Get to know our Brand Ambassadors

Linda Holmes

Linda Holmes

   Linda didn’t start running until her mid-forties, but she has now run everything from a 5k to 37.5 miles. She started running for her health, and just to see if she could run a 5k. Now, she runs because she loves it! You will find her on weekend mornings running with her “tribe;” just a group of women that enjoy a relaxing pace while talking about everything under the sun. It is this group of women that supported her and two others while training and running their first marathon: the 2018 One City Marathon! Linda’s motto is, “I may not be the first to the finish line but I sure do enjoy getting there.”

    John Burcher

    John Burcher

       John was born and raised in Hampton, and runs for his health, both mental and physical. He ran track and cross country in high school but gave it up after. However, at age 40, he got back into running. According to John, he is in way better shape now than he was in his twenties! From 5ks to 50ks, John is always looking to push himself further. He believes running brings people from all walks of life together, and he cherishes the friendships he’s gained from this sport.

      Amanda Ward

      Amanda Ward

         Amanda is a 34-year-old mom and transformational wellness counselor. After college field hockey, running became a natural transition and ultimately her replacement to some unhealthy early adulthood coping methods. Over the years, it became less about survival or health and more about identity. For Amanda, running is a gift, and the place she finds inspiration and understanding. She ran her first marathon the year she got married and is heading into her 10th one this fall! Amanda is thankful to have running to allow her to continue coming back to who God made her to be and what’s important in her life.

        Lindsey Lapnow

        Lindsey Lapnow

           Lindsey grew up in Northeast Philly and started running to stay in shape while cheerleading at CNU. She ran the Wicked 10K back in 2009 and has been hooked ever since. She ran her first half marathon in the City of Brotherly Love, finishing at the Art Museum steps where Rocky ran. She is motivated by new goals and experiences, and running has opened her eyes to a new level of mental and physical confidence. Running and working out has encouraged a healthy lifestyle for her and her close friends and family. Her most memorable racing moment was finishing the 2018 One City Marathon with her dad, just a few months before her wedding!

          Heidi Skipper

          Heidi Skipper

             Heidi is ecstatic to be back for the second year as an ambassador! She is a 41-year-old full time business student, and is married with two girls, ages 17 and 6. Heidi is also an Orlando, Florida native, and a huge lover of all things Disney. Her running journey began after completing a local color run a few years ago, and she continues to fall in love with running, each step at a time. Heidi is a founding member at OrangeTheory Fitness in Newport News, where she has attended approximately 500 classes to help increase her endurance, strength, and power. She credits her extraordinary OTF coaches with helping her set and achieve realistic goals, holding her accountable, and believing that she’s capable of opening up endless possibilities! Heidi has also completed numerous races and distances, and has recently signed up for her third half-marathon that is scheduled to take place in October. Her ultimate running goal is to head home to Orlando one day, and complete the Disney World Dopey Challenge. The race consists of a 5K, 10K, half-marathon, and a full-marathon on consecutive days!

            Matt Puckett

            Matt Puckett

               Matt is returning for his third year as an ambassador! He moved to the Hampton Roads area 11 years ago from Roanoke, VA with his wife, so that she could be closer to her family. He is a Lynchburg College graduate and has worked in the construction industry ever since. Him and his wife are parents to two children that keep them very busy! In 2013, Matt began to run to keep in shape. He quickly realized his love of running and what a great community it was to be a part of. Since then, he has run in a countless number of races, and loves running into other runners at the group runs or during his weekend runs. Matt believes the running community is such a diverse yet close-knit community which he enjoys being a part of.

