Fitness Sports

Run Club

Who We Are - Club mission & Vision

The Fitness Sports Distance Project

We are an Iowa based club. Our goal is to create a club where each athlete is supported in their pursuit of personal goals. We want to be a club that is inclusive and inspires each athlete and the community to become the best they can be while sharing the passion of running. We will provide support all levels of runners., whether pursuing Olympic Trials standards, personal bests, or just the joy & journey of the run. We will aim to create a culture that is positive, supportive, and invested in each other and in the community. 

The make-up of the club includes three (3) tiers: Elite, Development, and Run Club. Time standards must be met (within the last calendar year) to make the Elite and/or Development squads. The Run Club tier is for those that want to be part of a team driven community to share the love of the run, be part of a true running community, and want to inspire others and be inspired.

Fitness Sports Distance Project

Run Club

The Run Club is open to people of all ages, paces, & distances. It is a community of people who love to share their passion of running, work towards personal goals with a community of support, and celebrate each others’ journeys together.

The club is open to members across the country. Club members receive some FSDP gear, a 20% discount for all purchases at Fitness Sports (in-store or online), as well as numerous race discounts across Iowa.

Iowa-based club members are able to attend weekly guided workouts and group runs near our two regions (Des Moines & Iowa City). Workouts are tailored to be inclusive and help runners of all abilities who show up. 

Our goal is to help support & encourage you in your goals and help you find out just how good you can be. Run fast. Run far. Run TOGETHER!

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Run Club

The Run Club is open to athletes of all ages & abilities. There are no time standards to meet. Our Run Club members are passionate about becoming the best they can be, sharing the journey, and bringing that community of support together to lift each other up in their goals. No matter the pace, no matter the distance – the Run Club is about community bringing the best out of each other. 


The development tier is our next level of runners aiming to take that step to get to our elite tier. These are athletes that are close and/or have been showing progress to meet our elite standards and just need a little more time.

Time Standards




The elite tier is our top level runners. These athletes are aiming to compete at the Regional or National levels while being positive ambassadors of the sport to all levels of runners.

Time Standards



Fitness Sports Distance Project


The Development tier is our group of members that are on the verge of that breakthrough to get to the Elite tier. With a little more support, our goal is to help them reach that next level over time in their pursuit of their goals.

Ahren Davis
Ahren attended Ankeny Centennial High School and then competed at Grand View University collegiately. At Grand View, Ahren earned All-American honors as part of the DMR squad that finished 8th at the 2023 NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships. Ahren also was named All-Conference 12 times, was a 4x National Qualifier, and was part of 3 school records set.

Mile - 4:22

5k - 15:48

8k - 26:14

Gonzalo Gaytan
Gonzalo hails from Carrollton, Texas where he attended Carrollton Creek View High School. He then competed at Grand View University. From the beginning of his Freshman year to his senior year, Gonzalo dropped an impressive 4:39 off his 8k PR to become the Viking's #5 man his senior year at the conference championships.

3k - 9:14

5k - 16:07

Jacob Blackmon
Jacob attended Stockdale High School in California. He then competed collegiately at Mount Mercy University. As a Mustang, Jacob competed at three NAIA Cross Country National Championships - twice as a team and once individually. In his senior year, Jacob set the indoor 3k school record. In total, he posted top 5 marks in program history in 5 events for Mount Mercy.

3k - 8:51.68

5k - 15:37.87

8k - 26:19

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The Fitness Sports
Distance Project

Fitness Sports Distance Project

Elite Team

Our elite team is a group of athletes that are leaders on the course & in the running community. They are driven to compete at the Regional & National level while also inspiring & giving back to the running community with us. 

Addy Carlson
Addy was a 4x State XC qualifier for Saint Ansgar High School (Iowa). She went on to compete at Wartburg College. White running for the Knights, Addy competed at the NCAA DIII Cross Country National Championships twice, helping Wartburg finish 3rd in the nation in her junior year and earning another top 15 finish as a team in her senior year. Her favorite distances to race are the 5k and 10k.

5k - 18:05

10k - 38:06

Annie Ertz
Annie ran for Marion High School (Iowa) and went right up the road to Mount Mercy University for college. As a Mustang, she shattered the record books, becoming the most decorated track & field athlete in program history. Annie became a 9x NAIA All-American, including three runner-up finishes and left Mount Mercy with 7 school records.

Mile - 4:55

5k - 17:20

8k - 28:54

Half Marathon - 1:20:03

Ben Huftalin
Ben, who comes from Osage, Iowa, ran collegiately at Grand View University. While a Viking, he was a force in the middle distance races, earning 7 All-American honors. That included being part of the 2021 NAIA National Championship 4x800m national championship squad. Post-collegiately, Ben won the 2023 Grand Blue Mile.

