Ambassador Team

2017 Colfax Ambassador Team

You have seen them all year around the state and country … a group of people excited to talk about running, getting active, and all things Colfax Marathon!

Say hello to the 2017 Ambassador Team! This group of enthusiastic runners engage in the community to encourage others to become active while highlighting the 7 race options at the Colfax Marathon weekend. The Colfax Marathon Ambassador Team promotes the event through social media, participating in local run groups, helping one or more of our 200+ charity partners, creating short videos to share, providing photos of being active to use in promotions, and be part of the Health and Fitness Expo, to keep the Colfax Marathon brand active in the running community. Keep an eye out for them training and racing all over Colorado, joining in your local run club runs, working with our many Charity Partners organizations, and on social media. Say hello if you see them out and about!

Questions? Contact us at ambassador@runcolfax.org.

Alex Ross - Team Co-Manager

After a 15 year break, marriage, 4 kids, and 3 degrees, and a rising career, Alex needed found running again. Starting off with a half marathon in 2007 then marathon 2 years later, he continued on his quest to find the line of possibility. In 2011, he went for his first ultramarathon … at the Silver Rush 50 in Leadville. Eating, laughing, falling, eating, panting, and eating his way through 50 miles at 12,000 feet in elevation got him hooked. Fast forward a few years, Alex completed a 100k (62 miles) and continues to move the line of possibility. There’s still a race distance he wants to conquer … the 100 mile race.

Alex has run a Colfax Marathon race each year since 2008 and continues to do so with a smile. He’s excited to return this year as Co-Manager of the Ambassador Team and get more people involved in being active.

Alex grew up in Maine and performed around the world as a musician with the company Up with People, and now calls Frederick, Colorado home. By day, he’s the Director of Product Strategy for a software company and runs his own consulting firm.

Mitch Dulleck - Team Co-Manager

Mitch Dulleck got into Running 6 years ago almost on a dare. A group of friends were training for a Marathon and asked Mitch to join them. Having never run that far in his life, he signed up, completed the Marathon and got hooked! Now he runs longer distance races because he is not “That Fast” of a runner, but he has the determination to Not Give Up and likes traveling Long Distances!Mitch Can be found most weekends running Trails all along the Front Range, or up in his “Second Home”, Leadville Colorado. This past Summer he Completed both the Leadville Marathon and the Silver Rush 50. Trails are where his heart is, but he will ALWAYS be a Fan of the Colfax Marathon Race Series and specifically the Half Marathon that is one of the Only Races in the United States to Actually Run through a Zoo! Mitch is going on his 4th year as a Colfax Marathon Race Brand Ambassador, and thinks it is one of the Most Rewarding aspects of his Running.Mitch is Married to his wife, Kristal and has 2 children, Tyler who is a United States Marine, currently deployed on Okinawa, and Kenzie who is a Sophomore at the University of San Diego. Mitch also is the Assistant Coach for the Boys Varsity Lacrosse Program at Castle View High School.Look for Mitch out on the Trails locally, or at Various Runners Roost Group Runs!

Al Hawker

Al Hawker started running in High School and has been going at it ever since – a very, very long time. He was never a fast runner and isn’t as fast as he once was but he can still run for a long time. Except for a couple morning runs a week at Washington Park, most of Al’s running happens in the south metro area near his home on the west side of Centennial. His Saturday runs are usually with the group from either Road Runner Sports in Lonetree or Boulder Running Company in Greenwood Village. He has been affiliated with Colfax races since the inception as a pacer, sweeper, aid station volunteer, and individual runner and has been an ambassador since the program began. It has been his pleasure to watch this hometown race mature into the excellent event it has become. Al retired from a day job and enjoys the freedom to run whenever it feels right.

Andra Alvarez

In 2015, Andra ran her first marathon. It was the Colfax Marathon of course! It was a gift to herself for her 40th Birthday. Andra has only been running since 2011. In that time, she has run in countless 5K and 10K races, and she ran in her first ½ marathon in 2014. Andra completed her second marathon in May of 2016, and once again, it was the Colfax Marathon. Andra feels that if you live in Colorado, running in the Colfax, at any length, is inspiring and truly defines a connection between the run community and the city of Denver. It is a beautiful course, and it is Denver’s only marathon course!

Andra is married, and she is the mom of two incredible girls! She is very active in the local community. She is a co-founder of the run/walk benefitting the Rocky Mountain Huntington’s Disease Chapter. Since its inception, she has been instrumental in raising over $450,000 to support the local HDSA community through family services and research for a cure. Andra is a General Manager of a hotel, and she is the Wellness Chair for her hotel management company. In 2017, she will run in the Colfax Marathon relay for the second time with her Hyatt friends in support of Huntington’s Disease, and she will participate in the 2017 Boulder Ironman 70.3.

Bill Johnson

The joy of marathon running came later in life for Wheat Ridge’s Bill Johnson. What started as a way to celebrate turning 40 has turned into a full fledge addiction to running. In the last 6 years Bill has completed 14 marathons including Boston, Chicago, NYC and the 2014 and 2015 Colfax Marathons. The 2015 Colfax Marathon was part of his “Mayathon” where he ran three marathons in the month of May.

