Grand Poobah – Peter B

Background:  Love the Flying Irish & love running!  The people, the routes, the post-run beer, the vibe and excitement and the acceptance of all.  I’ve run and or some call it “competed” at about every distance from the 100 meters (say-it-slow “Half Fast” Ultimate Runner) up to 100 milers.

Year Joined the Flying Irish: 2005

Favorite Flying Irish Route:  You know, that one with a downhill finish and no jay-walking.

Running Shoes: Generally, a light-weight neutral Brooks model but have run in most brands and just started in a pair of Hoka Cliftons.  That plus sometimes snow boots as it can depend on the variables of the day.

Running Highlights: Met my wife post-race!  That plus I love seeing walkers become runners, runners become marathoners etc.

Favorite Running Race:  I will race no more for ever but I am in training to watch the Boston Marathon in the spring when the saps run(maple syrup joke in New England).


Treasurer – Grant Birch

Background:  I really don’t remember the year I joined flying Irish, I want to say 2010.  I was running prior to this and someone told me about the flying Irish group that meets on Thursdays down at OD’s.  It was off season, but I didn’t know that at the time.  There was maybe 15 runners and we were going to run around the park.  This went on for a couple of months and then season started and hundreds of people showed up.  I was blown away and have been hooked ever since!!

Year Joined the Flying Irish:   2010

Favorite Flying Irish Route:  My favorite route is Stair-master because it kicks my butt every time!!!

Running Highlights:Completing my first marathon.  It was a bucket list item and I was so proud that I completed it.  It took every ounce of determination but I did it.

Favorite Running Race:  I like Hood to Coast and Spokane to Sandpoint.  The team aspect.  The total fun that comes in the middle of the night when everyone is tired and loopy yet still cheering each other on.



Sponsor Liaison – Jim Palm

Background:  I moved to Spokane in 2012 and did not know a single person.  By pure serendipity, I heard about this running club – The Flying Irish, and decided to check it out.  Clearly, one of the best decisions I have ever made.  The amazing friendships and memories that have been formed will last forever.

Year Joined the Flying Irish:  2013

Favorite Flying Irish Route:  The 7-bridges route as it highlights the most iconic symbol of this great city, the Spokane River.

Running Shoes: Asics GT-2000

Running Highlights:  I am a native of Minnesota where winters can be brutally chilly.  I used to love those cold weather below zero runs where icicles form on your face and your eyelids freeze shut.  So much fun!

Favorite Running Race:  I absolutely love the Spokane to Sandpoi nt200 mile Relay Race – such great commaraderie with our team ‘Geezers and Dolls’.  But I think the race that is the most special is our annual Flying Irish Halloween Romp thru the streets of Spokane.  Hundresds of costumed crzaies taking over the city and then dancing the night away to the sounds of DJ Marathon.  Priceless!



Secretary – Jody Shapiro This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Bday-2020.jpg

Background: I love running … and I love running groups! I’ve been running with the Flying Irish for over a decade now. I also lead the Manito Running Club on Saturdays and enjoy running with the Lantern, Beers & Blisters, SoHi, and Highlanders. In addition to running, I love to DJ and am known around town as DJ Marathon.

Year Joined the Flying Irish: 2009 (I think)

Favorite Flying Irish Route: Zig Zag

Running Shoes: Mizuno, Hoka, and Saucony for training. Adidas and Nike for racing.

Running Highlights: Running all three of the major American Marathons (Boston, Chicago, New York) in under three hours.

Favorite Running Race: Bloomsday, of course!




Membership Director – Lou Karl

Background: I started running in college as a way to quit smoking. I like to say that the stronger addiction won, although there were several years of fits and starts along the way. As the years went by I got to meet many amazing people through the vagabond lifestyle of running and racing. These days, I am content with just trying to stay up with my fellow Irish on Thursday evenings and competing for the old guy awards at a few local races.

