Runner2Runner provides school-based running programs for youth athletes. 

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, and background checked 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 & Howard are passionate coaches and former collegiate runners who believes that in a supportive environment, anyone can improve at running and meet personal fitness goals


Melissa Hill, CEO

  • 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, COO 

Howard Lao small file
  • R2R coach since 2014, COO as of 2018, Portland Public School hurdles coach since 2016.
  • D1 collegiate runner (#7 all time / 60 Hurdles) at the University of Washington. 
  • Graduated from University of Washington in 2015 - Communications
  • High School All American - 110 Hurdles (2010) + Oregon State Champion / Former State Meet Record Holder
  • Freelance photographer, covering multiple World Championships - HowLaoPhotography
  • Former Insurance Producer for State Farm (10 years) 
  • Outdoor school, Camp Angelos, Sports Camp of America ( in Japan) counselor throughout high school & college


All Runner2Runner coaches are active USATF members, have completed the USOC SafeSport Course, and have completed extensive background checks. 

Current 2018 XC Coaching Staff 


Howard Lao small file        



Runner2Runner Teams

We have teams based in 3 states (Oregon, Washington, Missouri) - Check out all of our teams at the top of the page!   

We offer safe, progressive and age appropriate workouts. Through my extensive training in Exercise Science, education & 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

Missouri Locations

Oregon Locations

Washington Locations

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