Meet our 2017 US Bank Ambassadors
Hometown: Pasadena, CA
Maria is inspired by her children to live a healthier life. She started her running career in March 2012 when she joined a local running group and finished her first 5K race, and then went on to complete her first marathon in 2013. Maria enjoys spending time with her family as well as the opportunity to socialize with other runners and hikers. Maria also strives to support like-minded individuals or those struggling with body image issues, while celebrating others’ health and endurance milestones. Maria looks forward to the support of the pacers during the race and post-race hugs at the US Bank OC Marathon.
Hometown: Cerritos, CA
As a busy mom of three and a high school math teacher, Cindy finds running a form of therapy. She enjoys the camaraderie of the running community where has the opportunity to meet many new friends while being active outside. Cindy is a member of Moms Run This Town and has run the OC Marathon every year since 2010. Her favorite part of running is encouraging new runners or helping veteran runners advance to the longer races, because she loves to help others achieve their goals. Check out her personal blog at wearethecarlsons.blogspot.com.
Hometown: Laguna Hills, CA
Becca comes up with her best ideas while running, and also loves that running helps her stay in shape and see new places. She works for the Girl Scouts of Orange County as a role model for young girls and encourages them to live healthy lifestyles and get moving. Rebecca’s favorite part about the US Bank OC Marathon is the beautiful, yet perfectly challenging course! The race also takes place at her favorite time of the year. Check out her personal website at http://watchbeccarun14.blogspot.com/.
Hometown: Fountain Valley, CA
Cordelia loves to run as a stress reliever and enjoys the camaraderie of the sport. Running keeps her inspired and in shape at the same time. Her favorite part of the race is the beautiful course and the challenging hills. Cordelia has watched this race grow and loves running it with her friends every year. While she loves the US Bank OC Marathon, she also loves the Beach Cities Challenge and the Double Dog Dare medal!
Hometown: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Samantha has found many friends and support through the running community and feels that they have pushed her farther in her running. While teaching bootcamp classes, she often encourages her participants to bring their children to class so families can work out together and practice a fit lifestyle for the whole family! The US Bank OC Marathon is a personal favorite race of Samantha’s because the course is one of the prettiest she has ever ran. Check out Samantha’s personal website at www.planksandplanes.com.
Hometown: Orange, CA
Cindy is very grateful for the sport of running and she loves to spread the word on her blog www.thepricklypearl.com. Running keeps her happy and healthy, while giving her a chance to enjoy the outdoors. Cindy loves the US Bank OC Marathon as it is a hometown event and so holds a special place in her heart. Cindy loves being a part of the running community and enjoys sharing her experiences with her niece and nephew.
Hometown: Tustin, CA
As a member of running clubs around the Orange County area, Adrian has found a community of friends and supporters. He finds running as a way to stay active and healthy and a sport that challenges him to push his limits. The OC Marathon is special to Adrian because it was his first full marathon. Adrian was even a pacer for the half marathon last year. His favorite part of the US Bank OC Marathon is the familiarity of the course—he says he feels as if he’s running through his own backyard. Check out his personal website at www.iwantmaur.com.
Hometown: Long Beach, CA
As a busy mom and middle school teacher, Charlotte loves starting her day with the “runner’s high” and thinks of running as “me time.” The US Bank OC Marathon was her first full marathon and has also seen her best finish time! Charlotte not only loves the US Bank OC Marathon, but loves to encourage others to participate in this memorable race. Check out Charlotte’s personal website at https://ccclbc.wordpress.com.
Hometown: Irvine, CA
As president of Miniondas & Farandula USA and a member of various running clubs and networks, including Moms Run This Town, Natalia finds running a perfect opportunity for a social healthy happy hour with friends. Natalia also has her own Facebook running page, Run Love Winspire which you can find herehttps://www.facebook.com/runlovewinspire. As a Legacy runner at the US Bank OC Marathon, Natalia loves the course, the volunteers, and the well-run organization of the event.
Hometown: Ontario, CA
Nikkie finds running as a way to clear her head and reach new goals, whether that is a PR or to run a race in all 50 states! Nikkie loves the continuing challenge of the sport, and believes, “There is literally no limit so you can continue to hit goals and make new ones without getting bored.” The OC Marathon Wahoo’s 5k was one of her first races and Nikkie has continued to participate in the US Bank OC Marathon ever since. Check out her personal blog at www.nikeegee.run
Hometown: Vista, CA
Tim loves to run on the beach and enjoys the fun competition of the sport. He is also the manager of the LAGalaxy SD Soccer team and strives to show his players that running is not a punishment, but is fun. While Tim does not live in Orange County anymore, he still considers the US Bank OC Marathon his hometown race as this his is 9th time running it. Tim says, “I just want to give back to the race that has meant so much to me.”
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Iyob has been consistently running for 11 years and finds that running keeps the mind, body, and spirit well. As a running coach, he believes that running is a naturally healthy outlet and a way for him to contribute to his community. Iyob is a Founding Legacy Runner and loves being an ambassador so that he can help further promote the organization.
