The Team

Eddie Diaz, UESCA Founder

A graduate of Arizona State University, Eddie Diaz is a certified UESCA running coach with nearly 20 years of competitive racing under his belt.

Though he took a 17-year hiatus from formal running and competing to focus on his other passion for soccer, he looked at his wife one day and said, “I’m going to try this Spartan Race."

He went into that race with one thing on his mind: it’s a little bit of running broken up by some obstacles, so just have fun. And he enjoyed that race more than he thought. He decided to do another one and was hooked. His competitive juices began flowing, and he quickly realized he was going to have to start taking running seriously again.

As a prior competitive track runner, Eddie specialized in both the 400m and 800m races. He won multiple titles and podium finishes at all levels of competition, with his Personal Records sitting at 47.6 seconds in the 400-meter and 1:50:09 seconds for the 800-meter. As he started down the path of taking running seriously once more, he fell in love with the sport all over and decided to obtain his running certification with the United Endurance Sports Coaching Academy in order to coach others to achieve their full potential and personal records. He is passionate about helping others have a healthy heart, soul, mind, and body, and wants to help others without breaking their bank. He believes that providing the education behind a proper running plan helps empower runners and ultimately brings them to their own personal records.

Though his days of the 400m and 800m are behind him, his competitive spirit is alive and well on the race course. He can often be found trail running around Arizona or at an obstacle course race somewhere in the world.

To date, he has earned dozens of podiums in various obstacle course races over the past few years. In addition:

  • Qualified for OCR World Championships years 2017 - 2022
  • 2019 Spartan US National Series Utah - 3rd place finish
  • 2019 Spartan US Trail Championship (Age Group): 1st in Age Group & 2nd overall male
  • 2019 Rugged Maniac 1st Place Elite male
  • 2020 - 2022: Qualified to run elite (Spartan)
  • 2021 Bonefrog Golden Trident distance 1st Place Elite male
  • Tougher Mudder 2019 3rd Place Elite male; 2021 2nd Place Elite male
  • To Date: Top 10 Spartan finishes: 28 of 38 competitive races, (27 of those being a top 5 finish and 21 podiums.)
  • 1-Mile PR: 4:09 (~ 1998)
  • Recent 1-Mile PR (set 4/24/2021): 4:51
In October 2022, Eddie was inducted into his high school’s Athletic Hall of Fame for Track, Cross Country, and Soccer (Yuma High School).

Personally, Eddie is a firm believer in Christ, an avid runner and enduro-style mountain biker, and also loves the overall lifestyle of healthy living. When asked what he believes are benefits to running, he states: “One body, one mind, one soul. When these things work together, it’s truly an amazing sight to see. This is what running does. It pushes you to your limits, it pushes you to achieve Personal Records. Something as simple as a wondering mind, troubled soul, or an injured body can take you out of your game, but running provides a much-needed outlet for many.”

Bethany Diaz , NASM-CPT, VCS Founder

Bethany Diaz attended Arizona State University for Psychology and Political Science prior to enjoying a career in related fields before deciding to switch into a more fitness-focused realm.

She is a passionate obstacle course racer, constantly setting her sights on both self and community improvement through quality training and education. A competitor by nature, she is constantly pushing herself to reach new levels both on and off the course, aiming to inspire and motivate others along the way.

The divide she saw within the OCR Community pitting one race brand against another made no sense to her, and she set out with the idea to bring all racers together into one community regardless of which race brand is anyone’s personal favorite. Armed with the knowledge that good, quality training –both running and strength—make for a more well-rounded racer that can easily conquer any course, regardless of the obstacle before them, she co-created the obstacle course racing community, with her husband Eddie. One of her favorite aspects of racing is spending time with racers from all over, sharing battle stories after the race as well as going back along the course to cheer other racers on to the finish line.

Off the course, she incorporates Palmer Shape strength & conditioning as well as her own training programs, Running 2 PR’s coaching, kickboxing, trail running, hiking, and snowboarding in addition to balancing it out with yoga, stretching, and foam rolling (plus walking Chalupa Batman a ton!) She is currently an ambassador for Honey Stinger, UltrAspire, and Garmin.

On the course, she strives to be a consistent podium contender… a goal she has been able to attain thus far. Her obstacle course accolades are impressive for the short amount of time she has competed in OCR. They include:

  • OCR World Championship Qualifier 2017 - 2022
  • 2019 Spartan US National Series (Age Group): 8th overall, racing in 3 of 5 races.
  • 2019 Spartan World Championship (Age Group) Qualifier
  • 2019 Spartan US Trail Championship (Age Group): 2nd in AG & 2nd overall female
  • 2019: Rugged Maniac 1st Place Elite female
  • Tougher Mudder: 2nd Place Elite female 2019, 1st Place Elite female 2021
  • 2020-2022: Qualified to run elite (Spartan)
  • 2021 Bonefrog Tier 1 Distance 2nd Place Elite female
  • To Date: Top 10 Spartan finishes: 21 of 29 competitive heat races, (14 being a top 5 finish with 6 podiums.)
  • 1-Mile PR: 6:27:20
  • 5k road PR: 21:25
  • 10k trail PR: 52:09

Steven Palmer, CSCS

Palmer Shape

Steven Palmer is a graduate of UofA, having earned his B.S. in Physiology in addition to furthering his education through the attainment of his CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist), TRX, and PNF licenses and certificates as well as sports nutrition/supplementation education. He founded Palmer Shape, LLC in 2015.

Steven is committed to pursuing his expertise in the field of athletic performance. He competes, studies, and shares what he learns. He has trained athletes for more than 5 years, specifically as a strength and conditioning specialist. In this time, he has trained hundreds of people ranging in age from 6 to 75. Over 90% of them have stuck around and trained with him for 12+ months. 100% of them have improved, gained an understanding of the process, and offered him priceless experience. This is what he enjoys learning most.

The human body is the most sophisticated piece of equipment known. Steven’s fascination with its inner workings and application to athletics began at the age when most kids start playing sports. His dedication to decoding its full potential started in 2010 at the University of Arizona. By 2014, he had a Bachelor of Science in Physiology, and a sense of direction. Thousands of pages of research, and hours of practical application later, he is offering his take on how and where we can push ourselves physically to achieve elite sports performance.

Steven loves what he does, and loves the direction he is going. Personal best performances make for a great day, week, or month; while knowing how you did it, with the confidence that you can do it again, improves quality of life. You won’t believe it until you experience it. If you’re willing to chase the possibility, he’ll show you it’s only a matter of time. The idea is the hard part.