Board Members

Grand Poobah (President) – Brendan Dowling

I came across the Flying Irish completely by accident as I was searching for a local pub in town that had live Irish music since I didn’t know Spokane very well since I had just moved here from Milwaukee a year prior. Through my online search I cam across a notice about the Flying Irish Running Club and instantly became interested in joining. Little did I know then that it would take me on a most wonderful journey of actually leading the best running club in the world for the last who knows how many years. I’ve met some of the greatest people at the Flying Irish and I hope to give back to it at least of portion of what it has given me.

Year Joined the Flying Irish: 2007

Favorite Flying Irish Route:  Stairmaster

Running Shoes: Nike, Hoka, Mizuno… basically depends on the day.

Running Highlights: I started running in 3rd grade and soon thereafter began running with my mom as she trained for marathons. I would finish the last few miles with her so that sparked my love for running at a young age. I ran my first marathon at the age of 18 and now I am going on my 24th year of running (yikes!)

Favorite Running Race:  The next one I haven’t done.


Membership Director – Donna Drake-Husick

A friend invited me to run with the Flying Irish for the first time as inspiration for our Triathlon training. I had no idea what to expect. What I found was a group of some of the most amazing, friendly and supportive people who have now become some of my most beloved friends! Thursday is my favorite day of the week!

Year Joined the Flying Irish: 2014

Favorite Flying Irish Route:  The Hill Run. It’s very challenging and has a beautiful view of the city from the top of the cliff.

Running Shoes: Newton

Running Highlights: My first half marathon at the Priest Lake Spring Festival in May 2015. Prior to that event, I had never considered running any distance more than the 12K Bloomsday run. Once I joined the Flying Irish and running became more of a constant in my life, I was excited to discover I could run longer distances! I am now so proud that I am able to accomplish something that had previously seemed impossible for me! Since that first spring day in 2015  I have participated in several other half marathons including the Rock n Roll half in Phoenix Arizona, a favorite of mine! This year I am training for my next accomplishment; my first full marathon!

Favorite Running Race:  One of my favorite running races locally is the River Run. I love the cause and the location is beautiful! I have yet to run the race because I have enjoyed volunteering, but I plan to participate as a runner soon!


Treasurer – Bret Whitesides

treasurer@flyingirish.orgBret Whitesides

 Year Joined the Flying Irish: 2009

 Favorite Flying Irish Route:  River Run

 Running Shoes: I still run in Saucony primarily.  However, I have had both Brooks and New Balance that I have enjoyed and am contemplating getting a pair of Hoka One One for my next Marathon.

 Running Highlights: Hood to Coast, Austin Marathon, Seattle and Portland Rock n Rolls, Spokane to Sandpoint (x3), Many, many half marathons all over the Northwest…

 Favorite Running Race:  The Scenic Half in Sandpoint is my favorite…beautiful run in a great area.

Sponsor Liaison – Nicole Lundnicole lund

Year Joined the Flying Irish: I joined the Flying Irish in 2009.  Running keeps me sane and makes me happy and knowing that I have 400 of my favorite people to run with every Thursday motivates and inspires me.  

Favorite Flying Irish Route:  I love 7 bridges

Running Shoes: Newton Motion III

Running Highlights:  My most outstanding (to me) running highlight was running the 2014 Boston Marathon.  Knowing my friends had pitched in to help me with entry fee, plane ticket, and hostel gave it extra significance..  Running one year after the bombing, seeing a million people cheer and then having Meb win as the first American to do so in 32 years made it more memorable.  I didn’t make my goal time but it was still my favorite running race to date.  My next most significant highlight was winning my favorite 5k in 2012 while representing the Flying Irish.  

Favorite Running Race:  My second favorite running race is Bloomsday.  I love that we have a world class event right here in little old Spokane.


Secretary – Robert Teal

Year Joined the Flying Irish: 2012

Favorite Flying Irish Route: 7 bridges

Running Shoes: Adidas

Running Highlights: In middle school and highschool i never really clicked with other sports but seemed to like running. I wasn’t very good and students thought i was crazy but loved it. I stopped running till my friend told me about this running group. And caught my former running bug again.

