in the nonsurgical treatment of injuries and is trained in the use of musculoskeletal ultrasound for the diagnosis of soft tissue injuries and the guidance of injections. He is often involved in teaching residents and sports medicine fellows.

Dr. Shatynski has extensive experience in a variety of sports, including football, hockey, and endurance sports. His experience with running and triathlons is a nice complement to his non-surgical approach to diagnosing and treating running injuries.

A graduate of Guilderland High School, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, as well as participating in running and triathlons. He has completed multiple marathons and Ironman distance triathlons, including Ironman Hawaii. He serves as a team physician for the University of Albany, College of Saint Rose, Columbia High School and Triathlon Australia.

Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry: North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Doctor of Medicine: Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA
Family Practice Residency: Saint Vincent Hospital, Erie, PA
Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship: Saint Vincent Sports Medicine, Erie, PA
Board Certification: American Board of Family Medicine
Certificate of Added Qualification in Sports Medicine: American Board of Family Medicine

Brad Hudson

Professional running coach and author Brad Hudson is a wealth of knowledge and has plenty of expertise to share with all runners.

Brad’s love affair with distance running started at 9 years old. He made waves in the sport before he was even a teenager, clocking a 2:50 marathon before high school. He set the course record on the famous Van Cortlandt Park cross country course, set the high school indoor national 5,000m record and placed 7th and 3rd at the Kinny/Footlocker High School National Championship. Additional notable high school performance includes 23:02 8K and 48:55 10-mile. Hudson also ran a 2:17 marathon prior to college.

While at the University of Oregon, Brad was a PAC-10 conference champion in cross country and helped the team to a runner-up finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. He also qualified to represent the US at two World Championships in the marathon but was forced to pull out in both races (1991 & 1993). His PR for the marathon stands at 2:13:23.

Karli Taylor

Karli is a corrective exercise specialist, E-RYT yoga instructor, international fitness presenter and the creator or BarreFlow.

With over 20 years experience in the fitness industry, Karli is passionate about creating space where yoga can be safe, effective and fun for all bodies and all levels. Her yoga for runners is a comprehensive program designed to strengthen the muscles that are underutilized by the mechanics of running and stretch the ones that are over-trained. It is this combination of stretching and strengthening that will help any level of runner push harder, run longer and live with fewer aches and pains!

Click here to find out how Karli started working with Nark Running and Strength and check out the library of articles she has written for HMRRC. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks to keep you running longer and stronger.


Remember, starting December 7, each day for a month something new will be featured on Come Run in 2021 on Facebook and Instagram and new activities will be scheduled. Participating in this program will bring zest back to your running.

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