2018 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! They host fun training runs at stores and breweries, where they give away prizes and talking all over social media about the 7 Colfax Marathon races.
Denver’s Colfax Marathon had almost 20,000 runners for the 2017 race weekend and over 35,000 people came through the Expo. Colfax is a non-profit and gave almost $100,000 to other non-profits just in 2017!
The 2018 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 part of the Health and Fitness Expo, to keep the Colfax Marathon brand active in the running community.
These aren’t just looking for podium finishers, but are positive and enthusiastic runners that represent the running community at it’s finest!
Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.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 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 Erie, Colorado home. By day, he creates the strategy for new products 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!
Alex ran his first 10k 4 years ago after graduating from college. This experience for him can be described as a “brutal” awakening of the unhealthy lifestyle he had been accustomed to with the college lifestyle. This was the moment that he began running and gradually came to love it! He ran his first half marathon last year doing the Colfax Half and immediately fell in love with the challenge of running longer races and all of the incredible people who participate in the Colfax Race Series. Living in Denver Colorado has allowed him to have access to some of the best trails in Colorado within a quick drive away. He has participated in numerous races across Colorado including the Leadville Heavy Half, Colfax Half Marathon, and Ragnar Relay races. When Alex is not running he is working as an architectural intern towards his licensure in architecture. His work environment has promoted an active lifestyle and allowed him to pursue his passions. Alex has been a recent convert from road running to trail running and is currently training for his first trail marathon in Moab later this year. Running at night and at odd hours of the day has become a recent obsession of his to always create new challenges as a runner. This has led him to being addicted the excitement that comes from taking on new challenges that come from taking on unknown environments. That first Colfax has led to all of these new challenges which is why he has decided to be a Colfax Ambassador!
Back in 2001, Alex had her mom write her a note to get out of the mile run in gym class because she hated running so much. Fast forward 10 years: Alex started running as stress reliever in college because it was where she could get some peace and quiet on a crowded campus. She soon realized that a runner’s high was no joke and she got hooked on seeing how much farther and faster she could go on each run.
Then one day Alex adopted a cute little Border Collie puppy named Mark and her running career was changed forever. Running was no longer a hobby but a necessity to keep them both sane. With the help of this little Energizer Bunny, she started running half marathons and then made a New Year’s resolution to run the 2017 Colfax Marathon. At the time, this goal didn’t even seem possible. But after countless hours of training, foam rolling, and eating pizza, she crossed the finish line and felt on top of the world – a feeling she wants all runners to experience!
Alex grew up in Chicago and lives (and runs) in Wash Park. Alex works in Marketing at a telecom company.
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 third Colfax marathon in May of 2017. 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 $475,000 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. She loves to work out at Orange Theory Fitness, and you can frequently find her running or riding her bicycle on the Platte River Trail. She recently completed her first trail race as a participant in the Silverton 1000 series. In 2018, she will run in the Colfax Marathon relay for the second time with her Hyatt friends in support of Huntington’s Disease. You may friend her on Facebook (Andra Cooper Alvarez), follow her on Instagram (AndraAlvarez2), or follow her on Twitter (@andrachikova).
Anthony’s running career began in 2006, the first year of the Colfax Marathon. He worked for Mayor John Hickenlooper and Denver was one of the three cities the race would run through. That first year, his office signed up as a Relay Team and the Mayor even ran on our team! Since he had not run before, he thought training would be wise. Too bad Mayor Hickenlooper didn’t think to train. The 5K section the Mayor he ran did him in! It could have also been the fact that it was the last leg which was uphill! Anthony has run every year since. He took a stab at the half marathon twice and can say he really has no interest in a third 🙂 He ran the 10 miler which was a great race and may tackle it in 2018. Last year, he ran the 5K and placed 9th out of 188 runners. At age 49, he’ll take it! Anthony tends to run over the lunch hour and run on the Speer Boulevard bike trail to the REI which is a great 5K course. He currently works for Mayor Michael B. Hancock as one his appointees and day job consists of providing community outreach in the LGBTQ & Latino(a) communities.
