Genie Beaver - Owner

Running has been a part of my life since I was a small girl; my Uncle John McDonnell is one of the most successful college track & field coaches EVER (yes, I am proud) and I grew up running with my Dad, an avid runner himself. After running competitively at Georgetown, I took a break from running for a short time, but I missed the feel, the sweat, and the fun. After getting my MBA, I relocated to Georgia and in 2000, started running with a fantastic group of runners at George’s in Atlanta (the original Wednesday crew). This was my first introduction to the local running community in Atlanta. After a few years of working in corporate America and owning a small service franchise (plug— call 1-800-GOT-JUNK? for all your junk removal needs) I decided I wanted to see if I could combine my passion and profession.

While there were – and still are – several great stores in our area, I wanted one that was different – one with an appreciation and understanding of competitive track and field, but also an atmosphere that was welcoming to all levels of runners and walkers, and particularly to women! Building on that idea and drawing on some prior small business experience, the concept of West Stride was born in late 2007. With the help of a loyal and wonderful team – read on for brief write ups on each of our outstanding staff members – we’ve built West Stride into something special. Please come in and meet us in person, as I could never put into words the amazing people that work at West Stride!

Running or walking is so much more than great physical activity, it is also a way to experience valuable alone time to think, or it can be a way to meet your best friend. Running and walking can change with you; you can be a competitive racer, an athlete returning from injury, a new Mom trying to figure out how to fit exercise back into her schedule, or a walker enjoying a 30 min break. It is important to appreciate what you can do each and every day. Let us help you get there. I hope to meet you soon!

Stride On!

Deeter Dietz

Born and raised in the cornfields of Iowa, Deeter was a multi-sport athlete from the start - and always on the run. After college and a career in IT, he found a need to get active again and running seemed like a logical challenge. Deeter (real name Daniel) moved to Atlanta in 2000 and joined the Chattahoochee Road Runners Club. In fact, he is one of the longest standing members of the CRRC. Over 50 marathons later, he’s made up for any lost years of non running and moving toward many more. You'll find him on the trails of Sope Creek and all over the roads of Atlanta. He's hoping to hit his age in marathons completed and continue that trend for life.


Favorite post-run meal: Cheeseburger and fries


Favorite beer to refuel: Local IPAs Favorite on-the-run fuel: Huma Mango gel

Stephanie Jacob

Stephanie started running at age 13 and never stopped. She ran competitively in high school and headed to Berry College in Rome, GA to run for the team. After graduating with a Bachelors in Communications, she moved to Atlanta and joined the workforce, and soon became a regular in local races. She joined the West Stride team in 2011 after 9 years working the office life. Now she can be found organizing West Stride events, work the floor fitting for shoes, fixing the computers, running through the city and keeping the West Stride staff up to date on the latest football scores.


Favorite place to run? Currently, the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail - flat, car-free and always some new sight to see!


Favorite quote about running? "Out on the roads there is fitness and self-discovery and the persons we were destined to be.” -Dr. George Sheehan

Virginia Sharitz

I started running after college, it was the 80’s and I was rebelling against the Aerobics craze! I started with the simple goal of running around my old high school track one time. Then my goal was a mile. I entered local 5k’s and worked my way up to the Peachtree. Then I found Team in Training. In January of 1998, I ran my first marathon with TNT, an organization that channeled my hatred for the leukemia that had taken my mother with my love for running. 26 marathons later, I am still at it! Joined West Stride in 2010, where I enjoy working in an atmosphere that surrounds me with running shoes, running clothes and so many interesting runners!


Favorite thing about running: the freedom and simplicity of it. Just lace up some running shoes and off you go…wherever you choose and whenever you choose. I also enjoy the friendships that I’ve made as a result of running with others


Favorite quote: Borrowed from a favorite quote of Coach Tommy Owens of TNT: “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start” John Bingham.


Favorite place to run: The Silver Comet Trail.


Favorite post-run meal: Beer and a juicy burger! But only after a 20+ miler!