One of the reasons that Bill enjoys running marathons so much is the unique perspective distance running provides. “As we rush through our busy lives we often overlook what is around us. The Colfax Marathon provides a unique perspective of the amazing city we call home.”

Running for Bill is also a great way to manage his Type 1 diabetes. With so many misconceptions about diabetes and what diabetics can and can’t do, Bill hopes that his running can in someway make a difference in the perception and prevention of diabetes. Every time he gets out of bed for an early run, laces up his shoes and hits the road, Bill isn’t just running because he loves it, he is running to show his daughters, friends, family and community that with a little determination, perseverance and help from modern medicine, a person with Type 1 diabetes can do anything they set their mind to.

When he isn’t running, Bill is Vice President of Marketing and Operations for Oswego Creative a Golden based video communications firm.

Caolan MacMahon

Caolan is a running coach, USATF Coaching Instructor, a runner, a mother, a climber, and a philosopher (Former Philosophy professor). She’s been a runner for 30 years – Well, actually much longer than that (really 40+ years) – She ran her first race when she was 8 years old, the only girl in the pack of boys, and that was it, she was hooked. Over the past 30 years, running has been a constant in her life.

She’s run more than 30 marathons and ultramarathons, qualifying for and running the Boston Marathon (and the New York City Marathon) many times, and qualifying twice (so far) for the Western States Endurance Run 100 miler. Caolan enjoys using running as a vehicle for visiting new places, meeting new people and connecting with friends around the country.

She moved to Boulder from Maine more than 20 years ago to attend graduate school and never left. 2017 will be Caolan’s 6th consecutive running of the Colfax Marathon, a race that has become an annual celebration of the Denver community and the good runners can do for the world beyond running. This is her 5th year working with the Colfax organization.

Caolan is the director and head coach at The Long Run Coaching, offering highly individualized training for runners of all varieties, from 5ks to 100 milers. She also coaches middle school Track and Field at Peak to Peak Charter School. She works hard to balance work, training and parenting her 9 year-old daughter, who always keeps her on her toes.

Casey Krizman

A Denver native, Casey fled to the sandy beaches of Tampa, Florida for almost a decade before returning home to attend law school. He began running in earnest in 2015 while studying for the bar exam as a way to sane. He “caught the bug,” however, and his four mile maintenance runs soon turned into a passion for marathon training. In 2016, Casey finished his first marathon by tackling the infamous hills of the San Francisco Marathon. He now runs for the joy of it and finds that adhering to a training schedule provides clarity, discipline, and a sense of accomplishment in his daily routine. When not pounding the pavement, Casey can be found in his City Park office, camping in the high country, or cheering on the Broncos at Mile High Stadium.

Casey ran the 2016 Colfax Half Marathon as a training race leading up to his marathon in San Francisco. He looks forward to taking on the full marathon in 2017. Because races include a spiritual component in addition to the thrill of competition, Casey likes that the Colfax Marathon begins and ends with a view of the Denver skyline set against the backdrop of the majestic Rocky Mountains. He also appreciates the Colfax Marathon’s dedication to empowering the community to take control of their health; whether you are a seasoned marathoner, or running your first 5K, Colfax encourages everyone to participate.

Chris Unger

Chris Unger is a Colorado native, originally from Thornton, living in Loveland. In 2017 he will be completing his third Colfax Half Marathon. Chris started running three years ago and since then has completed nine half marathons and one marathon. Chris initially started running to keep up with his wife Beth and her family, and has not stopped running since. The Colfax Half Marathon is one of Chris’ favorite race because of the unique course through the zoo and the fire station and the community feeling while running. One of Chris’ favorite things about running is the running community and the opportunity to meet new people. Chris is an active member of the Loveland running community. When not running, Chris is at his day job as a business and litigation attorney at Mountain West Business Law.

Elspeth Monigle

Elspeth started running in 2007 when her college rowing coach decided that the team was going to train for a destination run: an 8 mile run to go see the world’s largest pig, Big Norm. Through college, she continued to row some boats at Colgate University and run to boathouse sometimes too. After graduating, she decided join the real world and get a job in Colorful Colorado (she is a native after all).

In Denver, she is a brand strategist at a brand agency in Cherry Creek North and lives in Uptown, along the Colfax Marathon course. She runs, bikes and swims with Rocky Mountain Triathlon Club and workouts with November Project. This will be her fifth year running Colfax, having completed both the full and the half. This is  Elspeth’s favorite course: it goes through the neighborhood she grew up in and also right past her current house on 17th Ave. Elspeth over thinks the details for every race and will be there to sweat the small stuff with newbies on their race.

Erika Sponenberg

Erika Sponenberg is a Colorado native, growing up in the Lakewood/Littleton areas. As a kid, she came into running when she was 8 years old and began running track. Through her youth she ran and became involved with softball, competing in both through her high school career and winning a state title in softball. Her softball career continued into college where she played the outfield at Coastal Carolina University. During her softball career, she was seen as the “runner” and lead her team on running adventures and morning conditioning sessions.

