Meet the 2022 Austin Marathon Ambassadors
They all love running and they all love Austin, which is what makes them the best ambassadors. Meet the 2022 Austin Marathon Ambassadors and follow them on social media as we all train for the 30th annual Austin Marathon finish line!
Felipe is a Chilean engineer getting a Ph.D. in Public Policy at UT Austin. He is 39 years old and started running four years ago with his fellow New York Front Runners. Now he runs with Austin 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 is looking forward to the Austin Marathon because it will be his first marathon!
Anita has been crossing finish lines for the past decade, but Austin Marathon is her favorite. It’s a challenging course, but the community is supportive, the energy is vibrant, and there’s always a chance for perfect weather. She conquered her first and only full marathon at the 2019 race and is looking forward to her fourth Austin Marathon race in 2022 – another half marathon this time! When Anita’s not running, she enjoys HIIT workouts and spin classes. Marketer by day, blogger by night, and foodie in her free time, Anita shares all her adventures on FearlessCaptivations.com, a blog about food, travel, and celebrations.
Brooke ran her first half marathon 10 years ago and has been hooked ever since. This will be her 4th year running Austin, and it will be a special race for her, as she’ll be guiding a visually-impaired runner to his first half marathon finish line! Brooke loves inspiring others to find joy, strength, and community through running.
She enjoys exploring new road and trail routes all over the Austin area and sharing them with others on her Instagram, @exploreaustinrunning. When not running, Brooke is a speech language pathologist working with adults who’ve had a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or spinal cord injury. She is also a wife, a boy-mom, and a dog-mom.
Being from Colorado, Jackie loves Austin! She says it reminds her of home with the same vibe. And conveniently, the Austin Marathon usually falls around her birthday “weekend” every year. She runs to celebrate! Jackie has run dozens of half and full marathons, 5Ks and 10Ks, and has completed six half and one full Ironman event.
Jackie is an RRCA certified run coach. She has emceed, coordinated, volunteered, and promoted many races, in all capacities from seeking approval and sponsors to handing out water. Her goal and inner peace are driven by other people’s happiness. One way she achieves this is by sharing the love of running and trying to continually inspire others to share the same.
Melanie is a pediatric nurse and lives in Houston with her husband and 1-year-old daughter. She ran her first half marathon as a junior in college in 2007 and has been hooked on running ever since. The Austin Marathon holds a special place in her heart; it’s in her hometown, was her first full, and it remains her favorite city to run in. She finds joy in movement and being outdoors. When not running together, she and her family can be found traveling, hiking, biking, or hanging out at a local brewery.
Griselda is an educator, a wife, and a mom of two. She is a health and fitness fanatic and enjoys sharing her love of running with everyone she meets, including her trail running group friends, Trail Sisters-Austin and Austin Dirt Runners. Her passion for running started in middle school when she was invited to join the cross country team.
Since then, she has completed running events ranging from 5K to 50K. As an Austin Marathon Ambassador, Griselda is excited to continue sharing her running adventures while motivating and encouraging all of her running friends to chase after their goals. “Austin Marathon 2022, let’s do this!!”
As an Austin native, Elizabeth caught the running bug on the trails of Town Lake! From dance to cycling to meditation, she appreciates anything and everything that connects her to her body and grounds her in the present. Elizabeth is currently a senior Musical Theatre major at Oklahoma City University and is excited to share her love for running in the city that she calls home!
Samantha ran her first marathon in 2017 and nothing has been the same since. Crossing that finish line overwhelmed her with feelings of relief, exhaustion, joy, and fulfillment. The magnitude of that feeling motivated her to run three more marathons, a handful of half marathons, and countless other races throughout the United States.
One of Samantha’s favorite parts of long-distance running is the mental toughness component. She has transferred this strength into other areas of life including continued education through Baylor University’s Executive MBA program. Becoming an Austin Marathon Ambassador is a huge accomplishment and she’s excited to represent her favorite race and her favorite city!
