RYR is a husband and wife team that actually began when Dean agreed to coach Paula as she prepared to race Ironman Louisville.
Dean is a lifelong competitive runner who, after running the Boston Marathon a couple of times (marathon PR 2:48), decided to embark on a new challenge and enter the sport of triathlon. He went from barely surviving the swim portion of a local sprint triathlon, to qualifying and competing in the 2016 Kona Ironman World Championship.
Paula was a longtime cheerleader and Sherpa for Dean and their two children, Bethanie and Jacob, as they pursued their athletic goals. She recently retired from Owensboro Public Schools, where, during her 27-year career as an educator, she coached both track and cross country.
After Dean coached Paula (and her friend Kelly) to a successful Ironman race, he agreed to coach Paula in her attempt to Boston Qualify. She needed a marathon PR of over ten minutes, so he had his work cut out for him. She successfully met her qualifying time with room to spare and a 14-minute personal best.
Since then, they have been paying forward what they’ve learned through vast research and personal experience by offering coaching services to a small number of athletes.
Here’s what they say:
“We love supporting, encouraging, advising, and praying for our athletes. It is fulfilling to see friends and family growing mentally, physically, and spiritually. While we love it when our athletes reach a goal on race day, it is the growth that occurs throughout the training process that means the most.”
Coach Dean Roberts has been involved in athletics for over 40 years. He became a runner in elementary school and continues to enjoy training and competing today. While raising children, he focused on short distance races – 5Ks and 10Ks. When his two children – Bethanie and Jacob – were in school, Dean and wife Paula became cross country coaches.
Later, he made the jump from short races to the half marathon and full marathon and competed at Boston in 2009 and 2011. He then branched out into triathlons starting with a sprint and working up to an Ironman. Dean earned a slot and competed in the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona Hawaii in 2016.
Along the way, he has made a lot of friends and has many stories to tell. He continues to train and enjoys sharing what he loves and what he has learned with others.
Coach Paula Roberts met Dean in 7th grade. Since then, she has been cheering for him and (much later) their two children as they accomplished their goals in road racing, cross country, track, swimming, diving and gymnastics.
Paula is a lifelong educator who began her career as a math teacher. As a teacher, she coached both boys and girls track, girls’ cross country, and the math team. When getting her master’s degree in mathematics, Paula’s emphasis was in statistics. This background has been invaluable in managing and interpreting athlete data.
Once an empty-nester, Paula began running. At first, she could not complete one lap around the track without walking. She has taken baby steps over the past ten years, setting intermediate goals along the way. Her first goal was to run a mile in 10 minutes. Her goals have progressed from there and she has qualified for the Boston Marathon twice, ran her first Boston this year (albeit virtual) and successfully completed Ironman Louisville.
Paula is an avid reader and as an educator, she is a lifelong learner. She has a passion for not only studying all about swim, bike, and run training, but also reads everything she can about properly fueling daily and during races. She loves to work with athletes who struggle in this area.
She continues to train and set goals, but her true passion (aside from her new granddaughter) is coaching athletes and helping them as they strive to become the best possible version of themselves.
She is a testament to the fact that ANYONE can be successful in their athletic endeavors.