2017 Race Ambassadors

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chris-powell-copy

Why did you want to become a Race Ambassador?

I wanted to become a race ambassador for a few reasons.  First, I love this city, and the course is a beautiful way to see it.  Second, running has been very good for me: the health benefits, the social aspect, and the confidence gained by running has made me a better person, and I believe everyone can, and should, have something like that in their lives.

If you could receive your Finisher’s Medal from anyone (living or dead)…who would it be?

I would like to receive my finisher’s medal from Dave Grohl.  Not only does he ROCK as an musician, he is also a family man, and I respect the heck out of that.

What 3 songs are on all of your running playlists?

Lately, the three songs that I like to run to are all from the “Hamilton” cast recording.  “My Shot”, a song about seizing opportunities; “Non-Stop”, a song about persistence/drive; and “What’d I Miss”, just because it is awesome.  Honestly, the entire soundtrack is incredible, and if you run in the rain, no one will even notice if you are crying.

 

Contact Chris

Facebook: http://facebook.com/chris.powell.rwtl

Twitter: @panthersden2

Instagram: @runswlocals

YouTube: RunningWithTheLocals

Email: chris.powell@att.net

stephanie-sturgeon-copy

Why did you want to become a Race Ambassador?

I wanted to inspire people and be a part of the Kentucky Derby Festival so I can’t think of a better way to accomplish those goals! The KDF miniMarathon and Marathon are such a huge event in town and I wanted to be able to tell as many people about it as possible so we can all share the best day ever!

If you could receive your Finisher’s Medal from anyone (living or dead)…who would it be?

I would say it would have to be from my grandfather. He passed away almost 10 years ago and I know he would be so proud of me. He is the only family member that hasn’t seen me cross the finish line.

What 3 songs are on all of your running playlists?

I listen to podcasts, mostly murder mysteries. My brain completely forgets that I am running because I’m too focused on the details of the case! Pro tip: Don’t listen to them while running alone on trails…

 

Contact Stephanie

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stephanie.s.sturgeon

Twitter: @StephSturge

Instagram: @sks117

Email: Stephanie.sturgeon@bhsi.com

chad-donohue-copy

Why did you want to become a Race Ambassador?

Because I’m apparently overqualified to run for President.

If you could receive your Finisher’s Medal from anyone (living or dead)…who would it be?

I’d want to receive it from my wife’s father, Kevin McKeen.  I never got to meet the man and I kind of really want to.

What 3 songs are on all of your running playlists?

Madness by Muse, Bloodstream by Ed Sheeran, and Superstition by Stevie Wonder.  Just try not running a six minute mile while listening to one of those.

 

Contact Chad

Facebook: http://facebook.com/chad.donohue.1

Email: turn3chad@gmail.com

dawn-combs-copy

Why did you want to become a Race Ambassador?

To encourage others to train, run, finish and have fun with KDF marathon and mini.

If you could receive your Finisher’s Medal from anyone (living or dead)…who would it be?

My Papa Webb, he passed away when I was 10- he never would take the words “I Can’t.” He was a coal miner from Eastern KY and taught himself to walk again after a horrible mine explosion that left him paralyzed.  He used braces and a cane.

What 3 songs are on all of your running playlists?

More like vocalists:  Allison Krauss, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day

 

Contact Dawn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dawn.combs513

Email: dawn_combs@deanfoods.com

jamie-steinbock-copy

Why did you want to become a Race Ambassador?

Running has brought so many new elements into my life.  Through running I have learned more about myself, traveled to places I would not have likely gone before, and met amazing people along the way.  I want to share what I have learned through running with others and hope to ignite that spark within them to take the leap of setting a goal and making it happen.  The KDF marathon and min-marathon are the perfect races for that.

If you could receive your Finisher’s Medal from anyone (living or dead)…who would it be?

If I could receive my Finishers Medal from anyone it would be from one of my students.  My heroes are my special education students who work so hard every day to make progress towards goals that may seem small to some, but is life changing for them.  Navigating through the world for my students takes strength, courage, and perseverance.  Every race I run, when I begin to feel tired and question finishing, I think of them and it gives me the push I need to make it to the finish line.

What 3 songs are on all of your running playlists?