Sonseree has been running off and on since college. She didn’t become a consistent runner until she decided to train for her first marathon, the 2020 Austin Marathon. Training with a group has been extremely beneficial. She trains with USA Fit – Round Rock. She also gets in other training from Camp Gladiator. It wasn’t until this year when Sonseree started being treated for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue that she started giving her body some extra love with Soul Strong Yoga in Round Rock. When not being outdoors she is working as a Latent Print Examiner for the City of Austin, which she loves.
Evonne is a proud Texan and Red Raider currently living in Austin with her Goldendoodle, Cooper J! She is on a mission to empower others to live a happier and healthier life. Evonne went through a dramatic transformation after college, combatting eating disorders and negative self-talk. This eventually led to regular runs and practicing healthier eating habits. Now a marathoner, Evonne aims to empower and equip others to thrive on their own wellness and fitness journey.
Tricia Hernandez is a sports chiropractor serving her community and the surrounding Houston area for more than 16 years. She has run more than 84 marathons including many ultras (over 26+ miles) since the start of her career as a sports chiropractor. Tricia has gained the respect and recognition as a top runner in the Houston area. She was even invited to compete at the Abbott World Championship race at the London Marathon 2021.
The combination of Tricia’s achievements in running over the past 16 years and her medical education have gained the trust in her community as a medical expert and someone with tremendous empathy. She has led the community by example as she lives a very active lifestyle.
Christopher is a US Marine veteran and father of three. He enjoys running early in the morning and believes running helps with physical fitness and mental toughness. He has plans to run some ultra races. Christopher’s other hobbies include jiu-jitsu and boxing. As an Ambassador, he looks forward to meeting like-minded people and making new friends.
Mary was born and raised in central Ohio before moving to central Texas in January 2020. She ran her first half marathon in 2010 to help ditch the extra weight she packed on while studying abroad in Italy for a semester in college. After taking a break, Mary signed up for another half marathon in 2014 and tackled ran her first full marathon in 2015. Since then, she has run or trained for one or two half marathons almost every year.
Mary ran the Austin Half Marathon in February 2020. She recently became an RRCA certified running coach in hopes of helping runners achieve their goals. Mary hopes to hit a new sub-2:00:00 PR and run at least one race in every state….even if she hasn’t told her husband those travel plans yet. When she’s not running, training, or working in TV news, Mary is hanging with her husband and their two dogs, obsessing over “Ted Lasso,” cheering for her favorite sports teams, or searching for the best coffee in town.
Maribel is from México but has lived in the US for 13 years. She lived in Houston before moving to Austin with her family. When she arrived in Austin is when she really started running consistently. She hasn’t stopped! Maribel has completed 2 marathons, 7 half marathons, various short-distance races, and a 242-mile relay. Since living in Austin she’s come to love training on the hills and taking pictures with the murals she passes. Maribel is proud to be an Ambassador for her favorite race! Running helps her stay healthy, energetic, and in a good mood!
Alicia is a homeschool mom and teacher who loves to get out and be active. She also loves running! She’s been married for 21 years. The half marathon is her sweet spot, but she’s completed everything from 5Ks to a 50 miler. Alicia also loves triathlon and trail running. Austin is one of her favorite cities and where she completed her first triathlon 16 years ago. The city really holds a special place in her heart. Alicia has been a member of Team Beef for 5 years and a member of the local She Runs This Town chapter since it began. Her mottos are “It will be fun!” and also “Never trust the first mile (sometimes the first three miles).”
To Jessica, running is about chasing adventures and enjoying the feeling of runner’s high. It’s the best therapy to uplift her mood when she needs it most. When she’s not running, Jessica enjoys teaching, spending time with her family, and watching Korean dramas. Running has brought her many special people in life who have become lifelong friends and encouragers for her soul. Jessica loves running so much that she started a free running community club in her small town. She hopes she and running can grow old while inspiring others to join her passion.
Chris is a football player turned runner. He’s originally from New York, but considers himself an Austin native. He played football at Texas State University, so running wasn’t a part of his life until after graduation. Once Chris was introduced to running by a fellow coach, it became a part of his life for the better. By far the Austin Marathon is the best full/half marathon he’s done. The energy throughout the whole course is what separates this race from others. ATX is the best! Outside of his running life, he works in the tech sales industry. His hobbies include cooking, making music, or buying new shoes. If you see him out and about, go say hello!
