Best Of 2014
We asked. You voted. Here are the people and places that stood out this past year in Austin’s health and fitness scene
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Best Personal Trainer
1st) Kim Eagle
Kim is no stranger to AFM’s Best Of list. She’s also the creator of Earn That Body!—an online personal training experience offering much more than virtual results.
2nd) Mike O’Hara
Based out of Manchaca, this personal trainer also owns Bigger Faster Stronger Training, an Austin Fit winner for Best Local Gym.
3rd) Ryan Mortensen
Who doesn’t like a trainer who can get you fit and prepared for combat? Mortensen is a martial arts-turned-kickboxing trainer.
+) Krista Bergeron
A trainer for Austin Simply Fit, Bergeron focuses on hard work and consistency without trying to sell you gimmicks. Come to her for commitment motivation.
Best Yoga Teacher
1st) Zoe Mantarakis
Plugged into the community, Mantarakis creates classes fusing live music and vinyasa yoga. If you’re looking for her in a studio, you can find her at Yoga Vida.
2nd) Ari Witkins
This yogi is also a triathlete and marathon runner who understands how to balance the body’s work. Since he teaches all over town, we’ve given you his Twitter handle.
3rd) Shelby Autrey
Shelby was trained by Gioconda Yoga and now owns BFree Yoga and Wellness. She’s nationally recognized and locally revered by her students.
+) Jessica Lynn O’Brien
This former AFM staffer makes us all proud. O’Brien is trained in vinyasa and hot yoga as well as other techniques in her continued education.
Best Pilates Teacher
1st) Maja Kermath
This Austinite has risen up on the fitness scene with impressive force. Her secret to success? “The thing that makes me so accessible to our clients is that I’m not a ‘fitness person.’ My background was in technology and I gave it all up to follow my passion,” Maja said. Her goal for the people in her classes is an inspired life, not just looking good in skinny jeans.
2nd) Tobie Funte Flannery
Tobie has devoted herself to health after leaving the finance industry over a decade ago. As a Master Trainer, she’s one of the leading barre instructors in the country.
3rd) Vlada Sheber
Vlada is the Pilates Program Director for Ballet Austin and a former ballerina. She understands how to get the most out of the body and is certified for post breast cancer rehab.
+) Stephanie Wright
If you’re looking for a little laugh while you’re working hard, Stephanie is probably a good fit for you. Don’t worry, nine years in the business means she takes your health seriously.
Best Event Announcer
1st) Logan Delaware
The voice behind Big Mouth Announcing, Delaware travels all over the country announcing athletic events. We love his habit of highlighting cute personal facts about runners.
2nd) Robert “Evil” Evilsizer
Fifty years of announcing is nothing to sneeze at. We’re happy to acknowledge Evilsizer‘s half a century of dedication to the Austin fitness community at home and abroad.
Best Cycling Teacher
1st) Maja Kermath
See our feature for more info on Kor180 and Maja.
2nd) Kim Eagle*
3rd) David Garza
David Garza is a local personal trainer with experience in running, cycling and triathlons. You can check out his story of completing Ironman Cozumel online.
+) Tara Granberry
Tara is a body builder with a winning bikini figure who now teaches indoor cycling classes at Ride. What does she want to be when she grows up? A badass.
Best Running Coach
1st) Ben Roberts
Ben is a teacher with Wanderlust Yoga but has earned this accolade through his involvement as a running coach with Stronghorn Fitness.
2nd) Gilbert Tuhabonye
A native of Burundi, this African native and international philanthropist uses his Gazelle Foundation to fund and build clean water projects in his home country.
3rd) Valerie Hunt
Valerie has been a personal endurance and running coach for twenty years. She combines the Pose method of running with Crossfit to train incredible athletes.
+) Steve Sisson
Sisson was the Distance Track & Field coach at the University of Texas for 7 years. Now he uses that time as a coach as the Founder & Creator of Rogue Training Systems.
Best Triathlon Coach
1st) Peri Kowal
Peri has been competing in triathlons for 15 years and coaching for over 10 years. She’s a nine-time Ironman finisher, credentials that make for a reliable teacher.
2nd) David Garza
3rd) Erin Truslow
Erin has 26 years of experience and can design a program to meet your needs as a triathlete. She even offers at-home personal training.
+) Joanna Williamson
Joanna is the founder of XT Yoga Austin, a company focused on bringing yoga to ATX triathlon events. She will coach the Texas Triathlon Club team and the USAFA Triathlon team this year.
1st) Gilbert Tuhabonye*
2nd) David Fuentes
David is a serious runner with a serious love for good food and good beer. He’s qualified for the Olympic trials as well as won marathons, half-marathons and gone All-American.
3rd) Valerie Hunt
+) Paul Terranova
As a member of Rogue Racers, Terranova is an ultra-runner with a desire to influence the running community.
1st) David Garza
2nd) Kelly Williamson
This former Olympic hopeful has earned some pretty significant notches in her belt, like the 2002 Pan American Champion. She is still a contender for local triathlon competitions.
3rd) Kim Strassman Eagle*
+) David Lynch
David Lynch is a professional triathlete who competes nationwide. You might have a hard time finding him online, but you can probably find him at the latest triathlon.
1st) David Garza
2nd) Lance Armstrong
While his time in the international spotlight might have come to a close in the last couple of years, Armstrong left a mark on the ATX community.
3rd) Tristan Uhl
Now 25, Tristan burst onto the international stage in competitions in Australia and Brazil. He continues to win in the top of his age bracket, carving a reputation for himself.
+) Kim Strassman Eagle*
1st) Julie Stupp
Julie Stupp is a professional swimmer turned elite triathlete located here in Austin. According to Stupp, the elite sports environment in Austin is unlike any other city. The triathlete credits her success to the “army” of professionals helping her succeed—from coaches and family to friends and sponsors.
2nd) Andrea Fisher
This former Longhorn has All–American Awards, is a former member of the USA National Swim Team, and is currently training for another Ironman World Championship.
Best Fitness Ambassador
1st) Kim Strassman Eagle*
2nd) Alexis DeJoria
This NHRA drag racer is nothing short of badass. As a female in a sport dominated by men, she’s broken boundaries and set the example of fighting for your dream.
3rd) Jess Martin
The Owner and CEO of Stronghorn Fitness is obviously doing something right. His company is in three of our categories—all from a former software sales director.
+) David Garza*