We’re excited to introduce to you our 2015 ZOOMA Annapolis Ambassadors. This group of amazing women will help our runners stay informed, motivated and inspired as they train for ZOOMA Annapolis.
Erika first began running to help combat postpartum depression. What started as a need quickly became a love. After a friend convinced her to run an 8K, she found herself addicted to racing. An off the cuff remark led to training for her first full marathon (MCM Marathon 2008). She ran ZOOMA Annapolis as her first half marathon and part of her training plan for the full. She started her blog, MCM Mama Runs, during her marathon training because her husband was tired of hearing about all of her runs.
Erika lives in the Washington, DC metropolitan area with her husband, two sons, a cat, and a leopard gecko. She is currently a little more than halfway through her goal of running a race (and drinking a craft beer) in all 50 states. Last year she revised her goal to running half marathons in all states, so she ran 13 half marathons in less than 10 weeks, with ZOOMA Annapolis 2014 being her final race in the series. She will be ramping up her training soon to train for ZOOMA in 2015 as well as her third time running 5 half marathons in 5 days.
Cynthia is a working mom of three little kids living in the DC area, born and raised in Maryland. She started running 11 years ago as a way to lose weight and be more active, going from her first 5K to her first marathon in a year and a half. She has since done another full marathon and tons of half marathons, transforming her life through fitness and weight loss through the running journey.
Cynthia has lost a total of 50 pounds through running, fitness, and healthy eating, and achieved a longtime goal of doing a triathlon by age 40. She then took it from sprint distance triathlon to Half Ironman in one year, but running is her first love.
With a challenging but rewarding job in performing arts management, her work hours are often long and involve weekends, evenings, and international travel, so she is continually walking the tightrope of balance between work, home life, healthy eating, and personal fitness goals.
Cynthia can be found blogging at You Signed Up For WHAT?!, which is the standard response she gets when she tells friends and family about her latest encounter with the “Register Now!” button.
Cynthia is thrilled to be a ZOOMA Annapolis Ambassador for a second year. Follow her adventures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or Google+ as she trains for the ZOOMA Annapolis half marathon!
Jen is a 34 year old home school mom to two daughters who loves running! She has been running for 18 years. Runners go through so many different stages depending on where they are in life and what their goals are. She has gone from competitive high school running, to running for fun, to pregnant running, to now racing. She now enjoys the challenge of training and trying to better her times. She started her blog, http://milesandblessings.com/, to meet, encourage, and inspire other runners as they begin, or continue, on their running journey. She has run 5 marathons, 4 half marathons and a handful of 5 and 10k’s. There is so much that can be gained from running; health, confidence, determination, pride, endurance, support and even humility, and she loves the opportunity to help people see that.
Christine is the certified personal trainer, group exercise instructor and spin instructor behind I’d Rather Be Sweating. After moving to Maryland 10 years ago from Ohio, Christine caught the running bug and has since run six marathons, two half marathons, an ultra-marathon relay and countless ten-milers. Christine’s goal each day is to inspire her clients, class participants and readers to live their best life by eating healthy, moving daily and tackling each day with a positive outlook. Now the mother of a two-year old, Christine likes to set a healthy and positive example for her daughter and is always pushing her in the jogging stroller. This will be Christine’s first ZOOMA Annapolis Half Marathon and she is looking forward to seeing you out on the course!
Natalie DiBlasio is a marathoner, all-kinds-of-animal lady and loud laugher who is always hungry. Always. Natalie started running in the second grade and hasn’t stopped since. Two years ago she got into half marathons and last year – full marathons. Her freezer has more ice packs than food and her fridge looks like it’s always out of groceries. In her day job – Natalie is a reporter on the breaking news team at USA TODAY. In the way-too-early mornings and evenings she’s busy running, practicing yoga at her favorite studio or writing for Run Washington and Runner’s Breakfast. Next up for Natalie? Triathlons!
You can also connect with Natalie on Twitter.