Chewey BK Lam
The Aurora running journey began for Chewey BK Lam in September 2016 (never ran before) to help ease Migraines, Type 1 Diabetes & various other Auto-Immune conditions. In that time frame; Chewey has launched the #RunCheweyRun / Coast2Coast Diabetes Awareness campaign 2017 & run 87 Races as of 8/14/17. The goal is 114+ Races of all Distances for the Diabetes Community in 2017 includes NYC Marathon running with “Beyond Type One Run Team” & has completed The San Francisco Marathon. That’s an average of 1 race every 3 days thus far for this newbie. In addition to running & doing advocacy work for the Diabetes Community; Chewey is the owner of a Poker League / Poker Dealer & semi-retired pro poker player. The Colfax Marathon / Races are a great opportunity for all participants of all skills & abilities of the community to interact with each in a friendly & non-intimidating environment! The 2017 Colfax Marathon was Chewey’s 1st Marathon (ran / runs with Team JDRF Rocky Mtn Chapter/ Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) & originally a 10 miler; then ½ Marathon; then Marathon (49th Race). Everything is Possible! Possible is Everything! Come Run Colfax! Afterall, this is Denver, Colorado- Mile High City; let there be Mile High Adventure; Mile High Race; Mile High Colfax; Mile High Times; Mile High Memories!
Christina began running early 2016 in preparation for the Disney Princess half marathon and found that running became a newfound passion. When she was notified that she was moving to Denver from Kentucky, she ran across information for the Colfax marathon and knew she wanted this to be her first full and was not disappointed. Colfax is an extremely well supported race and the sense of community really brings the runners together toward a common goal! Since then she has joined the Columbines Women’s Running club and enjoys running in the mountains as well as in the parks of Littleton and Denver. During the week she works as an ECommerce Operations manager but looks forward to the evenings and weekends when she can do what she really loves to do:running!
She started incorporating running into her fitness routine in her late thirties/early forties. A general manager at a local health club, and high school running coach told her she looked like a natural runner and wanted her to join her running group. The rest is somewhat the start of a spiritual and loyal friendship with running. She ran her first marathon (Alfred Packard) at age 40
And placed first female overall and got the marathon bug! Christine lives in north Lakewood close to the foothills. She enjoys running Crownhill Park, Highline Canal and Waterton Canyon.
Starting to get into running more trails in the foothills with friends. Running is her metaphor for life. It gives her balance and keeps her grounded. It’s her therapy for healthy living and anti aging. She loves encouraging others to give running a try and to just have fun with it. She has met and become friends with so many incredible individuals through running and wants to share the gift! She has been on Runners Roost Road Racing Team for four years.
She remembers the inaugural Colfax Marathon as a spectator and cheerleader. She definitely feels it is more fun to be a participant! Hence, started her Colfax Marathon journey. Christine has run in 10 Colfax events which have encompassed part of relay team, urban 10 miler, half marathon and marathon. Her favorite Colfax event is the half marathon.
Christine is a CU Graduate with a bachelor degree in Dental Hygiene . She practices full in Golden and Denver.
Coral grew up in Colorado, running the 100m and 200m for her middle and high school track teams in the DTC. Until college, Coral had never run more than 1-2 miles but fell in love with distance running after her first 5K at USC. Since moving back to Denver, she’s participated regularly in local 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, and the Colfax Marathon. She was a member of the RunDenver Series ambassador team last year and has supported Girls on the Run.
While running has been a passion of hers for most of her life, Coral finds the sport to be particularly important to her since becoming a new mom. Running enables her to destress and find balance, to enjoy our great Colorado weather, and to meet new people in the running community.
