Ambassador Program

Colfax Ambassador program

Our 2021 Ambassador Program is sponsored by Altra Running.

You have seen them around the state and country … a group of people excited to talk about running, getting active, and all things Colfax Marathon!  They attend fun training runs at stores and breweries, where they give away prizes and talk about the seven Colfax Marathon races.

Denver’s Colfax Marathon has 20,000 runners and over 35,000 people come through the Health & Fitness Expo.  Colfax is a non-profit and gave almost $100,000 to other non-profits just in 2019!

The Colfax Marathon Ambassador Team promotes the event through social media, participating in local run groups, helping our 200+ charity partners, creating short videos to share, providing photos of being active, and assist at the Health and Fitness Expo, to keep the Colfax Marathon brand active in the running community.

These are positive and enthusiastic runners that represent the running community at it’s finest!

Questions? Contact us at info@runcolfax.org.

Melissa Wood

Ambassador Team Manager

Melissa has been running her entire life – mostly as a “”punishment”” in other sports, but fell into running as a lifestyle in 2010 when she started training for her first half and full marathons in the spring of 2011. In the years since those milestones, Melissa has continued travel to new states/races each year (with a small “”blip”” of very few races and little traveling in 2020), always loving to return home to Colorado and our amazing running community. She has ventured into, and out of, the world of ultra, determined that her favorite distance to run/race is the half marathon, and that she makes a wonderful pacer/crew member for her ultra-crazy friends. When she’s not running, you will find Melissa at Lowry Crossfit, throwing around heavy things and completing her speed training in a non-traditional way. She can also be found making trouble with her dog, Maggie (also an accomplished runner who, at 13 years old, is now retired to a calm life of walks and easy hikes), or spending time with friends and family.

Melissa fell in love with Denver’s Colfax Marathon back in 2012 when she did the Relay for the first time, and has continued the love affair by running the Relay, Marathon, or Half every year since. This year you’ll find Melissa cruising along the 10 Mile course as it’s the only distance she hasn’t yet run during the Colfax marathon weekend. She’s looking forward to sleeping in and still getting to run through Broncos Stadium, along the Cherry Creek trail, and through Downtown Denver before hitting up the finish line party!!

Amanda Heimlich

Amanda is a new mom of two to a 2 year old son and a 2 month old daughter. She has been married for almost 9 years and is originally from California. She and her husband moved to Colorado 6 years ago after her husband got relocated. Amanda always enjoyed participating in 5ks and fun runs but never took it seriously until spring 2012. That is when her and her friend decided to sign up on a whim with Team Challenge for a half marathon through wine country to raise money for Crohn’s and Colitis. This was an important race for Amanda because she was supporting a disease her brand new husband had along with completing her first half marathon… a week after her wedding! Fast forward to 2021, Amanda has now completed 5 half marathons, the Colfax Urban 10 miler and numerous 10k and 5k’s. While in quarantine she participated in multiple running challenges and completed numerous months in a row of 100 mile months. Running is not only a way to stay in shape, but is her “me” time and she loves to show her son and daughter a good example of being able to still be a good mom while also taking care of herself and living a healthy lifestyle. This year she will be training for the Colfax Half Marathon pushing a double jogging stroller, talk about dedication! When Amanda isn’t running you can usually find her at a mommy and me workout group (Stroller Strides), at a HIIT based training gym or enjoying a Colorado Avalanche game with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

Amanda Price

Amanda Price is a mom, wife, middle school science teacher and running coach. She loves running and bringing her student runners to the Colfax Marathon Relay.

Andrea Lamelle

Andrea moved to CO from Orlando, Florida in December 2018. Since moving, she has forgotten all about Disney and beaches and fallen in love with the mountains. She loves everything CO has to offer from hiking, breweries, skiing (even though she’s too scared to ski anything past a green), and of course running. Andrea is the Studio Manage at Orangetheory Fitness in Lafayette and has found a passion for fitness. However, like many others, she fell out of her routine due to COVID and has not been running as frequently (shhh don’t tell her coach). So she is so excited run her first full Marathon in Colorado. She is happy to get back to goal setting, training schedules and in person races. She can’t wait to see faces as we gather in-person in October!

Angela Cesena

Angie runs for pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread) and doughnuts. While most people carbo-load before a race, she carbo-loads all year. Her quarter-life crisis goals are to successfully complete a food eating competition and an Iron Man (not on the same day).

