Rebel Runners

Rebel Runners Training Program for Beginner 5K and 10K Runners

Program and Coaches

The “Rebel Runners” is a new group conceived and organized by Mike Lapp and Francine Robinson, local runners in the West Michigan community. Mike and Francine have 17 years of combined experience leading a mentor program for the 25K Amway River Bank Run. When they identified a need for mentoring first-time 5K and 10K runners as well, they were inspired to start this program which is specifically aimed at training for the 5K or 10K Amway River Bank Run, scheduled for Saturday, May 11, 2019. There is no cost for participating in this program.

Mike and Francine will have other coaches helping out each week, and those coaches will be introduced as they jump aboard. Presently Modesto Castillo, Melissa Hunter, Jan-Al Robinson, and Amy Rempalski, all experienced and talented runners in the Grand Rapids Community, have committed to helping out.

If you’re new at running either the 5K or 10K distance, or if you’ve started to train in the past but struggled to follow through, then this program is for you! In order to make your training more fun and interesting, we will incorporate “theme” runs and other types of fun runs. We will be with you every step of the way. If you’re already an experienced runner but know someone who would benefit from this program, please pass along this information.

Additionally, all aspects of running will be covered—from the type of clothing that works well, nutritional needs of runners, hydration, rest days, setting your pace, and the importance of positive mental focus. If you provide an e-mail address, you will receive weekly Newsletters with this information.

Why the name “REBEL RUNNERS?”
The coaches wanted a name that would represent "strength and boldness" to signify that what you have chosen to do takes courage. The commitment to start shows you are ready to choose healthy habits and lifestyles and “rebel” against inactivity and past choices that may have kept you from believing in yourself. We believe you can do this. Our motto is “YES YOU CAN!”

Saturday runs (dates/time):
We are currently meeting every Saturday morning leading up to the Amway River Bank Run on May 11, 2019. The training runs begin at 8 a.m.

Grand Valley State University has graciously offered us the use of the following two adjacent GVSU parking lots to meet for our Saturday runs:

* Butterworth Lot B (on Butterworth Street, off Front Ave., just past the railroad tracks)
* Lot J, directly behind Lot B (accessed from Emperor Street, also off Front Ave.)

PLEASE NOTE - we will be joining the Amway River Bank Run Community Runs the first Saturday of every month (at 8 a.m.) at the David D. Hunting YMCA, 475 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Grand Rapids, MI. [Non-members of the YMCA park in Dash Lot 7] Refreshments and networking follow the run.

Training Schedules:
5K and 10K weekly training schedules are available to guide you.

Each week we will have 5K and 10K courses set up. There will be markers on the roads to indicate where to turn around depending on your individual distance that week.

Become a “Rebel Runner!” Our coaches look forward to getting you to the finish line!

Contact Mike Lapp ( or Francine Robinson ( with any questions.

Beginning Runner Information (pdf)
How to Dress for Cold Weather Running (pdf)
5K Training Program (pdf)
10K Training Program (pdf)