We’re excited to introduce to you our 2015 ZOOMA Texas Ambassadors. This group of amazing women will help our runners stay informed, motivated and inspired as they train for ZOOMA Texas.
Jennifer writes a healthy living blog that encourages readers to take a better bite out of life through delicious, nutritious food and a life-long commitment to fitness. In addition to her blog, Jennifer is a healthy-cooking coach, award-winning recipe creator, spokesperson and competitive athlete. She hopes to encourage women (and men), especially those over 40 years old, to step outside their comfort zones and realize once-unthinkable goals.
Over the years, Jennifer has had some amazing experiences thanks to running including racing the Athens marathon, carrying the torch for the XIX Winter Olympics Relay, running the Boston Marathon, and participating for the last two years in the Hood to Coast Relay – and winning a number of races, including ZOOMA. But what she values even more than all these bucket-list checkmarks is the day-to-day joy and well-being that running brings to her life. Jennifer welcomes you to reach out to her at any time via email firstname.lastname@example.org , Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, if you have any questions or comments about the race, running in general, race nutrition or absolutely anything at all!
Brandi is a full-time marketing manager and part-time MBA student with a love for working up a sweat. She began her running journey after gaining the freshman 15 20 with the Couch-to-5k program. Since her start in 2008, she’s completed two full marathons, three halfs, and multiple smaller races. Brandi credits running as her main source of sanity, along with fair doses of puppy cuddles, champagne, and Pinterest. You can read more about her running journey and sources of inspiration on her blog Running ATX.
Leigh Ann Torres is a freelance writer and blogger living in Austin, TX. A longtime athlete with mediocre accomplishments in soccer, volleyball, and softball, Leigh Ann started taking running more seriously in 2012, completing a Tough Mudder Challenge that fall. She then completing her first half marathon in 2013 as a ZOOMA Texas Ambassador. However, what she thought was a true lifestyle change proved difficult when she suffered a herniated disc in the fall of 2013. With a heap of determination and the help of lots and lots of physical therapy, Leigh Ann is ecstatic to be lacing up her running shoes again as a ZOOMA Texas Ambassador for 2015.
Leigh Ann spends her minimal free time with her husband and three daughters. She blogs about the good, the bad, an the ridiculous of life with twins plus one at Genie in a Blog.
You may remember Lora from last year, when she served as a ZOOMA Texas Ambassador for the first time! Lora has been running for more than 15 years, starting her running career as a way to lose weight after middle school. Since then, she’s fallen in love with longer distances and is planning to race her 14th and 15th marathons this fall. Her love doesn’t stop there, as she is also a fan of the half marathon distance. She can’t wait to get race ZOOMA Texas in March 2015 with her sister by her side. Lora is also a Road Runners Club of America Certified Running Coach and loves helping others find their passion for running. You can follow her running adventures on her blog Crazy Running Girl.
Megan Myers is a food writer, recipe developer, and mom of two. She started her blog Stetted as a way to share her explorations of cooking from scratch, lessons in parenting, and local events. Megan started running as a way to keep up with her kids’ endurance and loves the feeling of accomplishment after every workout, no matter her speed.
Candace Thomas is a proud mom of two boys and editor-in-chief of the website Luxe…With Kids. Candace is a proponent for healthy and active lifestyles for kids and adults and can be found everywhere from enjoying a barre class to watching her kids on the soccer field. After running the Chicago Marathon in 2008, Candace hung up her running shoes for a few years while her boys were babies, and recently re-entered the wonderful world of running at the 2014 ZOOMA Texas run, having so much fun being back in the game that she couldn’t wait to sign up for 2015. As a busy mom, Candace is always on the lookout for trends in fashion, fitness, food and fun and sharing tons of tips and recommendations on her blog. Keep up with her family’s healthy lifestyle adventures at Luxe…With Kids.
Tori is a runner, an athlete, a wife and loving mother of three young children, and is currently coaching runners at Rogue Running in Cedar Park. She first discovered her love for running when she was in junior high school. Those early experiences as a track and cross country athlete fueled her love for endurance running later in life, with her first marathon in Austin, Texas in 2008. Since then, she has completed 12 marathons as well as a multitude of half marathons, 10Ks and 5Ks. In 2013 Tori raced the ZOOMA Texas half marathon for the first time and loved the event. Most recently she completed a half marathon in Vancouver, Canada and is training for several more races over the next year.
As both a runner and a coach, Tori enjoys both the thrill of participating in running events, as well as the excitement in seeing her athletes grow stronger and become successful runners themselves. She feels that running and coaching form a perfect marriage, and is equally passionate about both. Tori is the blogger behind Urarunner – a personal blog about her thoughts and experiences related to running and coaching. She is on a mission to support, encourage, challenge and empower other runners, no matter their background or experience level. When Tori isn’t out running, she loves mountain climbing, skydiving, and camping with her family.
A California native, Sarah has moved around the country for her job, finding new running opportunities along the way. Now an Austin resident, she considers the hike and bike trail to be the city’s most valuable treasure. Sarah has completed race distances of varying levels, including one full marathon and one 28-hour relay, but half marathons are her preferred distance. She started running by signing up and training for her first half marathon in 2011, and has kept at it ever since. Although her 24/7 job can be demanding, Sarah is committed to taking running day-by-day and squeezing in runs even when things get busy. She is very passionate about running with Back on My Feet, a nonprofit organization that helps individuals experiencing homelessness turn their lives around through running by celebrating successes and building a strong community of support.
Sarah started her blog, Rivin on the Run, when she trained for her first marathon in 2012, and found it especially helpful when she was sidelined with an injury during the process. She’s participating in the Austin Distance Challenge for the first time this year, and knows the training and racing will provide plenty of interesting blog fodder!
Lindsay started out as a runner years ago just looking to blow off some steam by training for a half marathon. Five years later with 3 full marathons and 20 half marathons under her belt, you could say it has blossomed into a true passion! Running has taken her and her husband on so many adventures around the world running in spots like New York, San Francisco, and the Bahamas. All of her adventures are now chronicled on her blog at Marathon State of Mind.
Lindsay wanted to continue to challenge herself in her running so she became an RRCA certified running coach and now uses that knowledge to help others improve their running and conquer new goals! Her blog was inspired by the popular quote “Finishing a marathon is a state of mind that says anything is possible” and she believes that anyone, of any skill set or running background can conquer the marathon! It just takes heart, dedication and believing that you can do it…and a little body glide doesn’t hurt either.
Alice began her running journey in the summer of 2012 by becoming part of a local running group’s Couch to 5k program. Running alongside both seasoned runners and those just beginning like herself was inspiring. She found such encouragement and support running with that group that she completed that first 5k, and then another, and many more after that. She continued to run through the 10k finish line and has made it a goal to complete her first half marathon as a ZOOMA Texas Ambassador in 2015.
Alice, her husband, and 4 children live in Austin, TX and currently share all their adventures on their blog, Thrill of the Chases. You can also follow along with their story on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.