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Marathon Running Experts

Throughout your marathon-training journey, the following UPMC Sports Medicine experts are here to provide you with expert advice.

Do you have a general question for one of our sports medicine experts? Ask us on Twitter, and we’ll do our best to provide a timely answer.




Ashley Disantis PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
Outpatient Physical Therapist

Areas of expertise:

  • Runners
  • Hip and pelvis injuries
Ashley is an outpatient physical therapist who treats runners of all levels. She also has a special interest in injuries to the hip and pelvis.

Fun fact

Ashley ran her first 10 miler in 2013. She enjoys mid distance road races, but one day hopes to complete the New York City marathon.




Brittany Patterson Lynch PT, DPT, SCS, OCS
Senior Physical Therapist

Areas of expertise:

  • Runners of all levels
  • Lower extremity injury
Brittany is a senior physical therapist that evaluates and treats runners of all levels. She completes gait assessments and provides gait retraining to those who are at risk of lower extremity injury based upon biomechanical literature.

Fun fact

When she is not volunteering for local Pittsburgh running events as part of the medical communications team, Brittany enjoys mid-distance running events.




Sarah Ostop, PT, DPT, SCS, ATC
Sports Certified Specialist , Certified Athletic Trainer

Areas of expertise:

  • Graston certified
  • Kinesiotaping
Sarah is a recreational runner whose goal is to run a half marathon in the next few years.

Fun fact

Sarah’s first experience with the Pittsburgh Marathon was in 2009, when she volunteered at the finish line as part of her athletic training clinical.




Heather Christian, PT
Physical Therapist

Areas of expertise:

Ms. Christian is an outpatient physical therapist who treats a variety of musculoskeletal injuries, both sports and non-sports-related.

Fun fact

Ms. Christian has run the Chicago Marathon and several half marathons after rehabilitating from hip arthroscopy




Ron DeAngelo, CSCS, ATC, LAT
Director, UPMC Sports Performance

Areas of expertise:

Mr. DeAngelo works with active people of all levels to help them prevent injury and perform at new heights. A Fellow of Applied Functional Science, he is an expert on biomechanics, the science behind human movement and performance. He also is certified as an athletic trainer, strength and conditioning specialist, and performance enhancement specialist.

Fun fact

Mr. DeAngelo is nationally known for training many notable sports stars, including NFL All-Pro players and NBA All-Stars. He trains runners to overcome a variety of obstacles and achieve their marathon goals.



Vonda Wright, MD
Orthopaedic Surgeon and Director, Performance and Research Initiative for Master's Athletes

Areas of expertise:

  • Marathon 101
  • Cross-training
  • Aging athletes
  • Orthopaedic injuries
  • Bone strength/density
An orthopaedic surgeon, author, and researcher, Dr. Wright treats patients of all ages with a variety of musculoskeletal injuries. She specializes in shoulder, hip, and knee arthroscopy and also is known for empowering adults over age 40 to maximize their performance and minimize injury.

Learn how to schedule an appointment with Dr. Wright.

Fun fact

Dr. Wright’s running claim-to-fame is completing three Chicago marathons and running multiple half-marathons and other road races – some of them alongside her 72-year-old father or with her young daughter in tow. She also wrote the official cross-training program of the Pittsburgh Marathon



Aaron Mares, MD
Primary Care Sports Medicine Physician

Areas of expertise:

Dr. Mares treats all types of sports and non-sports-related musculoskeletal conditions. He also serves as an associate team physician for the Pittsburgh Panthers.

Fun fact

Dr. Mares has served on the Pittsburgh Marathon's medical team since 2009. An avid runner himself, he personally has completed the New York City Marathon and numerous half marathons.



Kathleen Nachazel, ATC
Certified Athletic Trainer

Areas of expertise:

For nearly 20 years, Ms. Nachazel has been a member of the Pittsburgh Marathon's Medical Advisory Board, where she currently serves as medical operations director. She also serves as assistant director of the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex facility.

Fun fact

In addition to her marathon expertise, Ms. Nachazel also has worked as an athletic trainer with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre for more than 20 years.

Contact Us

To schedule an appointment with a physician or other Sports Medicine expert, call 1-855-93-SPORT (77678).

UPMC Rooney Sports Complex
3200 S. Water St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203

UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex
8000 Cranberry Springs Drive
Cranberry Township, PA 16066
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