Sarah Jane is a former gymnast and rower turned triathlete and runner. Though she always ran for exercise and participated in many 5k and 10k races, she never thought of herself as a runner until completing her first half marathon in 2010. She was hooked! Since then she has completed six half marathons, four sprint and Olympic distance triathlons and last year completed her first full marathon—the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC. This year’s training schedule, which included the Paris Marathon, was slightly interrupted by the birth of her first child (due December 2014), but that hasn’t stopped her from planning ahead for her first Ironman Triathlon in 2016!
Sarah Jane is a social media strategist and designer and owner of D+S Design—launching January 2015!—and the creator of lifestyle blog, Clean & Proper which focuses on tips for a happy and healthy life including gluten-free and clean eating recipes. A former member of the National Association of Search & Rescue, Sarah Jane spends most of her time volunteering with Junior League of Annapolis. She lives in Annapolis with her husband and soon-to-be baby girl.
Kara A. Forrest is an elementary school teacher, mom to one redheaded daughter and an aspiring writer. Kara ran cross country and track for her high school team from 1989 to 1993. During college, Kara just ran for recreation. Following her 35th birthday, and a health scare, Kara decided it was time to return to running to regain her sense of self and find a place of strength and balance in her life. In the beginning, Kara just dabbled with some local 5ks in her small town in southern Maryland, but then with the encouragement of a friend, she decided to train for a 10k and then, in August of 2012 she ran her first half marathon. Running is a piece of the healthy lifestyle that Kara enjoys and loves sharing with her redheaded, 13 year old daughter. Currently, Kara and her daughter have run four 5ks races together. In October of 2014, Kara will run her first full marathon, the Maine marathon.
Kara believes in making the impossible, possible. Her vision is for all women to find a strength and confidence in themselves by building a healthy and active lifestyle. Running is part of the opportunity to reach out to other women and at the same time build a network of friendships and a shared vision. Kara’s motto is “Run Strong, Run Swift and Run with Your Heart”. ZOOMA holds a special place in Kara’s heart. ZOOMA Annapolis 2012 was Kara’s first big 10k race. Kara loves the camaraderie and beautiful race settings that ZOOMA offers women runners. The opportunity to now be part of such an amazing and inspiring team is one of Kara’s biggest dreams realized. Kara is excited to share her love of running, organic and sustainable cooking/baking and her love of writing with others!
A fitness enthusiast, Aundra started running and race training in 2010 when she signed up for her first race: a half marathon. Since then, she’s completed 6 half marathons, 3 10-milers, 4 10ks, 11 5ks, and a Ragnar relay race, placing first overall female in a 5k, third in her age group for a half marathon, and third in her age group for another 5k. She blogs about her adventures at Fit for Life. In addition to running, she also teaches group fitness classes – Insanity, PiYo Strength, Turbo Kick, and Zumba. She resides in Chestertown and works for her alma mater, Washington College, in the admissions office.
Lauren is a Baltimore resident who loves taking advantage of all life has to offer–including running, traveling, trying new restaurants, grabbing drinks with friends, enjoying live music, exploring the city, cooking, and never passing up dessert! Since falling in love with running after her first 5K in 2011,Lauren has run 2 marathons, 8 half marathons and many other races. As an avid runner, Lauren is always working towards another goal or race, along with cross-training with Crossfit and other fun fitness activities, to stay happy, healthy, and strong. By day, she works as a research scientist and by night she’s blogging at “Breathe Deeply and Smile,” all while navigating her twenties and learning to live a happy and healthy life!
Sam is on a quest to achieve balance in her life. She started her blog to chronicle her many misadventures in baking, running, and everything in between. BakeNBurn.com is an outlet for the highs and lows of her long-term relationship with health and fitness. She currently lives in Northern Virginia; however, while growing up on the Jersey Shore, Sam was active in track & field. After taking a break she rediscovered her love of running senior year of college, while training for her first half marathon. As an adult, running has become a reprieve from the hectic hustle of everyday life. Sam has run lots of half marathons, 1 full, several 10 milers, 10ks, and 5ks. Her favorite races are race-cations! What better way to explore a new city than on foot! Sam loves sharing her race experiences, travel tips, recipes, and fitness fun with others.