Ken Wiley, Mountain Biker and Runner

“These are the traits, from least to most important, that I want when it comes to choosing and working with a coach.

  • Focused workouts (specific details, not just ride a bike today)
  • Workout Schedule (What to do each day)
  • Keeping me focused and honest (Check-ins and questioning why I did/didn't do something)
  • Motivation (Rub my ego just a bit)
  • Confidence in my ability (even more than I have)
  • Sincerity (The feeling that my coach is truly motivated to make me the best I can be)

Having specific workouts are great, but I can go online and figure that kind of stuff out. A workout schedule is even better, but again, I can go online, read a few articles, see what other cyclists are doing and come up with something that will work. The last 4 items however are not something you can do on your own and I feel are the keys to being a good coach. I feel I get them all and more having Chris J. Dunn as my coach. He has years of experience in many aspects of endurance athletics, he is very friendly, is very motivational and always seems to know what I need to hear to get me through things”

Emily Flagg, Runner

“Working my way back into running early 2017 after a 5+ year hiatus and wanting to get back to a competitive level, I was searching for a coach.  A friend recommended Chris to me and I couldn't have made a better decision.  I have been working with Chris for 6 months now, including 2 races (50k and a 6 hour). A few qualities to note: 1) Dedication - I am extremely impressed with his dedication and guidance to develop the best athlete I can be.  2) Knowledge - of not only the 'science' behind endurance sports, but clearly also knowledge from experience.   3) Communication - This is not a one way street; to be the best you can be takes communication and a willingness to listen (from both coach and athlete) and to work together.  4) Personality - Expectations to deliver, yet flexibility in understanding that life happens and has its ups and downs.  

Nearly a year later into my return to the running scene, I am proud of what I have accomplished and have Chris to thank.”

Holly Blais, Runner

"Chris has taught me a lot about being a runner and endurance athlete. His coaching combines important elements related to your mind, body and spirit to improve your performance. He also provides lots of timely feedback on workouts, works with your schedule (because “normal life” doesn’t stop) and shows a real passion for your growth as his client. Regardless of finishing times his coaching supports your growth overall...hitting a PR isn’t hitting the next level of achievement; it’s something else and his coaching just might get you to work harder and smarter to get there."

Lauren Breza, Cyclist

"I originally hired Chris to help me train for a 75-mile mountain bike race in the North Dakota Badlands. I started training for the race a little late in the game, but he was able to refine my training plan so that I was well prepared for the event - so prepared that I ended up on the top step of the podium! After my initial race, I realized that I had more endurance goals that I wanted to crush, so I decided to keep Chris as my coach.

Chris also understands that "life happens", so when things don't go your way for a scheduled training unit he is supportive and provides constructive solutions. He works with my crazy, grad student schedule and my training plan provides structure in my life so I'm successful on the bike AND in academia.

I appreciate Chris' extensive background in exercise physiology that is rooted in peer reviewed research and I love the "tech talk" about body mechanics and metabolism. If you're on the fence about hiring Chris, I'd say go for it! I can't recommend his coaching services enough!


Patty Higgins, Runner

“I hired Chris to Coach me for my first Mt WASHINGTON Road race. I feared hills. His training plans are all about quality, not quantity. I had my doubts that I would be able to conquer that mountain. I stood at that starting line with a confidence I’ve never had before. I finished 20 mins ahead of my goal time. I was so impressed with his coaching style, I kept him on as a coach and just PR’d my half marathon at the age of 54. Chris will develop a training plan that adapts to your schedule, ability and YOUR goal. I’m looking forward to another successful year of conquering the hills on foot as well as the bike.”

Erica Mead, Runner

“When I met Chris I had literally run my body into the ground. After suffering a stress fracture and labral tear that kept me sidelined for 6 months, Chris patiently helped me return to running stronger than ever. I’ve learned so much from him in the last year, not only on the importance of strength work and recovery but on how to work towards a stronger mind. He sets high expectations but is also caring and understanding. He will give you the personal attention you need and a plan that will help you meet your goals. I recommend Chris to anyone looking for an endurance coach.”

Andrea McCusker, Runner

“I have hired Chris Dunn as my running/strength coach on and off for the last 20 years. Chris is a very dynamic coach, as he has helped me excel at every distance from the 5k to 50 miles in those 20 years. Not only have the distances changed, but my competitive level has also. Early on I placed in almost every race I ran, and was always looking to get faster. Coach Dunn never allowed me to over train and was always available to discuss race strategies.

