7:30 Min/Mile

Ryan Philip

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Andrew Buikema

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 I got back in to running 6 years ago after a long time of inactivity and gaining an enormous amount of weight. I ran in high school, but then stopped through college and my first several years in my professional life. I led a very unhealthy lifestyle of eating and zero activity. I finally decided to turn my life around and get back into running. My brother paced me at my first half marathon and pushed me harder than I could have imagined. It was then that I realized that I need to keep doing this if I am going to set the example for my two daughters.

I love sharing my passion of running with others. I run for my girls (14 and 11), I run for a mental release, I run for me, the pure enjoyment and the accomplishment of others as a pacer to achieve their goals!

I have had the pleasure and honor of pacing for several races in Michigan, Illinois and South Carolina…I am the Race Director for the Mercy Health Seaway Run (Muskegon) and have been the pace director for the Amway River Bank Run and Rivertown Half (Grand Rapids) for the past several years. I also enjoy running and training with my local run club in Rockford, MI - RunRockford.

Everyone has a story and it’s awesome getting to know them, who they are and their WHY. Looking forward to helping you on race day! See you at the starting line!

Scott VanLoo

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 While running is a big passion of mine, pacing races to help individuals achieve that goal that they set out for, that is what drives me to volunteer for these events. If you're looking for someone to entertain you while you push through that wall...I'm here for you! I started running in 2010 to help shed the weight and now 77 marathons later I’ll be running with you to that finish line. Looking forward to meeting many of you on that race morning as we cruise through the streets of Battle Creek. 

8:00 min/mile

Gale Fischer

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I began running back in October of 1997, completing my first marathon a year later. To date I have run 33 marathons, 1 ultra distance race of 50 miles and many other races ranging from 5K to 30K. Over the years I have enjoyed the joy of running alone, the thrill of competing in my age group and most of all the positive impact of the local running community. This will be my third year pacing the Battle Creek Half Marathon. I have also paced several other races officially and unofficially including half-marathons, a 25K and several full marathons. Helping others achieve their racing goals is thrilling. I have also coached high school track and cross country for Pennfield High School since 2014. I love running, talking about running and writing about running. My running stories appear in the Kalamazoo Area Runners Rundown and several have been featured in The Battle Creek Shopper, The Battle Creek Scene Magazine, Michigan Runner Magazine and Marathon and Beyond Magazine.

Laura Pierce

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 Hi runners! Happy to be pacing the 8:00 group. I started running after college as a way of losing some weight and dealing with anxiety, and I found that I absolutely loved it. At the time of Battle Creek, I will have run 10 marathons, including two Boston Marathons. I have a lot of running goals, but ultimately, I just want to be able to run happy for as long as possible. See you out there! Cheers! 

Simon Baldwin

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 Hello runners! I have been an runner since 1999 but my true passion began following my first Marathon in 2009. Since then, my love for running has exploded and now most of my friends are runners, most of my vacations include races, and most of my free time centers around running. I have now completed 12 marathons and always keep one on the horizon. This will be my first time pacing and I look forward to sharing my love of the sport and helping others meet their goals. 

8:30 min/mile

Doug Chapel

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The Battle Creek Half Marathon is always a special race for me, because the inaugural run in 2016 was also my first half marathon.  I've completed nine halves now in the past three years, and every one of them has been a great experience for one reason or another.  I've gotten to run with some great pacers over the last three years in both full and half marathons, and I'll be there for this race to pay that forward and help others reach their goals and have fun!

After never being much of a runner, I first took up the sport when I ran my first 5K in early 2014.  I always say that running really changed my life physically, emotionally, and even spiritually.

Archie Hall

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My name is Archie Hall,  and I am excited to be a Pacer for the 2019 Battle Creek Half Marathon !   My first experience with running was competing in high school in Cross Country and track .  Running came natural to me,   and I enjoyed being outside and competing.  After high school I got busy with life and college,  and packed up my running shoes for a couple decades. 