Coral manages a family-owned consulting firm locally and is mom to a rambunctious toddler and a 95 lb chocolate lab, both of whom join her on most of her runs. When she’s not out running, you can find her spending time with her family at the Denver Zoo, studying for grad school, hiking, traveling, and cheering on the Denver Broncos and USC Trojans. She’s looking forward to another great Colfax race and to meeting all of you!
Corey Dillon is a coach, father, and all-around endurance sports enthusiast. After biking across the country in college, he spent the next 20 years traveling more than 100 days per year selling investment products, and found running a few miles here and there to be a great way to stay active while on the road. As his kids got older, and weekends began to free up, Corey got a little more serious about running, setting a goal of completing his first marathon before his 40th birthday. Since then, he’s finished numerous marathons (including Colfax twice), half marathons (pushing an enabled athlete at last year’s Colfax), and triathlons (including 6 Ironman distance finishes and 2 more still to come in 2017).
In 2015, Corey turned his passion into his business as the co-founder of Benefitness Partners, a Denver-based corporate fitness company focused on helping companies develop healthy, active, highly engaged employees. He also helps triathletes and runners achieve their goals and reach their potential as part of Braveheart Coaching.
Corey lives in Thornton with his wife Kim (who finished her first Colfax marathon in 2016). Most weekends, odds are good you’ll find him either running somewhere along the Big Dry Creek trail or on his bike on the roads in Boulder County.
Cristina lives in Aurora, and is a stay at home mom to two fun and very active kids. Married to a very supportive and understanding husband.
She has been a runner most of her life, on and off, but caught the racing bug a couple years ago. Since then, it has become pure addiction and she has completed numerous half marathons, 10k’s, 5k, trail races and a bike race.
Colfax is by far a favorite because it gives back to the community by supporting so many great causes, and it is a fun, high energy race.
When she’s not running, you can find her at the hockey rink supporting her son, helping her daughter feed her addiction to horses and enjoying the outdoors with her canine best friend Bolt!
Crystal was sitting with friends almost a decade ago and someone made the off-the-cuff comment that anyone could run a 5K. She was so embarrassed – the thought of running three consecutive miles was incredibly daunting. As the days went on, this nagged at her until one day she decided to go for a run. That run was the start of a long journey that would take her to exciting new places and learn life lessons about how strong she truly is.
Colfax reminds Crystal of how truly inspiring the running community is. She loves standing shoulder to shoulder in start corrals, feeding off the excitement of people running Colfax for the first or the fourteenth time. But with Colfax, it’s not just about the race – it’s about Colorado pride!
You won’t find Crystal on any podiums anytime soon, but you will find her in the middle of the pack, high-fiving runners and motivating the walkers. She believes that if everyone learned to love the run, we would have a less-stressed, healthier world.
Crystal lives in the Littleton area so you’ll find her on trails around south Denver, Littleton, and Lakewood. Running is a stress reliever from her day job as a non-profit marketer. When she’s not running, she’s hiking, reading, taking care of her senior dog, and trying to tame the puppy.
Doug started running in Jr High track and cross-country. During college, he considered running the Chicago Marathon, but a late start to training caused him to postpone the dream of completing a marathon. Many years later, recreational running started to include 5Ks. His first 1/2 marathon was at the Denver Rock’nRoll in 2011. In 2014, he ran his first full marathon in Athens, Greece at the age of 40. To date, he’s run 9 1/2 marathons and 7 full marathons. His favorite run was the 2015 WeRunDXB 10K in Dubai – all 13,000 participants were required to wear traffic-cone orange race-issued shirts for the event around the Burj Khalifa in Downtown Dubai.
Colfax is the only marathon he has run twice (2016 and 2017) and he’s excited to train for the third time as a 2018 Colfax Ambassador. He previously ran the Colfax 1/2 marathon in 2015, especially enjoying the run through the zoo. The Colfax races are a great way to experience Denver, Aurora, and Lakewood and this great street which connects them.