At the completion of her college career, Erika had a conversation with her strength coach and asked about running a marathon. Within 2 years of that conversation, she signed up and trained for the 2009 Colfax Marathon, completing her first marathon that year. She continued to run several 5k, 10k, and half marathon races in the following years.

The excitement from the races and the people who ran it lead her to running the Colfax Marathon again in 2015 in preparation for her wedding. In 2016, she was able to rally her cousin’s into running their first half marathon with her, with all finishing successfully.

Erika resides in Thornton, CO and is a member of the Rocky Mountain Road Runners. She enjoys hopping on any local path or trail and seeing where it takes her and has recently had her dog Godzilla running with her. She works in IT doing technical and client support and coaches high school softball.

Gary Stotler

Gary finished his first Colfax Marathon in 2015 with tears in his eyes… He had just completed his journey from 400 pounds to marathoner. Since then he has gone on to encourage, inspire, and motivate others to start their own fitness and running journeys. He enjoys running, crewing, pacing and whatever else keeps him involved with running. The Colfax Marathon will always have a special place in his heart. Gary lives in Laramie, WY and works in the sales department at Toyota. In his “spare” time he runs anywhere he can and works with and encourages people to improve their fitness and health.

Hannah Figliomeni

There is a teacher in Cadillac, MI, who knows a lot about coaching and even more about middle schoolers. When he invited Hannah—a student who had never run long distance before—to run cross country in high school, he persuaded her by saying it was a coed sport. Of course, he knew the real motive to join the team and the powerful impact becoming a runner would have on her.

After four years of exhausting workouts, early morning bus rides to meets, peanut butter on toast, and team dinners, Hannah was voted captain of the team that had become a family. To this day, Hannah keeps in touch with the members of her high school cross country team and even enjoys meeting up with them for a run filled with nostalgia.

Hannah graduated from Michigan State University and moved to Denver, CO, where she continues to run for health and for pleasure. With her degree in education, Hannah works for Denver Public Schools as a teacher and aspiring cross country coach.

Jackie Kus

Jackie never believed she was a runner. As a four year collegiate softball pitcher, the furthest she ever had to run was the distance around four bases. After going through some of life’s challenges, she joined a roller derby team in Akron, Ohio and served 5 years as a roller girl (aka Jackie O. Sassin’) before entering her first race (a half marathon) with a friend as a life goal at 32 years old. That was all it took to ignite a love for running. Jackie moved to Colorado in February 2015 from Ohio and entered to run her first half less than 2 month of living at altitude. Fast forward 18 months and she has completed more than a dozen races, joined the Colorado Masters Run Association, Rocky Mountain Road Runners, and the Denver Run JunkEES run club, volunteered, and supported the run community since moving to Colorado! She currently lives in Denver, works as the Assistant Director for Residence Life at Regis University and is completing her PhD in Higher Education Administration—graduating in December 2016. She runs for her health, to relieve stress, to bond with her running friends, and the joy of running. Being introduced to the Colfax races by friends, she loves the energy and excitement it brings to the community and how it serves the community. Currently a lover of road running, Jackie has recently found a great appreciation for trail running and downhill half marathons! Her life goal is to someday complete a full in the company of her running pals!

Jared Picune

Growing up in Colorado you can’t help but love the outdoors. Something magical happens with 300 days of sunshine and the Rocky Mountains in your back yard. My athletic endeavors started on the bike, I would get out and ride during much of my free time. As a video editor I spend much of my day in a dark room, so I had to get outside whenever I could. In 2011 I moved to Oxford, England for work. I missed the sunshine and mountains, but discovered my passion for running. When I moved back to Colorado I started combining cycling and running, so it was only natural that I started competing in triathlons. I took second place at my first sprint, and caught the bug. I love the variety that triathlon brings, but I also love the simplicity of running. Now I live in Lakewood and regularly run between two parks, I stick to just one for a short run and hit up the next park if I need something a little longer. Running has also made my relationship with my sister stronger. Every year we plan to run a handful of 5k’s together, and last year we got to run Colfax together. I consider myself an endurance athlete and love the challenge of long distances. The Colfax Marathon was my first marathon, and I look forward to coming back each year.

Jeannene Gonzales

Diminutive in stature, soft-spoken, quiet and unassuming by nature in no way describes Jeannene as a competitor. “Although she be but little she is fierce.” She acquired her indomitable training disciplined early in life as a dancer with the Colorado Ballet  from the time she was a little girl through her teenage years. In her mid-thirties she channelled  that discipline into running and completed her first half marathon in 2006 at Platte River. She’s a two-time Ironman finisher at Coeur d’Alene. She’s also completed the Boulder 70.3. She has earned a coveted spot on the Runners Roost Triathlon team. She’s a three-time Boston qualifier. Although twice denied the privilege of entry she’s packing her bags for Boston in 2017. When not training or competing nobody gives back to the community more than Jeannene. You’ll see her volunteering countless hours with Boulder Ironman,  Racing Underground and many others. She proudly serves as an ambassador for the Great Candy run which raises money for Fetal Hope. She represents UCAN nutrition but more importantly she is entering her fourth year as a Colfax ambassador. She’s so well recognized in the run community that her boyfriend, Ken jokingly calls her the mayor. She’s an invaluable member of the veteran Colfax ambassador team and the lead organizer of the Colfax Pancake Breakfast Run / kick-off party. Her favorite event is the Colfax half marathon because it runs through the Denver Zoo. She looks forward to welcoming her new ambassador teammates and reuniting with her favorite veteran teammates to make  the 2017 Colfax Marathon weekend experience the best ever for all of you. She is  anxious to see you all at the kickoff party. Eat more pancakes.