  7 years ago I got an invite from my Daughter Madison to run a 5k with her 4th grade fitness program at Horizon elementary.  I only trained a week,  and I huffed and puffed through the race ! I still managed a good time,  but decided then I needed to get back into it, and to get in shape.  Within a couple years I signed up to train with Playmaker’s, and really enjoyed the experience.  Since then I have ran the Chicago Marathon twice, The Bayshore full,  the Bayshore half,  and several others half’s, 5ks , 10k’s, and a 25K. 

   Running ( especially with friends ) has been a source of great encouragement, camaraderie, and fitness over the last few years.  As a Pacer I love fielding questions,  training, and helping fellow runners accomplish their goals.   I am very excited to be an active runner,  and to accomplish a new goal this summer:  running a Trail Half in the Manistee forest ! 

Kim Houtkooper

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Hey Racers!  Can't wait to see you at the starting line at the Great Cereal City Half Marathon.  I had a blast as a first time pacer last year when we were blessed with humidity and gorgeous hot air balloon action and a wonderful group that made it to the finish line right on pace group time!  I've been running for years and consistently running for the last 9 years with half and full marathon experience.  Triathlon is my other love. I love the camaraderie of talking to runners to offer whatever distraction or focus ideas they need to meet their goals during the race.  July will be here before you know it, happy training! 

Sonja Perakis

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 Grand Rapids-based wife, mother, agricultural economist, and athlete. Enjoying adventures with family and work, and through sport, at home and abroad. Looking forward to supporting others reach their half marathon pace goals on July 6th!  

9:00 Min/mile

Charles Henderon

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 Charles Henderson found running in his early 40s. Now at 50, he his a Boston qualifying marathoner and a triathlete. The half marathon is one of his favorite distances. 

Corey LaGro

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Stephanie Martin

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 I started running in elementary school because that’s when my dad started running. He turned it into a family affair and I love him for that! Over the years running has been my go-to for exercise but I didn’t get serious about it until after I had 3 kids! It was after having kids that I suddenly realized how strong I was and that I could and should set higher running goals! As I chase my running goals I am SO SO excited for the opportunity to run along side you and encourage you as you chase yours!! 

Jennifer Quinlivan

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 Hi All!  Our mom is super excited to be running the Battle Creek Half Marathon and pacing for the first time, plus July 6th will be a birthday celebration for her! Mom is kinda a running super hero (but not as fast as the Flash). We are her favorite little sidekick super heros, who have been with her for the last 6 years, but she's been running since 2003. She started running the trails of Colorful Colorado before moving to Pure Michigan. We put in lots of miles together and even crossed the finish line of one marathon with me (HW) in a stroller and Jack still waiting for his big arrival date.  At her 10th marathon we ran the whole last mile with her (she carried Jack for half of it). It was awesome, I got high fives. She leads a running group in Lansing with lots of friends. Which is good for us cuz mom talks a lot when she runs (it's her other super power) and we need a nap somerimes on our long runs. Have fun, running, and laughing with our mom...she'll get you to the finish before you know it and we'll be there at the end for high fives! 

9:30 Min/mile

Trinity Holmes

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 This is my first time running the Battle Creek Half Marathon and my very first time pacing a race! I have ran five marathons, ten half marathons, and countless other races varying distances from 5k up to 25k. (And by July, I will have completed my first Half Ironman triathlon) I love the running community and all of the amazing people and relationships I have gained from it. I enjoy getting to know other runners and sharing the love and joy running brings. I look forward to running with you, and helping you reach your goals of either PRing or the goal of having fun! See you on race day! 

Ian Kerr

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 I've been running pretty regularly since moving to Kalamazoo in 2008 from Rhode Island. This is in no small part to the amazing running community here in Southwest Michigan. After running a few half marathons I ran my first full marathon (the Kalamazoo marathon) in 2016. Since that time I've averaged close to three half marathons a year and nearly every 5k I can find most nearby but I also try to get out to the West coast to do destination Halfs whenever possible. 