Imagine Dragons, Blink 182,  Led Zepplin

 

Contact Jamie

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Jamie.pantess

Instagram: @jme_bock

Email: jamiepantess@gmail.com

jessica-stephens-copy

Why did you want to become a Race Ambassador?

Running has brought so many new elements into my life.  Through running I have learned more about myself, traveled to places I would not have likely gone before, and met amazing people along the way.  I want to share what I have learned through running with others and hope to ignite that spark within them to take the leap of setting a goal and making it happen.  The KDF Marathon and miniMarathon are the perfect races for that.

If you could receive your Finisher’s Medal from anyone (living or dead)…who would it be?

If I could receive my Finishers Medal from anyone it would be from one of my students.  My heroes are my special education students who work so hard every day to make progress towards goals that may seem small to some, but is life changing for them.  Navigating through the world for my students takes strength, courage, and perseverance.  Every race I run, when I begin to feel tired and question finishing, I think of them and it gives me the push I need to make it to the finish line.

What 3 songs are on all of your running playlists?

Imagine Dragons, Blink 182,  Led Zepplin

 

Contact Jessica

Twitter: @jessmstephens

Email: jessmstephens@gmail.com

karen-brady-copy

Why did you want to become a Race Ambassador?

There are so many reasons that I wanted to become a Race Ambassador.  I have only been running for 5 years, but it is the first sport that I have really connected with.  And I have my grandpa (who began running marathons at the age of 50 and had to stop 5 years ago when I picked it up) to thank for it.  Last year was a tough year for me as for much of the year, I was not able to run due to a hip labrum tear.  Lots of physical therapy later…I was given the okay to start training again just as last year’s Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon/miniMarathon training was about to start.  So…I went to the first informational meeting, got the training plan, and met the Race Ambassadors for the 2016 races.  And I saw them all throughout the training period at the Tuesday and Saturday training runs.  I became great friends with them, and was uplifted by them as I struggled through this injury…and in turn, got to uplift them if/when they struggled.  I’m still friends with them.  And that is how I knew I wanted to be a part of the magic of Race Ambassadorship.  I love to help people, encourage people, and promote something that I truly believe in and love.  This is my hometown marathon!  I’m so proud to be such a special part of it this year.

If you could receive your Finisher’s Medal from anyone (living or dead)…who would it be?

Steven Spielberg!!  Back when I was studying film, Steven Spielberg set the precedent for the films I one day hoped to make.  My filmmaking days may have come to a close, but I love how Spielberg always manages to capture the moment perfectly.  And he has fun and loves what he does.   I still hold him to the highest regard!

What 3 songs are on all of your running playlists?

Run Boy Run by Woodkid
Hall of Fame by The Script ft will.i.am
Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen

 

Contact Karen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gaelbradyhttps://www.facebook.com/TheCeliathlete/

Twitter: @CapnKeeks, @TheCeliathlete

Instagram: @theceliathlete

SnapChat: theceliathlete

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/GaelB

Blog: http://theceliathlete.com

Email: gaelbrady@gmail.com

kelsey-webb-copy

Why did you want to become a Race Ambassador?

I wanted to help encourage those looking for a way to get involved in a positive community and open doors to those wanting to make healthy life choices.

If you could receive your Finisher’s Medal from anyone (living or dead)…who would it be?

Probably Jennifer Lawrence or Tori McClure – both strong and inspiring women from Louisville!

What 3 songs are on all of your running playlists?

“Gotta Get Thru This” by Daniel Bedingfield, “Technologic” by Daft Punk, “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen

 

Contact Kelsey

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KLCwebb

Instagram: @magillicutty

Email: Kelseyewebb@earthlink.net

leah-phillips-black-copy

Why did you want to become a Race Ambassador?

The Derby Festival Marathon was my very First Marathon!

I loved every mile!

It’s a privilege to open this opportunity to other new and seasoned runners!

I first walked the mini for the Leukemia Society years ago after a friend of mine’s daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia.

I proudly ran The Derby Festival Full Marathon in 2014, my first running many full marathons.

It was The Derby Festival Marathon that gave me the “marathon running bug”!

If you could receive your Finisher’s Medal from anyone (living or dead)…who would it be?

It would be from any WW2 Veteran.

