2017 Race Ambassadors


We are proud to announce our group of 14 Race Ambassadors! Continue reading to learn about each Ambassador, dedicated to seeing our runners and walkers succeed. Plus, they’ll host giveaways, discounts and more throughout the year!


Bain_ElizabethElizabeth R. Bain from Alameda, CA

Elizabeth is an adult-onset runner. As a practicing attorney (University of Michigan Law, ’97) and over-educated yoga teacher, she runs for fun, not time. In her spare time she indulges her nerdy side and recently became an NASM certified personal trainer. When she isn’t working, running, or studying for yet another certification, Elizabeth can be found co-hosting the Runner of a Certain Age podcast or blogging. Connect with Elizabeth on her website, Facebook or Twitter.


Bondy_CraigCraig Bondy from Windsor, ON

A husband and proud father of two, Craig has been running for over 20 years. However he has only been running organized races for just 5 years. Last year he ran the Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon, wasn’t happy with his time, and decided to give 26.2 another go three weeks after. Connect with Craig on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.


DeRoven_RickRick DeRoven from West Bloomfield, MI

Rick began running in 1978, ran his first marathon in 1979, and his life was transformed forever. He is a veteran of 16 marathons (14 in Detroit) and over 100 triathlons, including the IRONMAN Triathlon World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. He is also a longtime serious student of strength training with kettlebells, and has a very strong interest in diet and nutrition. After almost 40 years of attempting to lead a healthy lifestyle, Rick still maintains that the joy of pure running is still his biggest stress reliever from a hectic day in his busy dental practice. Connect with Rick on Facebook.


Dingle_JenniferJen Dingle from Amherstburg, ON

Jen started running in 2009 when she signed up for her first 5K to help her quit smoking and hasn’t looked back! Seven years later with numerous races under her belt, she is still smoke free and in the best shape of her life! A busy single mom with a teenage daughter, she hits the pavement to help with stress when life gets a bit too chaotic! Jen will be running her first full marathon in 2017. Connect with Jen on her website, Twitter and Instagram.


Heitjan_NormailedNormailed Heitjan from Columbia, Maryland

Normailed was a 32-year-old, pre-diabetic couch potato with gestational diabetes during two pregnancies. One day she decided to run a 5K, and has been hooked ever since. She is now a 35-year-old runner, a marathoner and triathlete in good health and no longer pre-diabetic. She claims she may not look like the “typical” athlete, however intends to keep running and doing triathlons to inspire her children and others. Connect with Normailed on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Maagdeleyn_JephJeph Maagdeleyn from Windsor, ON

Born and raised just outside of Windsor, running was never really Jeph’s thing. However he moved to Quebec and found a passion for the sport. He has since been running for two years and achieved a Boston-Qualifying time before moving out of the youngest age group. His first marathon he missed a BQ by 22 minutes; six weeks later he achieved his goal! Connect with Jeph on his website, Instagram and Twitter.


Maust_EricEric Maust from Rochester, MI

Eric is a husband, father of four and the owner and head trainer of Rock City Fitness. He started running to spend more time with his wife and get involved with Hope Water Project. His proudest running moment? Running a sub-4:00 Chicago Marathon in 2016. Connect with Eric on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Miller_CallaCalla Miller from Highland, MI

In 2015 Calla and her husband changed their sedentary lifestyle, found running, and began making healthier choices. Together they lost over 225 pounds. Calla and her husband enjoy running after work and on the weekends, with their little boy joining them in his stroller. When Calla isn’t running, she’s busy being a 1st grade teacher and finding her next race. Connect with Team Miller on Facebook and Instagram.


View More: http://jennanicolephoto.pass.us/jasminJasmin Niemiec from Jackson, MI

Jasmin is a coach, runner, mom and former cheerleader-turned-runner, thanks to a cross country coach in high school. From hating to running the 1200 to leading her team to championships, Jasmin fell in love with running and continued athletics in college. She uses this knowledge to coach other runners to their fastest times and healthiest self. Connect with Jasmin on her website, Facebook or Instagram.


Paden_LaRondaLaRonda Paden from Detroit, MI

LaRonda is a proud and native Detroiter with a motivational spirit that rivals The Motor City itself. She began running at the age of 42 and will tell you that it’s never too late to start running. LaRonda is also an avid reader and loyal friend, dedicated to success and helping those around her achieve greatness as well. You can connect with LaRonda on Instagram.


Peers_BrieneBrienne Peers from Clarkston, MI

A teacher by day and runner and blogger by night, Brienne has been running since college. She will be running her first full marathon this year. After committing to her first half-marathon last year, running helped Brienne fall more in love with herself and the sport. Connect with Brienne on her website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Perkins_JenniferJennifer Perkins from Clawson, MI

Jennifer is an artist, master gardener and world traveler. After joking with her boyfriend that they should start running, she decided to sign up for her first 5k, at age 49. Four years, and almost a hundred races later, she’s a runner now, too. Jennifer is originally from the west side of Detroit, and currently trains on the streets near her home in Clawson, where she knows the names of all the neighborhood cats. Connect with Jennifer on her website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Petraszko_HeatherHeather Petraszko from Detroit, MI

Heather started running as a way to control her size and weight, assuming running was for thin, slender folks. She’s come to celebrate the fact that people of all shapes and sizes, including herself, can be runners. Heather has been running and racing for the past 15 years and continues to promote physical activity as a means of building self-esteem. Connect with Heather on her website, Facebook and Instagram.


Schave_ValVal Schave from Clinton Township, MI

Valerie started running thanks to a Couch-to-5K program in 2012 and completed her first 5K. This year she’s planning on her first 100k, so it’s safe to say Val has taken to running. Val is also a Type-1 Diabetic with an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor. She continually tries to inspire others to push themselves and try new things. Connect with Valerie on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.