2017 HHM AMBASSADORS

Meet our 2017 Ambassadors!

These 17 Hotlanta-loving, high energy, running enthusiasts were selected as our 2017 HHM Ambassadors. Each of them bring a positive and motivational outlook to running in their communities, friends, and followers. Subscribe to their blogs and social media sites to follow along on their Hotlanta journey. You won't want to miss out on their tips, resources, and motivation!

BRANDI GILBERT

I started running a few years ago as a result of a family goal to participate in a local 5K together and I was quickly bit by the running bug.  Once I found out that running and being active can indeed be fun, it became a huge part of my life very quickly. Running has taken me to some pretty amazing places, given me some awesome opportunities, and brought me some of the greatest people in my life over the past few years. I love showing others around me that running and being active can be fun, so find your passion and get moving.

RACE HIGHLIGHTSI am a "streaker" of Hotlanta Half Marathon running 2014-16. This is one of my absolute favorite races of the year - while it pushes your comfort level by integrating the hills and heat of Atlanta, you have some of the absolute best course support and volunteers along the way to get you to that finish line!

CARTERSVILLE, GEORGIA

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ASHLEY LOVELL

I'm a Weimaraner lover, adventurist, nature nerd, gratitude warrior, and plant-powered marathon enthusiast living on the east side of Atlanta. On Saturdays you'll find me running at Big Peach Midtown or Decatur - come run with me! #KeepGoing 

ATLANTA, GEORGIA

RACE HIGHLIGHTS:

"6 life lessons from the Hotlanta Half Marathon"

1. Do more squats

2. Water is good

3. I love Atlanta

4. The last mile was brutal

5. Thankful to finish

6. THE MEDAL IS SO AMAZING TOO 

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KAT VON HACKE

I started running a few years ago when I lived in Japan, since then I've ran several half marathons and I just finished my first full marathon. The inaugural Hotlanta Half Marathon was held on the same day as my birthday!  

RACE HIGHLIGHTSThe inaugural year!!!! It was on my birthday!!!!!!!! I was registered for the second year however I ended up sick and wasn't able to run. - TOTALLY bummed The first year was an AWESOME run, I was the winner of the Hotlanta Half NB shoes! I felt SUPER loved by my friends for helping me win those!!! The race wasn't my finest, was injured but that allowed me to be there to help a friend cross the finish line who was struggling. I was able to get her through the last 3-4 miles! Best way to turn 34, run a half!

BUFORD, GEORGIA

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TIA PETTYGRUE

I've been running for over 8 years.  I'm a Certified Running Coach, virtually training people all over the US to complete their first or best race.  I've run over 100 Half Marathons, with Hotlanta 2016 being my 100th Half Marathon (on my birthday) and have completed 9 Marathons.  I enjoy helping other achieve goals and promoting events I'm excited about!

RACE HIGHLIGHTSLoved the course! Really enjoyed seeing so many Atl landmarks. I work with Primerica for 20 years and their convention was always at the GA Dome but this is the first time I got to see so much of the city. It was my 100th Half Marathon and my RBF (Running Best Friend) made me feel extra special with banners/posters all over the course. 

TAMPA, FLORIDA

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KALEY IVESTER

I started running cross country in high school and from there my love of running began! I love the running community as a whole, everyone is always so supportive, motivating and each race gives me a chance to make new friends. I actually went backwards in training and went straight from a 5k to a marathon and the Hotlanta race was my first half-marathon. Since then I run halfs every other month now! I love showing people how much fun running can be and you can do anything you put your mind to! 

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA

RACE HIGHLIGHTS: Love, love, love the course!! I come from Florida, so the biggest hill we have is a speed bump at times, but that is one of the reasons I loved this race! It challenged me and I totally felt like I conquered Atlanta by the time I finished! Out of all my races this was by far my favorite because of the volunteers, course and of course the medal! ITS AMAZING!! 

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KATHRYN HAAG

ATLANTA, GEORGIA

I didn’t start running until after the age of 30. Not only did I have to overcome a lifetime of telling myself “I’m not a runner” but also the “too-old-to-start” mindset. 

One of the ways I conquered these challenges was by repeating mantras to myself as I ran. It worked, and I now have nine half marathons under my belt.

Besides a runner, I’m also a chiropractor, a mom to two dogs, a Michigan State Spartan, and a lover of deadlifts. 

RACE HIGHLIGHTS: I ran the Hotlanta Half June 2016. The HHM course preview event was a blast, as was the group run at Big Peach Marietta. I honestly didn't do that great at the actual half. Around mile 8, I hit a wall and had to fight just to finish. This year I am redeeming myself on that beautiful course!

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KIMBERLY STROH

Kimberly has been running since 2012 and fell in love with the running community. She stays motivated to run to be healthy for her two sons. The half marathon distance is her favorite and Hotlanta 2017 will be her second time running the race

RACE HIGHLIGHTS: 2015- the year of the rain! My favorite memory was making the most of the rainy weather with other runners on the course. Worth it for the awesome medal!