If not for Veterans and current Soldiers, this country would not be free!

What 3 songs are on all of your running playlists?

I love songs that make me smile!  I have a varied list. Great for long runs!

Go Big Or Go Home – The American Authors

How’m I Gonna Find You Now – James Mc Murtry

Shake It Off – Taylor Swift

 

Contact Leah

Twitter: @LeahPhillipsBla

madeline-rivera-copy

Why did you want to become a Race Ambassador?

To motivate others to train for their first mini and/or Full marathon and to encourage them to finish with a smile on their face. Also to spread KDF’s word out to the local communities.

If you could receive your Finisher’s Medal from anyone (living or dead)…who would it be?

Who? My husband! He is the reason why I started running, because of him I learned to love running, to properly train and has inspired me in greater ways.

What 3 songs are on all of your running playlists?

“Here comes the sun” by The Beatles, Born to be Wild, and Joe Cocker’s. “With a little help from my friends”

 

Contact Madeline

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/madeline.rivera.902

Instagram: @babymady55

melissa-nolan-copy

Why did you want to become a Race Ambassador?

Two years ago, I started running and completed my bucket list goal of finishing a half marathon! The sense of accomplishment I felt was amazing. I was 88 pounds heavier, and it took everything I had to get myself across the line and get that medal. I didn’t love running back then, but my determination carried me. I decided that I wanted to try again, and to experience that runner’s high that everyone always talked about, so I did it again, and then again! In 2016, the KDF miniMarathon was my 10th half marathon! I grew up hearing my mom talk about running the 10th ever mini, and fate worked out that I ran it for the first time as MY tenth mini! It was the race that started the bucket list item, and I couldn’t be happier with where that dream has taken me! My reason for becoming an ambassador was to hopefully inspire others to get out and try! I wasn’t a runner, and I was much heavier, when I made that decision to get out and run, but it has changed my life! I am healthier, happier, and so proud to be a part of this amazing running community here in Kentuckiana! Believe in yourself and your abilities! Relax and enjoy the run (and I promise, you WILL grow to love it!), and I can’t wait to meet you at that KDF finish line in April!

If you could receive your Finisher’s Medal from anyone (living or dead)…who would it be?

I would love to receive my finisher’s medal from Shaun T! He’s the creator of Insanity, Cize, and other awesome workout programs. I am such a fan of his motivational style, and the way he encourages and motivates, even through a tv screen! He has kept me going through tough cross-training days, and his positive words have popped in my head on more than one run! I’m inspired by his positivity in his podcasts and social media, and I’m thankful for his role in helping me find the confidence to get up and try new workouts and new moves! I’m stronger physically and mentally from his influence, and I would love to share a finish line moment with him!

What 3 songs are on all of your running playlists?

I am totally not a music listener when I run! I used to be, but I’ve grown to love running with my own thoughts, listening to my breathing, and judging my pace by the cadence of my feet! When the mood does strike me, though, I have eclectic tastes! Whatever genre, it’s gotta get me pumped! Always included are:

Black Betty by Ram Jam

The Time (Dirty Bit) by The Black Eyed Peas

Turn Me On (feat. Nicki Minaj) by David Guetta and Nicki Minaj

 

 

Contact Melissa

Facebook: http://facebook.com/melissa.langdon9

Instagram: @melnolanfitness

Email: Melissaleenolan@gmail.com

 

paul-bolton-copy

Why did you want to become a Race Ambassador?

The KDF Marathon was something I set my eyes on at the conclusion of 2010. The months leading up to my first mini marathon were filled with change in my body, mind and spirit. That was 5 years ago and the residual effect from those months is still making deposits in my life. I want to lead others looking for change to use this race as a starting off point.  I want to be a champion for people who are seeking a new version of themselves. For me there is no better reward than see another person realize their greatness.

If you could receive your Finisher’s Medal from anyone (living or dead)…who would it be?

Michelle, Brendan, Sadie, and Drew waiting with it at the finish line.

What 3 songs are on all of your running playlists?

  1. The Weekend – “Starboy (feat. Daft Punk)”
  2. Snow Patrol – “Run”
  3. DJ Khaled – “Out Here Grindin’ (Feat Akon)”

 

Contact Paul

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pbolton16

Twitter: @paulbolton

Instagram: @annoyingrunningfriend

SnapChat: b4thesunrunner

reggie-woodard-copy

Why did you want to become a Race Ambassador?