800m - 1:52.06

Mile - 4:18.62

8k - 25:53.60


Cailie Logue
Cailie was destined to be a runner. Her parents met while both running in college. Her grandfather coached track for over 50 years in Kansas. Cailie excelled in high school, earning 4 Kansas state titles in cross country, 4 state titles on the track in the 3200m and 3 state titles in the 1600m. Collegiately, she was a member of 3 Big 12 championship teams in cross country and 4 national qualifying teams in cross country at Iowa State University. Individually, Cailie earned was a 4x First Team NCAA D1 All-American. In her first official race as a FSDP member, Cailie finished 5 th overall at the 2024 USATF Cross Country National Championships, punching her ticket to the World Athletics Cross Country Championship and the opportunity to represent Team USA!

3k - 9:00

5k - 15:36

10k - 32:19

Caleb Benzing
Caleb competed in high school for East Marshall High School (Iowa). There, he qualified for the State meet three times in cross country, helping lead his team to the 2A State title in 2014. On the track, he was a 7x state qualifier. He went on to compete collegiately for Northwestern College. As a Raider, Caleb earned NAIA All-American honors in the 4x800m as his squad finished 4th in the nation.

Mile - 4:27

5k - 15:38.42

8k - 25:46

Ceyda Albert
Ceyda competed at Indian Hills Community College for two years before finishing up her collegiate career at Grand View University. While at Grand View, Ceyda competed twice at Nationals - once in cross country and once on the track. She also had seven top 5 finishes in the Heart of America Conference Championships as a Viking.

5k - 18:54

10k - 38:43

Cody Baele
Cody attended Annawan High School (IL) where he placed 7th at the IHSA Cross Country State Championships before started his collegiate career at Iowa Central Community College. As a Triton, he finished runner-up at the 2016 NJCAA Half Marathon Championships. He also placed top 5 in the 5k twice at Nationals, took 7th twice in the 10k, and finished 4th in the 10k at the 2016 Drake Relays. He continued on to Illinois State University where he proved to be a consistent #2 man for them in his senior year. Post-collegiately, Cody has continued to impress, finishing 13th overall/9th American at the 2023 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile in Washington, D.C. He was the overall champion at the 2023 IMT Des Moines Half Marathon and earlier that spring made his debut in the marathon, running 2:19:56 at Grandma's Marathon.

8k - 23:47

10k - 29:35

Half Marathon - 1:04:58

Marathon - 2:19:56

Deanna Newhouse
Deanna ran collegiately for one year while attending Graduate school at Mount Mercy University. As a Mustang, she earned two trips to Nationals - once in the 10k on the track and once in cross country. She finished in the top 3 in every event she competed at the conference championships, taking two runner-up finishes indoors, two individual titles outdoors, and finishing 3rd in cross country.

5k - 18:15

8k - 29:38

Half Marathon - 1:25:44

Eric Steiger
Eric came to Iowa from Lynden, Washington to compete for Dordt University. He helped the Defenders win their first ever NAIA national title as they won the 2022 NAIA Cross Country National Championship with the help of his All-American finish. Eric competed at 6 NAIA National Championships between cross country and track, finishing his career in style by taking runner-up at the 2023 NAIA Outdoor National Championships in the 3k steeplechase with a school record.

3k Steeple - 9:04.61

5k - 14:36.65

8k - 24:40.90

Hannah Weiss
Hannah dominated the school record books in her time at Loras College. As a middle distance runner for the Duhawks, she set 9 school records - 4 individual events and 5 relays. After getting her Master's degree from North Central College, she spent 6 years coaching at Capital University in Ohio. She currently is an Assistant Coach at Wartburg College. In her running, she has increased her range, moving up to the half and full marathon distances.

Half Marathon - 1:19

Marathon - 2:48

Jack Moran
Jack is an Iowa State University student who comes from Ireland. He has represented Ireland as a Junior in both cross country and track. As part of the Iowa State University Running Club, he won the 2023 NIRCA Regional Cross Country Championship. Jack as also competed at the world famous Great Edinburgh XC meet.

3k - 8:30

5k - 14:48

Jerry Frawley
Jerry is a native of Monticello, Iowa. He competed collegiately at Wartburg College. While competing for the Knights, he was a 2x Conference Champion in the DMR and earned All-American honors when his relay finished 4th in the nation indoors in 2016. He also qualified for the NCAA DIII Cross Country Championships twice, helping his team to a 21st place finish his senior year. He is currently the Head Cross Country/Assistant Track & Field Coach at Cornell College.

Mile - 4:17

3k - 8:37

5k - 14:38

Jess McKee
Jess attended Johnston High School (Iowa) where she helped the program win the state title 3 of her 4 seasons in cross country and was a 4-time all-state honoree. She also won 5 individual conference titles between cross country & track while at Johnston. Jess went on to compete for the Hawkeyes at the University of Iowa. As a Hawkeye, she competed in mainly the 5k and 10k.

5k - 17:35:80

10k - 37:29:32

Jessie Clark
Jessie grew up in Iowa City and went to school just north of Coe College. In college, she specialized in the middle distances, stamping her name on several all-time lists for the Kohawks. Her 4x800m relay squad still holds the indoor school record (9:28.46). That squad also qualified for the NCAA DIII Indoor National Championships. Individually, Jessie remains in the top 10 in Kohawk program history in the open 800m. Since graduating, Jessie continues to be a force on the racing scene, consistently winning several local road races & being involved in the running community.

