How a Struggling “Fat Kid” Unlocked the Power to Transform His Body and Achieve His Goals…

…And Can Help YOU Do The Same

Hi, I’m Derek Ford, founder, general manager, and lead trainer at Run Wild Fitness.

We are more than just another fitness studio—we are a supportive community for people who are ready to seriously commit to their fitness goals.

If you’re ready to feel and see positive changes in your body…
…then it’s time to find a support system that keeps you motivated and accountable.

Whether you’re an experienced athlete who has reached a plateau or you’re a beginner who just wants to lose some weight, it’s really difficult to maintain your commitment to training if you’re trying to go-it-alone.

At Run Wild Fitness, we believe that reaching your fitness goals is about hard work fueled by strategy, coaching, and encouragement.

Maybe you’ve tried other gym memberships or home workout programs, but you keep getting bored or frustrated. You find yourself in an endless cycle of trying new programs and losing your momentum.

I can totally empathize, because I’ve been there.

Here’s my story…

To put it simply, I grew up a fat kid. By the time I was in 9th grade, I was over 200 lbs.

While I was fairly active, I really struggled to control my weight. I was the heavy kid who got teased in the locker room and was always picked last for sports. I know how painful and uncomfortable it is to be overweight.

I tried all the quick fixes. Over the course of 15 years, I spent way too much time and money on fad diets and exercise equipment. However, I could never reach my weight loss goals.

In 2006, on my 30th birthday, I peaked at 250 lbs. My back always ached, my knees and ankles were always sore, and most exercise was extremely uncomfortable. I had never  run further than a mile without having to stop and walk, and even at that distance, I was  sure I was going to die.

That was my low point.

But over the course of the next four years, I discovered a transformative approach to  fitness.


I began to identify my own unique fitness goals, and I learned the new skills and techniques that would get me there. I began researching minimalist running styles and made dramatic adjustments to my running form. Soon, I began to see dramatic  improvements in my endurance.

Accountability and encouragement accelerated my progress. I began working with a personal trainer focusing on functional fitness and weight lifting.


And it all started with changing my mindset. I committed myself to finding the right strategy and support. As a result, I became accountable to take the actions needed to achieve my goals.

Now, 80lbs lighter, I have completed a multitude of running, trail running, cycling, and triathlon events. I’ve conquered distances ranging from 5ks to full marathons—even a Half Ironman!

Determined to help others make transformations of their own, I obtained my Personal Trainer Certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine in 2012, and in  2013 I opened Run Wild Fitness in Anchorage, AK.

My vision was to create a unique fitness community, and it has become just that.

If you join our Tribe, you’ll feel encouraged to make real progress toward lasting change.

Our functional fitness programs are for anyone who is ready to take ownership of their physical fitness. Whether you’re…


…a beginner struggling to take the first steps to lose weight and get healthy…


…a fitness enthusiast or weekend warrior who wants to get stronger and faster…


…a seasoned athlete who wants accountability and coaching to help you reach peak performance…

…joining our Tribe gets you the accountability and support that can take your fitness to the NEXT LEVEL so you can get the most out of your body.

Ready to try a transformative approach to fitness?

Our Community


Is Run Wild Fitness Right for You?

This is not for everybody. Beginning with your initial fitness assessment, we screen all potential clients carefully to ensure they are a good fit for our Tribe.

While we welcome people of all fitness levels into our community, we also insist our clients be ready to work hard and commit to their goals. You must be willing to be pushed outside of your comfort zone on a regular basis—this is how we change and grow.

We understand the equipment and workouts can be intimidating, so we strive to start you at an appropriate level. We will always prioritize your safety and will take your input into consideration.

Most of all, we insist on respect for our fellow Tribe members, staff, and equipment. We are committed to preserving a welcoming community. We want clients who are ready to be coachable and positive, who are willing to give and receive support and encouragement.

Sound like you’re a good fit?

Our Philosophy

Functional Fitness Tailored to YOUR Goals

At Run Wild Fitness, we focus on functional fitness (exercises and motions which mimic real-life). In our Tribe Sessions, we use movements such as squats, deadlifts, and shoulder presses to incorporate multiple major muscle groups and teach them to work together.

We want you to be fit to enjoy this rugged outdoor playground known as Alaska. We utilize a variety of training environments, and we frequently take our workouts outdoors. Our training studio is conveniently located near Campbell Creek trail, Taku Lake, an outdoor fitness station, and tennis courts. We frequently include running, trail running, cycling, hiking, and tennis in our workouts.

Our trainers will help you set realistic goals and give you the guidance you need to achieve them. We take a comprehensive, personalized approach; reaching your unique goals is about altering your diet to eat the correct foods, mixing cardio and weights to work the right muscles, and setting a time frame in which you can expect results.

Our Team

Our Team Members Are Dedicated To Helping You Reach Your Goals




Ambassador of Client Experience