Doug lives near Downtown Littleton and enjoys easy access to multiple South Suburban Recreation trails for training. He works for an aerospace company, with frequent US and international travel. Healthy eating and running are an important part of his travel routine. Exploratory running is a great way to experience new cities, but sometimes (smog, heat, or jet lag) the miles are stationary, on a hotel treadmill.
Doug has encouraged friends, family, and professional colleagues to be healthy and active, especially through running. He’s found that the discipline required to train and the achievement of each distance are satisfying, but also results in greater productivity at work and projects around the house.
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 when she joined the track team. Through her youth she ran and competed in softball 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 decided she needed a new challenge. 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. In 2017, she took more than a handful of new runners on their first half marathon experience and raised money for the non-profits doing the 5k with her dog Godzilla.
Erika resides in Thornton, CO and runs with Road Runners Sports in Westminster and is looking forward to seeing you at the races!
You may know him as the Hulk but you may not know Gary started with a walk around the block and has gone from 400 pounds to 100 Mile finisher in just 4 years. He lives in Wyoming and finds any reason to make the trip to Colorado to run. Colfax was Gary’s first full marathon and it will always hold a special spot in his heart. The atmosphere, running in Mile High Stadium and the people keep him coming back for more!
Gosia is a 40-something busy mom, an architect, and an immigrant from Poland, a founder of a small local nonprofit WalkDenver, a runner, and occasionally an artist.
As for many women juggling professional carriers and raising a family in their 40ties staying fit and healthy was not always easy for Gosia. In January 2014 she took her young kids skiing for the first time, fell, and…. could not get up. This was an eye-opening moment that made her realize how out of shape she was. After getting over the initial embarrassment Gosia made a commitment to lose 40 lbs. She accomplished this goal and with the new confidence in her abilities she took on running.
Gosia was never an athlete; as a matter of fact she had a “C” in gym class in 7th grade, always the last one to be picked for school team sports. But running allowed her to train and progress at her own pace and gave her time alone away from all the busy commitments of daily life. Soon she was able to run a 5K! 2016 Colfax Marathon Relay was her first big race and she was hooked.
Now, at 45 Gosia is in the best shape of her life. In 2017 she run her first 13.1M (on Colfax)! She believes that fitness and good health are possible and available to anyone with a pair of sneakers. She hopes to inspire other professional moms in their 40ties to become active and participate in Colfax Marathon to celebrate their achievements.
Consistently running is not always easy, so throughout her career, Hannah found motivation in different forms. In high school she was motivated to run for the first time by an advertisement that said cross country was a coed sport. In preparation for her first half and full marathons, Hannah remained constantly motivated by the bragging rights and shiny medals she would receive when she finished. And of course, Hannah never misses a run club that advertises free pizza at the end. But what truly keeps Hannah getting out the door to run is the incredible running community in Denver. She loves to run in her neighborhood near Sloan’s Lake, and to socialize with other passionate runners during run club events throughout the city. Hannah is excited to return to the Colfax Marathon Ambassador team for her second year and looks forward to helping new and veteran runners get motivated to run their Colfax race in 2018!
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’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’s so well recognized in the run community that her boyfriend, Ken jokingly calls her the mayor. 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 2018 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.
Jessica began her relationship with running over 10 years ago after her second son was born. Running was a way for her to get some alone time, get moving, and start to lose the post baby weight. She started with occasional 20 minute runs on the treadmill in the basement while her boys slept. The occasional run turned into running 5k races with friends. Her love affair with running grew into longer distances over the years. One November day, after a couple glasses of wine and some encouragement from a friend, she decided that her next challenge was to sign up for the Colfax Marathon. Training for a marathon definitely proved to be challenging and rewarding. After she crossed the finish line of her very first marathon the love affair grew to a whole new level! Jessica enjoys running so much that she shares her passion with anyone willing to listen. She loves encouraging people to chase that runner’s high and get moving! These days you can find Jessica running the trails and neighborhoods in Denver and Aurora or biking them with her boys. Jessica has been married to the her best friend for 14 years and is the mom of 2 amazing boys. She does her best to create a balance of mom life, personal life, and professional life. Jessica is a massage therapist and Essentrics instructor at Behind These Hands Healing Center. She is passionate about helping others to create a balance of mind and body through movement and massage.
