Ambassadors

The 2015 LaceUp ambassador team is a group of key members of the Southern California running community. They spread the word on LaceUp at the grassroots level and represent the race series in their everyday lives.  Get to know some of our ambassadors, and find out what fuels each of them!

Become a 2016 ambassador! Learn more

 

MJ_RESIZEMichael John Stanley

“I love gliding across the pavement on just my own two feet, to the rhythm of my body working together in perfect synchronicity…especially when it ends in victory!”

 

  • His biggest running accomplishment was qualifying for the Boston Marathon
  • A goal of his is to run the Boston Marathon in under 3:00:00 in 2015. His current personal record is 3:04:05

  • He cries every time he watches a ‘chick flick’

 

 

 

Natasha Marsh

“Running has given me confidence and has proved to me that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. It makes me feel strong and powerful!”

 

  • Looking forward to running in the LA Marathon and eventually, Boston Marathon
  • Biggest running accomplishment was placing 3rd in her first full marathon in Maui

  • Has a twin sister who also loves to run

 

 

 

 

AMBASSADOR_GILLIAN_CLOW_RESIZEGillian Clow

“I run to push myself, for my (relative) sanity, to be part of something bigger than myself, for the bling, and for post-race beer!”

 

  • A huge goal of hers is qualifying for the Boston Marathon in the next few years

  • Biggest running accomplishments have been completing marathons, and becoming a smarter runner through cross-training and improved diet.

  • As a tradition, she runs a race every Fourth of July and every Thanksgiving morning

 

 

Jessica Neilson

“Running is a constant reminder of how strong I am, physically and mentally. It has the ability to change my day from awful to awesome. Also, I like medals!”

 

  • Her biggest running accomplishment was completing her very first marathon in under 4 hours

  • After a recent injury, her immediate goal was to run pain-free and compete again. After that, she hopes to qualify for Boston

  • Her recent adventures include hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro

 

 

Jason Beitdashtoo

“Running is my favorite way to explore Orange County. I enjoy the freedom it gives me, as it’s an opportunity to challenge myself physically, and a great excuse to travel!”

 

  • His biggest running accomplishment was completing his first marathon in San Luis Obispo in

4:19!

  • His running goal is to run a half marathon in each state and to run a race abroad

  • He’s a licensed rescue scuba diver, and hopes to one day dive somewhere tropical

 

 

Loren Collingwood

“I run to stay in shape, reduce stress, improve myself, socialize with others, and to be the best I can be.”

 

  • Loren’s biggest accomplishment was Running 3:18 at Ironman Coeur d’Alene after a long and windy 112 miles on the bike

  • His next goal is to run a 2:45 at Surf City Marathon.

  • He has dual citizenship with the United Kingdom.

 

 

 

 

Emily Stone

“I run because I always thought that it would be cool to fly. Since running is land-flying, I guess you could say that running gives me superpowers! Also, I love to have goals and push myself, be a positive influence on my two kids and my students, and eat chocolate and drink beer.”

 

  • Her biggest running accomplishment was running Boston

  • A main goal of hers is to stay injury free and in love with running for the rest of her life

  • She also teaches middle school and loves it

 

 

 

Kristin M. Morris

“I run because if I didn’t, I would go crazy!”

 

  • She ran her first full marathon in 2014 at the LA Marathon

  • Her current running goal is to run in all 50 states in the next 5 years, and all 7 continents in the next 10 years. So far she’s done 12 states and 1 continent

  • She can’t say “NO” to cupcakes

 

 

 

 

Sarah Cabrera

“My love of Disney turned me into a long distance runner. I run for the bling, I run as a stress reliever, I run for exercise and I run because I can!”

 

  • Her biggest running accomplishment was her first Half Marathon, which was also her first race ever

  • She would love to run the Princess Half Marathon at Disneyworld and get her Coast to Coast medal.  Someday she’ll run a Marathon

  • Sarah also collects Disney pins and squished pennies.

 

 

 

Edward Kasper

“I run to get fit, to push myself, to feel amazing. Running gives me focus, confidence, and makes me feel strong, accomplished, and ageless. I want to run all the time!”

 

  • His biggest running accomplishment was running his first Half Marathon at 40 with a finish time of 1:45:21!

  • A running goal of his it to finish a Half Marathon with a time of 1:30:00

  • He is an actor and a musician. He has been in several independent films and has also released an album.

 

 

 

Tina Jimenez

“The main reason I run is because of the community! I have met so many interesting, extremely wonderful people within the various running related clubs and events I participate in.”

 

  • A running accomplishment of hers is simply continuing to run. Sticking to running is an accomplishment in itself

  • She would love to run the Dipsea Race in Northern California

  • She used to build spaceships for a living

 

 

 

Linzie Starr

“I run because it sets me free. I run because it’s my time to push and challenge myself. I run because I love it!”

 

  • A goal of his is to complete a 100-mile race by 2016.

  • Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb is his favorite Disney character!

 

 

 

 

 

Andy RESIZEAndy Steinhoff

“I run to have time for myself and to clear my mind. I run to set goals and work hard to achieve them. I run to be part of something bigger.”

 

  • Her biggest running accomplishment was qualifying for and completing the Boston Marathon nine years in a row.

  • She would like to break 3:30 in the marathon.

  • College football season is her favorite time of year – “GO BLUE!”

 

 

 

Alex Ianculescu

“I run for meditation, for quiet, for peace, to clear my mind, to focus on my breath, to be with myself. A race is the perfect counterpart, where I run for the social aspect and to challenge myself. I run because it makes me smile.”

 

  • Her biggest running accomplishment was continuing to run “against medical advice” and in so doing, proving that the mind is more powerful than the body and bones.

  • She would love to run an Ultramarathon and is thinking about Catalina in January 2016.

  • She can eat more ice cream than anyone she’s ever met.

 

 

Josh Veloz

“I like running for the competition and I love to go fast.”

 

  • His biggest running accomplishment is running over 1,000 miles this year.

  • He wants to run a 5k in sub 16:50 this year.

  • Josh loves baking cookies and sharing them with friends!

 

 

 

 

 

Jonathan Jimenez

“Running allows me to enjoy the scenery, make new friends, and travel. Plus who can say ‘no’ to unique medals and free beer.”

 

  • His biggest accomplishment was running his first 10-miler in Iraq and getting great advice from his First Sergeant, where he was told “learn to pace yourself.”

  • He would like to compete in all of the World’s 15 Toughest Marathons, Ultramarathons and compete in IRONMAN races.

  • Jonathan loves traveling the world and he served in the Army.

 

 

 

Kat RESIZEKat Schjei

“For me, running is the perfect platform for any person to set and accomplish goals. It’s beautiful to push past your limits to see what you can achieve.”

 

  • Her biggest running accomplishments are tied between qualifying for Boston for the first time and completing her first sub 24-hour 100-mile Ultramarathon.

  • She’s a U.S. Air Force veteran.

 

 

 

 

Toni Owen

“I did the Grand Canyon with my boys on my 65th birthday, climbed a Canadian mountain at 65 and we’re running together on my 70th next year. I started running in September 2014!”

 

  • Toni finished the Ventura Lexus LaceUp 5K and won her age group.

  • She hopes to do at least a 10k next year, and she finds the Half Marathon alluring.

  • She is a dual American/Canadian citizen.

 

 

 

Lexus LaceUp Ambassador Teon Taylor Teon Taylor

“I run for the fun, peace, and happiness. I run to inspire family, friends, and people I don’t know. Most importantly, I run for a little boy that never got the chance to.”

 

  • Teon loves the running family he has created. Friends he has met through running can all enjoy training and running races together.

  • He hopes to complete the Dopey Challenge at Disney World.

  • He loves ice cream. After every race he goes with friends to a random mom-and-pop ice cream shop in the town the race was held.

 

 

Lexus LaceUp Ambassador Steve AcciartoSteve Acciarito

“I run because it allows me time to focus. Whether it be on myself during intensity training or other things during easy runs. I enjoy the solitude that running provides.”

 

  • Steve’s biggest accomplishment was racing a 10K, eight days after being in the ICU with meningitis. He was able to run it at a 7:35 pace.

  • He would love to run the HURT 100 in Hawaii one day.

  • His all time favorite thing to eat is vanilla pudding.

 

 

 

Lexus LaceUp Ambassador Tania WilliamsTania Williams

“I love how I feel strong during a run. I run to stay in half-decent shape and to keep stress at bay.”

 

  • Her biggest running accomplishment to date is running two half marathons in 14 days.

  • Her current running goal is to run a half marathon in under 2 hours.

  • Tania cannot purchase “snacks” for her home due to a complete lack of diet discipline.

 

 

 

Lexus LaceUp Ambassador Kevin DieterleKevin Dieterle

“I love the camaraderie in the running community, which welcomed and encouraged me from the beginning. The challenge of setting ambitious goals and working to meet them is exciting!”

 

  • Kevin was thrilled when he finished his first major race in October 2014 at the Rock ‘n Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon.

  • He’s looking forward to completing the LA Marathon in March 2015, which will be his first marathon.

  • Kevin loves to bake. He says “there’s something so satisfying about being able to prepare something that everyone loves, because seriously, who doesn’t love dessert?!”

 

 

Lexus LaceUp Ambassador Megan JohnstonMegan Johnston

“I run to push my own limits – to find out what I’m really capable of, what drives me, and what pushes me beyond my point of comfort. I run to stay fit, for stress relief, and for fun. Life can’t always be serious and running has taught me that it’s okay to have fun while staying focused with your eye on the prize!”

 

  • Her biggest achievement was finally reaching a sub-2 hour half marathon after a year and a half of pursuit.