              Jamie Eisner

              Jamie Eisner

                 Jamie is originally from Jacksonville, Florida, and got into running because she was bored!  She was a Navy spouse and going to school and didn’t have a lot of things to fill her spare time. Apparently, being a biology and chemistry double major wasn’t enough! Her running journey started when someone told her about a 5k on base, so she decided to register and go for it. She was hooked ever since, and started doing more 5ks. Another friend suggested she run a half marathon, so she signed up for her first half, but also her first challenge (a 5k and a half marathon)! Now, Jamie runs in memory of others, and has spent the past year running each of her longer races in memory of a fallen service member. Jamie’s most recent memorable running moment was when she ran the Hall of Fame half this past April in Canton, Ohio. She wore a “Wear Blue: Run to Remember Bib” with 3 Marines’ names on it, along with a Corpsman that served with them. The Corpsman’s name was given to her by her boyfriend. He asked her to run for him because it was the Corpsman that saved his life in Fallujah. After the race, Jamie learned that not only did this Corpsman save her boyfriend’s life but he grew up and graduated with her younger brother! The race director humbly gave extra medals to send to all the service members she ran for, but Jamie was able to give the Corpsman’s family his medal personally, and thank them for his service and his sacrifice.  why-i-run.blogspot.com

                Amber Kuszak

                Amber Kuszak

                   Amber is a California native who has enjoyed running for as long as she can remember, even completing her first 5k while in elementary school. She went on to join the cross country and track and field teams in middle school and high school, which is when she discovered her preference for middle- and long-distance running. Her father has always been her biggest supporter, from coaching and cheering her on at the sidelines of cross country meets during middle school to driving more than six hours to support her as she ran her first marathon, the Newport News One City Marathon, in March 2018. In May 2017, Amber and her family moved to Virginia from Tennessee. Two months later, she joined the Point 2 group runs, where she was grateful to meet a community of runners who encouraged, inspired, and motivated one another in their running and fitness efforts. She’d run several races in recent years, including half marathons, a Tough Mudder, and the 200-mile Bourbon Chase relay, but shocked even herself when she registered for her first marathon at the encouragement of another runner she met on a group run. She had long considered running a marathon to be impossible—until it became possible. She believes running is just as much an emotional experience, as it is a physical one, and sometimes more. Look for her wearing her buff that reads “Run with your heart when your legs get tired.”

                  Jen Keyes

                  Jen Keyes

                     Jen grew up in Massachusetts and went to college in New York. She first came to Hampton Roads in the summer of 1999 to intern at NASA, which she now works at full-time. She started running in 2010 at the suggestion of a trainer at her gym. That same trainer encouraged and coached Jen through her first ever race: the 2010 Christmas Town Dash. Jen then went onto what would be the first of several half-marathons, the 2011 Shamrock Half. In 2014, Jen was competing in a sprint triathlon at Buckroe Beach and despite pain in her calves she pushed through the run portion anyway. That turned out to be a huge mistake that resulted in several months of painful posterior tibial tendonitis, 10 weeks of a walking boot, months of physical therapy, a collapsed arch, and a permanent need for orthotics. Jen has learned the hard way that if she jogs or runs for more than a few minutes, her tendonitis will flair up, but she loves to walk, especially outside. Jen and her husband adopted Iris, a 2-year old pointer-mix rescue dog, in April 2018. Iris loves to walk, play, and run and so Jen and her husband have a new excuse to get out and about even more.

                    Debbie Price

                    Debbie Price

                       You don’t have to be around Debbie very long to know how passionate she is about God, her family running and ice cream! To Debbie, running means more than just collecting medals or winning first in her age group. It is her happy place. A place where all is right with the world. She considers every mile she GETS to run a blessing from God. Debbie’s favorite run so far has been the Virginia Run for the Fallen, which was a 4-day run that started in Virginia Beach and ended in Arlington Cemetery. Debbie ran the NYC marathon in 2017, and hopes to qualify for Boston when she runs the One City Marathon in 2019. This is her third year as an ambassador. She is a Certified Public Accountant and the owner of a local accounting and tax firm. She has been married to her husband, Bobby, for 37 years and they have 2 children and 2 grandchildren.