I'm very excited to be able to pace the Battle Creek half marathon as it was one of my most memorable races and fastest when I ran it in 2016.  

Bryan Craddock

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When I was growing up, I kept my distance from anything athletic, but I began exercising in my 30s to lose weight. My son wanted to run a 5k, so we did it together. Then a friend challenged me to run a half marathon in 2013. I connected with the running community in Kalamazoo and have been training and racing consistently ever since for half marathons and one full marathon. I’ve also been a pace group leader for the Summer Safari training program and the Kalamazoo Area Runners Beyond training program. An encouraging pacer helped me reach my goal time for a half marathon. I hope to help you do the same.

10:00 min/mile

Julie Bradfield

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Hi, I’m Julie or Julz as my friends call me. I’ve been running for years but my first race was a ½ marathon in 2012. I was hooked. It wasn’t until I connected with experienced runners that I learned how to train properly for distance and ran my first marathon in 2016. Since then, I’ve run 15 marathons, including Boston, and so many ½ marathons. I love the physical, mental and social aspects of running and i love to see and help others achieve their running goals. Let’s do this! 

Zachary Hendersen

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 Zachary started running while he was studying Spanish at Western Michigan University.  He loves helping people exceed their goals.  Zachary loves to cheer other runners on, as they put in the hard work which pays off.  He is honored to be joining The Battle Creek Half Marathon Pacer Team for 2019.  He is ecstatic to be part of an amazing experience.   

Arya Jayatilaka

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  In the past 8 years, I have paced about 25 half marathons including Battle Creek Half.  It's a great atmosphere and I enjoy pacing as it is a way to give back to the running community, and to see fellow runners run with us and reach their goals.  

Amber Smith

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I am so excited to be a pacer in this year's half! My first road race was the 2013 Lansing Turkey Trot and I have been in love with running ever since. I leave each workout and race with a sense of achievement, whether I ran a long distance or short, slow or fast. This will be my third time pacing. I love hearing other runners' stories and having someone to take in the scenery and the fun events of the day with. When I am  not running, I can be found watching The Office on Netflix, or playing with my cats, Zazzle and Abby. I cannot wait to meet new smiling faces at this year's Battle Creek Half!

10:30 Min/mile

Jennifer Crawford

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 I have been a running since 2010. I ran my first half marathon in 2011 and said I would never do that again or run a marathon. Now here I am nine years later with 28 half marathons, 9 marathons, & a 50K completed! Running brings joy, happiness, rewards, and friendships. I have become an avid stroller runner since having my son and we spend countless miles together! But running also brings me much needed ‘me’ time in the early morning or weekend long run.
I look forward to pacing you to your goal or a personal best on race day! No matter what we will have fun and finish with a smile!  

Mary Schinske

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I started running in 2007 at the urging of my daughter. She knew I did a lot of walking for fitness and said, “Why don’t you take it to the next level?” When I went for my first “run” it was 100 meters down the track and I had to stop. Boy have I come a long way since then! A couple of marathons, countless half marathons, 10K’s and 5K’s. Once you get bitten by the running “bug” it stays with you forever.

I enjoy helping others reach their own personal running goals, whatever they may be. I have coached several groups for Kalamazoo Area Runners and Gazelle’s Summer Safari program. I am looking forward to pacing the BC Half Marathon and getting you to the finish line on time!

Samuel McGuire

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Thanks for letting me be a pacer for the 2019 Battle Creek Half Marathon! Running has changed my life, and hopefully it will change yours. While I initially started running to lose weight and get healthy, it was the amazing running community that has kept me going over the years.  Pacing is one of my favorite ways to give back. I'll be there to help you reach your goal. It will be exciting to hear your running story and I look forward to sharing encouragement with each other. See you in July!

Cara Milburn

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I began running in 2006 and completed my first half marathon that year- the Detroit Free Press Half. To date, I have run 8 full marathons (including NYC, which I just ran this past November), 20 half marathons and one 50k. Running is my favorite thing to do in my free time and I have met so many awesome people along the way. I am developing a love/hate relationship with trail running and hoping to do another ultra in the near future. In the meantime, I am looking forward to pacing the BC half marathon! 

