They all love running and they all love Austin, which is what makes them the best ambassadors for the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. Meet the 2021 Ambassadors, follow them on social media, and say hi to them on race weekend!
A native Chicagoan who now lives deep in the heart of Texas, Sandra started running eight years ago after moving to the Pacific Northwest in an effort to ease her mind, challenge her body and explore the beautiful outdoors. After completing her first 5K, she was hooked and many miles later has now run six marathons, including Chicago, Berlin, and New York, fifteen half marathons, and countless smaller distances on the road and trail. While she loves different races for different reasons, the Austin Half Marathon remains her first and favorite half marathon having now run it five times. Running has taught her to build resilience when the going gets tough and to always remember, con fuerza y ganas, si se puede! She’s excited to be running, supporting, and inspiring others along their race day journey for the 30th anniversary of the Austin Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K.
Anita conquered Austin as she ran her first full marathon last year and is looking forward to her fourth Austin Marathon race in 2021. Marketer by day, blogger by night, and foodie and traveler in her free time, Anita shares all her adventures on FearlessCaptivations.com, a blog about food, travel, and celebrations.
Running nicely compensated for the loss of mountain biking and hiking after Jackie moved from the foothills of Colorado to the flatlands of Bartlesville, OK, and then Houston, TX. Jackie remembers the proud feeling of completing her first four-mile run in 2008 after moving to Oklahoma. It’s that feeling she wants to share with others by encouraging and inspiring them to enjoy the sport in the same way she does now.
Since then, Jackie has run dozens of half and full marathons, 5Ks and 10Ks, and has completed three half Ironman and one full Ironman event. She is an RRCA certified run coach. She’s also emceed, coordinated, volunteered, and promoted many races, in all capacities from seeking approval and sponsors to handing out water as runners pass by. Jackie founded and leads the Cross Creek Ranch and Lampasas Running Clubs (informal family-centric groups of people who share the same interest in running). Her goal and inner peace are driven by other people’s happiness!
Taushah has crossed the finish line of almost 300 races. With 34 half marathons, 22 marathons, two ultra-marathons, and a 50 miler, the process and the emotions of completing another race never get old for her.
In 2020 Taushah ran a course PR in Austin, and for her “The Austin Marathon weekend is incredible – from the expo to the spectators to the after-party and beyond”. She has some big goals set for the next few years, and running Austin is always on her calendar.
“Running makes me tick and I love this crazy sport so much! I have met so many incredible people through the running community and have memories to last a lifetime. Dream big as the only mistake we can make is having regret! See you at the start line!”
Griselda is a middle school teacher, a wife, and a mom of two. She is a fitness and health fanatic and runs as a way to connect with the community and get some quiet time outdoors.
Griselda’s passion for running started in middle school when she made the cross country running team. One of her proudest running memories is when she completed her first 5K. Even though that was over ten years ago and she has completed everything from a 5K to a 50K, she is still proud of that 5K.
As an Austin Marathon Ambassador, Griselda is excited to continue sharing her running adventures while motivating and encouraging all of her running friends.
“Austin Marathon 2021, let’s do this!!”
Jessica lives in Buda, TX with her husband and two daughters. She is a part-time online ESL teacher to Chinese students, as well as the leader and founder of The Buda Running Club.
Jessica has run the Austin Marathon 9 times, and it was her first half and full marathon. She genuinely loves the course, the cheer squad, and the hilly challenge. Jessica ran the first Austin Marathon in 2005, and since then, the race has left an imprint on her heart. She plans to run Austin for many years to come, hopefully with her daughters joining her.
Molly Roberts is a longtime member of the Austin community and an avid runner on any day that ends in “y”. She is proud to have run the Austin Half Marathon four times and Austin Full Marathon once. Austin Marathon is her favorite weekend in Austin each year because it ignites the city with a contagious and passionate energy that inspires people to run. Marathon weekend allows Molly to make friends and connect with runners from all parts of the world. Molly values community collaboration in the health and wellness space and enjoys connecting with others through her passion for running. Molly thrives by encouraging others and being a positive light even during the toughest miles to the finish line. Her greatest memory is getting engaged on the 2018 Boston Marathon after finishing 26.2 miles in the worst weather conditions in the Boston Athletic Association history. When she is not running, you can find her enjoying family time with her golden retriever Brooklyn, or playing ping pong.
