Meet Noelle Banuelos and Rocio Parra, Novice 5K/10K Coaches

It’s always so heartwarming to see our fellow Pacers take what they’ve gained out of running with our group and sharing it with others. It brings us so much joy to welcome Pacers Noelle and Rocio to our coaching staff.  They are eager to share their Pacer Love and help you accomplish that 5K or 10K you’ve been thinking about doing.  We invite you to join their group and have fun training with them. We’ve asked them a few questions to help us all get to know them a little better. Take a look.

How long have you been running with the Whittier Pacers and why did you decide to join our awesome club?

Noelle: I joined the Pacers in April 2019. I wanted to run with other people and I had been afraid to join a club because I thought they would all be speedy marathoners. I saw some Pacers running one day and realized that they came in all speeds!

Rocio: I’ve been running with the Whittier Pacers since January 2019. I joined because I was running by myself but didn’t know the first thing about running. I was looking for a supportive group and I found it!

What keeps you coming back to the Pacers?

Noelle: From the first day, I felt supported, encouraged, and motivated. That has never changed.

Rocio: The people I’ve met and have created friendships with. Everyone is always willing to share their tips and tricks to help you improve.

Tell us what you’re most looking forward to as our new Novice 5K/10K Coach.

Noelle: I am looking forward to encouraging and supporting people who want to run 5Ks and 10Ks but thought they couldn’t or were afraid to try.

Rocio: I’m looking forward to providing the same welcoming environment and motivation that was shown to me when I first joined.

Share one of your favorite Pacer moments.

Noelle: Graduating from the Pre-Conditioners group and thinking “I am a runner!”

Rocio: Having my running buddy Pacer Vero call to wake me up for Saturday morning runs! That eventually led to me train and finish the 2020 LA Marathon.

What do you think is one of the best things about the Whittier Pacers?

Noelle: It doesn’t matter what your age, size, or shape is – we are all in this together.

Rocio: No one gets left behind. We stick together and if someone gets hurt, there’s always someone who will walk it out with you if needed.

Share with us why you think people should join us to train for their next race.

Noelle: It doesn’t cost anything and you get so much in return.

Rocio: There’s a group for everyone no matter what your race goals are. And there are no fees to join!

Tell us something we don’t know about you.

Noelle: HUGE Horror movie fan

Rocio: I own a worm farm!

What are your hobbies or interests when not running?

Noelle: Going to movies, reading, hiking

Rocio: I love being outdoors and planting trees. I’ve planted trees throughout LA County with various volunteer organizations.

Speed Round

*Hometown:  Noelle: La Habra (but born and raised in the Bronx, NY) / Rocio: Los Angeles

*Favorite Sports Team: Noelle: NY Yankees / Rocio: Dodgers, Steelers, USC Trojans

*Longest distance: Noelle: 13.5 miles / Rocio: 26.2 Miles

*Average pace:  Noelle/Rocio: 12:00 minute miles

*Favorite running shoe:  Noelle: Brooks / Rocio: 361

*Favorite post run meal: Noelle: Donut / Rocio: Chilaquiles!

*Next race: Noelle: Undecided / Rocio: New York City Marathon

*Running Mantra: Noelle: You got this! / Rocio: One foot in front of the other until you cross the finish line!