Running has become an outlet for Angie. Along with hiking and outdoor adventures, running is one of the most therapeutic activities for her. As a survivor, she finds beauty in the outdoors and enjoys discovering her personal strengths with each stride she takes.

She’s ran half and full marathons in LA with Students Run LA, the bay area with Big Dawgs, Iguazu Falls on a random first date, and in Patagonia.

You can catch her running to a Dunkin’ or summiting a 14er with her dogs Luna and Apollo, advocating for mental health awareness and social justice, or running a nonprofit.

Anthony Aragon

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! Anthony has run every year since except in 2018 when he couldn’t run due a hernia operation. His streak of running the race every year was broken. He took a stab at the half marathon twice and ran his own half marathon to celebrate the BIG 53 during COVID. At the young age of 53, he’s going to tackle the half marathon in October. 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’s also served on the Colfax Marathon Board of Directors for over a decade. He wants to let older runners know, even at 54, you can run a half marathon!

Ashley Hickey

Ashley Larson

Ashley is a mom of two wild and amazing boys, teacher, run coach, and avid runner. She is always on the lookout for a challenge and adventure; wild and free is my favorite way to live and run. Running has been many things to her over the years and this year running has been the biggest form of therapy for her – my mantra has been “More miles, More smiles.” Running has been an outlet during a chaotic pandemic teaching year and walking through divorce. Ashley is extremely passionate about running for mental health and finding joy in every step. This year, she is pushing herself in a big way and running the Chicago Marathon on Sunday and then Colfax the following Saturday – because why not? Ashley believes you have to dream big and do uncommon things in this life – this is what sets her soul on fire and makes her come alive. Ashley is so excited to represent Colfax as an ambassador this year and can’t wait to connect with all the other runners!

Bea Leyba

Bea doesn’t look like a typical runner. She has a short, stocky frame. Runs a slow and steady 12 minute mile average. Not decked out head to toe in the latest running gear. But that’s what she aims for. To show that anyone can be a runner.

Her mentality about running used to be, “don’t run unless someone is chasing me”. But after being persuaded to run her first 10K in 2010, she fell in love with running. Since then she has run everything from marathons to triathlons to Tough Mudders to Burro Races (yes, it’s a thing). Her love of running comes from the ability to challenge herself and to see how much her mind and body can endure. This became especially important after surviving breast cancer last year. Plus the running community are some of the nicest, most supportive people you’ll ever meet. She says that if you’re hesitant about becoming a runner for one reason or another, just know that you won’t find any judgement in this community and you’ll be welcomed with open arms.

Cindy Vonfeldt

Cindy started running later in her life and loves to be volunteering or racing every weekend. So glad that the pandemic is over and looking forward to seeing so many smiling faces. The Colfax Half Marathon will be her third Colfax half marathon. Cindy enjoys the outdoors and conquering new challenges and always looking for her personal record in every event she participates. When not training for the next race event, Cindy enjoys camping and paddle boarding.

Coral Eby

“Coral grew up in Colorado and started running as a sprinter for her high school track team in the 100M and 200M. Until college, she’d never run more than 2 miles but fell in love with distance running training with friends at USC. Since moving back to Denver, Coral has participated regularly in 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, and the Colfax Marathon.

Even though she’s been running most of her life, it’s become an even more significant part of her routine as a mom of three. Running is a great chance to find balance and pursue personal goals, to enjoy beautiful Colorado, and to meet awesome, inspiring new people in the running community.

Coral manages a consulting firm in the DTC and is mom to 2 toddlers, a newborn, and a crazy labrador – all of whom love to join in on runs around town. When she’s not running, you can find her spending time with her family at the Denver Zoo (her favorite part of the Colfax Half!), traveling (hopefully!), and cheering on the Denver Broncos and USC Trojans. She’s looking forward to her 5th Colfax weekend and to celebrating the race in its 15th year!”

Corey Dillon

“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. Now more than 50, he’s finished numerous marathons (including 4 times at Colfax), half marathons, a few 50k trail races, and many triathlons (including 8 Ironman distance finishes).

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 of all abilities 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 somewhere in the hills west of Boulder. “

Dan Mott

Dan has been running for a little over 10 years, completing 20 marathons and 20 half marathons including 10 straight years running at Disney Marathon weekend. He ran the Pikes Peak Marathon with only one fall on the way back down! Completed rim to rim to rim in the Grand Canyon and dipped in the ultra world with a few 50ks. He’s one of those crazy people!