Patrick is originally from Flint, Michigan, but he has lived in Texas for 20 years now. He has also lived in Mexico City, Dallas and Kansas City. Patrick started running less than a year ago as a way to challenge himself mentally and physically. He joined the ATX Runners group where he has met some incredible and like minded people. Patrick ran the Austin Marathon and then ran another one just three weeks later, which lead him to start chasing new running goals every week. When he is not running, he is spending time with his son and his dog, or hanging out at local patios or at Zilker Park.
Patrick likes the Austin Marathon because it is a challenging course and the support along the route is very impressive!
Katie first started running when she joined the seventh-grade track team as a miler in Amarillo, TX. She then became a high school cross country runner, which was when she truly fell in love with running. Katie has run ten marathons, setting several PRs at the Austin Marathon, which proves that it can actually be a fast course! Running has played a huge part of Katie’s life. It has led to numerous friendships, and it was one of the initial things that she and her husband, Rod, have bonded over. Katie is the current Director of Communications for the Austin Runners Club, where she works closely with other Board members to support the Austin running community through philanthropic work and partnerships with local running groups, events, and stores.
When she is not running, you can find Katie ar McCallum High School where she is the Social Studies Department Chair and teaches AP World History and World History.
Molly was born and raised in Cleveland, OH and came to Austin in 2014 to begin her Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry at UT Austin. Her running journey began when she signed up for the Statesman Cap10K in 2018. After completing that race she joined fitness groups in town like No Meat Athlete, November Project, East Side Beer Runner, and Morning Jo’s. The Austin running community keeps her motivated as she contributes to training for races.
Molly’s favorite part of the Austin Marathon is the crowd support. Seeing familiar faces while she runs, and motivational signs from strangers fill her with so much joy! Running a marathon is definitely difficult and all the cheering stations along the course help take her mind off of how many miles are left until the finish line.
Mike grew up in Austin and has always appreciated everything outdoors that the city has to offer. He ran the Austin Marathon 6-man relay back in the early 90s and even though he still remembers going out too fast on the first 6.2 mile leg, he has been hooked on running ever since. Until a couple of years ago, Mike would stick to 5 and 10ks, but stepped up the distance as a way to manage stress. Now with two marathons and multiple half-marathons under his belt, he is looking forward to running the 30th anniversary of the Austin Marathon in February 2021. Mike currently runs and trains with the Born to Run group in Austin.
When not working his day job managing eDiscovery services for a law firm, Mike volunteers for Special Olympics Texas and The Trail Foundation.
Maribel is from Austin, as has been running for 3 years. She ran her Austin Half Marathon in 2019. In 2020 she ran the Austin Marathon only seven weeks after running her first marathon ever. She finished in 4 hours and loved seeing people cheering for everyone during the whole route, which is the reason why she wants to do it again. What Maribel likes the most about the Austin Marathon is the beautiful murals and the good vibes you get during running. According to her “The Austin Marathon is the Best!”
Felipe is a Chilean engineer getting a PhD in Public Policy at UT Austin. He is 38 years old and started running three years ago with his fellow New York Front Runners. After joining Front Runners, Felipe fell in love with running, and he found a family that welcomes everyone, no matter if you’re an amateur or a pro!
He loves the Austin Marathon, because it was his first Marathon!
Rocío Villalobos is an Austin native and graduate from The University of Texas at Austin, where she obtained her B.S. and M.A. in the field of education. For more than a decade, Rocío has been involved in the social justice movement work in Austin, covering education, immigration, and the outdoors/ environment. She currently serves as the Immigrant Affairs Coordinator in the City of Austin’s Equity Office. In her downtime, Rocío enjoys running, hiking, and spending time outside. She ran her first road ultramarathon in 2019 and is training for her first trail ultramarathon in 2020. Rocío looks forward to continuing to serve as a race ambassador and running the Austin Marathon for the second time in 2021.