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WOODSTOCK, GEORGIA

MEGHAN O'GORMAN

IRVING, TEXAS

I've been consistently running since summer of 2014 when I started training for my first 5k. I'm in a local running group, the Irving Running Club, and have met so many amazing friends along my running journey. Running has taught me so much about myself, and I've accomplished so much than I ever thought that I could! I completed my first marathon at Little Rock, and will be back again this year to improve my time. Since spring of 2015 when I first started racing halfs, I've completed 23 half marathons, with Hotlanta being my first out of state half!

RACE HIGHLIGHTS: I ran the HHM in 2016 and absolutely loved the course. I enjoyed going through parts of downtown, and looking at everything! Running by where the 1996 Olympic torch was brought back so many memories of me when I was a kid watching  those summer games. The popsicles on the course were AMAZING! Everything was so well organized and not to mention, the double spinner medal was pretty awesome!

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SHAUN RICE

DUNWOODY, GEORGIA

Hi.  My name is Shaun Rice.  And I'm an endorphin junkie.  There.  I said it. Running has provided a healthy outlet to meet amazing people, explore cities by running all over them, and to prove to myself that I'm capable of way more than I ever expected.  I thoroughly enjoy training for marathons, way more than I enjoy actually running marathons!  I love encouraging others to reach goals they one time thought to be impossible.  Whether that's through our weekly track sessions, or long runs, I hope runners find our enthusiasm contagious, and also have the desire to become a healthier you!  See you on the road!

RACE HIGHLIGHTS: The course is ran through some of the most iconic areas of Atlanta. The communal bond at a summer time half marathon is one of true runner spirit!

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CARRLOS BOYD

LAWRENCEVILLE, GEORGIA

When I was in the Marine Corps, running was an activity that was part of the job. After I left the military I got lazy and ballooned to 233 lbs.! A few years ago I decided that I would get back into shape and get healthy again through running. Since then I've lost over 30 lbs. and have run more races than I can count! But the best part of the whole journey is that my wife and son are now involved in running! Collectively we are known as #TeamBoyd in the Atlanta running community! We have turned running into a family lifestyle!

RACE HIGHLIGHTS: The Hotlanta Half Marathon has to be the most memorable race for me. My son and I have made this our yearly father/son race. We are streakers since the inaugural race and this year will be our 4th year running it together. We are looking forward to this father/son race for many years to come!

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SUSIE LEUTHOLD

I've been running for over 10 years and loving it! For the last 2.5 years, I have been Erika's runner through a group called "I run 4.' She is my best buddy, my running coach, and my biggest cheerleader. While running my first Marathon for Erika, I learned of (and joined) another amazing group called Ainsley's Angels where able bodied runners are paired with special needs athletes to compete in endurance events

 

Fast forward to June 2016 and I was headed to Atlanta to a conference when I learned that one of my running mentors (be sure to see Tia's Bio) would be running her 100th Half Marathon in Hotlanta. I had to be there so I signed up! I posted in my Ainsley's Angels group and soon learned that Angel Arthur (see Arthur's bio) would also be there helping his I Run 4 buddy, Tye,earn his Hotlanta Half Spinner Medal. I met them at the start line along with other amazing teams that were assisting special needs athletes. 

 

This year, I am running as part of Team Kylee in the brand new Duo Division. If you see us on the course, be sure to say Hi as we race with Team Tye to the finish line with smiles all around. I'm sure my buddy, Erika will be so happy to get her new Hotlanta Half Marathon medal. 

ODESSA, FLORIDA

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ASHLEY HARRIS

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA

I'm a mother of two boys, wife, HR Professional, group fitness instructor, and an avid runner. Running is my passion, the way I express myself, the one time I can truly be me.  Running is my passion, and I intend to run until I can't anymore.  On the weekends you'll catch me running the streets of Birmingham, AL, but ATL is my second home.  

RACE HIGHLIGHTS: 2016 was my first Hotlanta race and I was petrified.  Everyone told me the hills were a beast. So I went into this race nervous and scared. lol and behold I pr'd from my last half by 17 minutes!!!!  This is one of THE best races in the South!!!

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DEDRIC JACKSON

MARIETTA, GEORGIA

I started running consistently about two years ago when I was introduced to Black Men Run. I originally just wanted to stay in shape but I was quickly hooked into running by my group and the large & diverse community here in Atlanta. My goal is to inspire as many people as possible and to bring in more of our elders & children into "The Healthy Brotherhood". 

 

My first run of over seven miles occurred at the 2014 Hotlanta Half. Beat down & ready to quit, I was urged on & energized by the huge crowd support. This is a very challenging course but the volunteers, crowds and the race organizers/timers have made this my favorite 13.1 race (even with missing my p/r by 53 seconds last year). This year will be epic! 

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