Jim started his running and fitness career late in his thirties. Younger in life he always loved fitness challenges in swimming and later rowing. After kids and other life changes he found fitness took a back seat like many Americans. A friend introduced him to running and after crewing on Leadville 100 event, he found the challenge he was looking for and was soon hooked.
Starting out not being able to run down the block, he has increased his fitness level and completed his 5th half marathon this past year (3rd Colfax) and also did a back-to-back running the 5k with his daughter the day before. Next year Jim has set another ambitious goal to complete his first marathon. He is looking forward to documenting and sharing his experience with the world.
Jim lives up in lovely Frederick, CO and currently loves the flat land running, but is starting to look into the rolling foothills as his next step in his training and fitness goals. Working as a salesman at a downtown VoIP company, you can find some of his daytime runs and or walks along the trails of the Platte River.
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 Denver and the region. Now, she has run over 70 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 free 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 a 100mi race in the near future. Her goal is to show others that change is possible if you want it bad enough and work for it.
Jordyn started running in 2012 when, during her spring offseason of college soccer, she decided to “change it up” by training for something different, focusing on a new goal: the UPMC Half Marathon in Pittsburgh. During the remaining three years of college, in the fall she continued to kick, run, and sprint up and down the soccer field at Carnegie Mellon University, and in the springtime, looked forward to her runs along the Ohio and Monongahela rivers. Following graduation in May 2015, she decided to venture to the city of adventure, landing a job in Colorful Colorado.
In Denver, she is a strategy consultant at a brand agency in Cherry Creek North and lives nearby off of the Cherry Creek Trail. She runs, spins, hikes, and skis, depending on the season, and logs miles, smiles, and hugs at November Project workouts. This will be her third year running Colfax, having run the half marathon the past two years (so, you might ask: when is the full!?). This is one of Jordyn’s favorite courses – after all, what other race lets participants run through the zoo and catch a glimpse of the flamingos and the lions? With more than enough sweat equity (emphasis on the sweat) to go around, Jordyn will be training right beside you, lending encouragement and experience to make sure every participant, whether newbie or expert, is at the top of their game on race day.
Joyce is orginally from Boston, MA and although she ran on her high school x-country team, that was more about her college applications then anything really to do with running. “Distance Days” meant running a mile home to her friend Judy’s house to watch General Hospital, then sneak back to school when it was over. It wasn’t until after Joyce had her 3rd child that she really came to love running. In fact, the whole thing seemed absurb at first. She met her future running buddy, Megan, at work. Megan would get up at 5:30 am to run, and had a few marathons under her belt, and that just seemed over-the-top. But then another friend put the idea of doing a sprint triathlon into her head (1/2 mile swim, 10 mile bike, 3 mile run), and that seemed accessible. After that 3rd baby, it became clear that something was going to need to happen to get back in shape, so maybe this triathlon was the thing. Once Joyce managed to run 3 miles straight, she signed up. And it turned out to be a ton of fun. And the run was the best part!!! So thats where it began, then Joyce ran the Boulder Bolder, the Park to Park 10 miler, and eventually (and painfully), the NYC marathon. Joyce has loved all her Colorado races, including the Cherry Creek Sneak, Georgetown-Idaho Springs half, Platte Valley Half, Hot Chocolate Run, Colorado Marathon, Rock n Roll, and of course, always the Colfax Marathon. Whether it be the 10 miler, half, full, or cheering her husband in the relay, the Colfax Marathon has alway been a highlight. Joyce loves to run with her buddy Megan, or her husband and her friend Dan, or anyone who will keep her company running around Wash Park, City Park, Cheeseman Park, Highline Canal, through Cherry Creek or wherever. Running in Denver, with its beautiful weather, stunning mountain views, and friendly people has been such a privilige and joy! Joyce is a Physician with Kaiser Permanente and loves to encourage her patients, especially those who think “I can’t do it!” to get our of their comfort zone and try something new, something that just might change their lives for the better.
