The name Ekiden is inspired by the long distance Japanese road racing relay of the same name. In an Ekiden race, team members hand off a sash, known as the Tasuki, which symbolizes the sweat the team shares in their collective effort to reach the finish line. The word has itself has its roots in the ancient Japanese practice of transmitting important messages across the country in stages, which is fitting because communication is at the core of what we do.
The idea for Ekiden came from conversations between a few friends, namely Peter Duyan, Brett Rivers, Eric Edelson and Mario Fraioli. From the beginning, our mission and vision has been to bring a great human coaching experience to every athlete, not just a training plan. We also saw an opportunity to empower coaches with intuitive digital tools so they can provide great coaching to more athletes in a way that’s never been done before.
We’ve all had great coaches, teachers and mentors in our past and deeply believe in the transformative power of these relationships. Regardless of your age, ability or experience level, having a coach you can learn from, communicate and be inspired by with is essential to helping you navigate the path toward achieving your goals. At Ekiden, we have a shared passion for bringing great coaching to every athlete. We invite you to join us on our journey.
Jenny Maier, Coach and Community Manager
Shortly after racing my first ultramarathon in 2013, I left my career as a lawyer to pursue my passion in working in the outdoors, running and fitness industry full-time. Currently I'm a running coach, personal trainer, yoga instructor and community manager. I joined Ekiden as a coach in June because I believe that athletes of all abilities and experience levels can benefit from coaching when it comes to reaching new goals and Ekiden made finding the right coach accessible. Prior to Ekiden, I worked for a variety of clients in the outdoors industry in both sales, marketing and community building efforts and I bring that experience to Ekiden in managing our community of athletes and coaches. You can often find me filling in at San Francisco Running Company where I've worked my shoe guru magic for over three years. When I'm not coaching, you can find me running the roads and trails in the East Bay and taking Instagram selfies with my dog, Henry.
Mario Fraioli, Head Coach
In my 18 years a runner, I’ve been fortunate to work with a number of great coaches, from Karen Boen at Stonehill College to Kevin Curtin at New Balance Boston and Alan Culpepper on a 1-on-1 basis. Their influence and guidance over the years has influenced my own coaching and inspired me to help athletes chase goals ranging from finishing their first race to setting personal bests, achieving podium finishes and qualifying for major championships. I’m super excited to help even more athletes experience the benefits of great coaching by creating resources and opportunities for Ekiden coaches to have a larger impact than previously thought possible. Prior to joining Ekiden in June, I was the senior editor at Competitor magazine, where I wrote about training theory, covered major running events, and profiled the sport’s top athletes and coaches.
Peter Duyan, Founder
I believe a coach can be transformative. I started Ekiden to bring great coaching to everyone. When we first opened our Beta to the public, I wrote about Ekiden here. Before starting Ekiden, I worked at Fitbit, Strava, and Cooper. I've always been incredibly passionate about coaching. When the iOS app store was just getting going, my brother and I founded Run Coach, a training plan app that we sold to Map My Fitness. When not designing and building great product experiences, I enjoy running with family and friends in Golden Gate Park and on trails in the Marin Headlands.