Meet our Coaches

Here at The Runner’s Soul we work closely with coaches and personal trainers to provide a great pool of resources to our avid runners. They specialize in everything from marathon training, short and mid distance running and high performance racing.

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Coach Dave Polkow

David’s passion is multi-sport training and racing.  David has been a USA Triathlon coach since 2005 and has been coaching swimmers since 1996.  He has raced in over 100 triathlons since 1991 in the Midwest area from sprint to Ironman levels. Starting in 2005, Dave started racing Ironman triathlons annually working his way through the North America series of races.  He has also completed multiple Marathons and numerous other running events. His philosophy is to make any sport a fun part of your life that will change your lifestyle for the better. He enjoys both helping athletes achieve their goals whether they are a first timer or experienced racer.

 Professional Certifications:

USA Triathlon Level 1 coach since 2005

American Swim Coaches Assoc. Level 2 coach since 2012

Areas of Specialty

Triathlon coaching

Beginner to intermediate Run Coaching through The Runner's Soul

Swim Coaching from Child through Adult

Coach Master Swim group out of York High School

Athletic Background

Racing triathlon since 1991having done over 100 triathlons

Multiple Ironman and Marathon finishes

Active member of the Elmhurst Bicycle Club

Founding member of the Elmhurst Triathlon Club


Coach Jessica Niekrasz


Jessica is a USA Triathlon Level 1 Coach and has been running for the past 9 years.  Not a life long athlete, Jessica has embraced running and triathlon since the birth of her son and in the process shed over 90 pounds.  Jessica loves helping her athletes reach their goals- from getting started to setting a personal record.  

Personal Certifications

USA Triathlon Level 1 Coach

200 Hour Certified Yoga Teacher

Heartsaver CPR/AED Certification

Areas of Specialty

Triathlon Coaching

Stretching and Flexibility

Individualized Training



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Coach Judy Polkow

Judy Polkow PT, MHS, CFP has been coaching running with her husband Dave for 4 years at Runners Soul.  She has been a Physical Therapist for 33 years and can add a medical perspective to training such as proper stretching, core work and injury prevention.  She has also worked to return marathoners to running after injury and even rehabilitated Michael Jordan in 1986. Her specialty is working with beginning runners as she has a first hand perspective on back of the pack mentality and people who don't think they can run

Professional Certifications 

Illinois licensed Physical Therapy,

Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner,

Rescuer CPR/AED.

Athletic Background

2010 70.3 Ironman race in Racine finisher,

3 half marathons

numerous 5K and sprint triathlons.


Coach Julie Hossack

 Julie is an A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer, accomplished Ironman triathlete and marathon runner.  With over 15 years of experience, Julie has motivated individuals to accomplish goals as diverse as completing a first 5k or triathlon to gaining enough strength to bow hunt for water buffalo!  With her experience in functional and sport specific training, drive and passion, Julie encourages others to reduce body fat, improve BMI, increase speed and improve cardiovascular endurance.  As an active community member, Julie organized the Women’s Wellness Walkabout for 3 years in LaGrange.

Professional Certifications:
A.C.E. Personal Training Certification
Heartsaver CPR/AED Certified
Schwinn Spin Instructor
AEA Aqua Aerobics Instructor

Areas of Specialty:
Triathlon coaching
Beginner to intermediate Run Coaching
Group Fitness Instructor
Weight Loss

Athletic Background:
Ironman Wisconsin 2012 and 2013
Marathons including Boston and Chicago (2 times), and U of I
Over 30 sprint/Olympic distance triathlons with numerous podium finishes

Numerous 5k, 10k, half marathon races with consistent top age group finish times