                      Wayne Parfitt

                      Wayne Parfitt

                         Wayne grew up in a small coal mining town in Pennsylvania, where he ran track and cross country in high school. He ran his first three marathons between the ages of 18 and 19, with one being Boston! In fact, his 2:31:09 marathon was the fastest in the U.S. for anyone 19 and younger in 1984. However, by age 20, Wayne gave up running all together. Jump ahead more than 25 years later, now a father of five children, including one son who joined the cross country team, Wayne decided to “connect” with his son and start running again. Though he told his wife he never wanted to run another marathon again, mostly because of the time investment, Wayne found himself training for the 2014 Richmond Marathon. It would be his fourth marathon, and exactly 30 years to the month since his last one! Wayne now has 13 marathons under his belt, two of which are Boston Marathons. His greatest running memory was returning to Boston in 2016– 32 years later. He thought at the start, “My God! I’m back!” as chills ran through his body. A lifetime of love, with just a “small” break. 

                        Amanda Hall

                        Amanda Hall

                           Amanda is a returning ambassador, and was “ambassador of the year” last season! She is a mom of two teenage boys and a crazy, energetic dog! She’s from Chattanooga, TN but has lived on the peninsula for over 38 years. She began her running career 8 years ago, barely able to complete a 5k, but today, is now scheduled to run her third marathon in Richmond this fall!

                           The friends Amanda has gained from the running community have absolutely made this adventure what it is today. They’ve become family and are by far the most supportive group of people she has ever met, allowing her to run her pace and accomplish her goals. While running her first marathon was her most memorable running moment, running her second (One City Marathon) amongst friends and fellow ambassadors is now her most memorable one to date!

                          Michelle Vecchione

                          Michelle Vecchione

                             Michele started running in 2012 when she noticed her friend going to group runs and seeing what a great time they looked like. She started running with her friend at these group runs and has been hooked ever since! Michele is a mother to two amazing kids, with a wonderful husband who support her running habit. She was an ambassador last year and is very grateful to be back this year. She has ran all kinds of races from ranging from 5ks to running 50 miles in 24 hours, but the race that really made a difference was her first marathon. She ran the One City Marathon in 2018, and is looking forward to running it again in 2019. She can’t wait to see what other races and distances the future holds!

                            Ken Mallory

                            Ken Mallory

                               Ken is from York County and began running  in the fall of 2014 after seeing a Facebook ad for a Rugged Maniac event in Petersburg.  He convinced his wife it would be fun to purposefully run in mud/muck/grass/water with hundreds of other people and be disgusting together! It worked– they went, had a blast, and Ken was off to the races– literally. He then ran the Wicked 10K, the Christmas Town Dash 8k, and his first half marathon: the Shamrock Half in Virginia Beach. Running has been great for Ken in so many ways.  It helps him stay in shape, but the people he has met have been amazing.  Everyone has a story that is fascinating and unique, and being able to share in peoples’ stories, and hopefully be a positive part of their journey has been absolutely amazing for Ken. His favorite racing moment was crossing the finish line of the 2016 Richmond Marathon, which he trained for months and lost time due to injuries. But there was nothing better than having his family and friends there to cheer him on.

                              Kevin Sadler

                              Kevin Sadler

                                 Kevin began running in 2015 as a way to spend time with his wife, who was already a runner. Starting initially as a walker, he progressed to his first race that year, the Game Day 5K. He crossed the finish line and has not looked back. In 2017, Kevin completed his first half marathon, the Virginia Running Festival Massive Medal Half Marathon, and continues to participate in many local 5K, 8K and 10K races. When Kevin is not out on the roads, you will find him spending time with his family, which includes six grandchildren. Chasing them keeps him in shape! But, you will also find him at Point 2 Running Company’s Monday night pub run and Flat-Out Events’ Wednesday night run at Tradition Brewing Company. The group runs are a great way to meet new people and keep up with long-time running friends. It’s also a way to stay accountable and on task with training. This is his second year as an ambassador. Kevin says the Ambassador Program is a great tool to help two local companies, Flat Out Events and Point 2 Running Company, to reach their community in new and exciting ways and help it attain new heights in a healthy lifestyle.

