About Our Coaches and Founders
While I competed in cross country and track teams during my middle and high school years, becoming an all-state athlete and state champion on multiple occasions , I only began calling myself an endurance runner after my second child was born in 2013. Between middle school and before baby number two, I had dabbled in sprint triathlons, 5K's, and 10K's, but still never truly considered myself an endurance runner.
As a postpartum mother of two, I was like many, motivated to lose my "baby weight", in the aftermath of my natural birth experiences to explore what other amazing things my body might be capable of. I had seen inspiring posts from many friends as they ventured into the half marathon/full marathon world, and I decided that I wanted to go for it (the half marathon), too. Therefore, I perused the internet and ultimately, developed my own plan to hold me accountable to my goal and keep me motivated, safe. Ultimately, I was transformed by this sport along the way, setting PR's in many distances and even winning a trail championships in addition to other local road and trail races within 10 months to 13 months postpartum.
Along the journey to my first half marathon, I had discovered and fallen in love with the practice of running and the community, but I also had researched and learned that training safely for races requires an ongoing balancing act between scientifically-supported training approaches as well as running socially and/or for enjoyment to avoid burnout.
Years later, I continue to evolve as a runner, having become a 5x Boston Qualifying marathoner and completed 30+ marathon/ultra marathons. In my thirst to learn more about helping others develop their running practice, I became a certified running coach through RRCA, a TRX qualified coach, a certified Institute for Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, a NASM certified personal trainer, and a USATF Level I Track & Field Coach. I continue to grow in my advocacy for healthy runners everywhere, based out of Harrisonburg, VA.
I am passionate about sharing and promoting running as a sustainable, yet in-flux activity that can positively influence health and lifestyle as well as develop a greater sense of belonging in a much larger community. I also want my athletes to feel supported, empowered, and enriched along their pursuits to maximize their potential and achieve their greatest goals!
Together, we can tackle mental and physical challenges in a way that leaves you feeling accomplished, disciplined, and powerful.
Nelle Fox, Founder and Head Running Coach
Mike Fox, Co-Founder
I have been a runner since my freshman year of high school. I immediately found love for the sport, and that led, in part, to my success. As a high schooler, I was state champion in the distance events, All-American in college, and placed 8th in the US 5K road championships. I've run a 2:23 marathon and am now competing in a gambit of races from 5K on the road to 100 mile ultras on the trails.
I have been coached by some of the most experienced coaches in the country. My mentors trained not only national champions, but also Olympians. I was very fortunate to learn from the best and utilize that knowledge in combination with my natural talent to achieve a high level of performance.
For me, there is joy in passing this knowledge onto other athletes in effort to help them reach their own personal goals. These goals might include reaching a PR within a desired distance or maybe just crossing the finish line for a new runner.
The dynamic of strength, endurance, and overall fitness is a very fun aspect of life. It opens doors for interacting with our kids, balancing home/work, as well as enhancing our experiences with our friends and family.
Zach Mathias, Sprints, Jumps, and Power Coach
Rachel Spaulding Lemcke, Running Coach
College athlete 2014-2018 with many swimming awards, acknowledgements, and records
1x open water marathon swimmer and podium finisher
2x Boston marathon finisher
Rabbit Elite Teammate since 2021
Smokies Challenge Adventure Run FKT 2022: 72 miles on AT with 18,600 ft gain, Three Ridges and Priest FKT 2022: 24 miles with 7.300 ft gain
Personal success in distances 50K-100 miles but enjoys 100k and 100 mile distance the most because of the problem solving and strategic thinking that goes into it
BS in Human Services with a minor in youth development
Masters Public Health
UESCA Ultra Running Coach Certification
NASM Women's Fitness Specialist Certification
Certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor ISSA
COROS Evolab coach and content creator
Former high school and middle school cross country coach; 2021 girls conference champions, coach of the year award for Blue Ridge conference
College swim coach previously at University of Lynchburg (2018-2020)
Began 1:1 coaching in the summer of 2021; currently coaching runners of all abilities in distances 5K-100 miles, ages 20-50+ years old
Master of Education
RRCA Certified Run Coach
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
TRX Qualifed Coach
IIN Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
USATF Level I Coach
V.02 Certified Run Coach
UESCA Endurance Sports Nutrition Coach
21st in 2001 AL 2A XC State Championship
3rd in 2002 4x800 AL 2A Indoor State Championship
1st in 2002 4x400 AL 2A Outdoor State Championship
3rd in 2003 4x200 AL 2A Indoor State Championship
2nd in 2003 4x400 AL 2A Indoor State Championship
1st 2014 AL Xterra Trail Championships
1st 2014 Sizzling Hot Trail Series 5 milers (2x)
1st 2015 Light Your World 5K
1st 2015 Trail Blazer Treks Half Marathon
1st 2015 Valley Vines 5K
3rd in AG Shamrock Marathon -BQ
1st 2020 Wine Lovers 5K
3rd 2021 Terrapin Half
3rd 2021 Conquer the Cove 25K
4th 2021 Bruce Barnes Mile
8th 2020 Hellgate 100K
9th 2018 Holiday Lake 50K
9th 2018 Promise Land 50K
11th Jack and Jill Downhill Marathon -BQ
4th Grindstone 100 Mile Endurance Run
15th Charlottesville 10 Miler
4th 2022 Hellgate 100K
Course Record 2023 Holiday Lake 10K
Nelle's Personal Bests:
800 m: 2:35
1 mile: 5:22
2 mile: 12:30
10 mile: 1:07:36
Half Marathon: 1:28:30
Marathon: 3:04:05 (BQ)
100+ Miler: 28:12
4th 100m Dash Valley District Championships (2007)
3rd 4x100m Relay Region II Championships (2007)
10th 4x100m Relay VHSL Group AA State Championship (2007)
2nd 55m Dash Massanutten District Indoor Championships (2008)
3rd 300m Dash Massanutten District Indoor Championships (2008)
200m Dash Massanutten District Champion (2008)
12th 200m Dash VHSL Group AA Region III (2008)
3rd 4x100m Relay VHSL Group AA Region III (2008)
8th 4x400m Relay VHSL Group AA Region III (2008)
33rd 200m Dash 2008 VHSL Group AA State Championship (2008)
12th 4x100m Relay 2008 VHSL Group AA State Championship (2008)
3x 4x100m Relay VHSL Class 2 State Champions (2017, 2018, 2019)
2x Bull Run District Men’s Outdoor Track Coach of the Year (2022, 2023)
2x Shenandoah District Men’s Outdoor Track Coach of the Year (2016, 2017)
3x Conference 36 Men’s Outdoor Track Champions (2015, 2016, 2017)
3x VHSL Region 2B Men’s Outdoor Track Coach of the Year (2019, 2022, 2023)
2x Bull Run District Men’s Outdoor Track Champions (2022, 2023)
3x Shenandoah District Men's Outdoor Track Regular Season Champions (2013, 2016, 2017)
2x Shenandoah District Men’s Outdoor Track Championship Meet Champions (2016, 2017)
3x VHSL Region 2B VHSL Men's Outdoor Track Champions (2019, 2022, 2023)
Vhsl Class 2 Men’s Outdoor Track State Championship Runner up (2017)
12 Individual VHSL State Champions
I was first introduced to the sport of track and field as a freshman at Spotswood High School. While track was in my blood, I had primarily been a baseball player up until then. But in the spring of my 9th grade year, I made the switch to outdoor track and never looked back. After 4 wonderful years of outdoor track, and 3 years of indoor, I made the decision to run at the collegiate level and signed with Concord University in Athens, WV as a dual sport athlete. It was during my freshman year at CU when my athletic career and my future got turned upside down, after sustaining a career ending spine injury in football season. I didn’t know it then, but that injury would lead me down the road to where I am today. With losing my ability to play sports, I lost all motivation in school, and ended up coming home after the fall semester of my third year.
I had no idea what I was going to do, but about 2 months later I received a message from one of my high school coaches, who was now the Head Track Coach at the newly opened East Rockingham High School. They were in need of another assistant coach for their upcoming inaugural season. This was it, this was my chance to reconnect with the sport I once fell in love with. Fast forward 13 years, and the rest is history!
I’m not just a high school coach, my passion has grown into so much more.. enter Excel Rocktown! Coaching isn’t just my job, it's who I am. And I look forward to sharing this passion of mine with my new Excel Rocktown Family!