Pete is a husband, father, endurance junkie, and former firefighter. He’s been a runner all of his life and has a current goal of running at least one mile the entire year (he’s on track to do just that!) Pete loves events and challenges that test his endurance. He hopes to qualify for NYC-2:55/Boston-3:05 during the 2022 Austin Marathon.
Dr. Katherine Melot started running in college for fun and completed her first marathon in 2013. She has completed two marathons and numerous shorter races since then. When she moved to Austin in 2015 she founded ATX Women’s Run Club. It’s a running club focused on promoting running for women at all levels and making it a fun experience, especially for beginners. When Dr. Katherine isn’t running she enjoys spending time at her local small business, BirthBabyBody Chiropractic & Wellness, hanging out with her cats, or enjoying Austin’s local food and drinks.
Memo plans to be a runner for life! For 21 years, he’s enjoyed this amazing sport and hopes to inspire many of you to join him on the streets of Austin in 2022! Follow him in his next adventure as he trains for the 30th annual Austin Marathon. Memo promises fun, tips and advice, and many miles.
Cameron is a recent graduate of The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to college, he had only completed a few 5Ks at a slow and steady pace. He grew as a runner by challenging himself to run a 10K, a half, and a marathon before graduation in May 2021. Cameron crushed his goal before graduation by racing a handful of 5Ks and 10Ks, 5 half marathons, and 2 marathons. He hopes his running background inspires you to challenge yourself as well!
He’s a runner of the Evening Edition with Rogue Running and is running on behalf of Marathon Kids for the 2022 Austin Marathon. Cameron recommends taking a peek into both of them if you want to get more involved in the local community! Aside from running, he’s constantly trying out and reviewing new restaurants in Austin, casually playing video games and streaming horror films, and spending time with his friends. Cameron looks forward to seeing y’all on race day!
Maddie is a native Austinite who’s been running the Town Lake trail since high school. From the hills of Far West to the depths of South Austin and now the Lost Pines area, Maddie has logged countless miles on the streets and trails of Central Texas. Maddie has participated in numerous 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons. Her fondest memory is running the Austin Half Marathon while pregnant with her youngest child.
As an ER nurse, Maddie understands how important daily movement is to maintaining overall health and wellness. She utilizes running as a tool to stay mentally and physically fit for her demanding job. When not working or running, you can find Maddie bowling, camping, or swimming with family.
Michele is an Austin-based runner who has ran the Austin Half Marathon 4 times. She started running her senior year of high school and fell in love after her first half marathon. She also is a yoga and fitness instructor at local studios around town. You will often see her running on the downtown trail with her dog, Rizzo. Her favorite post-long run treat is a smoothie from Juiceland. She loves the Austin Marathon because it has such a great course, crowd, and energy.
Cára is a new runner! She has never run more than a 5K and started running during the pandemic. A goal of hers is to encourage more people to not be afraid to start running. She is body positive and hopes that other people who see her running will have the courage to join her. Cára trains with the Couch to 5K team at Rogue Running. She is very excited to run her first half marathon this February in Austin.
Christina considers herself an Austinite. She’s lived here for more than 20 years combined and loves the running community in this city. When she was 18 years old, she joined the Army and started running for the first time ever in preparation for boot camp. Running days quickly became her favorite. After Christina left active service, she took the hobby with her back home. She eventually signed up for her first race – the Capitol 10K.
Christina joined running groups like ARC and RWB to help integrate back into the civilian world. She’s been running with the East Side Beer Runners for the last 4 years. She has completed 9 marathons, 5 half marathons, a handful of trail races, and several shorter distances. Christina loves to run destination races, go on running-centered trips, and motivate others to run. She looks forward to training for the 2022 Austin Marathon. Her 8-year-old dog Bruno – who goes with her on most of her runs – is also looking forward to it!
Molly is a longtime member of the Austin community and an avid runner. She is proud to have run the Austin Half Marathon four times and Austin Marathon once. It’s 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. She 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 finish line. She is currently training for the 2021 New York City Marathon! When she is not running, you can find her enjoying family time with her new baby girl and golden retriever Brooklyn, cheering on the UT Longhorns, or playing ping pong.