Jessie Hecht

Jessie is a long distance runner and personal trainer based out of Denver. She has been running for 14 years starting in middle school. In college she raced on Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Cross Country and Track teams. She chose running as her sport because she got cut from Field Hockey at a young age and realized that she enjoyed running better anyway. Noticing that improvement came with hard work and that she got out what she put into running was fun and motivating to continue with this lifelong sport. She is always chasing goals as she continues to check more off of her list.

Colfax is one of her favorite race weekends; she has raced the half marathon twice and the marathon relay once. With a fun celebratory after party with her friends and racing through the Mile High City there is nothing not to love about Colfax. Also, as someone who volunteers around the community she loves that Colfax supports over 200 local charities and gives back.

While training for Colfax you can usually find her logging miles at Runners Roost Run Club during the week or on one of the many beautiful trails in Colorado rain, snow, or shine.

Jennifer Olivas

A proud Colorado native, wife and mother to three boys, Jennifer started her running life in 2010 at the age of 31 and instantly fell in love with the sport and Colorado’s great running community.  Since then, she has run numerous 5k’s and 10k’s, and just under a dozen half marathons- one of her favorites being the Colfax Half Marathon. She works as a hairstylist in the DTC area, but donates much of her time as a Board Member and Program Manager to the “Running Start Program,” a nonprofit that helps women with fitness barriers complete their first 5k.   When she’s not running Jennifer loves traveling the state, exploring new trails, and taking in the arts with her family.

Jill Howard

After competing in triathlon for 10 years, including several triathlon world championships, Jill discovered that running was her strength. She is a late bloomer to running, but after much encouragement in the athletic community, decided to chase an Olympic Marathon Trials qualification. At her peak performance in 2011, she was sidelined for two years with a mysterious illness that would eventually be diagnosed as a large brain tumor. Since the tumor was removed in 2013, she has been enjoying encouraging others through her athletic comeback, and as a volunteer at the hospital that saved her life – Littleton Adventist. She is also helping to co-chair an upcoming 5k with the American Brain Tumor Association to help raise funds and to create brain tumor awareness. She loves to share her testimony publically inspiring others to persevere through the tough “races” of our lives – literally and metaphorically.
Although trail running is her favorite, she looks forward to running through the zoo at the Colfax half marathon, and possibly setting a new PR in 2017! She is energized by the Colfax family and all the zeal around the wonderful Colfax weekend. It’s a blast – come join the fun!

Joni Watkins

Joni started running in January 2012 while going through a low point in her life. She grew fed up with being depressed and unhealthy, so she set a goal to run her first 5K later that May. The following year, she ran her first half marathon, the Colfax Half Marathon. Another year later, she ran her first marathon, the Colfax marathon. In 2016, she ran the Colfax Marathon again with a new goal in mind – a PR. That Spring, she trained harder than ever before to successfully earn a new marathon PR and a course PR by over 50 minutes.

The Colfax races are close to her heart because they were among her first major running events, and they introduced her to the tight-knit community among runners in the Denver region. Now, she has run over 50 races including several marathons and ultramarathons, and she continues to run one of the Colfax races every year.

During the day, she handles Partnership Sales for VISIT DENVER, the Convention & Visitors Bureau and does freelance photography in her spare time. Her favorite place to run is in the foothills and mountains near her home of Lakewood, CO. Joni continuously strives to run faster and further with her eyes set on 50 mile and 100K races in the near future. Her goal is to show others that change is possible if you want it bad enough and work for it.

Katie Schmalzel

Katie started running when she was hired as an RA for her sophomore year in college. Her Hall Director told her that the entire staff takes PT with the Army during the fall semester. Reluctantly, she agreed. In the fall of 2006, Katie learned how to run with Army dudes. It was tough but they were an encouraging bunch and it inspired her to keep running long after the semester ended. In grad school, one of her friends encouraged her to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon. Since then Katie has run 15 total halves and 1 full.
Katie’s only full was the 2014 Colfax Marathon; it will always have a special place in her heart. It got to about 85 degrees that day. There was a point when she didn’t think she was going to make it. Some king woman gave Katie a cup of ice around mile 18 and she believes that woman is the reason she finished the race!
Katie currently lives in golden and works at Colorado School of Mines doing all of the sexual violence prevention work on campus. In her free time, she volunteers as a victim advocate for Victim Outreach, Inc. which serves 8 police jurisdictions, all west of I-25.
Running, and working out in general, provides a solid balance to get her head clear and her body in shape and strong to handle whatever comes her way. Katie loves running on all of the trails in Golden, Wheat Ridge, and Arvada.

