Runner2Runner provides school-based running programs for youth.

We develop cross-country, track and field training and competition in a safe, positive and supportive environment.

  • Establish teams comprised of boys and girls
  • Develop understanding of team and teamwork
  • Qualified, experienced coaches lead our teams
  • Personalized, progressive workouts
  • Establish and build athleticism
  • Guide athletes through competition
  • Instill confidence to excel at life’s challenges and embrace leadership roles
  • Promote life-long dedication to healthy living
  • USA Track and Field member organization


My teams were founded out of a concern for the health of our youth and a desire to teach a skill that will last a lifetime.

I believe early introduction to running in a positive environment promotes a lifelong love of running and healthy living.  After moving to Portland, Oregon in 1997, I discovered youth running programs were not offered at our local school. Shortly afterwards, I started cross-country, track and field and running teams at five elementary and middle schools.

As our programs grew, we saw that high school running teams were benefiting from our initiative, resulting in state titles in track and cross country. Providing even a brief, positive introduction to running at an early age provides athletes with a foundation to participate on their high school track or cross country team and in many cases, run at the collegiate level.  

Runner2Runner Staff

Melissa Hill, CEOmelissa hs cropped

Melissa is a passionate coach and former collegiate runner who believes that in a supportive environment, anyone can improve at running and meet personal fitness goals.

  • Bachelors of Science with a focus on Exercise Science.
  • Level I and II US Association of Track and Field coaching certification.
  • Developed and coached cross country and track teams since 1998.
  • Coached athletes and developed running events for Nike Sports Center - 12 years.
  • Developed and coached district wide programs for elementary/middle schools in Portland and St. Louis.
  • Founding member and coach:Team Athena.
  • President: Portland West Running Club.
  • President: Ladue Running Club
  • International Running Consultant, China

Howard Lao, COOHoward Lao small file

Howard attended Cleveland High School playing soccer and running track for 4 years. 6x time PIL district champ (110/300Hurdles). In his final year at State he broke the 5A 110 Hurdle meet record. Later that summer he would go onto finish 7th in the nation at the Junior Olympics.  He is also the current hurdles coach at Cleveland High School (3rd season).
Attended and ran for the University of Washington - Finished as #7 all time in the 60 meter hurdles.
Graduated in 2015 with a Communication degree he has a passion for sports, and sports photography. In his free time and weekends he works as a freelance photographer covering events from local sporting events to World Championships (Beijing Outdoors 2015, Portland Indoors 2016, London Outdoors 2017). 
Howard currently works for State Farm (since 2008), as an insurance producer. Runner2Runner welcomes him full time fall 2018!

Runner2Runner Teams

Teams are lead by an experienced head coach, assistant, technical coaches, and are aided by parent volunteers.

We offer safe, progressive and age appropriate workouts. Through my extensive training in Exercise Science, education and research, coaching and participation experience and US Association of Track and Field certifications, I have developed the best workouts to maximize athletes’ time and prevent injury in a supportive environment.

Each team has a website page for communication and team schedules.


Teams typically meet twice a week and participate in area meets during our 8-10 week season.

Students pay a seasonal entry fee (see the Register page). Other than team uniforms, running shoes, optional apparel and competition spikes, there are no additional fees.

For more team information, see our FAQ



EIN 46-4879533