2018 Speakers

Speaker Schedule

10:30am  Melissa Kahn, will talk about her journey from obesity to finishing a tri in the Himalayan mountains.

11:30am Tim Kaufman Buffalo Native, Finding The Road To Health


2:30 pm  Fitz Koehler, Master’s Degree in Exercise and Sport Science. Best Strength Training Exercises for Runners

3:45 pm Greg Weber & Rich Clark, Race Operations Last minute question & answer session.


*Subject to change

Fitz Koehler


Best Strength Training Exercises for Runners

Being a healthy runner requires more than just running. Learn a runner-specific training program which has been proven over and over again, to increase speed while decreasing pain and recuperation time.  Up your pace and enhance your race experience, while preventing common injuries like shin splints, plantar fasciitis, IT Band Syndrome, piriformis syndrome (sciatica) and more.


Fitz Koehler, M.S.E.S.S. is a fitness expert, TV personality, author and speaker with a Master’s Degree in Exercise and Sport Sciences who has been teaching around the globe for over two decades. She specializes in sport performance and is known to shave 50 minutes off of a runners finish time and 50 pounds from the waistline. Her clinics are high on fun and engagement, while leaving the audience with a wealth of information and inspiration to take their running to the next level. As a speaker and spokesperson for companies like Disney, Oakley, Office Depot and Tropicana … Fitz is a powerhouse on a stage who commands results. 


Fitz is also a prominent race announcer who’s marquee events include the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon, Big Sur Marathon and now,  Buffalo Marathon! She’s eager to meet all of our runners before race day and is looking forward to helping us rock the streets of Buffalo. She’s also the founder of the national school running program, The Morning Mile, which is the only program of its kind to include every child, every day. Morning Milers have run almost 3,000,000 miles so far.  Visit Fitzness.com or follow @Fitzness on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to engage with Fitz. Check out MorningMile.com to get more kids moving in the mornings! 

Tim Kaufman

Tim Kaufman was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) in his early twenties.  He was in chronic pain most of his life. By the time he had reached the age of 37 he was addicted to Fentynal, alcohol, and fast food. At over 400 pounds he was unable to perform simple daily tasks. He had many chronic health issues and was almost immobile. He had lost his interest in life and had almost given up. Tim started a journey to regain his health. He started to change one small thing at a time. He is now an athlete that thrives on a whole food plant-based lifestyle and leads a healthy, happy, productive, and very active life that is free of all medications he was once on. His passion is to spread the message that anyone can transition to a healthy, active lifestyle and dramatically change their life regardless of their current situation or size.

Tim has appeared on Podcasts from around the world and has been filmed for an upcoming movie. He has been featured in Runners World Magazine, Good Morning America, Today, People, The Buffalo Newspaper, and many other media outlets.

Tim uses his platform as an international speaker to educate, inform and motivate people about plant-based nutrition, fitness, addiction recovery, overcoming physical challenges, and emotional and spiritual wellness.

Presentation title and description:

Finding The Road To Health

Tim will be sharing his story of transformation and talking about some of the tools he used to gain back his health and mobility.  He will also be talking about how he spent much of his life escaping pain with substances and how today he embraces life, both the good and bad, and uses running and hiking as a way to spend time to reflect and focus on everything he has to be grateful for. 

"I don't have to run, I GET to run, and many people do not have that privilege." 

Melissa Kahn

Melissa Kahn, half-marathon runner, triathlete, and mother of four, founded the online community called Run, Heifer, Run! as a way to connect with and encourage others who are on the journey to healthier and happier lives, one step or mile at a time. Six years ago, Melissa cut the bull and got serious about her health. Starting with a few steps, she worked her way up to running races and even a triathlon. She cleaned up her diet, shed weight and ultimately found a fitness enthusiast underneath her extra baggage. 

Melissa does all of this from sunny Phoenix, where her family, including four teenagers and two crazy puppies remind her that we're all a little happier in a herd. 

Greg Weber, Race Director/Executive Director

Rich Clark, Operations Director


Greg & Rich will wrap up the speaker sessions at 3pm with a question and answer session.  In their third year directing the race they work hard to insure you have a great experience.   Athletes in their own right each have completed both marathons and Ironman triathlons.  Realizing some may be having race day jitters they will be there to answer your last minute questions.

Speakers in prior years:


  • Bart Yasso, Chief Running Officer at Runners World Recount his running adventures around the world.
  • Fitz Koehler, Master’s Degree in Exercise and Sport Science. Best Strength Training Exercises for Runners
  • Greg Weber & Rich Clark, Race Operations Last minute question & answer session.
  • Jeff Galloway creator of the Galloway training program.
  • Melissa Kahn, Jenny Craig brand ambassador.Recount her journey to becoming a runner & triathlete.
  • Tim Kaufman Buffalo Native, Finding The Road To Health


  • Bart Yasso, Chief Running Officer At Runners World
  • Deanna Bennett, MMA Fighter. A Different Path To The Half
  • Misty Diaz, Spartan Racer Raising Awareness For Spina Bifida
  • Molly Barker, Founder Of Girls On The Run
  • Meb Keflezighi, Need We Say More, (This Is A Virtual Talk And There Will Be Q&A)
  • Liza Howard, Ultra Runner And Team RWB Coach
  • Steve Gonsor, Physical Therapist (Pasta Party Speaker)


  • Dave Mcgillivray, Boston Marathon Race Director
  • Mary Wittenberg, NYC Marathon Race Director
  • Bart Yasso, Chief Running Officer At Runners World
  • David James, , Ultra Runner And Team RWB Coach
  • Vicki Mitchell,Director Of Track & Field/Cross Country For University At Buffalo
  •  Steve Gonsor, Physical Therapist