Year Joined the Flying Irish: 2018. I actually started running with the Flying Irish when I moved here late in 2017, but the season was already over so those runs were unofficial

Favorite Flying Irish Route:  Any run that runs alongside of or crosses the awesome Spokane River in all its fury.

Running Shoes: I was a big advocate of Asics Gel Lytes and DS Trainers for years. Now with the need for more cushioning and stability I have gone to the Brooks Ravennas.

Running Highlights:  Completing my first marathon back in, wait for it, 1980. Running my first sub-3 hour marathon in Chicago, completing a marathon in all 50 states with the Maui Marathon back in 2008, and running the Windermere Marathon on a whim a few years ago which just happened to be my first visit to the amazing City of Spokane.

Favorite Running Race:  Boston Marathon. There are many great races, but there is nothing quite like the history, enthusiasm and honor of running the grand-daddy of them all.



Runner Representative – Aaron Crooks Edit image

Background: I was on the track team in high school, but took a long break from running until I started with the Flying Irish as a way to meet new people and it did not disappoint!  Since joining the club I’ve made the best group of friends you could ever hope for and I look forward to seeing them every Thursday!

Year Joined the Flying Irish:  2014

Favorite Flying Irish Route:  River Run

Running Highlights: Definitely meeting my wife at Flying Irish and completing my 11th Tough Mudder in TX.

Favorite Running Race:  Got to be Spokane to Sandpoint with the best team ever.  Go Geezers and Dolls! If you can spend two days (with no sleep) in a smelly van with the same people and then want to hang out again a few days later, you know you’ve met some pretty special people.



Director of Shenanigans – Amanda Hansen This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Tamanda-Elves-1-768x1024.jpg

Background: :  I ended up Irish-by-default after encouraging my husband, Jon, to join in 2013.  I brought our son, Trevin, to a few of the events and over time the Flying Irish have become our tribe – welcoming, fun, and where we’ve met some of our very best friends!  Trevin and I walk when he’s in the mood but really, I’m just here for the shenanigans (particularly the dance parties) and drinks!   Promoting them, and creating more, is a role I’m naturally suited for. 😉

Year Joined the Flying Irish: 2013

Favorite Flying Irish Route: Anything on the trail so I don’t have to worry about Trevin and traffic, but especially Kendall Yards so we can stop and get him a vanilla steamer. 

Running Highlights: It’s going to be Race 2 Adventure Costa Rica, if I survive! 

Favorite Running Race: Spokane to Sandpoint relay since Trevin loves the beach where it finishes and I love the dancing later!


Director of Merchandise – Bret Whitesides

Background: Fire fighter, Medic, ER Nurse (basic adrenaline junkie)… BA from Boise State University.  Currently working in HR/ Payroll support for Hospitals.

Year Joined the Flying Irish: Circa mid 2006

Favorite Flying Irish Route: I always enjoy the 7 Bridges route… running around Riverfront.  There are more than 7 bridges on that route by the way…

Highlights:  Several Marathons, MANY half marathons, Spokane to Sandpoint x5, countless 5 and 10 K’s

Favorite race: Spokane to Sandpoint!  Party on wheels!!






Director of Communications – Tony Proctor

Background: High school middle of the pack runner, and amateur status through my 20s and 30s. Now that I’m elbow deep in middle age, I intend to lean heavily on Thursday evening Flying Irish runs to lead me to gold in the next summer olympics.

Year Joined the Flying Irish: July 8th 2021, the first day of in-person running after the great COVID scare of the 21st century. 

Favorite Flying Irish Route: H.I.M. (Howard Indiana Monroe), mostly because it joined the Flying Irish after me. 

Running Shoes: Anything Altra

Running Highlights: If it’s a Spokane group run, it’s a great run. 

Favorite Running Race: Whatever I’m training for next, be it Spokane to Sandpoint, the Sundae Sunday, the Spokane Marathon, or Bloomsday, the races keep me motivated to continue to train and run.