                                Ryan Carroll

                                Ryan Carroll

                                   Ryan began his running “career” as a prep at Western Branch High in Chesapeake, VA. He would go on to run collegiately at Barton College and East Carolina University. He would return to the Hampton Roads area where he now calls Portsmouth “home”. He currently coaches the Track and Cross Country teams at Western Branch High and is a Program Manager for a Government contractor, where his focus is environmental engineering support services for the Army Corp of Engineers. He enjoys his weekly “date nights” and annual trips to Sandbridge with his amazing wife of nearly ten years, Meagan.
                                   You will often find him running to and from cheering, gymnastics and dance events with his seven year old daughter, Taylor; or as Ryan says, “the best thing to ever happen to me”. His favorite race events are the Flat Out Events Virginia Running Festival’s Captains Challenge and the Chick-fil-A 5k/10k, where you will find him and the entire family. Papa Johns pizza is his go to pre race meal, and you can’t miss seeing him at the weekend races as he’s always wearing his Point 2 Running trucker cap and white sunglasses!

                                  Michael Leech

                                  Michael Leech

                                   Michael Leech is a 41-year-old long-distance runner from Newport News. He is married, with three children that also frequently participate at group runs, and owns Professional Auto Diagnostics and Repairs, Inc. He started running in 2011 because he was beginning to get bored with the hamster wheel cardio at the gym and needed to burn off beer calories, so he could fit into his driving suit. When he decided to hang up his driving gloves, he began regularly participating in running events, and steadily improved his half-marathon PR from 1:45 to 1:19 in 2017 and set his marathon PR of 2:51 at One City Marathon in 2015. Michael’s favorite running memory is his “internet famous” appearance on Mark Wahlberg’s twitter feed when he and 3 other athletes carried a fellow marathoner across the finish line at the Boston Marathon in 2017. Michael’s philosophy is to love running and life, and to enjoy the camaraderie and challenges from competing and training for endurance events. He enjoys community involvement and bringing runners together and helping others to reach their goals just as much as he loves pushing himself to run at a high level. He is the organizer of the Peninsula Road Runners and is returning as an ambassador for the 2018-19 season after a one-year hiatus. Michael has run 5 Ultra Marathons, 15 full marathons including four Boston Marathon appearances and four One City Marathons, and countless shorter events. He has paced the 3:15 groups at One City and at Richmond, as well as regularly paces the Shamrock half 1:35 group. He invites you to reach out if you ever want information on course race strategy or his thoughts on running.

                                    Linda Holmes

                                    Linda didn’t start running until her mid-forties, but she has now run everything from a 5k to 37.5 miles. She started running for her health, and just to see if she could run a 5k. Now, she runs because she loves it! You will find her on weekend mornings running with her “tribe;” just a group of women that enjoy a relaxing pace while talking about everything under the sun. It is this group of women that supported her and two others while training and running their first marathon: the 2018 One City Marathon! Linda’s motto is, “I may not be the first to the finish line but I sure do enjoy getting there.”

                                      John Burcher

                                      John was born and raised in Hampton, and runs for his health, both mental and physical. He ran track and cross country in high school but gave it up after. However, at age 40, he got back into running. According to John, he is in way better shape now than he was in his twenties! From 5ks to 50ks, John is always looking to push himself further. He believes running brings people from all walks of life together, and he cherishes the friendships he’s gained from this sport.

                                        Amanda

                                        Amanda is a 34-year-old mom and transformational wellness counselor. After college field hockey, running became a natural transition and ultimately her replacement to some unhealthy early adulthood coping methods. Over the years, it became less about survival or health and more about identity. For Amanda, running is a gift, and the place she finds inspiration and understanding. She ran her first marathon the year she got married and is heading into her 10th one this fall! Amanda is thankful to have running to allow her to continue coming back to who God made her to be and what’s important in her life.

                                          Lindsey Lapnow

                                          Lindsey grew up in Northeast Philly and started running to stay in shape while cheerleading at CNU. She ran the Wicked 10K back in 2009 and has been hooked ever since. She ran her first half marathon in the City of Brotherly Love, finishing at the Art Museum steps where Rocky ran. She is motivated by new goals and experiences, and running has opened her eyes to a new level of mental and physical confidence. Running and working out has encouraged a healthy lifestyle for her and her close friends and family. Her most memorable racing moment was finishing the 2018 One City Marathon with her dad, just a few months before her wedding!

