I’ve grown up in the Grand Rapids area and been involved with the Riverbank Run since high school when I volunteered with my track team taking chips off of shoes at the finish line. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of running the 5k numerous times and then in 2012 I ran my first 25K (which at that time was my first time racing anything over a 5k). The River Bank run 25K was a new beginning to running for me, achieving goals I never thought possible. Since then I’ve completed 4 marathons and a 50k along with many half marathons. I love giving back to the running community by helping others achieve their goals.
I always wanted to be a runner, but never had the motivation or drive. Once I started, with endless support from my running community, running became a lifestyle! After my first marathon, receiving a Boston qualifier, I signed up to for the 2013 Boston Marathon! Unfortunately, my experience there turned into a nightmare. Emotionally scarred, with PTSD, I had to rely on running peers for support. I signed up for races, no longer to compete and enjoy the thrill, but for exposure at the finish. Racing no longer brought joy, but panic attacks. In recent years, in order to try to overcome this, I have taken the focus off of competing, and put more energy towards helping others. Pacing both the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon and the Fifth Third River Bank Run the past years, has given me a new purpose for running – helping other runners reach their goals. I hope to share my support and enthusiasm, and make the race a great experience from start to finish!
Running has evolved into a passion over the years working at Gazelle Sports. Pacing has rolled into that passion of getting people across the finish line, plus it keeps me in check with my level of fitness to make sure to not let that group of people down. I want to be a Fifth Third River Bank pacer because leading a group of people that are experienced runners and those that are running the race for the first time is always a load of fun.
I started running late in life, and never thought I would be a distance runner. In fact, I used to hate running, and I thought people who ran marathons were crazy! I started running when my youngest child started preschool. After several years of 5Ks, i ran my first half marathon in 2009. I trained completely on my own, did everything wrong, and still did ok! I caught the running bug, found training groups, and learned so many things from friends and mentors in the running community. Fast forward 8 years, and I have now completed 15 marathons, including 5 Boston Marathons, 8 River Bank Runs, and countless half marathons and other races. I would never have accomplished all of this without the love and support of the running community! Because of this, I want to help other runners achieve their goals. I want to be a pacer for the 53 River Bank Run, because this race is such a big part of our community, and I want to help other runners finish a 25K with a smile on their face, feeling strong, and having a sense of accomplishment!