Katya Weiss-Andersson was a frazzled college junior with three jobs when she reluctantly started running as an affordable, efficient way to relieve stress and spend time outside. She fell unexpectedly in love with running after spending her whole life saying things like “running just isn’t for me” and “my body just wasn’t built for running.” Now 26, she has competed in countless races of varying distances and loves the catharsis, empowerment, exhilaration and post-race beers of the running world more than ever. The Colfax Marathon was her first full marathon, and it was one of the best days of her life. Katya is an official marathoner for Team Palestine, which donates all funds raised to the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund. As a runner with a disability, she is proud to represent a race that does so much to include and support disabled runners. Katya is a holistic wellness nerd, a proud vegan athlete and a staff writer for MissMuslim and Localeur. For her “day job,” she is a professional vegan chef and the creator of NotAnotherTofuScramble.com. She’s a New York Native now based in Denver after spending several years cooking and running in North Carolina, Italy and the West Bank. She’s thrilled to represent the 2018 Colfax Marathon.
Kelsie is a relatively new runner who hails from Lakewood, Colorado. Wanting to spend more time with her friends, she joined her high school cross-country team in her freshman year. Never a very serious runner, she stopped running in college and eventually adopted a sedentary lifestyle. Grouchy, self conscious, and tired all the time, Kelsie realized that she was living a pretty unhealthy life. As a nurse, she saw the consequences of inactivity and promised she would never be that person for herself and her family. After a few false starts from impractical workout programs and subsequent injuries, Kelsie was determined to be healthy and to see what her body could do. Back on the treadmill and eventually back outside, she fell in love with the energy, strength, and mental clarity running provided. Curiosity and a proclivity for pushing boundaries lead Kelsie to sign up for her first marathon, the 2017 Colfax. It was awesome! The crowd and the views exemplified why Colorado is one of the best places to live. Running through the Mile High City and Broncos stadium with fellow Coloradans was an experience that she will always treasure and never forget.
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!”
Kylie is a Northern Colorado native who has a love for adventure, outdoors, and sunshine!
Although Kylie is a bit of a newcomer to competitive running, she grew up as an athlete participating in various team sports; volleyball, basketball, and golf. Amongst these activities, Kylie used running as a training regimen however, that of which she did not always favor. It wasn’t until college she developed a passion for lacing up her running kicks and hitting the trails! Kylie’s favorite trails include those in Lory State park and around the Fort Collins Horsetooth Reservoir.
In addition to her running, you can often find Kylie in various HIIT workouts, on the mountain skiing, and practicing yoga.
Passionate about art, community, and all things related to running – Lauren is so excited to be part of her favorite race in Colorado! Lauren was born and raised in Colorado, and loves everything about this beautiful state. She lived in Oregon for five years, but was drawn back to her home state for grad school in 2014. She started running cross country in high school, and spent her college years casually running races here and there, but it wasn’t until her first half marathon (Colfax, of course, in 2015) that she fell completely head over heels for the sport. She has since run three half marathons and one full, and is just getting started. You can usually find her logging miles on some stretch of the High Line Canal or looping her way around Wash Park. She is an official art history nerd, and when she’s not running, you can find her at one of Denver’s many galleries or museums, or fawning over art at work (she works for the University of Denver’s Art Collection).
Libby is also known as Runnin Boots on social media. She was born and raised in the Denver area, and recently moved to Lakewood. As a 2016 graduate of the Colorado School of Mines, she is currently working as a Quality Assurance Engineer for Lockheed Martin. Basically, she is a rocket scientist and absolutely loves it! A fun fact about Libby is that she loves sparkles. She is usually found running in a Sparkle Athletic skirt and a Sparkly Soul headband.