  • This year, her goal is to PR her marathon time – maybe twice!

  • Megan has lived in California, Arizona, Texas, and Georgia, but is glad to call California home.

 

 

Lexus LaceUp Ambassador Sarah PresleySarah Presley

“After surviving a brain aneurysm rupture in 2012, everyday I am thankful to be alive and still be able to run.”

 

  • Her biggest achievement was running San Diego Rock N Roll 2014 as her first full marathon after her brain aneurysm. This race is very special because it represents an important milestone.

  • She is participating in the “2015 In 2015 Challenge”. This year she will be running, walking and hiking a total of 2015 miles.

  • She has an insatiable appetite to try new and unusual foods. As long as a culture defines it as food, she wants to know what it tastes like.

 

Lexus LaceUp Ambassador Christie BautistaChristie Bautista

“When I run I am reminded that I am much stronger than the limitations I place on myself. Not only does running build physical endurance, it builds mental strength as well.

 

  • Her biggest achievement was running her first half marathon with minimal training, and running a half marathon every month ever since.

  • A running goal of Christie’s is to run a sub 2 half marathon and complete a full marathon in 2015.

  • She has traveled to Central America by herself to explore.

 

 

Lexus LaceUp Ambassador Kelley DrobnisKelley Drobnis

“I run because it makes me feel free. Whether it’s a 5K or full marathon, Spartan race, or running in a tutu through Disneyland, nothing makes me happier than running!”

 

  • Her biggest achievement was running her first ultra last December – The OTHTC High Desert 50K – after years of saying she would NEVER run an ultramarathon.

  • A goal of Kelley’s is to qualify for Boston by the end of the year.

  • She likes to Moonwalk.

 

 

Lexus LaceUp Ambassador Scott DevineScott Devine

“I run to strengthen my body, mind and spirit. Oh, and I run because I really like burgers and fries.”

 

  • His biggest achievement was running 3 half marathons (in two different states) in a day and a half.

  • A goal of Scott’s is to complete all 6 of the World Marathon Majors (Boston, NY, Chicago, London, Berlin, Tokyo).

  • He’s the screenwriter for the SHARK ATTACK trilogy of B-films.

 

 

 

 

Lexus LaceUp Ambassador Bernard LlaveBernard Llave

“I run because I can. I am a 2 year leukemia survivor. I will never take running for granted.”

 

  • His biggest accomplishment was when he ran his first race after treatment.

  • A goal of his is to run a 50K.

  • Bernard loves chips.

 

 

Lexus LaceUp Ambassador Bust A GrooveMaria “BustA Groove” C.

“I run to improve mental and physical health, take a break from stress, ‘race-cations’, and enjoy the outdoors and nature with friends.”

 

  • Her biggest accomplishment is running 36 half marathons and 3 marathons since March 2012.

  • Two goals of her’s are to finish 50 half marathons by year 2016 and run 2,015 miles in 2015.

  • Don’t be surprised if you see her out on course in a costume. She has a particular fondness for superhero characters.

 

 

 

 

Lexus LaceUp Ambassador Colleen YorkeColleen Yorke

“Running is who we are. We run, because we can. We run, because it is the only way to start the day.”

 

  • Her biggest running accomplishment so far was running 2,000 miles in 365 days.

  • One of her running goals is to run an ultra-marathon.

  • One time Colleen showed up as Director of Photography for a hair-modeling commercial shoot and ended up as the model.

 

 

 

 

Becky Mccambly Lexus LaceUpBecky McCambly

“Running not only keeps me in great shape, but it helps me develop my inner peace. Running is my therapy. Running helps balance my life, keeps me focused and most importantly, makes me a better mom.”

 

  • Her biggest running accomplishment was improving her marathon time by an hour after a 10 year hiatus.

  • Her running goal is to qualify and then run Boston.

  • Becky can’t run without gum.

 

 

 

Allie Fisher Lexus LaceUp

Allie Fisher

“I love to run because it constantly challenges me.  I’m always striving for a new goal and can always learn something from EVERY run.  Plus, the running community rocks.”

  • Her biggest running accomplishment was running a 1:47 half marathon at the Big Sur on Monterey Bay in November 2014.
  • Her running goal is to break 1:45 in the half marathon and to run a marathon in another country.

  • Allie has a food blog called sweet potato bites because sweet potatoes are always a part of my pre-race meal!

 

 

 

 

Tess Ryan Lexus LaceUp

Tess Ryan

I run to set and beat personal goals, to feel empowered, to escape the grind, and to explore the beautiful places around me.”

 

  • Her biggest running accomplishment was running her first half marathon in May of 2012, from the mountains of Ojai to the beach of Ventura, and meeting her goal of finishing in under 2 hours.
  • major running goal of Tess’ is to qualify and run the Boston Marathon in the next two years.
  • Tess can eat an entire jar of peanut butter in one sitting.