                                            Heidi Skipper

                                            Heidi is ecstatic to be back for the second year as an ambassador! She is a 41-year-old full time business student, and is married with two girls, ages 17 and 6. Heidi is also an Orlando, Florida native, and a huge lover of all things Disney. Her running journey began after completing a local color run a few years ago, and she continues to fall in love with running, each step at a time. Heidi is a founding member at OrangeTheory Fitness in Newport News, where she has attended approximately 500 classes to help increase her endurance, strength, and power. She credits her extraordinary OTF coaches with helping her set and achieve realistic goals, holding her accountable, and believing that she’s capable of opening up endless possibilities! Heidi has also completed numerous races and distances, and has recently signed up for her third half-marathon that is scheduled to take place in October. Her ultimate running goal is to head home to Orlando one day, and complete the Disney World Dopey Challenge. The race consists of a 5K, 10K, half-marathon, and a full-marathon on consecutive days!

                                              Matt Puckett

                                              Matt is returning for his third year as an ambassador! He moved to the Hampton Roads area 11 years ago from Roanoke, VA with his wife, so that she could be closer to her family. He is a Lynchburg College graduate and has worked in the construction industry ever since. Him and his wife are parents to two children that keep them very busy! In 2013, Matt began to run to keep in shape. He quickly realized his love of running and what a great community it was to be a part of. Since then, he has run in a countless number of races, and loves running into other runners at the group runs or during his weekend runs. Matt believes the running community is such a diverse yet close-knit community which he enjoys being a part of.

                                                Jamie Eisner

                                                Jamie is originally from Jacksonville, Florida, and got into running because she was bored!  She was a Navy spouse and going to school and didn’t have a lot of things to fill her spare time. Apparently, being a biology and chemistry double major wasn’t enough! Her running journey started when someone told her about a 5k on base, so she decided to register and go for it. She was hooked ever since, and started doing more 5ks. Another friend suggested she run a half marathon, so she signed up for her first half, but also her first challenge (a 5k and a half marathon)! Now, Jamie runs in memory of others, and has spent the past year running each of her longer races in memory of a fallen service member. Jamie’s most recent memorable running moment was when she ran the Hall of Fame half this past April in Canton, Ohio. She wore a “Wear Blue: Run to Remember Bib” with 3 Marines’ names on it, along with a Corpsman that served with them. The Corpsman’s name was given to her by her boyfriend. He asked her to run for him because it was the Corpsman that saved his life in Fallujah. After the race, Jamie learned that not only did this Corpsman save her boyfriend’s life but he grew up and graduated with her younger brother! The race director humbly gave extra medals to send to all the service members she ran for, but Jamie was able to give the Corpsman’s family his medal personally, and thank them for his service and his sacrifice.

                                                  Amber Kuszak

                                                  Amber is a California native who has enjoyed running for as long as she can remember, even completing her first 5k while in elementary school. She went on to join the cross country and track and field teams in middle school and high school, which is when she discovered her preference for middle- and long-distance running. Her father has always been her biggest supporter, from coaching and cheering her on at the sidelines of cross country meets during middle school to driving more than six hours to support her as she ran her first marathon, the Newport News One City Marathon, in March 2018. In May 2017, Amber and her family moved to Virginia from Tennessee. Two months later, she joined the Point 2 group runs, where she was grateful to meet a community of runners who encouraged, inspired, and motivated one another in their running and fitness efforts. She’d run several races in recent years, including half marathons, a Tough Mudder, and the 200-mile Bourbon Chase relay, but shocked even herself when she registered for her first marathon at the encouragement of another runner she met on a group run. She had long considered running a marathon to be impossible—until it became possible. She believes running is just as much an emotional experience, as it is a physical one, and sometimes more. Look for her wearing her buff that reads “Run with your heart when your legs get tired.”