In her free time, Libby enjoys Barre fitness, running, and traveling. Peer pressure led Libby to her first Half Marathon at Rock N Roll Denver in 2014. At the expo, she discovered she could travel for races and explore cities by running 13.1 miles through them. In 2016, Libby ran eleven half marathons all over the United States and Canada: ten Rock N Roll events and the Colfax Half Marathon! She loves adventuring in her running shoes, and she has made running friends from LA all the way to NYC.
Recently, Libby has shifted her focus to running local and meeting other runners in Colorado. She was the team captain for the Lockheed Martin Corporate Cup relay team in 2017, which was her first relay race experience. She loved the getting the opportunity to run the first 6 miles of the Colfax Marathon and chat with marathon runners on the course. While she has never run a full marathon, she is preparing to run the Colfax Marathon in 2018!
Mary has been running marathon races since 2009 but has been a runner ever since her father passed away when she was 16 years old. Back then she ran to escape life and now she runs to embrace the joy that is life. She is constantly in awe of how running connects a community of strangers into a community of instant friends, friends who all have the same goal…to FINISH. She started pacing races a few years ago as her way to help give back to the running community that has given her so much. She loves encouraging others to reach their running goals. The Colfax Marathon race series is, without a doubt, her absolute favorite race; she hasn’t missed a Colfax in over 7 years having run the 10 miler, half and full marathon. She loves Colfax not only for the great courses (the half gets to run through the Denver Zoo!!) but also the opportunity to showcase charity organizations.
Mary lives in Littleton and is blessed with a wonderful husband and two amazing children who support her in all her running endeavors. You will often find her running with her dogs and/or friends on the High Line Canal. She has completed 40+ half marathons and 8 full marathons and is a member of Moms Run This Town-Denver, Denver RunJunkEes, Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics. When she is not running and spending time with her family Mary is a high school counselor at Englewood High School.
Melissa has been running for fun and health since she ran her first half and full marathons in 2011, and since then, running has become more of a lifestyle than a hobby. When forced to “adult,” she works in financial reporting (basically to fund her running addiction). Melissa is slowly working toward running a half marathon in every state and normally runs 20 halves (plus various other races, both longer and shorter) each year. When not running (or working), you’ll find Melissa throwing around heavy weights at CrossFit…and occasionally 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. In 2017 Melissa joined the Ambassador team and decided to tackle the marathon one more time…this time for FUN…and it was The. Most. AMAZING. RACE. EVER!!! This year look for Melissa having fun running around Denver, in the mountains, and across the country…all before she hits up the Colfax Marathon for a repeat #BOTPartyBus race!
Nickie starting running about 19 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, 17 half marathons (including Colfax in 2013 and 2015), 2 full marathon (Colfax 2014 and 2017), a handful of 15Ks, 10Ks, and more 5Ks that she can remember, she is officially addicted to running.
This is Nickie’s 2 year as a Colfax Ambassador and lives in Broomfield. She loves having access to the Coal Creek and Dry Creek trails, as well as all of the trail systems in the surrounding neighborhoods. She moved to Colorado in 2012 after living her whole life just outside of Columbus, Ohio (O-H-I-O!!!). 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. This year she will be tackling the Columbus Marathon in her home town this October and once again will attempt the Colfax Marathon in May!
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.
Patrick started running with a close friend while attending Penn State University. Since moving to the Mile High City, Patrick has participated in the Urban 10-miler, the Colfax Half, and completed his first marathon in May as part of the Colfax races with a flat 4-hour finish. He plans to return to the Colfax Marathon this spring with a goal to break a sub 4-hour finish time. His most recent running endeavor has been attempting to break a sub 22-minute finish in a 5k, which he was ecstatic to have accomplished this summer. Patrick credits the overwhelming support he has received from his “run family,” which include run club members from across the city and Colfax Ambassadors past and present, to continue to push him toward new heights, fitness goals, and outdoor expeditions. You can find him weekly at the Run the Bird group at Blackbird Public House.