Kevin Keena

A Denver native and Northern Colorado alum, Kevin Keena is all about a great run, perfect cup of coffee, fantastic music, and motivating young people. When not enjoying Colorado’s beautiful trail systems, Kevin plays drums with That Eighties Band, teaches at Heritage High School in Littleton, and spends time with his beautiful wife, Julie, and their three kids.

These days, you can usually find this born-again distance enthusiast high-fiving other runners on the trails at Clement Park, Chatfield Reservoir, South Platte Park, Bear Creek Lake, and any number of Jefferson County open spaces. But this was not always so…

Five years ago, Kevin was a 215-pound suburbanite whose knees ached all day, every day. In November 2011, his mom suffered a mild heart attack. His grandfather died from a heart attack many years ago so it was obvious that healthful changes in his own life were needed to avoid similar health issues. Four months, one enormous goal, and 20 pounds later, Kevin completed his first half-marathon. He was hooked! And the knee pain was gone!

By October 2012, just after turning 40, Kevin had lost 50 pounds and finished the Boulder Marathon. Since, he has run everything from 5K to 50 miles, but keeps coming back to Colfax. He enjoys the Colfax courses for the gorgeous scenic variety, energetic urban setting, and the lively post-race festivities at City Park. “Anyone can do it. Just get outside and start. The miles take care of themselves!”

Leanne Olson

Leanne is a Colorado native and works in the employee benefits insurance industry in Denver. She’s a late bloomer in this sport. She started running in 2009, completing her first half marathon that fall. That’s when she knew she was hooked and has been at it ever since. She’s a regular at the Boulder Running Company group runs (DTC location), has been a member of Mile High Track Club for 5 years and is a member of Rocky Mountain Road Runners. She has a passion for running and enjoys running with groups, meeting new people and encouraging others to start running and getting involved with the running community. She loves the energy of the race atmosphere! You’ll see her participating & working at a variety of races throughout the year – or just cheering on fellow runners along a course. She has participated in a Colfax event every year for the past 7 years… 5K, half marathon (3) and marathon relay (2) and the Urban 10 Miler. As a third-year ambassador, she is looking forward to another exciting Colfax season! She loves the Colfax events because whether you’re a new or experienced runner, like short or long distances, or just like to support your running friends/ family, the Colfax events have something to offer!

Melissa Wood

Melissa has been running her entire life, but got “serious” about it in 2011 when she ran her first half and full marathons. Since then, running has become more of a lifestyle than a hobby, and she works as a CPA to fund her running addiction. She lives in Aurora, CO, does most of her training runs in and around Colorado, taking full advantage of the mountain trails whenever possible. She is slowly working toward running a half marathon in every state and normally runs 15-20 halves each year. When not running (or working), you can find Melissa hiking with her dog, Maggie, skiing, playing tennis, or hanging out with friends. Melissa fell in love with the Colfax races back in 2012 when she did the Relay for the first time, and has continued the love affair by running in the 2015 Corporate Cup Relay and the 2016 Colfax Marathon, which she looks forward to tackling once again in 2017.

Michael Blanchette

You can always find Michael at the races whether running, volunteering, or as staff at various events. He serves as a board member with Rocky Mountain Road Runners and Colorado Masters Running Association. He rarely runs alone and prefers club runs and pub runs at a variety  of locations with friends. He’s a certified Denver Run JunkEe, Marathon Maniac and Half Fanatic.
 The journey began quite by accident at Norwich University when a hometown friend who was a stud runner convinced him that the best way to escape some of the customary freshman hazing routines was to join a sports team. Since they didn’t need any linebackers on the football team he tried cross-country. Never having run in high school it was the most intense and challenging four years of training.  But it set the stage for a lifetime of running. It did prove to be the much-needed escape that he enjoys more with each passing year. Times have slowed, goals have changed, but the love of running and the competitive spirit remain. PRs are a thing of the past unless entering a new ‘younger’ age group. When the gun goes off he’s still going to give it his best, it’s intuitive, there’s no escaping that. However, he’s less apt to obsess about the time on the clock. He’s more often content to run WITH you than to race against you. ‘You’ could be anybody, an old running friend, a new running friend, or someone he just met prior to the start who wants to achieve a new running goal. He has more fun helping others experience running success. There’s no greater joy than coaching and pacing a new runner to a PR. Your running success is his greatest joy. As such it is an honor and a privilege to serve as an ambassador for what Runner’s World lists as one of the top 10 marathons in the country.
 It’s hard to imagine that it’s my ‘job’ to share my joy of running and to encourage you to participate.
“We run not so much to beat each other as to be with each other”