Samantha hails from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but has become infamous in Austin for running with her kids around Town Lake. While she was never a runner in her youth, it’s become a passion since starting in 2017. Most of her miles are done with her kids in tow, but recently Samantha joined RAW Running to challenge herself to get better and faster. The Austin Marathon was Samantha’s first marathon and she is ready to come back and take on the 26.2 again in 2022.
She has also run a number of half marathons, 10Ks, and 5Ks (most with the stroller in front of her). Samantha loves running on the trails and through downtown Austin, often stopping to grab a photo along the way. There is so much to take in on foot in the city. When she’s not running, she is reading, writing (a freelance marketer in her spare time), or devoting time to Healthy Kids Running Austin, which has its inaugural season this fall. She also enjoys exploring local hiking paths, cooling off in a nearby swimming hole, and indulging in all the ridiculous local food.
Ashley is a four-time Austin Marathon finisher and two-time Austin Half Marathon finisher. She is a clinical social worker, dog mom, and vagabond of the running community. She runs with Rise and Run South Austin, Speed Shop Mafia, Eastside Beer Runners, and Austin Fit. She’s even made a few appearances at the ATX Runner’s long runs. Once the weather cools off you’ll see her running at Town Lake with her dachshund/cattle dog mix, Tommy.
Ashley’s proudest moment in running is making it through a long run without tripping and falling. She has mild cerebral palsy and has to try really hard to pick her feet up when on those long runs! Ashley’s goal is to finish the 2022 Austin Marathon in less than 5 hours. She’s almost got it with a PR on 5:05. We’ll see her finish in less than 5 hours without and scrapes or bruises in 2022!
Leah is excited to run her seventh Austin Half Marathon in 2022! A native Texan, Leah moved from Dallas to Austin in 2009 to attend UT Austin. She fell in love with running after completing the 10K Longhorn Run in 2010 — shoutout to the Longhorns who remember that race — and ran her first half marathon in 2011. After earning her PR degree and business minor in 2013, she stayed in Austin to work in the communications and technology space.
Now a brand manager, musician, and dog mom to two chihuahua-terrier rescues, Leah relies on getting outdoors and exercising to keep her happy and healthy. She loves the Austin Half Marathon course and tells anyone who will listen they can do it with a little training — Enfield Hill and all. Will she meet her sub-2-hour goal this year? Time will tell!
When Josh started running with his wife he hated it, and he let her know. She told him to shut up or stay home. He shut up, and 15 years later and nearly as many half marathons later, he’s still running. Josh has run the Austin Half Marathon a handful of times, including in 2016 when he PRed. He’s participating in the virtual Texas Distance Challenge run across Texas for the second year. He’s also completed a virtual Yeti Ultra 24 Hour Challenge in January. Josh is really looking forward to getting back to in-person races in 2022! He uses running to balance his life in beer where he is co-owner of the Austin Beer Guide. He enjoys camping, youth softball, and going to concerts with his wife and daughter.
Giftie has been a fitness enthusiast for many years now. She’s completed five marathons and countless half marathons and other distances. The Austin Marathon has been four of her five marathons! Giftie loves motivating others to be their best self and appreciates the joy that comes with it. Giftie has previously been a pace coach for Round Rock Fit and is heavily affiliated with Black Girls Run, two of her favorite running groups. After breaking her ankle in 2020, she is so happy to be back on the tracks and is ready to run with all of you!
Julia is a Florida native who moved to Texas in 2009 and never looked back! She’s run the Austin Half Marathon six times and Austin Marathon three times. In 2016 she finished as the 3rd female. Julia has completed 23 marathons with a PR of 2:58. She loves sharing the passion she has for running and hopes to motivate and inspire others to get up and run! Julia is a mom of 2 and a full-time elementary PE coach. Some of her goals include running all the Abbott World Majors and running a 100-mile race!
Rocío is an Austin native and a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin. She currently serves as the Immigrant Affairs Manager at the City of Austin’s Equity Office. Rocío found her way to running about 6 years ago and has kept running ever since. During the pandemic, she dove headfirst into trail running and completed her first trail ultramarathon in December 2020. Rocío is looking forward to road races returning again and will be running the Austin Marathon for the second time in February 2022.