Favorite local race: Smyrna’s Jonquil Jog

Susan Jones

Susan started her running journey 30 years ago after her second child was born. She grew up playing competitive tennis and was ranked nationally as a junior. She played on the college team at Florida State University. She taught tennis for 25 years, then retired and fell in love with running. Running is her social time and she was a natural fit with the West Stride team, joining us in 2014. She also serves as a community coach for Holly Innocents cross country and golf teams and is a member of the Atlanta Track Club Board of Directors.


Favorite place to run: Riverside Park in Roswell


Favorite post run food: Morning - pancakes, Evening - cold beer

Susan Jones

Susan started her running journey 30 years ago after her second child was born. She grew up playing competitive tennis and was ranked nationally as a junior. She played on the college team at Florida State University. She taught tennis for 25 years, then retired and fell in love with running. Running is her social time and she was a natural fit with the West Stride team, joining us in 2014. She also serves as a community coach for Holly Innocents cross country and golf teams and is a member of the Atlanta Track Club Board of Directors.


Favorite place to run: Riverside Park in Roswell


Favorite post run food: Morning - pancakes, Evening - cold beer

Samantha “Sammi” Donovan

Born and raised in Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha, Wisconsin, Sammi brings a neighborly disposition to the WS team. Sammi will never deny her cheesehead roots and cheers loudly for the Green Bay Packers. Upon joining the WS team, Sammi was a regular at WS Wednesday and Red Brick training runs. Not to see running for punishment, Sammi used her elementary school physical fitness test to catapult her into a lifelong pursuit of running endeavors. Running has always been a mental escape for Sammi, a time to reflect on the day and it quickly became a foundation for her life. Sammi competed track & field and cross country at Georgia State University and graduated with an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology. Sammi cannot wait to see where running takes her next.


Favorite Place to Run: Red Top Mountain!


Favorite Post Run Meal: Ripe watermelon!


Favorite Running Quote: “The race always hurts. Expect it to hurt. You don’t train so it doesn’t hurt. You train so you can tolerate it.”

Roger Schmidt

Roger lays claim to beautiful Clearwater, FL as his hometown, yet he lends credit to his college town of Tallahassee, FL as his running birthplace. Starting in summer 2009, Roger set roots in Tallahassee to pursue a degree in Athletic Training / Sports Medicine at Florida State University. During his time at Florida State Roger adopted an active role within Tallahassee’s Gulf Winds Track Club and served as Gait Analysis and Injury Technician Manager to Capital City Runners. Roger dabbles in recreational running races from the mile to the 50-mile distance. Roger’s current running aspiration is to complete all 6 of the World Marathon Major races in under 2:50 prior to the end of 2017.


Favorite quote: “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.” – Haruki Murakami
“If your goals don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.” – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf


Latest Favorite Drink / Food Pairing: Gate City Terminus Porter and Jeni’s Splendid Churro Ice Cream

Andrew McClain

Andrew started running to stay in shape for basketball 13 years ago, then he soon found out he wasn't very good at basketball. So he took up running full time. He ran competitively in high school in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and continued running competitively at Lewis University, located in a southwest suburbs of Chicago. Now he runs with Atlanta Track Club Elite attempting to set new PRs and be among the top runners in the area. He decided to join the West Stride family this past fall to combine his running background with his work aspirations.


Favorite place to run? Cochran Shoals- There are always people to see and if I want a quieter run there are amazing "off-shoot" trails!


Favorite thing to eat after a hard workout session? The holiday special Reese's (the one pound one) or a bunch of the Easter Egg Reese's

Christy Cazzola

Christy started running when she was 13. She was a 1x cross country champion and a 3x track champion in high school. After high school, she continued to stay active by working and doing local community races located near her hometown Kaukauna, Wisconsin. In 2008, she decided to pursue a teaching degree and run collegiately as a mother of two.