Molly Sullivan

Molly is a proud Colorado native. She lives in Centennial/Aurora Colorado with her high school sweetheart and husband of 10 years, Tim (also a runner) and their two kids. Son Toryn age 5, and daughter Rorie age 3. After working at an ELCA Lutheran church for 5 years, Molly has now dedicated her life to being a full-time mommy. Her days are filled with  making lunches, tea parties and enjoys the “little” things! Molly unlocked her passion for running in 2013. Although reluctant at first, she now strives to make it a regular and admirable part of her life. People tell her she’s “crazy for running so much” and she says “this mama isn’t crazy unless she DOESN’T get a run in!” Molly ran her first half in August 2015, achieved a personal best at the 2016 Colfax half marathon and strives for a full marathon one day. She runs 5-6 mornings a week with the Parkview Running Mamas and is also a part of the Denver chapter of MRTT-Moms Run This Town. Molly has a goal of running 1,200 miles in the 2016 year. Molly loves early morning running because in her words “no matter how many tantrums I deal with a day, no one can take my morning run (coined MomME time) away!” With the support of family, God always by her side, and a non-fading passion, Molly hopes to keep running and accept new challenges for years to come!

Nick Olds

Nick Olds started running in 2009, and ran his first 5k that same year.  After a few years of running casually to try to stay in shape, Nick took on longer distances and in 2013 ran his first marathon.  He has run 3 marathon’s, 12 half marathon’s, and many more miles in-between.  He enjoys running any distance, and spends his free time with his family and enjoys playing the guitar.  He has been playing guitar since he was 14 and enjoys everything from blues to heavy rock.
Colfax has an allure and a draw that no other race has. The life of the city and the view of the mountains make Colfax a unique experience.  Colfax changed Nick’s life – because of the race he sought out people to run with, met new friends, and found an amazing and supportive community that has been a part of his life ever since.  His connection to other runners started with Colfax, and he hopes others can enjoy those same types of experiences because of this awesome race.
Nick can be found running the streets and expansive trail system of Arvada, mountain trails, and in various races across the Denver area.  You can follow Nick on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/nick.olds.9) and Twitter (@nufanul).

Nickie Kiefer

Nickie starting running about 18 years ago when a co-worker asked her to run a half marathon.  She started training, but she really didn’t know anything about running.  Now, 15 half marathons (including Colfax in 2013 and 2015), 1 full marathon (Colfax 2014), a handful of 15Ks, 10Ks, and more 5Ks that she can remember, she is officially addicted to running.

Nickie is a marketing manager and lives in Denver. She loves having access to the Cherry Creek Trail and Wash Park, but also loves all of the trail systems around the city and surrounding neighborhoods.  She moved to Colorado in 2012 after living her whole life just outside of Columbus, Ohio (GO BUCKS!).  Running at altitude took a little while to get used and she joined a few running groups soon after she arrived to find all the great running spots in Colorado.  She is still enjoying finding new places to run all the time!

Nickie’s first race after she moved to Colorado was the Colfax Half Marathon in 2013 and just loved the whole experience…running through the zoo, running through a firehouse and getting to see so much of the city she hadn’t explored before! The next year she decided to take on the challenge of running her first full marathon at the age of 40 and, of course, she chose the Colfax Marathon. And, now in 2017 she will be running the full marathon once again!

Nikki Scott

Nikki started her running journey in 2006 as a measure to shed some weight and a promise she made to her father to one day run a marathon. With that promise, she registered for and ran her first half marathon in September 2006 and hasn’t looked back. During the process, she discovered her love for running so she just kept pounding the pavement. In 2013, Nikki challenged herself to run 20 half marathons and was thrilled to achieve her mark. After fulfilling that goal, she knew that she could do anything she set her mind to do. Nikki enjoys the Colfax Marathon race series as it is an awesome local race that highlights the cities of Denver, Aurora and Lakewood. She has run Colfax in all but two years; that’s real dedication to a race series. One of Nikki’s favorite things about running is inspiring and encouraging other runners around her to achieve their goals. She is a member of Black Girls Run, Half Fanatics, Marathon Maniacs and National Black Marathoners Association.

Currently, Nikki lives in Englewood; she’s originally from Raleigh, NC. She works for a mortgage servicing company in Highlands Ranch where she just celebrated her 12-year anniversary.

Othman Doubiany

Othman is a marathoner who started running in 2012. It was not easy getting started, but somehow became hooked on running the marathon distance. His first marathon was in September of 2012. He loved the distance so much he ran his second marathon 3 weeks later. And now he  has completed about 80 marathons, He is on a quest to run longer distances on both road and trails, He also has a goal of running a marathon in every state and continent. He ran the Colfax marathon 4 consecutive years starting in 2013. The Colfax marathon is his favorite local race in Denver because it is so unique. It brings runners from everywhere, and all the local runners come out running to support several charities. He loves to run for a good cause and this race gives him that opportunity. He is very passionate about running and he considers himself to be lucky to live in Colorado where we have such an amazing  and supporting running community. Othman frequents several running groups and he regularly runs with several run clubs like Achilles International – Colorado on Monday evenings at Washington Park and Runners Roost RunClub on Wednesdays and Thursdays,  He is also a member of the Marathon Maniacs, and the 50 States Marathon Clubs. He is also a marathon pacer who enjoys helping runners achieve their finish time goal.
When he is not training, racing, pacing or volunteering, he is definitely planning his next races.