He loves everything and anything about running and getting others to join in. He’s lived in Colorado for three years, but recently moved to Denver with his wife Britt and new born daughter Emersyn. As a recently new resident to Denver,  Dan is excited to get involved the run community even more through group runs.

Doug Larson

Doug loves promoting Denver’s Colfax Marathon and running, in general. He ran his first marathon at 40 and has now finished more than 30. Running contributes to better physical and mental health AND an amazing community of friends.

You can find him training along the Mary Carter Greenway (South Platte River), High Line Canal trail, the streets of Littleton, or many of Colfax’s training events.

Erika Trujillo

Born and raised in Colorado, Erika has always competed in softball and running. Her softball career included winning a state title and playing in the College World Series for Coastal Carolina, and she was always the “runner” of her teams, taking on the lead for conditioning and taking them on unexpected ‘long run’ warm-ups.

At the completion of her college career, she signed up for her first Colfax Marathon in 2009, completing her first marathon that year. In 2015 she ran her second Colfax Marathon race, and the continuation of racing Colfax has not stopped and she began to recruit family and friends to join her, including her dog Godzilla. She has ran Colfax for 6 years and counting…

In her free time you can find her coaching high school baseball for Sheridan High School, playing slow pitch softball with her family, and also pacing races with Beast Pacing. She is also on the Runners Roost Race team.

She has been a Colfax Ambassador for 4 years and has put a focus in working with the non-profits and building their support community.

Freddy Perez

Freddy has enjoyed being a Colfax Ambassador and is so pumped to be returning as an Ambassador, for the 2nd straight year (again #2020)! He truly appreciated the experience and it helped motivate him to continue to push himself to do things he never thought he would ever do! Such as run his first Marathon in 2019!

Freddy began running in the summer of 2016, when he found a fitness group called “The November Project.” From there, his life forever changed. He found himself joining their workouts every Wednesday and Friday. “The November Project” encouraged him to run his first half marathon in March of 2017, despite never running further than 5 miles! The November Project was instrumental in his weight loss and running journey! They have been a great source of knowledge and encouragement! Now it’s Freddy’s turn to give back to the community that has given him so much. In December 2020, he took on as Co-Leader for November Project-Denver and look forward leading the community.

He ran his first Colfax race in May of 2017 and from there fell in love with the Colfax races! He has run a Colfax race every year for the last 4 years! The atmosphere of the race and the people involved are the reasons he keeps coming back. He’s looking forward to racing in person again!

When Freddy is not running, you can find him with his dog Quinn running around with her and making sure she is living her best life! Also, he recently got engaged to his wonderful fiancé Becky and share a mutual interest in travel. Some of the amazing places they have visited have been San Francisco, New Orleans, Milwaukee, and D.C. But Denver will always be home. Freddy works for the City and County of Denver as a Commercial Real Estate Appraiser. He says it has been an amazing journey working for the City and County of Denver and seeing all the new exciting changes that are going on in the city! He’s looking forward to another year and the 15th Anniversary of the Colfax Marathon!

Jessica Armstrong

Jessica is so excited to run her 2nd Colfax Marathon and enjoy her 2nd year of being a Colfax Ambassador. Colfax half was her first half marathon and LOVED the mile through the zoo. She started running about 6 years ago with a 5k and was hooked since then, having recently completed a 55k at Antelope Canyon and a 50 mile race at Bryce Canyon! Jessica loves to run around the trails in Morrison and Littleton. When not running she’s a mom to a fabulous 10 year old boy, and greatly enjoy post race celebrations with tacos.

Joshua Ribera

Joshua is a Colorado native and has been running since 2011 as a way to improve his overall fitness and simply lose some weight and grow his self-confidence. Since then, he has progressed from a goal of one loop around the local pond to completing a full marathon in 2019. He loves finding a new path or race in a new area to run and currently mixes his love of running with strength and conditioning workouts. Aside from running, Josh enjoys coaching strength and conditioning, working as a referee for football, checking out local breweries, and catching a concert!

Kevin Keena

Kevin is so grateful to be a part of the Colfax experience! He hasn’t always been a runner, but he always will be…

When not enjoying Colorado’s beautiful trail systems, Kevin play drums with That Eighties Band, teaches at Heritage High School in Littleton, and spends time with his incredible wife, Julie, and their three kids.

These days, you can usually find this born-again distance enthusiast high-fiving other runners on the trails of the Highline Canal, Chatfield Reservoir, South Platte Park, Bear Creek Lake, and any number of Jefferson County and South Suburban open spaces.