Hometown: Laguna Niguel, CA
Jason loves running as a fun excuse to travel and explore new places, while staying active and fit. Ironically, Jason used to hate running growing up, but he has since grown to love the sport. The US Bank OC Marathon was his first half marathon and the race remains memorable to him as he has since taken a half hour off his finish time. Jason hopes to encourage others to start running and complete their first half marathon too.
Hometown: Placentia, CA
As a junior high teacher, Marlon finds running an effective way to deal with stress and maintain a healthier body! Through participating with various running groups in Orange County and Los Angeles, Marlon has developed a support system and good friends. Marlon’s favorite parts of the US Bank OC Marathon are the support and cheering from the locals throughout the race. Check out Marlon’s personal website at http://meinthebalance.com.
Hometown: Lakewood, CA
Ivie uses running to stay in shape and to promote heal and wellness in her home and community. Ivie recovered from an injury in which she was told she would never be able to run again, and now says running makes her feel like she is doing the impossible. The US Bank OC Marathon was Ivie’s first marathon, a feat she could have never imagined accomplishing in a million years. Ivie’s PR was also accomplished at last year’s OC Marathon and she hopes to come back this year and “crush it.” Check out her personal blog here: www.ivieandaj.com.
Hometown: Mission Viejo, CA
Danielle loves to run because it allows her to test her limits and be outside with nature. She works in the field of behavior analysis with children diagnosed with developmental delays and tries to incorporate physical activity into their sessions. She believes physical activity is crucial to one’s wellbeing and while the US Bank OC Marathon was the first race she completed beyond a 5K, she now runs ultra-marathons, including 100 mile races around Southern California.
Hometown: Vista, CA
Dave, a Marine Officer, began pursuing running as a sport while in preparation to graduate beyond the enlisted ranks. He loves the challenge, the stories he hears from other runners, but most importantly, the humility he gains from running. Dave believes the dynamic of a community of individuals personally challenging themselves fosters a great atmosphere and a humbling opportunity. Dave especially enjoys the US Bank OC Marathon because it was his first race and he enjoys the strong show of support from the community.
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Francesca strives to live a healthier life style through running and to inspire others to do the same. She believes that daily exercise is vital and hopes to share this lifestyle with others in her community. Francesca works for a school district and participates in running events with the students whenever she gets the chance. Francesca loves the US Bank OC Marathon because of the huge participation of families, whether they’re running together or cheering each other on.
Hometown: Long Beach, CA
Jacob’s motto is: “Fear No Distance!” He runs to push his limits and continue adding to his fantastic collection of race medals and encourages his community to do the same. His favorite races are the Beach Cities Challenges Races because he loves the courses along the beach. He enjoys visiting his local high school and inspiring other people to run and be their best self. Check out his blog here: www.nicerunnerguy97.wordpress.com.
Hometown: Costa Mesa, CA
A first grade teacher and running enthusiast, Jennifer the US Bank OC Marathon because she gets to see people do things they never imagined possible. Even if she’s not running the race, you can count on Jennifer to be there cheering on the runners and possibly even handing out Otter Pops on her bike. She wants to inspire her students and others in her community to eat healthy and enjoy the freedom of movement that comes with running. You can check out her blog, here: www.redhairandrunningshoes.blogspot.com.
Julie St Cyr
Hometown: Huntington Beach, CA
Julie, a volunteer AYSO U8 boys’ soccer coach and mom, takes her kids on runs whenever she gets the chance. She wants to share the feelings of freedom and accomplishing goals that she finds through running with her kids and hopes to inspire others to find that joy. Julie has completed the Beach Cities Challenge three times and credits the beauty of the course as to why the US Bank OC Marathon is her favorite local event.
Hometown: Chino, CA
A single father of four, Robert runs to keep himself healthy and to clear his head. His kids are all very active in sports and he encourages all of their teammates and parents to join him in running, which is not difficult because he runs a race every week or two, including half marathons to 50Ks. He especially loves the US Bank OC Marathon because of the food, drinks, and dancing at the finish line.
Hometown: Commerce, CA
Wilmer believes that he was given a second chance to be able to run and is beyond grateful for this opportunity to keep himself healthy and fit while meeting new friends and family. He enjoys running with his Police Cadets at University of Southern California’s Department of Public Safety and volunteering with his alma mater’s running club. Wilmer especially loves the social aspect of running and his favorite part of the race is at the end when he gets to cheer on other finishers. Trying to convince a friend to join you this year? Just have them talk to Wilmer—he’s known for his ability to make anyone smile and sign up for any race.
Hometown: Los Alamitos, CA
Nani began racing as a form of therapy after her father passed away and discovered that she was able to accomplish more than she ever expected. Having completed a full marathon and many other races, she has inspired countless other people to run, as well, including her two daughters. She loves being outside in nature and having some solitude on her runs. Nani is also the president of her daughters' softball league and is proud that she has inspired many of the young girls and their parents to run, too. Check out Nani's blog at www.victoriousvixen.com!