Favorite Running Race: Dirty Dash.  I love nature and running in the woods and obstacle courses. Fun stuff 🙂


Volunteer Coordinator – Tom Crispcassie

I had just moved to Spokane in October, 2010 when my sister told me we were going for a Halloween run with a bunch of people called the Flying Irish. I had no idea what to expect (especially the costumes) but I had so much fun! I came back for the kick-off party the following Spring and I won’t be leaving any time soon. I have made lifelong friends and even met my fiancé,Tim, because of the Flying Irish. I have more than a 100 runs and look forward to getting my 200th!

 Year Joined the Flying Irish: 2010

 Favorite Flying Irish Route: Zig-Zag route (pet Spike for luck) and Peaceful Valley

 Running Shoes: Asics or Brooks – the more colorful the better

 Running Highlights: Completing the Portland Marathon, 2013 and running my first half in Coeur d’Alene, 2011.

Favorite Running Race: Missoula Half Marathon, St Paddys 5 and The Jingle Bell 5k (because I love Christmas)



Long-Term Member Representative – Rob Root

I have been a running pretty consistently over the past 35 years and have collected too many race shirts to count.  While running the Windermere Marathon a few years back I ran met Tony (he wasn’t wearing his kilt a the time) and during our rather – uuummmm –  revealing conversation he told me about the Flying Irish.  I began flying with the Irish in 2012 and have been a frequent flyer ever since.  Sure, the runs are fun and the beer can be refreshing, but it’s the people we make up the Flying Irish that keeps me coming back week after week.

 Year Joined the Flying Irish: 2012

Favorite Flying Irish Route: Kendall Yards

Running Shoes: Hoka Clifton

Running Highlights: Spokane to Sandpoint is magical!  I also like that fun run the last week in July.

Favorite Running Race:  Spokane 2 Sandpoint and Hood 2 Coast. 


Newbie Representative – Audrey Walsh

I’m excited to be a new board member this year, I started running in 2014, when my sister in law asked me to do a half marathon…. I didn’t even know what a half marathon was….. I trained on a elliptical for 20 days before my first half…. it was the worst experience EVER….. but for some reason…. I kept running and have done 10 halfs since

Year Joined the Flying Irish: 2015

Favorite Flying Irish Route: Kendall Yards

Running Shoes: Saucony zealots

Running Highlights: Wanting to quit, in the middle of an overnight relay race…. a 200.2 mile relay…. no sleep.. I was exhausted…. I wanted to quit.. but with the power of my team and the Lord above shining the sun down from the sky…… I got out there and ran my last leg… it was 8 miles… I cried. I wept… and it was so powerful and amazing… not only did I do it..but. I walk, jog, ran the fastest .I ever did .. at that moment I pr.ed….. anyway that was amazing.. I love my team… b4b forever.

Favorite Running Race:  Missoula half marathon, great company, great organization.


Local Endurance Club Representative – Aric Trantum – Manito Night Shift

I only joined the running club because my dog, Missy, suggested that I might like it, and it might provide a good reason to get out and run a bit. I still don’t really know anybody, but it appears everybody knows Missy. They constantly stop and say “Hi” to her and are amazed that she trained me so well to run off leash.
Year Joined the Flying Irish: I actually don’t know. It seems I have always been here. (2013)
Favorite Flying Irish Route: That would be the one that has beer at the end of it, but I forget (usually after a beer or two) which route that is.
Running Shoes: I wear whatever they tell me to wear at Fleet Feet and is priced just under $120.Running Highlights: Running the Spokane Half Marathon with Missy. At the finish people kept coming up to me to say how great my dog is for completing it. I had to also remind them that I finished it too, but they didn’t seem to be really impressed by that.
Favorite Running Race: The Snake River Half Marathon because it keeps me honest to keep training all through winter, and it is the only race that I don’t run with Missy. (I have to actually sneak out of the house wearing street clothes or she will be upset all day, thinking that she missed out on a race and that I “cheated” on her.)