Through the years, ‘life’ caused me to change the focus of my running to be less competitive, and use it more as a way to create ‘me’ time. Chris was able to effortlessly change the focus of his coaching techniques to fit my needs. Not only is he extremely knowledgeable about exercise physiology, the mental aspect of training and competing, but Chris has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I know. He is community focused with his business, and is always putting his clients needs before his own. I would, and have recommended Coach Dunn to numerous athletes I come in contact with. Not only do I consider him a great coach, but  an inspiring role model.”

Scott Gordon, Runner

“After transitioning over to mountain running in my 40’s, I found myself at a plateau. I felt strong, but my performance was not improving year to year. After researching numerous options, I hired Chris J. Dunn as my endurance coach. His understanding of physiology and his experience as an endurance athlete have allowed him to guide me to significant gains in performance without risking overuse injury as an aging athlete. At 48, I’m close to being in the best shape of my life.. Chris has been a big part of that improvement and I cannot recommend him enough.”

Daniel Whitmoyer, Runner

“Chris has the ability to develop a plan based on your lifestyle. His clients consist of multi-sport athletes, which was a major plus when I was looking for a coach. I not only wanted someone to build a relationship with in doing ultras, but someone I could transition with into other sports when something peaks my interest.

Picking a coach can be hard for a lot of reasons. There are a lot out there and it is hard to make a choice to trust a coach with precious free time. I am racing smarter, building in other components of my training plan I never thought imaginable, and am excited to work with Chris in continuing to get stronger. If you are looking to take your abilities to the next level, this is where to start!”

Jay Kelly, Runner

“Coach Chris Dunn helped prepare me to successfully complete the Pikes Peak Marathon and is now helping me return to running after suffering a broken ankle. I trust him implicitly. He believes in quality over quantity and truly cares about each of his athletes. I highly recommend him if you are looking to go next level in your sport.”

Emer O’Donoghue, Runner

“The best thing I ever did for my self. After having my meniscus removed almost two years ago I couldn’t get back running without getting injured and having pain. I tried to do my beloved mountain series and was unable to finish it. I ended up in pt for six months. I started with Chris in January of this year and ran some of my best races in the series. Just became a 2017 mountain and have remained pain free throughout. Can’t recommend this highly enough.”

Kathleen Boulter, Runner

“Chris has been able to help me get back into endurance racing after a few years of my own training plans. His knowledge of the body systems and effects of over training/not training hard enough has helped me get back on track even stronger and smarter than before. His positive and warrior strong outlook has given me a new way to embrace the suck and  keep going during those low moments of self doubt during races and low energy training days. As a competitive athlete himself, Chris understands the highs and lows of training and racing. A fierce competitor and Coach with a gentle compassionate Soul, Chris is my Team Leader, my Coach, and my Friend.”

Tyler Lupien, Runner

“I have always been a runner. I ran high school and college cross county and track. As an adult, I found trying to balance work, family, fitness and trying to be my own coach very difficult. I had problems with training /over-training and motivation off and on. I also found myself with nagging injuries that ultimately culminated in a case of Achilles tendinosis that caused me to take almost two full years off from any sort of running.

I contacted Chris because I realized I could not do it all. I was not a good self coach, and I needed someone to discuss ideas with and help guide me with focused workouts. Chris and I talked about goals and objectives and then we came up with a plan. It was very structured, but also took into account that I am a self employed business owner with two young children. If I needed to skip a workout or alter it in some way, that was OK too and we could communicate as often as I needed. Also, very importantly, our plan had many scheduled rest and cross training days.

As a stubborn self coach, I would have never taken a bike day or a day off. Am I an Olympic athlete? Clearly not. But I feel like I reached my full potential and checked off a bunch of goals that would not have been possible without Chris as a coach. I recommend his service wholeheartedly with 5 stars.”

Deb Livernois, Runner

“I’m not a physically elite athlete by any means. I’m typically last in races, or pretty close to it. I’ve felt like I’m not worthy of having a coach because I would be an embarrassment to their business. What I’ve learned from Chris is that, though I’m not physically where I want to be, I am mentally one tough cookie, and thanks to his guidance, I’m achieving things I never thought possible. I’m proud of the athlete I’m becoming as a student of Ascend Endurance Coaching.”

“Chris is a very dynamic coach, as he has helped me excel at every distance from the 5k to 50 miles.”

-Andrea McCusker

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