5k - 18:59

10k - 39:57

Half Marathon - 1:29:57

Joe Anderson
Joe competed for Dordt University where he helped the Defenders to their first ever National title. He was a team captain while leading the squad with a 13th place All-American finish at the 2022 NAIA Cross Country National Championships. In total, Joe earned three NAIA All-American honors, including a runner-up finish at the 2023 NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships in the 3k.

3k - 8:17.57

5k - 14:21.59

8k - 24:19.60

Jordan Winke
Jordan hails from Albia, Iowa where she was a three-time cross country conference champion and won eight conference titles in track and field. She went on to compete at the University of Iowa from 2018-2020. Since graduating, Jordan has continued to lower her PR's and extend her range from 5k to the half marathon.

5k - 17:11

Half Marathon - 1:18:50


Kallin Carolus Khan
Kallin has one of the widest ranges of the FSDP members, with the ability to run fast in the mile while dominating the longer distances as well. Kallin ran for the University of Iowa for a stint in college. Post-collegiately, he has become a major force in the ultra distances, winning two U.S. 50k Road Championship titles. He earned the opportunity to represent the USA at the 2023 World 50k Road Championships. Kallin also won the 2019 Portland Marathon and earned a top 3 finish at the 202 U.S. 50-Mile Trail Championships.

5k - 14:45

10k - 30:32

Marathon - 2:22:22

50k - 2:52

Lynn Ahlers
Lynn spent her high school career as a middle distance runner. She was part of Iowa's All-Time 4x800m state record relay squad that ran 9:09:09. Lynn spent some time coaching high school along with her husband, Ryan. They started coaching high school runners together in Bozeman, Montana before moving to Iowa City to take over the City High Girl's Cross Country program. Lynn has stepped aside from coaching recently but still supports and helps as Ryan continues to coach.

800m - 2:15

Mile - 5:04

Marathon - 3:03:29

Mary Wood
Mary came from Nebraska to attend Simpson College where she competed in cross country and track for the Storm. Since hitting the road race scene, Mary has excelled placing 2nd at the Bemidji Blue Ox Half Marathon as well as a top 10 finish at the Drake Road Races 10k.

5k - 18:09

10k - 38:59

Half Marathon - 1:31:04

Mike Jasa
Mike competed at Loras College where he was a dominant middle distance runner. He was a two-time NCAA DIII National Champion and a 13-time All-American. Mike also took home the title of Drake Relays champion four times during his collegiate career. In 2023, he competed at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

400m - :47.9

800m - 1:47.81

1500m - 3:47.78

Natalie Paulson
Natalie is originally from Dallas Center-Grimes and went on to compete at Wartburg College. As a Knight, she competed twice at the NCAA DIII National Championships - once in cross country and once on the track. As a junior, she helped lead the Knights to a 4th place finish in the nation in cross country and finished 17th individually in the 10k that following spring,

3k - 10:07

5k - 17:24

10k - 36:17

Seth Kilborn
Seth ran for East Marshall High School (Iowa) and then began his collegiate career at Indian Hills Community College. After that, he went on to finish his college career at Grand View University, where he was the #3 man for the Vikings when they finished 13th at the 2022 NAIA Cross Country National Championships. Post-collegiately, Seth has extended his range by starting to dabble in the marathon and even some ultras. In his debut marathon, Seth finished 6th overall at the 2023 IMT Des Moines Marathon.

5k - 15:30

8k - 25:18

Marathon - 2:39:48

Tara Benzing
Tara competed at Dordt University after not having run in high school. Since graduating, Tara has been a force on the roads. She has won several local Des Moines races like the DSM Women's 5k, Principal 5k, Blazing 5k open race, and the RuNorwalk 5k.

8k - 31:44

10k - 39:14

Half Marathon - 1:30:42

Trevor Albert
Trevor competed collegiately for Grand View University in Des Moines. While at Grand View, he was an All-American by finishing 5 th at the 2020 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships as a senior. During his senior cross country campaign, Trevor helped lead his team to a top 20 finish at nationals. In total, Trevor tallied 8 Heart of America Conference individual titles as a Viking. During his free time, Trevor enjoys disc golfing.

5k - 14:40

8k - 24:29

10k - 30:45

Half Marathon - 1:07:53

Runner Records


Eric Steiger
SDSU Indoor Classic
February 9, 2024


Annie Ertz
Cornell Invitational
April 6, 2024

Fitness Sports Distance Project Supporters

Thank you to our sponsors

Thank you to our incredible sponsors for their continuous support in our Fitness Sports Distance Project. Because of these sponsors below we are able to create a community of like-minded, lovers of running. If you are interested in supporting the Fitness Sports Distance project and becoming a sponsor, please email Tad at

Elite Sponsor
Athletico Physical Therapy
Elite Sponsor

The Fitness Sports Distance Project

Request to join

Interested in joining one of our Run Club levels? Apply here or email Tad at with any questions.  

Run Club Application Form