In the spring of 2014, she signed a contract with women’s running specially guru sponsor Oiselle. After running professionally on her own for a year, she decided to take a leap of faith and relocate to the Atlanta area where she found the giant running community and non-profit organization, the Atlanta Track Club (ATC). She is now a part of the ATC Elite Team and continues to train and compete, relishing in her first experience of training in the Atlanta summer heat.

Christy travels all over the country for competition, but enjoys the local Metro Atlanta events as well—look for her at the finish line! Or at West Stride.

Tara Mooney

Tara started running in elementary school running laps around her house to "train" for the field day one-mile race! From there the love began! She ran competitively in high school and college at Kennesaw State University. After graduating with a Bachelors in Marketing, she joined the workforce and became a group run and road race junkie, any kind of run she's in for the fun! She joined the West Stride team in 2013 where she can be found working the floor most Sundays and repping West Stride with a smile at many local events and races!


Favorite place to run? Cochran Shoals Chattahoochee River Park, it's close to home and always good for any kind of run from speedwork to long runs and I always run into someone I know!


Favorite quote about running?

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep."

- Robert Frost


Favorite post-run meal? I love a good veggie omelet and biscuit!

Yvonne Douglas

Yvonne is a proud Miami (Florida: “Run-shine State”) Native. Yvonne’s passion for running started in her early twenties when one of her grad school classmates told her about a new Marathon and Half Marathon that he was working to create for the Miami running community--- hence the start of the Toyota Prius Miami Tropical Marathon and Half-Marathon (now known as the Miami Marathon). Since 2002, Yvonne has participated various race distances (ranging from Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10 milers, 15K, 10K, 8K, 5K and Fun Runs)--- with 13.1 being her favorite distance to train and run for. Yvonne is proud to be Half Fanatic #9655. Yvonne has three pending Running Bucket list goals: Run 50 halfs in 50 States, Run in the Chicago Marathon (hopefully accomplished in 2016), and complete a race (Full or Half) in Seoul, Korea.


Favorite thing about running? Being outdoors – but most important the friendships made in the running community


Favorite Race? Miami Half--- I have participated 6 times (first 5 years and 2011).


Favorite quote? Don’t Stop- Get It, Get It!


Favorite pre-run meal? Pad Thai

Sally Brooking

A lifetime runner, Sally ran middle distance track events in high school, and hasn’t stopped running since. Her first trail race was the Big South Fork 17-miler in Tennessee 21 years ago, an experience that solidly hooked her on trail running. She was a co-founder and has been Vice President of Georgia Ultrarunning& Trailrunning Society (GUTS) for over 10 years, and enjoys both running and volunteering at numerous trail races. Sally has run over 200 marathons and ultramarathons in 35 states, clocking her longest distance at the Vermont 100 mile race. (We could tell you about Sally’s numerous women’s course records, but by the time you read this, some of them might be fake news.) Sally’s running interests are varied, though – she loves it all! As a member of the Atlanta Track Club, Sally has run every Peachtree Road Race since 1985 and is a regular pace group leader for various road distance races. To mix things up, she also loves to hash with the Hash House Harriers. Never one to sit still for long, Sally is also an avid mountain biker and road cyclist, completing BRAG (Bike Ride Across Georgia) 20 times! When she isn’t sharing her passion with other runners at West Stride, you are likely to run into Sally at the Chattahoochee River Sope Creek trails or at Kennesaw Mountain.


Favorite Rave Run: The Big Ditch, aka the Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim to Rim. Sally has completed this arduous 46-mile adventure at least ten times.


Favorite post-race FoodFirst chocolate milk, then beer and pizza with friends.


Things you may not know about Sally: Born in Hawaii, Sally visited every state (except Alaska) by the time she was 12 years old. She has a degree in Forestry from Oregon State, and has worked as a fire fighter, a paralegal, and currently also loves to dog sit.

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3517 Northside Pkwy. #11
Atlanta, GA 30327
Phone 404.467.1010

Mon-Fri 10 am - 7 pm
Saturday 10 am - 6 pm
Sunday 12 pm - 5 pm

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