Patrick particularly enjoys the Colfax Races because it brings the community together to celebrate active lifestyles while taking in the beauty, art, and culture of Denver. He works downtown at an oil and gas firm.
Paul loves running and running has been very good to Paul. He started running consistently in 2009 after his father had quintuple heart bypass surgery. Determined to make lifestyle changes, Paul and his father began walking and running regularly. They even bought running watches to help keep one another accountable for getting miles in each week. Paul started running 5k and 10k races and enjoyed socializing with the Denver running community and the healthier lifestyle. He has ran the Colfax Marathon four times along with 10 half marathons. Colfax is Paul’s favorite race because gets a chance to the whole city of Denver and features many of his favorite neighborhoods. He runs on the many bike paths in Aurora as well as morning runs in City Park with his running partners. Paul works at McGlone Academy, located in Montbello, as a 6th Grade teacher. He loves running with his colleagues and friends as McGlone Academy has been a Colfax Marathon Charity partner for three years. Many of the school’s teachers and families participate in events on race weekend. Paul hopes to continue building community through running in Montbello.
Selby started running in 2012 when she made many mistakes preparing for her first half marathon (including training exclusively on the treadmill at 0% incline and eating an entire Domino’s pizza the night before the race). Since that disaster, she has run ten marathons, three 50ks (31 miles), and one 50 miler. While she is not fast, she enjoys the discipline, camaraderie, and therapeutic effect running long distances has (as well as the large quantities of food that are enjoyed after). Selby often brings a list of corny jokes to long training runs to keep up the spirit mid run.
Selby was born and raised in Minnesota, but has since lived in Nevada, California, and now Colorado. In her non-running life, Selby works for a food company and is getting her MBA from CU Boulder (Go Buffs!) Selby ran the Colfax Marathon for the first time in 2017 and loved the energy throughout the course, especially in the firehouse.
Skyler is very excited to start her second year of being a Colfax Ambassador. When Skyler isn’t teaching her first grade class, she is out running at run clubs and spreading the word about why you should run one of the awesome Colfax races this year! Last year, Skyler completed the Colfax Marathon as her first time ever running 26.2. She loves setting new goals in running and encouraging others to do the same! She started running when she was in college and then never looked back after that. Running is her time to rewind for the day and to push herself more than she ever thought was possible.
Skyler loves running the Colfax races because of the amazing energy and running community that Colfax has. Everyone is cheering each other on and there is always support out there for when you need help achieving your goal across that finish line. The Colfax running community will be there with you each step along the way. Another bonus is the amazing views of our beautiful city of Denver that you get to see on each one of the Colfax races.
Keep a look out for Skyler at our Colfax events this year and make sure to say hi! She loves to meet new people and you might even get to meet her golden retriever, Ralph, who will be training for the Colfax 5K this year!
Tj is so glad to be returning for his 3rd year as a Colfax Marathon Ambassador, this year will also mark his 5th anniversary running Colfax! Tj started his running journey in 2008 as part of a challenge to run his first half marathon at Disney World! Several years and almost 20 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 has 3 favorite running mottos “Races are like mullets business in the front party in the back” “If I can do this you can too” “Glitter makes running more fabulous.” @Tjkizuka
Troy started running just ten years ago. In less than 2 years, he made the jump to the marathon distance while living in Chicago. He enjoyed the experience so much that he was signed up for his next 26.2 within a few months. To date he has now run 18 marathons and just notched his first ultra last June at the Dirty 30. Troy has so much fun while running he usually has a giant grin and a high five for anyone that wants one. Troy has been consistently running on behalf of Beagle Freedom Project for the last few years. As a core member of November Project Denver, he loves encouraging others and spreading some positivity. Troy also runs with the Runner’s Roost Race Team. Colfax has been a favorite for the past 6 years, whether running 13.1 or 26.2. He’s excited to be a part of this great team.