Patrick Ritsko

Patrick started running with a close friend while studying energy business & finance and meteorology at Penn State University. Since moving to the higher elevations, Patrick completed the Urban 10-miler and the Colfax Half. This upcoming May, he will be running his first marathon with some of your fellow Colfax Ambassadors – and hopefully you as well! Patrick enjoys the Colfax races because of the competitive nature of the run while enjoying the spectacular views of our great city. A native to Southwestern Pennsylvania, Patrick now calls Denver his home and can be found weekly at the Pub on Pearl running with some of the most dedicated social runners around Wash Park. He has since taken up snowboarding and long hikes on the weekends and works as a crude oil analyst for an oil company in town.

Rachel Ackermann

Rachel grew up in Park Hill in Denver. She remembers watching a couple family friends running the inaugural Colfax Marathon just blocks away from her childhood home. Watching the runners was inspiring but running a marathon felt like an impossible goal. At that young age soccer was her first love and would continue to be through college. Upon graduating from college and “retiring” from soccer, Rachel was looking for a new way to stay in shape and turned to running. What started as a love/hate relationship with running has evolved into a true love of running. Signing up for and training for the 2015 Colfax Marathon was a huge turning point on that journey. The required commitment to a training schedule eventually turned running from a somewhat dreaded chore, to a habit, and ultimately an essential and enjoyable part of the everyday routine; running five days a week had become a welcomed replacement for playing soccer five days a week. Rachel is currently working as a transportation engineer in Denver and has come to find that her own two feet are one of the best modes of transportation around.

Roxane Geisler

Roxane Geisler has loved running and racing for over 30 years. Roxane got her start in running back in high school when a friend encouraged her to sign up for a 5K. Another friend told her about high school cross country and she decided to jump in with the first goal being to run for an entire 3.1 miles. The summer before her senior year of high school, she joined a running program led by Colorado Running Hall of Fame inductee Doug Bell of Greeley. Bells running program changed the course of her running career forever and fostered a love for the sport that continues today.

Roxane is the founder and co-coach of the Highlands Ranch Running Club. The HRRC is a fifty member organization that is part of Road Runners Club of America and meets twice a week for workouts and trail runs in Highlands Ranch and S. Denver.

Roxane and her husband, Dan have 4 sons. Stephen, Ben, Charlie and William, who also love to run on their own accord. Roxane is a music teacher and pianist and runs a busy piano studio with over 25 students of all ages. roxanegeislerpiano.com

Sara Farmer

Sara Farmer did not initially begin her athletic portfolio as a runner. In high school she danced competitively and played soccer. In fact, she hated running: (Unless after a soccer ball, GASP!) However, in 2012 after living in Denver for a couple of years, she decided to give it a shot and began training for her first 5K. Today, she has completed several 5K, 10K, and half marathon distances and is cautiously planning to attempt her first full marathon in 2017. Her proudest athletic feat to date is completing Ironman 70.3 Coeur d’Alene last June.
Sara loves the Colfax because of her magical memories from the 2013 half through the Denver Zoo and running with the rhinos and elephants.Over the years Sara has coordinated and raced in relays with co-workers and strongly influenced friends from near and far to join in on the Colfax fun! After her first year as an Ambassador, she has a  grand appreciation for the opportunities that the Colfax Marathon gives to local non-profits to share their message with the Denver community.
During the day you will find Sara in the classroom at McMeen Elementary (DPS) teaching 4th grade. Additionally she coaches Girls on the Run after school. When not running, Sara enjoys watching the Denver Broncos, snow skiing, connoisseur-ing local craft beers, and spending time with her parents, dog, and friends. She currently lives in southeast Denver and is seeking a new running club home.

Sara Rodgers

Sara has been running for over 20 years.  She initially began because of a friend who wanted help training to make the soccer team. Since then she has run everything from 5k’s to the marathon. Her favorite thing about running is the community.  She loves to encourage others to begin running or to encourage current runners to run their best.  That’s why you may see her pacing different races throughout the metro area.  This will be her 5th year running a Colfax event, which is one of her favorite Denver races.  When she is not running, you can find Sara at work in the local schools or with her two kids, husband and dog at their home in Centennial.

Skyler Warhurst

Skyler Warhurst is extremely excited to join the Colfax running community! She is originally from Washington, Missouri and has loved the transition to Colorado. She loves that the Colorado community is always participating in activities outdoors and that everyone is excited to meet new people. Skyler started running her freshmen year of college and ever since hasn’t been able to stop. She finds that running is her happy place and that each run feels like she is achieving a goal of hers. When Skyler is not running she is teaching her first grade class, playing with her crazy golden retriever puppy and chihuahua, snowboarding in the winter, and finding new hikes in the mountains on the weekends. A highlight of her past year was being able to be a head coach for Girls on the Run. She loved being able to share her love for running with young girls and to help the girls find their confidence. She is excited to spend this year training for a half marathon and a full marathon as well, coaching middle school cross country, coaching Girls on the Run, and to be a Colfax Ambassador. She mentioned that the Colfax runs are definitely something everyone needs to be a part of. The energy levels of the races are amazing and the energy of the other runners motivates you through the whole race. She can’t wait to share with others what the Colfax races are all about and hopes to see you all at our events!