In October 2012, just after turning 40, Kevin lost 50 pounds and finished the Boulder Marathon. Since then, he has run everything from 5K to 50 miles but keep coming back to Colfax. He has run every Colfax race at least once and the Urban 10 is his favorite! The gorgeous scenic variety, energetic urban setting, and lively post-race festivities at City Park can’t be topped! Anyone can do it. Just get outside, enjoy the beautiful Colorado weather, and start. The miles take care of themselves!

Kirsten Eriksson

Kirsten is originally from Michigan and has lived in Denver for 3 years. Outside of running, she loves reading, crossword puzzles, craft beer, and hiking. She has been running since 2014 and her favorite distance is the half marathon.

Kourtney Hunsader

Lauren Dreiling

Lauren is a Colorado native and ran cross country and track middle school and high school and fell out of running habits during college. Lauren returned to the sport as an adult when a friend encouraged to train for Colfax with her. Since then, running has become an important part of her physical and mental well-being. Lauren enjoys training for and conquering new running challenges and aspires to run more trail races and marathons. Lauren has run the Colfax 5k, Urban 10 miler, half marathon and marathon relay.

Lauren’s favorite Colfax race is the half marathon because it runs through the zoo!

Lauren Ruth

Growing up a water baby, Lauren’s first loves were swimming and water polo. In her late 20s, she decided to finally take the leap and try triathlons. While training for her races, she found herself running more consistently. Fast forward a few years and Lauren has run too many half marathons to count and she completed her first full marathon in 2018 while pregnant! Following her pregnancy (and a move from Texas to Colorado) Lauren ran her first Colfax Half Marathon in 2019. COVID-19 gave Lauren an excuse NOT to run her second marathon pregnant in 2020, but she is back training for marathon #2 in October! When not training, Lauren loves to teach, travel and explore Colorado with her family of 4. She is excited to meet more people in the Denver running community and share her love for all things active!

Megan Stoddard

Megan decided to train to run her first mile 7 years ago – and hasn’t stopped running since! Since then, she has run a number of 5ks, 10ks, and half marathons, as well as a few trail races and several marathons (her most recent marathon was the virtual edition of the 2020 Boston Marathon… which was run entirely on a local track). This year will mark Megan’s third year running one of the Denver Colfax races – and she cannot WAIT!

When she’s not running, Megan can still be found outside. Other passions include hiking, skiing, traveling, and scuba diving with her husband and race-sherpa, Charlie. Her dog, Mimzy, is noted to be her best training partner and coach.

Tara Hunter

TJ Kizuka

You’ve seen him around! It’s Colfax Ambassador TJ!! Celebrating 5, wait 6 years as a Colfax Ambassador or is it 7? Tj has been running for about 13 years! He has run races all around the country! No matter where he is running he is proud to call the Colfax Family of races his favorite! Tj Believes everything is better with glitter and tacos… but not both at the same time because thats just messy! He is an avid baker who has a Tik-tok channel called HungryBearCooks, all those baked goodies are even more motivation to run!

Troy Coleman

Troy is a runner, an actor, an animal activist. He loves racing against himself and doing his best to inspire those around him to do so as well, whatever that looks like. He is also one heck of a cheering section all on his own. Troy is always inspired the first time someone laces up to try their first run in a long time. Marathon has been his distance of choice almost from go and Chicago, his former hometown will always be a favorite. He has been enjoying longer distances and trail running, especially up in Leadville. Colfax has been an incredible race each and every year and he loves it!

When not running, Troy loves getting up for hikes with his wife and their Westie, Maggie Mayhem.

“Sometimes you just do things.” – Scott Jurek

Tyler Hecox

Tyler Hecox is a Denver native who grew up in Lakewood, a decorated member of the Green Mountain Running Rams, and got his Film Editing degree from CU. He left running for a little while in his 20s and early 30s, but since becoming a Fireman he started running again to stay in shape. Tyler has completed many local races and ran his first Marathon outside of Seattle, WA in September of 2019. He has been a member of the Colfax Ambassador team for 2 years, and Colfax is by far his favorite local race due to it’s tour of some of the greatest parts of the Metro Area. When he’s not running or on duty, you can catch him pouring beers at Denver Beer Company in Arvada, coaching his two boys’ baseball teams, or spending time with his fabulous wife and their energetic dog Zephyr.