                                                    Jen Keyes

                                                    Jen grew up in Massachusetts and went to college in New York. She first came to Hampton Roads in the summer of 1999 to intern at NASA, which she now works at full-time. She started running in 2010 at the suggestion of a trainer at her gym. That same trainer encouraged and coached Jen through her first ever race: the 2010 Christmas Town Dash. Jen then went onto what would be the first of several half-marathons, the 2011 Shamrock Half. In 2014, Jen was competing in a sprint triathlon at Buckroe Beach and despite pain in her calves she pushed through the run portion anyway. That turned out to be a huge mistake that resulted in several months of painful posterior tibial tendonitis, 10 weeks of a walking boot, months of physical therapy, a collapsed arch, and a permanent need for orthotics. Jen has learned the hard way that if she jogs or runs for more than a few minutes, her tendonitis will flair up, but she loves to walk, especially outside. Jen and her husband adopted Iris, a 2-year old pointer-mix rescue dog, in April 2018. Iris loves to walk, play, and run and so Jen and her husband have a new excuse to get out and about even more.

                                                      Debbie Price

                                                      You don’t have to be around Debbie very long to know how passionate she is about God, her family running and ice cream! To Debbie, running means more than just collecting medals or winning first in her age group. It is her happy place. A place where all is right with the world. She considers every mile she GETS to run a blessing from God. Debbie’s favorite run so far has been the Virginia Run for the Fallen, which was a 4-day run that started in Virginia Beach and ended in Arlington Cemetery. Debbie ran the NYC marathon in 2017, and hopes to qualify for Boston when she runs the One City Marathon in 2019. This is her third year as an ambassador. She is a Certified Public Accountant and the owner of a local accounting and tax firm. She has been married to her husband, Bobby, for 37 years and they have 2 children and 2 grandchildren.

                                                        Wayne Parfitt

                                                        Wayne grew up in a small coal mining town in Pennsylvania, where he ran track and cross country in high school. He ran his first three marathons between the ages of 18 and 19, with one being Boston! In fact, his 2:31:09 marathon was the fastest in the U.S. for anyone 19 and younger in 1984. However, by age 20, Wayne gave up running all together. Jump ahead more than 25 years later, now a father of five children, including one son who joined the cross country team, Wayne decided to “connect” with his son and start running again. Though he told his wife he never wanted to run another marathon again, mostly because of the time investment, Wayne found himself training for the 2014 Richmond Marathon. It would be his fourth marathon, and exactly 30 years to the month since his last one! Wayne now has 13 marathons under his belt, two of which are Boston Marathons. His greatest running memory was returning to Boston in 2016– 32 years later. He thought at the start, “My God! I’m back!” as chills ran through his body. A lifetime of love, with just a “small” break. 

                                                          Amanda Hall

                                                          Amanda is a returning ambassador, and was “ambassador of the year” last season! She is a mom of two teenage boys and a crazy, energetic dog! She’s from Chattanooga, TN but has lived on the peninsula for over 38 years. She began her running career 8 years ago, barely able to complete a 5k, but today, is now scheduled to run her third marathon in Richmond this fall!
                                                          The friends Amanda has gained from the running community have absolutely made this adventure what it is today. They’ve become family and are by far the most supportive group of people she has ever met, allowing her to run her pace and accomplish her goals. While running her first marathon was her most memorable running moment, running her second (One City Marathon) amongst friends and fellow ambassadors is now her most memorable one to date!

                                                            Michele Vecchione

                                                            Michele started running in 2012 when she noticed her friend going to group runs and seeing what a great time they looked like. She started running with her friend at these group runs and has been hooked ever since! Michele is a mother to two amazing kids, with a wonderful husband who support her running habit. She was an ambassador last year and is very grateful to be back this year. She has ran all kinds of races from ranging from 5ks to running 50 miles in 24 hours, but the race that really made a difference was her first marathon. She ran the One City Marathon in 2018, and is looking forward to running it again in 2019. She can’t wait to see what other races and distances the future holds!