TJ Kizuka

Tj is so glad to be returning for his 2nd year as a Colfax Marathon Ambassador! Tj started his running journey in 2008 as part of a challenge to run his first half marathon at Disney World! At almost 290lbs this was a challenge he took seriously for his health and a sense of accomplishment!  6 years and almost 15 half marathons under his belt including several Colfax Marathons he can officially say he is a running junkie!  Tj can sometimes be heard around town on MIX 100, KOOL 105 and 92.5 The Wolf often providing color commentary or commercial work as “Prize Guy TJ” on air. He is an avid music buff and has a diverse running play list including everything from Broadway Show tunes to Dolly Parton.  Tj is also vice president of The Denver Gay Men’s Chorus that along with running brings him solace and peace! Tj Blogs about his running experiences and his trials and tribulations of eating healthy on the go!   Tj has 2 mottos when it comes to racing 1. Races are like mullets business in the front party in the back! 2. If I can do this you can too!!

Travis Mark

Travis is a Colorado native, born and raised in Colorado Springs. He now lives in Lakewood with his wife of 10 years, Sarah, who he has converted to a runner as well. He discovered running when a friend invited him to join the cross country team in high school to keep in shape for soccer and lacrosse. He quickly found success and fell in love with the sport. Travis has become an avid runner and he loves running to relax and clear his mind as well as the mental and personal challenge it presents. Travis’s running idol is Steve Prefontaine, he admires the swagger and intensity that Pre ran with. Travis loves to compete and trains to finish each race with a strong kick that would make Pre proud. He has participated in many events in Colorado, and last year ran in the Las Vegas half. Next year he plans to compete in the USA Invitational Half and Portland Marathon. His goal is to one day qualify for and run the Boston Marathon. Travis can be found running around the parks and reservoirs near his home in Lakewood, and also in and around Golden and the Clear Creek trail. He likes a nice trail run in the evening to unwind. During the day, Travis works in the financial services industry for Credit Union of Colorado and is pursuing his degree in Mathematics to become an actuary. Travis enjoys the Colfax Marathon races for the unique course, camaraderie, and unequaled professional organization of the event. In no other race can you run by the cheetahs at the Denver Zoo for inspiration!

William Pearson

William Pearson is 41-year-old passionate runner and adventure seeker. He began his running journey through a lifetime of soccer! As a young boy, he wanted to play every sport he could participate in, and finally landed on soccer at the age of 9, where he was asked to play on his first traveling competitive soccer team. He continued to play through High School and then in College, earning an athletic soccer scholarship at St. Joseph’s College. He graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in 1997, and after 4 years and 3 knee surgeries later, William had to hang up the boots! He continued to try and play in the adult competitive leagues, but after one final knee arthroscopic clean out and an ankle surgery in 2008, his Ortho Surgeon said “YOU’RE DONE!” So not being able to sit still, at all, William immediately began he PT, and quickly jumped into some swimming and biking based on his doc’s recommendation to go low impact! Without missing a beat, William asked, “Can I at least run, if everything heals properly?” And with a “Yes” from the doc, he began his adventure into Triathlon. Knowing he was never capable of reaching Pro or Elite status, he found his competitive spirit filled within himself, constantly striving for PRs. He likes anything outdoors with a challenge, including his recent adventure into obstacle course racing, skiing, cycling, etc. But his biggest love simply running. Whether it’s on a road, suburban trails, or on the mountain trails. William loves race day excitement, with the great community of fellow competitors and spectators. 2010 was William’s first Colfax race, and was quickly drawn to the Colfax atmosphere and excitement! He is looking forward to running the Colfax Half Marathon again this year. And finally, William lives in Highlands Ranch, CO, and works here in Denver as a Commercial Construction Project Manager. He enjoys charity volunteer and fundraising through his work. Whether that is preparing and serving dinner at Judi’s House or repelling the downtown high-rise office buildings for The Cancer League of Colorado. And he has a very special heart and personal attachment to the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA). If you spot him out on a run, or at a Colfax event, ask him about it!

Yuly Williams

Yuly Williams is a relative newcomer to the running community, having only begun her running three years ago. Since then she has made considerable progress, having run the Colfax half-marathon twice. She plans to tackle the full marathon in 2017 and spends much of her time training for that event.

When you ask Yuly why she runs, her first and most emphatic reason is that she does it for her two sons. Yuly is a dedicated mom who feels strongly that she has an important responsibility to be a role model to her sons. She fulfills that task by running and involving them in her runs whenever possible.

Having joined the Aurora Runner’s Roost Racing Team has also made a difference to her. She enjoys the camaraderie of the team as well as its commitment to make a difference in the Denver community.

Over the past three years, Yuly has run throughout the Colorado area, finding new challenges as she goes. She is determined to continue, fully enjoying the competition and overall sense of accomplishment.

When she isn’t running, Yuly is is working at Bank of the West. Yuly is an excellent representative of the committed Denver running population, being a full-time wife and mother while working in what she describes as a “very gratifying position.”