This race changed my life three years ago. My health wasn’t in a good place and I badly needed a challenge and a goal to change that. I signed up for the KDF Mini-Marathon because a Race Ambassador posted information about it at work. My health has greatly improved since that race. That single post from a Race Ambassador helped motivate me to make that change. I wanted to be a Race Ambassador to help motivate others to make that same change.

If you could receive your Finisher’s Medal from anyone (living or dead)…who would it be?

I would love to receive my Finisher’s Medal from my little brother Aaron who died five years ago due to complications with obesity and lymphedema. He’s one of the reasons I started running again.

What 3 songs are on all of your running playlists?

Breathe by Fabolous, Let it Burn by STIC, Fast Lane by Bad Meets Evil

 

Contact Reggie

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/reggiewoodard

Twitter: @reggiewoodard

Instagram: @reggiewoodard

SnapChat: @ReggieWoodard

Blog: www.itstime2run.com

richie-goff-copy

Why did you want to become a Race Ambassador?

I wanted to become a Race Ambassador to share the joy of running with those who may not have participated before and to connect with other runners in the racing community. Running is such a solo activity that we can’t always make friends when hitting the roads, so getting people hyped for a race is a way of making friends!

If you could receive your Finisher’s Medal from anyone (living or dead)…who would it be?

I would choose my best friend Casandre because of her drive to be better, fitter, and more creative. Though she does not run, I am inspired by her aerialist training and the ways she uses her body to express art and emotion.

What 3 songs are on all of your running playlists?

I Am The Best- 2NE1

Wuthering Heights- Kate Bush

Celebration Florida- Chumbawamba

 

Contact Richie

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RichieGoff

Instagram: @richieraces

Email: goffrichie@gmail.com

stephanie-boyd-copy

Why did you want to become a Race Ambassador?

I wanted to become a race ambassador for several reasons. The KDF Marathon was my first marathon and it holds a special place in my running heart for that reason alone.  I am part of a larger running group for Louisville-area moms and I think it is important to help motivate and inspire those women to continue their running journey and reach their goals.  By being an ambassador, I feel like I can show them that if I can run a mini or full marathon, they can as well!  Furthermore, Louisville is my home town and I am very proud of our city and the activities we provide to people who like to be active.  I hope that by being an ambassador, I can share both my love for running and the love I have for Kentucky with a larger audience!

If you could receive your Finisher’s Medal from anyone (living or dead)…who would it be?

I would love for Mary Breckinridge to place the Finisher’s Medal around my neck.  She was the woman responsible for introducing nurse-midwifery to the United States, starting the longest, continually operating nurse-midwifery education program in Kentucky.  She was a pioneer, a feminist, and a visionary whose impact is felt still today by women and families across the globe.  To have her place that medal around my neck and tell me how proud she is of my accomplishment would be amazing!

What 3 songs are on all of your running playlists?

Frontin’ (Pharrell), Not Afraid (Eminem), Run the World (Beyonce)

 

Contact Stephanie

Twitter : @sboyd7

Instagram: @bluegrassbamr

Email: smcclain7@yahoo.com

tonya-hinton-copy

Why did you want to become a Race Ambassador?

To motivate others to train for their first mini and/or Full marathon and to encourage them to finish with a smile on their face. Also to spread KDF’s word out to the local communities.

If you could receive your Finisher’s Medal from anyone (living or dead)…who would it be?

My husband! He is the reason why I started running, because of him I learned to love running, to properly train and has inspired me in greater ways.

What 3 songs are on all of your running playlists?

Here comes the sun” by The Beatles, “Born to be Wild”, and Joe Cocker’s “With a little help from my friends”

 

Contact Tonya

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tohinton

Over the past 4 years our Race Ambassador committee has been essential in the development and continued growth of the Marathon & miniMarathon. We encourage our Race Ambassadors to stay involved in the race, as well as other Kentucky Derby Festival events!

Are you a former Race Ambassador that wants to stay involved in the Marathon/miniMarathon and explore other events? Please fill out the form above!

Former Race Ambassadors