Eleven Years and Counting - See What People Are Still Saying

A little bit of introduction, I only had a short tenure at GRK as I only ran during Fall 15 and Spring 16. I remember getting the  chocolate bar for being the Most Improved Boy in Spring 16!
I thank Evan for bringing up his running experiences during club meetings in middle school to help determine my involvement.
One could imagine how different things could have gone if Evan did not convince me to join GRK.
During HS, I really enjoyed running Cross Country (track, not so much) and was not the best but still enjoyed making memories. Still today, it has been my favorite extracurricular activity that I ever took part in.
Fast forward to university, I spent my time during breaks and summer having lunch with Evan and playing disc golf with Shane.
Really shows that GRK is not just a running club as these connections last a long time.
My sister Kristine spent more time at GRK and enjoyed every minute of it. She also ran for Lambert and had a great impact on the team. Although Lambert did not qualify for state, she was really happy to get the highest team award: the Longhorn Award.
Thank you for being a great coach, and even in 2023, you have a great impact on me!
-Eric (athlete)

Whenever I think back on my time on Great Strides, I always end up remembering the very first day of practice. I was so nervous, but after a few practices, I knew that this where I was supposed to be. Being on the team has given me some of my favorite memories and some of my best friends. I also believe that the supportive team atmosphere allowed me to mentally become a much stronger runner. I really appreciate how dedicated you were to coaching my generation of Great Strides runners and how, still to this day, you cheer for us no matter what team we are one. I definitely felt like I was part of one big family and I want to thank you for that. I would never trade my time of Great Strides for anything!
-Brianna (athlete)

Thanks for everything you have done for me. You have taught me a lot, involving running and other things. Thanks for helping me be a better runner through the last 5-6 years. When I started, I never thought that I would be as fast as I am now, but you showed me that I could get faster each season. I loved running with Great Strides - I believe a big part of it was you. You are a great coach and help a lot of people. I will miss running with Great Strides and running for you.
- Grady (athlete)

Our time running with you has added so much to our lives. All three kids have found a sport they are passionate about. Our whole family has exercised more and become healthier! We have all made life-long friends and shared a sense of community. We have learned lessons about hard work, perseverance in the face of adversity, the importance of teamwork, and the importance of having a sense of humor when things don't go our way. We have enjoyed every minute of our time with you. Thank you for everything!
-Cheryl (parent)

This last year has been amazing. It has been exciting and filled with lots of laughs. My 6 years with you has been life changing. You have taught me so many things I will never forget. You have allowed me to love running and become good at it. I can't thank you enough, and I will be so sad to leave. I couldn't ask for a better coach, and I hope you know what you are doing is making a big difference in a lot of people's lives. Thank you for everything you have done.
- Shane (athlete)

Our daughter participated in Gotta Run Kids and Great Strides for five years.  She made lasting friendships with other runners while learning to run at the competitive level.  As her parents, we also got to know many of the parents and continue to connect at the High School races.  It is truly a special group.  Coach Patterson is a one-of-a-kind Coach with his approach to running.  He is always enthusiastic and upbeat.  He learns and knows each runner's ability.  He is always encouraging them to do their best, no matter if they are the top runner, middle runner, or are just getting started running.  In GRK, he helps each runner learn the correct form, how to fuel their bodies, and most importantly how to have fun while running.  The Great Strides program gives younger runners through middle school an opportunity to run more competitively.  Our daughter is still running today and loves it thanks to Coach Patterson.  She still meets with Coach Patterson from time to time to work on technique or just get an encouraging word from an AMAZING Coach.
Thank you, Coach! You are the best!
-Melissa S

Just wanted to send you a note of appreciation for your coaching and support of my son David in his training for his very first 5K.
We had a very positive experience and I thank you for your guidance and patience (how do you do it?!) I loved how you incorporated fun, games, and rewards into training - so fun!

-Maya R 

Greg is a great motivator & along with that, he instills a love for running into the kids!  Wish we would have known about him & the running program sooner but are thankful for all the help he’s given our daughter over the last 4 years!
-Trevor & Sheila H

​Joining this running club has been the greatest thing for our son. He has learned so much and grown as an individual as well as an athlete. It's helped him to build determination and self-confidence in ways that other sports never could. He is pushed to give his best while getting to experience tremendous camaraderie with his fellow friends and runners. Everyone supports each other and our whole family has loved being a part of it!
- Stephanie S

Greg is more than just a coach.  He's a teacher, a leader, and a mentor.  Our daughter isn't just running faster - she's learning to do hard things and do them well.
-Meghan G​

Thank you for your kind words about Amanda that mean so much to me as her mom.  We are so grateful you are part of her story.  I can't even imagine what these middle school years would have looked like without you and your running group.  Now it's time for her siblings to join Gotta Run Kids because I don't even want to think about this year being our last one. You are truly a gift to our family!   Jim has started running too, and we laugh about how we look forward to telling Amanda about our runs because we know she'll be proud of us.
-Katherine F

Hi Coach Greg, I wanted to let you know how much Owen loved your phone call tonight. It is often difficult to hear a child's appreciation over the phone. I was watching him and he was smiling the entire time you were talking. I have to say that I wasn't sure he would enjoy running, and it is definitely challenging for him, but he is so proud of himself after every practice. Yesterday was the first one that he didn't complain about - and he believed in himself! I see how he responds to you and he wants to please you. He will run faster for you...maybe he will do his homework faster if I record your voice! I also wanted to thank you for allowing the parents to participate. I really love to run with him!
- Amanda J

​Hi Coach, I just wanted to write and say thank you for calling to check in on Spencer. It was really thoughtful of you to call.  In addition, I really want you to thank Caroline for me. Because of his autism, which he will claim he doesn't have, he really prefers to partner with girls on school projects and such. Caroline has been such a blessing to me on some practices because she has chosen to run with Spencer and it has really motivated him. I know he can do the runs he does with Caroline all the time, but she really gives him the drive to do it. So, please tell her how thankful I am that she would take the time to help him out. I really appreciate all you and your family are doing for our kids.
- Erika H

Under the running program, my daughter (11) has run with Coach Patterson for two seasons and has seen incredible improvement. She started at over an 11-minute mile and is now under an 8-minute mile. Personally, she is more confident, stronger mentally, accepts new challenges, and is goal-oriented. She has also formed new friendships and likes finishing a 5k at season end. Parents are encouraged to participate with their children and practices are both fun and challenging to all levels of runners.
- Bill W.