Meet the Coach
Coach Greg Patterson was born and raised in South Africa and immigrated to
The U.S. in December 1999. He has been married for 25 years and he has lived together
with his wife and their 4 children in Cumming for the past 15 years. He is a certified
soccer and running coach, as well as a Certified Sports Administrator. He has coached his
own children, who are all successful runners. His oldest son, Matt, competed at college.
His middle son, Josh, ran on the varsity team all four years and was Captain on the South
Forsyth XC team. His twins, Michael and Caroline, are both college Freshmen and they also
compete at the college level. Mikey runs at Mercer University and Caroline runs at UNG.
Coach Greg's passion may have begun with coaching his own children, but today he
continues his love for the sport through coaching the kids at GRK.
Coach Greg has a passion for the sport of running and he has run many marathons including the Comrades 56 mile Marathon. He is currently involved in coaching children in both group and private settings. Among his achievements are coaching several athletes to Forsyth County 1600m and 800m championship wins in 2013 (boys), 2014 (girls), 2015 (girls), 2017 (girls). Most recently, his boys' cross country team won the 2020 State Championship and the girls were the Runners-up. Several of his athletes have progressed to the Sectional and State level in their early high school running careers. In 2020, we had several Great Strides alumni on the podium at the GHSA State XC meet - with one of our own athletes winning the State Championship title!
While he still enjoys competing in local races, his focus has shifted to ensuring the success of the children he coaches. He feels no greater sense of accomplishment than when he sees the children he coaches achieving their potential and the confidence that they gain from reaching their goals. Having grown up in a country where there continues to be a great deal of poverty and tension, his dream is to return there one day on a mission trip where God’s love is shared through the camaraderie of the sport.
How it all Started
Several years ago, my family and I were asked to run a 5k race to support a friend whose wife had recently lost her battle with pancreatic cancer. That 5k race was enough to hook my kids! We then began our search for a youth running program, but we were surprised that there was nothing available for kids in elementary or middle school in Forsyth or any of the surrounding counties. It was out of a desire to train my own kids and to spread the sport of running to the youth in the community, that Gotta Run Kids was born. We started with a group at First Redeemer Church (aptly named Redeemer Runners) of about 40 kids - which was way more than we had anticipated - and today our group size has doubled and we have added to our programs. It is an absolute honor to be a part of training the kids that come into our program. We are continually blessed by the personal stories of success and are also extremely proud to see the huge gains each child makes from the beginning to the end of the session.