Meet Our Team

Thank you for stopping by to meet us!

We are passionate, active evangelists dedicated to helping everyone to Do Big Things.  We help everyone from professional athletes to anyone wanting to live a healthy lifestyle to achieve their goals.  

Kevin McCarthy, M.S., Founder, President and Senior Coach

KevinMcCarthy cropped_Portrait_openshirt_armsfolded_Color_8_2016A little over 26 years ago a friend asked me to help his mother “get into shape”.  His parents had separated and his mom was at a very low point.  I agreed to help and we started meeting regularly.  We defined goals, created a strategy, identified barriers and built habits to help her get going.  Nine months later, 40 pounds lighter and a renewed sense of herself, we were both ecstatic – and I was hooked!  At the time I had been pursuing Triathlon racing full-time and was already mentoring other athletes to perform at their best.  It all seemed to fit.  In 1992 I made the leap and started Path Performance to coach athletes and everyday people to live vital lives and perform at their best.  For over 25 years this has been my passion and my mission.

A lot has happened in the past 25 years. We’ve helped hundreds of clients reach their goals and enjoy themselves while doing it.  I’ve worked with many local, national and international companies to bring our Vitality Coaching to high performing corporate cultures.  You can see more of what I’ve been up to here: About Kevin McCarthy, M.S.

Education & Training:

  • Bachelors Degree – Finance – Illinois State University
  • Master Degree – Exercise Science (Sport Psychology) – Illinois State University
  • USA Triathlon Certified Coach
  • Training Peaks University Certified Coach
  • ARC CPR

Client Success: I’ve been fortunate enough to work with clients to achieve everything from beginning an active lifestyle to running marathons and ultra runs to qualifying for the Boston Marathon; completing their first triathlon to Ironman™ success to qualifying for Ironman™ 70.3 World Championships to qualifying for Team USA; making the varsity cross-country team to qualifying for high school state championships to NCAA Championships; building mental toughness to building self-esteem; creating a bucket list to hiking across the Grand Canyon to climbing Kilimanjaro…   And I’ve loved every minute of it!  For more, see Client Results

Personally, I’ve completed well over 300 triathlons, hundreds of running events, cycling events, Grand Canyon crossings, relay events and much more.

 

Meghan Gardner, Level I Coach

Meg PPI Bio Pic crop 1I became enthralled with endurance racing after watching my father run in the Chicago Marathon several times while growing up.  He finally started taking me to local races around the age of 9 and I haven’t stopped running since! While running was my original love, my competitive spirit left me wanting new challenges. Enter triathlons and the completion of an Ironman™!  Racing marathons and triathlons became such a huge part of my life that I started noticing others asking me for advice on how to start their own journeys.  I soon realized that I love helping coach and mentor people to live active lifestyles and reach their goals.  I was hooked and decided to take the leap into coaching.  After training, internship and certification, I joined Path Performance Coaching.  Aside from endurance coaching, I also teach cycling, aqua, strength, and senior fitness classes locally.  Helping others achieve their fitness goals is what I love and get to do all day long!

Education & Training:

  • USAT Level I Certified Coach
  • RRCA Certified Coach
  • ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor
  • American Heart Association CPR/AED
  • American CPR Care Association First Aid certified

Experience: I have been a client of Path Performance since 2014 and since that time Kevin has helped me to achieve both my marathon and triathlon goals. In 2016 I began an internship with Kevin to learn about Path Performance’s endurance coaching philosophy and vision. I am excited to be joining his team and helping others achieve their goals. In addition to 1-on-1 coaching, I mentor in Path Performance women’s cycling and beginner triathlon training programs. I am thrilled to bring new individuals to the sports that I have come to love so passionately!

 

Brian Nelson, Level I Coach

Brian crop 2Like many people, I started running in the mid 80’s to lose weight, and quickly fell in love with the sport and the people.  I discovered a vibrant, active and welcoming community of people who enjoyed a wide range of outdoor activities and who truly wanted to share their passion .  I soon found that I enjoyed continually challenging myself to try different sports at longer distances.  I also began sharing my experiences and mentoring people who were learning how to train and race better. After leaving the corporate work force I wanted to be to take my love of sport and experiences to another level in helping people realize their goals.

Education and Training:

  • 2016-present   IronmanU coach certified
  • 2015-present  National Association of Sports Medicine (NASM) Personal Trainer
  • 2015-present  CPR and AED certified
  • 2012-Present  SPINNING Certified

Experience: I’ve coached individuals who started from no running background to successfully completing half marathons and full marathons to experienced runners wishing to set personal bests.  I have also coached several people in completing half and full Ironman™ distances.

Justin Stanek, Phd. – Coach, Consultant

Justin Stanek cropp 1

I didn’t “find” endurance racing until after graduating from college. As an athlete all my life, I primarily focused on team sports like basketball and baseball. After playing basketball for four years at a small division III school, I realized I needed an outlet for my competitive energy. I signed up for my first marathon during grad school, having never run a road race, even a 5K! The fear of failure kept me motivated and along the way, I found that I loved the training journey.

Education and Training:

  • Bachelors Degree – Athletic Training – Coe College
  • Master Degree – Athletic Training – Illinois State University
  • Doctorate of Education Degree – Illinois State University
  • CPR

I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training from Coe College, Masters of Science degree in Athletic Training from Illinois State University, and a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Illinois State University. As an athletic trainer, I have worked with high school, collegiate, and recreational athletes. I have published a variety of studies that have explored topics such as improving scores on the Functional Movement Screen, manual therapy techniques, and physical activity habits of students. My passion for running has led me to study gait biomechanics and the common faults that lead to injuries in long distance runners. By combining my knowledge of orthopedic assessment, along with gait biomechanics, I strive to increase a runner’s durability and improve performance.

Experience:   My biggest accomplishment as an endurance athlete was completing Ironman Wisconsin in 2014. Like all first-time participants my first goal was to finish and second goal was to finish around 12 hours. I had a great season of training and got to the starting line feeling confident that I was well-prepared. Despite taking an elbow during the first 5 minutes of the swim and rupturing my eardrum, I went on to have a great race and finished under 11 hours. I have also completed around a half-dozen half-iron distance races along with numerous shorter triathlons and running races at various distances.