We’re excited to welcome 6 runners and community members as 2017 Gorham Savings Bank Maine Marathon Race Ambassadors! They are all super-fans of the Maine Marathon and the sport of running and are looking forward to sharing that with you via social media, group runs, events, and other activities. Stay tuned here and on Facebook for the announcement of all our ambassadors and for details of upcoming events!
Jen is a long-time Maine Marathon runner—having run both her first half and her first full marathon on our course (plus her half-marathon PR!). She’s also volunteered at the finish line and is planning to run the Half this year. Jen is a member of both Kennebec Valley Coaching and Maine Track Club. Plus, she’s passing on her love of the sport to both her kids and other kids as well—she’s the Gardiner High School Head Track & Field Coach, the Gardiner Summer Track Head Coach, and is restarting the Gardiner Cross Country Team.
We asked her why she loves this event and she said, “I started running about 13 years ago to lose the baby weight. My first half marathon and full were both the Maine Marathon. And now I’m hooked!”
You can follow Jen as she trains for this year’s Half on Twitter and Instagram, on her blog, and on Facebook both as herself and as Running With The Girls. Plus, she will be holding at least one training run so you can ask her all your Maine Marathon questions in person, not just via social media!
Julia is based in Portland and will be tackling her first half-marathon on October 1. Having competed in the 2010 Olympic Games, she has recently retired from the sport and has been transitioning to slightly less competitive athletic endeavors. “I had run intermittently over the course of my luge career, but to be successful in the sport of luge you need explosive power, body awareness & body mass (lifting weights, agility, balance & flexibility), gaining weight & strength was encouraged….cardio was not.” It wasn’t until she was sidelined that she started running more often and finishing her first 10K earlier this summer clarified that she had found her next challenge.
She continued, “I’m not a very strong runner but I’ve always been drawn to human powered adventures, particularly those that require both mental and physical grit; in my 6 short weeks of training I have found running to be the perfect combination. My favorite part of the journey thus far is as the miles add up, I can feel my body strengthen and my mind toughen. I look forward to sharing stories, motivation & the journey with other first time runners; as I continue down the path to my first half-marathon.”
Julia is planning to hold a training run focused on first-timers, and you can follow her progress on Twitter.
Nathan Ferrell is the pastor of The Episcopal Church of Saint Mary in Falmouth, right on the marathon race course. Since that precludes services on race day, he and the congregation participate in a variety of ways.
For the past five years, Nathan has organized relay teams and helped with a major water station right in front of Saint Mary’s. As a relay runner himself and organizer of 3 relay teams this year, Nathan is a great resource for anyone who wants to participate but isn’t interested in running the longer distances (or in running at all!). He says, “It is such a wonderful and fun community event that I encourage everyone in my congregation to be involved and to give back to the community in this way.”
Nathan also proudly serves our nation as a Navy Reserve Chaplain, which gives him extra motivation to stay healthy and fit. An active athlete across multiple endurance sports, Nathan is the father of three and married to fellow relay runner Erin McGee Ferrell. You can follow him on Twitter , Facebook , and Instagram or look for him at other local events as part of the Saint Mary’s Godspeed running group.
Shelby ran her first marathon with us back in 2012—the year of the pouring rain. (And despite that, she keeps coming back!) Based in Portland, Shelby started running with the Unum Track Team in 2011 in order to start a new, healthier post-college lifestyle.
In 2016, after successfully qualifying for Boston, Shelby was stuck and run over by a car while out for a training run. As she says, she’s “a bit of a miracle because I neither broke nor tore anything — I suffered a small avulsion fracture and a grade 2 MCL sprain. Months in a leg brace and on crutches, followed by extensive physical therapy and personal training, I made my comeback at the Boston Marathon I’d worked so hard to get into.”
Her marathon on October 1 will be dedicated to all the people who stood by her for every mile, every step through recovery, and every stride to redemption.
As a race ambassador, you can expect to see Shelby out and around in Portland and on Facebook and Instagram. As we get closer to race day, we hope she’ll share her knowledge of the course with us through a course talk. Stay tuned…
Jon started racing in 2010, started a running program within the Sabattus Rec Club in 2011, and has been building the running community around Sabattus ever since. At age 60, he ran his first marathon at the 2016 Maine Marathon—and qualified for Boston! This will be his second marathon in order to gain more experience before heading to Hopkinton in April.
You can find Jon at the weekly Wednesday training run held by the Sabattus Rec Running Group (find them on Facebook) and we hope to lure him into a hosting an on-course training run this fall! Jon is also a great person to ask advice of if you’re newer to the sport or started running a little later in life.
Running by yourself in a new town can be tough. Chelsea Peterson decided to do something about that and started up the Thick Quad Squad, a free running club and community in Portland. A Midwest native and ultra runner, Chelsea evolved from barely surviving a Turkey Trot to successfully completing her first Chicago Marathon in 2014.
As a race ambassador, Chelsea is excited to get the opportunity to do what she does best—contributing to the amazing athletic community surrounding Maine and supporting fellow runners. The Thick Quad Squad welcomes runners of all levels and abilities and the weekly Sunday long run will be especially welcoming to anyone running on October 1!