11:00 Min/mile

Heather Durian

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 I have been running for 4 years completing 16 full marathons and above. The half marathon is the perfect challenge. I love pacing and am in my second year of being a pacer. I am a mom of 2, graduated from Calvin College and MSU Law. I love coaching Girls on the Run and scouting with my kids.  I am proud to pace the Cereal City Half. I can’t wait to meet the 11  minute run group. The party is in the back. Just keep running!! 

Teresa Fulcomer

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I started running in 2008. I completed a few 5ks and 10ks then graduated to the half marathon. Since then I have completed numerous half and full marathons as well as ultra marathons. I have alos completed 4 50 mile runs and a 100 mile run. I enjoy the atmosphere and the people you meet along the way. The great thing about pacing is the ability to help other runners achieve their goal, especially if it is their first race.

Scott Struck

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Hello fellow runners!  I am really looking forward to pacing again this year at the Battle Creek Half Marathon!  I have been running steadily for the last 14 years and have paced many races in the past.  I love both trail and road running, as well as mountain biking, kayaking, and hiking.  I have run in nearly 140 events, ranging from fun runs on up to ultra marathons of 100 miles.  I am a licensed psychologist and a true believer in the positive mental health benefits that come from running.

In terms of my personality and style as a pacer, I believe running can, and should be, a fun experience.  I don’t take things too seriously and am pretty laid back.  I really value the social aspects of being with fellow runners.  I have learned a few things over the years and would like to share them with you!  I have tried out most of the major training methods out there and try to keep up on the latest in gear, nutrition, and running research.  As a pacer, I hope I can help you achieve your goal for the Battle Creek Half Marathon.  Welcome, and let’s go run!  

11:30 min/mile

Caroline Pendo

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Hi, my name is Caroline Pendo, a mother, teacher and grower...I am excited to be a pacer for the BC Half 2019. I am new to running but passionate about the sport. I was born and raised in Kenya but did not take up running until I moved to the United States. I started running after watching the Detroit Free Press Marathon in 2017 and watching all those runners, I was inspired. I made a decision to run the following year's marathon. With zero experience, I registered for the Detroit Free Press Marathon. I knew I had to train but I did not start training until April 2018. In June 2018, a friend introduced me to Black Girls Run Detroit and shortly after, The StoneSteppers Running Club. It was the perfect motivation I needed. Since then, I haven't looked back.


This will be my first time pacing and I am honored to help other runners achieve their half marathon goals. 

Christine Huot

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I started running in December of 2014 and ran my first race in May 2015, the Borgess 10K. I have trained and ran 12 half marathons and one 25K since then. I really enjoy running weekly with my running buddies and helping new runners train for their first race.

I have also had the privilege to pace a few races, including the Battle Creek Half Marathon. I’m looking forward to seeing you there and helping you cross the finish line!

Amanda Burdette

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I started running in 2011 because some friends decided to do it and I never stopped. KAR and MRTT have been a big influence in my commitment to running and I am grateful for all the supportive runners I’ve met along the way. With the support of running friends, I went from never have running a mile to the BC Half 2019 being my 14 half marathon and looking to finish my third full marathon this fall.

When I am not running, I’m busy chasing around my daughter Nora (who loves to run just like mom), living life with my wonderful husband, John and inspiring and sharing music with young people as a band teacher for Marshall Public Schools.

Sarah Flanagan

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I was born and raised in Michigan. I have only been running since 2016 and when I started I could barely make it half a mile. I am married to another runner, Douglas Flanagan and have three awesome stepchildren Micah (16), Peyton (12), and Natalie (9).

Joining Kalamazoo Area Runners and Cereal City Athletics has been one of the best decisions in my life. I not only completed a 5k for the first time in years after the spring session, but I went on to continue running and loving it competing in multiple races up to half marathons and a Half Iron Man relay team by 2018. The running community has been essential to my growth, you will not find a more supportive group of people! Through the friendships I have made I have been encouraged to branch into triathlons and have come to enjoy swimming and cycling as sports.

