2018 Race Ambassadors

Congratulations to our 2018 Race Ambassador team!

2018 Race Ambassadors
Jill Adelson
Jennifer Blair
Adam Bundy
Thomas Crisp
Sherry Couture
Julio Driggs
Donna Giovenco
Emily Lamb
Melissa Nolan- 2017 Ambassador of the Year
Craig Robinson
Amy Barbour Shoaf
Heidi Seuling
Blu Turner
Ruth Ward
Andrew  Weishaar
Andrew Wetterer

2017 Executive Committee
Deana Carl
Chris Powell
Stephanie Sturgeon


The Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon/miniMarathon Race Ambassador Team is built of  runners and walkers who are part of an amazing group who are proactive in pushing a healthy lifestyle message to all local and regional groups and organizations. These Ambassadors help KDF keep our runners and walkers informed, inspired and motivated during the months leading up to the race.

Over the past 5 years our Race Ambassador Team 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!



Why did you want to become a Race Ambassador?

I wanted to be more involved with this great event and LEARN and work with great people!  Being part of the Ambassador team allows me to meet new people each year and I LOVE that!

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

Anyone from the military or a first responder!  I make sure I thank all of police and military personnel on the course the day of the race.  I feel safe and will always go out of my way to let them know how appreciative I am of their service and keeping me safe!

What 3 songs are on all of your running playlists?

I am old school and need music for my mind and motivation!  “Don’t Stop Believing” from Journey as my opening song (because I have to pace myself with the music), “Brown Eyed Girl” Jimmy Buffet, and “Let’s Go” the Cars.

Preferred contact information



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

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

The Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon will always have a special place in my heart as my first race, but also because it’s my hometown race.”

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I moved to the area a few years ago for my career.  I ran high school cross country but got away from running over the years.  I was excited to get involved with several local running groups as a way to meet great people.”

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“I started my weight loss journey 8 years ago with Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon when I completed my first half marathon, since then I’ve gone on to complete numerous races, became a cycling instructor, a motivation coach and volunteer with Girls on the Run”

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“Previously I’ve served as a Pacer for the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon/Marathon. I’ve been told that I inspire others, and I get so much joy from runners telling me that they couldn’t have made it without me. #JOY”

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Instagram:  teamboneracing

I love getting involved!  At Humana, where I work, I’m a Well-Being Champion, which means I help promote Humana’s values and well-being culture. In addition to that, I volunteer for Kentucky Refugee Ministries & Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Kentuckiana.”

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I enjoy helping people achieve their running potential.  Seeing someone conquer a goal they found daunting or seemed impossible, including an endurance sport like the mini or marathon, is Awesome!”

Contact info:


Instagram Link: JDflash24

“I have been a runner for 35+ years. My first Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon was in 1988.  Spring brings wonderful times for training.”

Contact Info:


Twitter Link: @Giovencodonna

Instagram: Donnardcpt

The feeling of crossing the finish line was overwhelming during my first half marathon, however it was life changing.  Since then, I use running as a way to relieve stress, create amazing friendships, find focus, boost confidence and improve overall happiness.  As a race ambassadors I’d give back to the running community that has given so much to me over the past few years.”

Contact info: elamb1081@gmail.com

I’m back! I get the amazing chance to come back for 2018 Ambassador Team! I never expected to find a whole new family, challenge myself with training runs in new places, and meet a whole new set of running goals, but here I am! I get to do it all over again!”

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


“I am a very social runner. Nothing is better than a running vacation with friends. My Race Bucket list include Boston, Chicago and New York.  I love the tradition and crowds around these races”

Contact info: craig.robinson@kyderby.com

“I would love to receive my finisher medal from my husband Rob Shoaf, who won the 1994 Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon. He’s an inspiration not only to myself, but to our daughter’s with his support and enthusiasm for life.”

Contact info: amyjobarbour@gmail.com

Twitter link: @amybarbourshoaf

Instagram: AmyBarbourshoaf

My kids amaze me…I have to push and encourage them constantly but it is paying off tremendously.  I want to be a role model for my kids’ every day.  I’ve been running for 15 years, and I have learned that there are obstacles and challenges along the road.  Most important thing is staying active and committing to a new challenge to stay motivated.”

Contact info: seulingcrna@me.com

As an Uber driver and a fitness instructor I can share my experiences with running multiple obstacle courses and miniMarathons with people I come in contact with.”

Contact info: Blu327ss@gmail.com

“I would love to have the opportunity to encourage other runners, especially African-Americans which in most cases don’t run.  I am a 12 ½ year Breast Cancer Survivor. I am very adamant about women getting check-ups and taking care of their bodies. Running helps me enjoy a healthy lifestyle and I would like to encourage others to do so….for long life!”


Twitter: @_LadyOne_

Instagram: Ladyone63

“I love to be outdoors and I love trail running just as much as street running. I love mountain biking, hiking, and I’m in the band Crosswalk,  where I play electric guitar.”

Contact info: abweis0@gmail.com

“I really enjoy the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon.  It’s an awesome race, especially running through Churchill Downs.  Such an awesome race in an awesome community, I would tell all my running buddies, it would be a great way to give back.”

Contact info:  Awetts@gmail.com

Instagram:  awetts

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

Former Race Ambassadors