Deserae Clarke – Phoenix Running Coach (she/her/hers)

5.00 out of 5
(16 customer reviews)

$150.00 / month and a $19.00 sign-up fee

50% off 1st month! I coach athletes of all abilities and backgrounds with a holistic approach. Running can help us be better humans, and showing up as our truest selves can help us be better runners.



Phoenix running coach Des Clarke is well versed in coaching a diverse group of athletes. She enjoys helping runners integrate running and racing as part of their lives, and she’s helped runners from all backgrounds prepare for challenges from their first 5k through ultra marathons.

Des’s coaching is a safe space for runners in the LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, recovery and other historically marginalized communities.

*** 50% off First Month of Coaching – Coupon Code: 50%clarke ***

Contact Des

LEVELS: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
TYPES: Road, Trail, Track
DISTANCES: 5k/10k/Half Marathon, Marathon, Ultra
TRAINING PLAN: Individual, customized training plan
COMMUNICATION: Unlimited email, unlimited text
RESPONSE TIME: Within 24 hours
LOCATION: Surprise, AZ
IN-PERSON SESSIONS: Yes, meet within ~20 minutes of zip code 85374. Options include: workouts, form analysis, drills, race strategy, and crewing and pacing. Reach out to Coach Des for more info or with any questions.


My biggest strengths as a coach are my ability to connect with my athletes on a personal level, and my dedication to inclusion. I am an accomplished coach for all distances and surfaces, and understanding both the technical aspects of coaching as well as the human side of it are what allow my athletes to excel. I am experienced in incorporating strength training for injury prevention and performance, and helping to fit training plans into busy life schedules. I know what I’m doing in all of these areas because I’ve lived it. I’m looking forward to helping you, whether your goal is to start running, set a PR, or challenge yourself with an off-the-beaten-path adventure.


I love the way that running can help us be better humans in all areas of our life, and I became a coach to help share that with others. I believe the athlete-coach relationship is the cornerstone of coaching. My goal is to understand you as a runner and a person so we can collaborate on your training. I want to help you stay healthy and injury free, consistently enjoying your runs. The mix of volume, speed work and strength training depends on each runner’s goals, current fitness and outside obligations. Achievement is important, but so is maintaining the joy of running for many years to come, and being a part of the running community.


I have been running for over 30 years and coaching formally for over 7 years. I have helped individuals start running, get back into running after a hiatus, reach marathon PRs, finish their first ultra and improve their trail racing performance. I have also coached in-person groups from couch to 5k plans to speed training and track workouts. I’m also proud to say that my client base is diverse in many aspects, and I have found ways to relate personally to each one of them.


Running changed my life and made me a better person, and it continues to do that every day. I am happiest when on a trail somewhere and choose races that challenge me to grow, take me to beautiful places, or both. I became a coach to share running with others, and to extend the inclusion and acceptance I’ve found in the running community.

In addition to coaching, working a day job, and running I am a mom to two active teenage boys. I love going on adventures with other badass women, reading and try to take a “Yes, and…” approach when I’m invited to try new things. While I don’t preach a specific diet to my clients, I am plant-based because it’s how I feel best. I’ve lived in Kenya for study abroad and Ghana during my Peace Corps service. I am a desert rat who happened to be born somewhere else, and Arizona has been home since the minute I stepped out of the sliding doors at Sky Harbor into the 115 degree dry heat. I made it official when I completed Cocodona 250, a race that allows participants to visit some of the most beautiful places in Arizona by foot.


I am fond of the training philosophies of Megan and David Roche which focus on self-love, love of running and racing as a celebration. They also highlight the importance of balancing training-induced stress with general life stress, and eating to fuel your performance.

I also have a great respect for Joe Vigil who encouraged his runners to be good people in order to be better runners: “Yet be a well-rounded, sensitive, literate human being. It is not the job of athletics to produce people who know or care for nothing except athletics.”


I raced cross-country and track in high school and college and then stepped away from competitive running for a while. When I started back to racing I did road 5ks and half marathons, and in 2015 did my first and only road marathon. I quickly discovered trail racing and after my first 50k in 2016 haven’t looked back.

In 2017 I won the Pennsylvania Triple crown of Mountain running which included a win at the Hyner 50k, second place at Worlds End 100k and fifth at Eastern States 100 miler. In 2018 I won the Insomniac Race Series in Arizona, finishing as first female and top three overall at each 50k race in the series. That year I also took 2nd place at Mogollon Monster 100. In 2019 I started through a rough patch, managing to land on some podiums but also landing in some issues with adrenal fatigue. 2020 brought the pandemic. 2021 brought a hard fall on the trail that resulted in a knee surgery. With a well-healed joint I rebuilt my fitness and rediscovered the joys of racing in 2022 which culminated in the Mogollon Monster 100 miler in September. In May of 2023 I finished the Cocodona 250 and swore I would never do it again. I still happily compete in races from 5k up through 100 miles, almost exclusively on trails.

Full racing history here on UltraSignup.


  • Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) Level 1 certified coach.
  • Wilderness First Aid
  • Leave No Trace Instructor
  • Child and Adult CPR/First Aid/AED


  • 25k – 2:16, Pass Mountain 11/18/2017
  • 50k – 4:43, Adrenaline Night Runs 5/19/2018
  • 50 mile – 11:29:09, Mesquite Canyon (7,359 ft vert gain) 3/11/2023
  • 100k – 11:48, Montour 24, 12 hour 7/23/2016
  • 100 mile – 29:08 Mogollon Monster (20,000+ft vert gain), 9/15/2018
  • 250 miles – 108:08:28 Cocodona 250 (40,000 ft of vert), 5/1/2023


  • 24+ Ultra Finishes, 17+ podium finishes
  • 2017 PA Mountain Running Triple Crown “Queen of the Mountain”


Finding a coach who is a great fit for you is really important. We encourage you to email your coach prior to signing up so you can connect, communicate, and ensure a good athlete/coach fit.

Give us a brief history of your running, and this can include what distances and/or races you’ve run, how long you’ve been running, any past or present injuries, if you’ve worked with a coach or a specific training program before, etc.
Any short term or long term goals?
Describe your ideal coach/athlete relationship.
Any questions/comments for Team RunRun or the Coach in general?


16 reviews for Deserae Clarke – Phoenix Running Coach (she/her/hers)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jen Triolo

    Des is great. Adjusts to your needs and very personable.

  2. 5 out of 5

    David Keating

    I’ve been with Des for about 6 weeks now. I’ve been very impressed with her weekly training plans. Its my first time using a coach and I was a little hesitant to begin with but now I’m delighted I signed up. The speedwork/hill sessions during the week are awesome and I feel that the gradual increase in total weekly mileage is spot on.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jill Hockenbroch

    Coach Des has made a huge difference in my training and performance in just a few short months. I feel both challenged and supported with a detailed and customized plan. Recently, I ran a 30 minute PR in an ultra under her guidance! I’m excited to see what the future holds as I continue to work with her. I would HIGHLY recommend her as a coach!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amelia Rutter

    I signed up with Coach Des in preparation for my first 50 miler later this year. I love the variety of the work outs she schedules for me and she has been super responsive to any questions or schedule changes I have had. Looking forward to many more months of training with her!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Marchea Sovde

    Des is wonderful! I am a beginner with knee and hip issues. She provided me with the perfect exercises to help me build my strength in my endeavors to become a trail runner. She is supportive and always responds to my questions. She is a great coach!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael Armsby

    This is my first time using a run coach and Coach Des has made that feel like the absolute correct move. She’s very responsive, the workouts are challenging but manageable and she’s adapted to my ever changing lifestyle (becoming a first time parent!). Having her has removed the guess work and insecurity about whether I’m doing the right things to be prepared for races. Thanks, Des!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Mason

    Well, I went and broke my foot about a month into working with Des (unrelated accident!), but I’ve been very happy with her so far. The marathon training plan she put together was stretching me just about the right amount, and she had clearly listened when I talked about my goals and previous experience. Des has been very good about checking in with me and coming up with a non-weight-bearing strength training plan while I recover, and is helping me remember that stuff like this happens and it’s not the end of the world.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kelly D

    Coach Des has been an instrument of knowledge. Her expertise and ability has given me the confidence to train for my first 100 miler. Some might say I was already an “experienced” runner, but Coach Des’ training plan has already elevated my performance with proper programing including rest and not over-training. In my current program, I PR’d a marathon and won first place women’s overall in another race. Depending on your needs and wants, Des is highly approachable and has even started to coach my wife as a beginner runner too.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Halapin

    Des is the first coach I’ve worked with, and I feel very fortunate to have found such a great match right from the start. She helped me achieve my goal of running Black Canyon 100K close to a specific goal time, while providing a training plan that made sense with my all-over-the-place work schedule. I’m not new to ultrarunning, but felt like I needed some more-experienced guidance for this particular goal. She’s very knowledgeable and supportive, and I’m continuing to work with her because it’s been such a great experience. I’d highly recommend her to anyone!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Laura Mathis

    Coach Des has been very helpful and encouraging with a large goal I’ve set out for myself. She answers all of my questions and her training plans are straight forward and uncomplicated! What more can you ask for?

  11. 5 out of 5

    Luisa Pinto

    I have had a great experience with Des being my coach! She has helped me reach my goal and work through some injuries. She is super attentive and has an open line of communication. I’m glad I found her as my coach and I hope to keep running under her trainings.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Becky Tsang

    I have been working with Coach Des for a few months now and I’m already feeling results of her training plan. She has been great at checking in, adjusting as needed, and working around my goals and schedule. I like the consistency and purpose she has given to my running.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Learned

    I’ve enjoyed working with Coach Des so far in my 50k training. She is responsive to my questions and need for advice. She helped me with some patellar tendinitis issues and tweaked my training schedule to accommodate for a week. She is encouraging when I need it. She’s given me good race fueling/nutrition advice. I didn’t want a coach that wants to always hold my hand, a “helicopter” coach. Coach Des has been exactly the kind of coach I wanted.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Hoover

    Des is such a great coach to work with. She is the perfect amount of stern and understanding. Des’ communication is consistent and thorough. I am so fortunate to have found her and my running is improving every day secondary to her program. I feel I can accomplish all my crazy goals with her guidance.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Darrell Read

    Desarae is an awesome coach. My goals were to run a 13.1 or more mile races each month but die to the covit 19 all the races were cancelled. She kept my training on point and I ran my first 50k. She has a strong knowledge on nutrition and running gear.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Davis

    Deserae is amazing. Attentive and thoughtful in her communication and keeps me accountable. She has given me tips on form and stretches; useful advise that I’ve put to use and it’s been great. Top notch coach and I am so happy I found her!

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