Running has been the solution to me changing many aspects of my life such as nutrition, sleep, and exercise all for the better. I am thrilled to pace the Battle Creek Half Marathon this year and to help others with their goals. Cereal City Athletics and the Battle Creek Half Marathon is a positive challenge and I know from personal experience that this will be a great race!

12:00 min/mile

Emily Kane

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Emily loves to be an encourager. She has the patience of a saint, as proven by her profession as a kindergarten teacher. For Emily, running is about the connection. Her early morning run group is a cross between Sunday worship, a good counseling session and a girls night out with friends. She is excited to partake in her first pacer experience this year. Don't be suprised if she has a cowbell in her pocket for when you cross the finish line! 

Christine Valenzuela

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 I ran my first half marathon in 2013.  I have run 29 races since then that were half marathon length or longer.  I’ve been the 12:00 pacer for the last 2 years with Erica Hicks and we’re excited to have more pacers joining our team this year. My biggest accomplishments are; completing a 151 day run streak, running the New York City Marathon, and completing Steelhead Half Ironman. 

Kerri Langdon

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 Kerri still considers herself relatively “new” to running, as she started running in the spring of 2013 and ran her very first 5k that same year. Since then she’s been bitten by the running (and triathlon) bug, and has completed numerous races. To date, she’s also completed the Kalamazoo Marathon (2017) and the Chicago Marathon (2017). Additionally, Kerri is active in the triathlon community, and has completed several sprint and Olympic distance triathlons, and her first 70.3 half Ironman this past year. Coming up this year, she plans to complete her second half Ironman in Traverse City. Kerri is an active member of the Kalamazoo Area Runners, both in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, and also trains with the Trikats triathlon group and Cereal City Athletics Adventure Club. This will be her first time running the Battle Creek Half Marathon, and she’s very excited for July 6th! 

Erica Hicks

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 I am very excited about pacing the BC Half Marathon for the third year in a row. I always look forward to meeting new runners and helping them achieve their race goal.

First, here’s a little about me. I have been married for almost 15 years. We have two beautiful children ages 12 and 10. My family is my biggest support system and I cherish them very much! My big sister Tanya is also my #1 fan, she continues to show up at most of my races (even the raining ones) to cheer me on.

I am one of the Black Girls Run Detroit Ambassadors;  a member of the Stone Steppers Run Club; and a member of Moms Run This Town (MRTT) Chapter in Battle Creek.

My running resume consist of four full marathons, 15 half marathons and many 5/10k races. I am confident that my years of running experience will guide the runners in my designated group to the finish line!

I give thanks to the Lord for his strength, guidance, endurance and ability to finish each race without injury.

I plan to put my best foot forward to help all BC half marathoners in the 12:00 per mile group to finish their race. 

12:30 min/mile

Becky Amstutz

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 I am super excited to be pacing this year!!! I began my running journey back in 2009, and since then, I have completed over 40 half marathons and 4 marathons. I spent last summer running 5Ks with my 11 year old son (while I was pregnant with my now 7 month old daughter) so I am happy to be back to longer distance running! My other (newer) passion is triathlon and I enjoy being a member of the Trikat club. Running for me is all about friendship and fun!! (And probably selfies) 

Kim Evans

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 I am so excited to be a pacer for this race! I started running almost 6 years ago. Before completing the Couch to 5K program, I couldn’t even run 1 mile. Since then I’ve run many 5Ks and 10Ks, 11 half marathons, and 1 full marathon. I love the running community and look forward to meeting everyone!  