                                                             

                                                              Ken Mallory

                                                              Ken is from York County and began running  in the fall of 2014 after seeing a Facebook ad for a Rugged Maniac event in Petersburg.  He convinced his wife it would be fun to purposefully run in mud/muck/grass/water with hundreds of other people and be disgusting together! It worked– they went, had a blast, and Ken was off to the races– literally. He then ran the Wicked 10K, the Christmas Town Dash 8k, and his first half marathon: the Shamrock Half in Virginia Beach. Running has been great for Ken in so many ways.  It helps him stay in shape, but the people he has met have been amazing.  Everyone has a story that is fascinating and unique, and being able to share in peoples’ stories, and hopefully be a positive part of their journey has been absolutely amazing for Ken. His favorite racing moment was crossing the finish line of the 2016 Richmond Marathon, which he trained for months and lost time due to injuries. But there was nothing better than having his family and friends there to cheer him on.

                                                               

                                                                Kevin Sadler

                                                                Kevin began running in 2015 as a way to spend time with his wife, who was already a runner. Starting initially as a walker, he progressed to his first race that year, the Game Day 5K. He crossed the finish line and has not looked back. In 2017, Kevin completed his first half marathon, the Virginia Running Festival Massive Medal Half Marathon, and continues to participate in many local 5K, 8K and 10K races. When Kevin is not out on the roads, you will find him spending time with his family, which includes six grandchildren. Chasing them keeps him in shape! But, you will also find him at Point 2 Running Company’s Monday night pub run and Flat-Out Events’ Wednesday night run at Tradition Brewing Company. The group runs are a great way to meet new people and keep up with long-time running friends. It’s also a way to stay accountable and on task with training. This is his second year as an ambassador. Kevin says the Ambassador Program is a great tool to help two local companies, Flat Out Events and Point 2 Running Company, to reach their community in new and exciting ways and help it attain new heights in a healthy lifestyle.

                                                                 

                                                                  Michael Leech

                                                                  Michael Leech is a 41-year-old long-distance runner from Newport News. He is married, with three children that also frequently participate at group runs, and owns Professional Auto Diagnostics and Repairs, Inc. He started running in 2011 because he was beginning to get bored with the hamster wheel cardio at the gym and needed to burn off beer calories, so he could fit into his driving suit. When he decided to hang up his driving gloves, he began regularly participating in running events, and steadily improved his half-marathon PR from 1:45 to 1:19 in 2017 and set his marathon PR of 2:51 at One City Marathon in 2015. Michael’s favorite running memory is his “internet famous” appearance on Mark Wahlberg’s twitter feed when he and 3 other athletes carried a fellow marathoner across the finish line at the Boston Marathon in 2017. Michael’s philosophy is to love running and life, and to enjoy the camaraderie and challenges from competing and training for endurance events. He enjoys community involvement and bringing runners together and helping others to reach their goals just as much as he loves pushing himself to run at a high level. He is the organizer of the Peninsula Road Runners and is returning as an ambassador for the 2018-19 season after a one-year hiatus. Michael has run 5 Ultra Marathons, 15 full marathons including four Boston Marathon appearances and four One City Marathons, and countless shorter events. He has paced the 3:15 groups at One City and at Richmond, as well as regularly paces the Shamrock half 1:35 group. He invites you to reach out if you ever want information on course race strategy or his thoughts on running.

                                                                   

                                                                    Ryan Carroll

                                                                       Ryan began his running “career” as a prep at Western Branch High in Chesapeake, VA. He would go on to run collegiately at Barton College and East Carolina University. He would return to the Hampton Roads area where he now calls Portsmouth “home”. He currently coaches the Track and Cross Country teams at Western Branch High and is a Program Manager for a Government contractor, where his focus is environmental engineering support services for the Army Corp of Engineers. He enjoys his weekly “date nights” and annual trips to Sandbridge with his amazing wife of nearly ten years, Meagan.
                                                                       You will often find him running to and from cheering, gymnastics and dance events with his seven year old daughter, Taylor; or as Ryan says, “the best thing to ever happen to me”. His favorite race events are the Flat Out Events Virginia Running Festival’s Captains Challenge and the Chick-fil-A 5k/10k, where you will find him and the entire family. Papa Johns pizza is his go to pre race meal, and you can’t miss seeing him at the weekend races as he’s always wearing his Point 2 Running trucker cap and white sunglasses!