Erin Mahr

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 I'm Erin Mahr from Davenport, IA and I will be helping lead the 12:30 pace group to victory! I've run 60+ half marathons including the inaugural BC Half, where I ran with friends as Snap, Crackle, and Pop. I've also run 13 marathons, 4 ultra marathons, and 4 Ragnar Relays (shoutout to Runderbolts and Lightning!). I'm a high school band director by day and spend my weekends performing improv comedy at ComedySportz Quad Cities. I've also paced at the 2018 Zooma Great Lakes and will be pacing 12:30 Half at the 2019 Run4Troops Half Marathon.  I love spending time in Michigan and I'm looking forward to running with you!   

Laurie Oleksa

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 I have been running most of my adult life. I mainly ran 5 and 10k’s until 2011. For my 50th birthday I decided to challenge myself and run my 1st half marathon. I fell in love with that distance and have run more than 30 half marathons as well as 5 25k races since 2011.  In 2016 I decided to give Triathlon a go in an attempt to change things up with my training. If you have never done a triathlon, I highly recommend it. I have completed multiple sprint and Olympic distance races, as well as completing my 1st half Ironman race last summer (Steelhead 70.3).  This summer I look forward to several races besides the Battle Creek half marathon, including the Ragnar Trail Run,Goguac Lake Swim, Cereal City Triathlon and Traverse City 70.3(half Ironman)!!! 

12:30 Min/Mile Intervals

Mary Beth Bass

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Hi! I’m Mary Beth.  I am a Battle Creek native.  My running journey began in 2011 when I decided that I needed to live a healthier lifestyle.  I bought a pair of running shoes and joined the Borgess Run Camp to train for my first 5k.  I have since ran multiple 5k and 10k’s and 5 half marathons, including all 3 years of the BC Half Marathon.  Two years ago I ventured into triathlons, thanks to my running friends and Cereal City Athletics.  Last year I completed the Steelhead Half Ironman, which has been my greatest achievement.  Our local running community is very supportive and I have developed countless friendships over the years.  I can honestly say that running has changed my life.  I have coached in the local 5k and half marathon training programs for several years and have enjoyed helping new runners meet their goals.  This will be my first time pacing a half marathon.  I look forward to seeing you on race day and helping you cross the finish line!  Happy Running!

Amanda Chapel

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 Hi! I’m Amanda and I’m excited to be pacing my first half marathon with the 12:30 min/mile pace group. I started running, grudgingly, five years ago because my husband and I decided to do a warrior dash with my family. In the time since, I’ve completed many 5 and 10K races and five half marathons. I even got into triathlon, with the help of Cereal City Athletics, and finished my first half Ironman 70.3 last August with another one this August. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to help and encourage the people to fulfill their goals and cross the finish line smiling!  

Holly McKee

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I am a native Michigander and have called Battle Creek home since 1998. I was never what you would call, an athlete. To be honest, I had trouble using that word to describe myself until recently. 
My journey has been organic, with each step building on the one before. I joined a gym. Ran my first treadmill mile. Ran my first treadmill 5K. Joined the YMCA run group (and was terrified). Signed up for TriZelle Triathlon Training (thought I was CRAZY). Since those early moments I have run many 5Ks, 10Ks and several half marathons. I’ve participated in a number of sprint triathlons, completed my first Olympic Distance a few years ago, and in 2018 trained and completed a half-Ironman distance! In recent years I’ve crushed some major personal goals.  Aside from the sense of accomplishment from these physical activities, the greatest joy I have experienced is doing these activities in community. I am not the solitary runner that plugs in head-phones and hits the pavement or trail or the cyclist that hops on the bike early in the morning for a lone 30 mile ride in the countryside. I cherish the relationships that are built through sweating it out with others with similar goals.
I have found the Battle Creek running community to be a welcoming and encouraging group of people with a common purpose. It doesn’t matter your pace or your distance. We are runners and that binds us together. I will be coaching the spring 2019 Battle Creek Fast Track and Beyond Half Marathon training program. I’m excited to take the next step and serve as a pacer for this years Battle Creek Half Marathon at the 12:30 minute/mile pace using the 3:1 minute run/walk interval. If this is something you always wanted to do but are scared, don’t worry. We will get there together, one step at a time. Won’t you join me on this journey? I look forward to running with YOU!