Voices Of Cap City

Introducing the Voices of M3S Sports! After receiving a remarkable number of applications and reading through each from top to bottom, we made our selections and believe that this group of inspiring individuals support our passion for producing remarkable celebrations of the active, healthy lifestyle with a focus on an amazing participant experience. Be sure to follow our ambassadors on social media to learn about upcoming events, participate in fun giveaways, and follow their training journey to the OhioHealth Capital City Half Marathon!

Melanie Baker

I have loved running as long as I can remember, but my passion really ramped up after having kids! I've run nearly 30 marathons, including two ultras, in big and small cities all over the world. I am looking forward to running my third Cap City Half in 2025. It immediately became a favourite, must-do race for me when I ran in 2023. From its big city feel, to the sights along the course, to the camaraderie among runners (of all abilities), Cap City Half weekend is truly an experience like no other. It's easy to see why this event has placed 2nd in the top half marathons in the USA. I cannot wait to run with everyone in 2025!

Shelby Bradford

I was never a runner. I woke up one day in 2017 and said to myself that I wanted to run a half and a full marathon before I turned 30. Running was simply a bucket list item for me at that time. Little did I know that running would totally change my life. My first race ever was the Cap City Half Marathon in 2018, followed by the Columbus Marathon in 2019. I so often thought to myself, how can you both love and hate something so much? I was completely and totally hooked. Now? I've run the LA Marathon, I've run 6 half marathons, I've run races in 3 different states (shooting to get a race in all 50!), and I am completely hooked. I'm learning to run fast, and to run through pain and difficult days. Running is my hobby and my passion. I also love sharing running with others - our stories, tips, tricks, and experiences with gross tasting gels. I also credit my love to the groups I've been part of during marathon training - LA Road Runners and Fleet Feet MIT. I've run with some of the best humans in the world and I'm so grateful to be part of this inclusive, kind, inspirational community. Outside of running, I love spending time with my 3 yr old Golden Retriever, Sue (maybe M3S Sports' new mascot?!), cooking, and traveling. Here's to an amazing year of celebrating this sport in our city!

Mark Carter

My name is Mark Carter, and I’ve been running for just over 8 years.  Cap City Half 2015 was the first race I ran after deciding to give this running thing a shot.   After that, I was hooked.  Running initially started as a way to get physically healthy, but I found it gave me a way to de-stress and clear my head as well after a long day of work.

Everyone I work with knows my love of running, and I’ve even motivated a few to take it up after hearing my stories.  I’m hoping to share my love with even more people, so they can experience the best tour on two feet.

Dave Cherry

I started running at 37 years old in 2008, and in the last 15 years, I have completed over 60 races including 9 full marathons, a half Iron Man, 15 half-marathons, 5 200-mile relays, 4 Pan Ohio Hope cycling rides (328mi), and 2 Pelotonia rides. I’m working towards my goal of completing 26 full marathons, including all 6 of the Abbot World Majors. My go-to running accessories are NUN electrolytes (also a NUUN Ambassador), Asics, Shokz headphones, Oakley glasses, and Ultimate Direction hydration belt. I’m always easy to spot running the trails in New Albany in my signature headbands!

Erica Darthard

Hi, I’m Erica and am excited to serve as a Voices of M3S ambassador for another year! I have a 23- year old son. I work in Human Resources for Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. I love all things Prince, New Edition, sunflowers, the TV show Martin, and Coming to America.

My motto is “Find something you love, and do it!” 

I started running in 2015 at 39 years old using the Couch to 5K app to lose weight. I was over 200 lbs, I couldn’t afford the gym or my usual exercise classes. So, I said let me give this running a try. I ran track (a sprinter) in middle and high school, but never distances. I immediately fell in love. My first M3S Sports race was the Ohio State 4-Miler that same year, and have been hooked ever since! Go Bucks! Through a friend, I found our local Black Girls Run! group. They encouraged me to start training for a half marathon. I thought they were crazy! I couldn’t fathom running for 13.1 miles. Nevertheless, I completed my first half marathon, Nationwide Children’s Half Marathon, in 2016 at 40 years old. I’ve also done the Rock Hall of Fame Half Marathon in Cleveland in 2017, and the Canton Half Marathon in 2023. 

As one who suffers from depression and anxiety, I quickly realized running is just as beneficial to my mental health. A good run really calms my mind and puts me in a better mood. I also love to give back to the running community by volunteering for races - whether it’s handing out medals, passing out water, or cheering the runners on. It really makes my soul happy. I’ve met so many people from all different backgrounds and have developed so many relationships throughout the years. I am so blessed to be a part of this amazing running community! 

Justin Fogt

Hi! I’m Justin! Following the pandemic, I attended a routine visit at my doctor’s office and learned that I had developed type 2 diabetes from some unhealthy eating and exercise habits that had accumulated over most of my life.  That became a catalyst for me to make some small, incremental changes in both my diet and exercise and I found running along the way.  When I began that journey, I wasn’t sure that I could walk 5k and I’ve surprised myself with each new goal or distance that I’ve attempted.  What I’ve found to be most encouraging along the way is that there is truly a place for everyone in the running community.  All abilities, all paces, and all people are included; from the super athletic to normal everyday people – there is a place for everyone here! Running has also helped to bring a different kind of balance to my life, my work, and has helped me be a better husband to my wife and father to my three children.  I’m still figuring things out, laughing at myself along the way, and thankful to be on this adventure!

Caitlin Garling

Hey all, I’m Caitlin! I was a volleyball player from middle school through freshman year of college and fully bought the adage that running was a punishment, not a sport. Once I graduated college I knew I needed something to keep me active so I set out to run around the block of our house and it’s been smooth sailing ever since. That’s a bold faced lie. My first attempt at running the .67 miles around our block was a huge failure and when I tried to do it again the next day I swore off running forever. Thankfully I have a bit of a stubborn streak and I wasn’t going to let running have the best of me so I started a couch to 5K to see if I could do it. Twelve years later I’m still running and I fully embrace that it’s become my personality.

I now thrive on the challenge of distance and endurance races so after doing 3 full marathons and a heck of a lot of half marathons I’m giving triathlons a go this year. I love that M3S events are not only some of the most fun runs I’ve ever done, they also give a good balance to my longer distance training. I am by no means a fast runner so my hope as I share my journey is that others realize if I can do it, truly anyone else can too. See you out there on the course! 

Teresa Gellenbeck

Teresa first started running as a soccer player, and post-college, the half marathon became her favorite distance.  Although she is learning to enjoy the occasional solo run with an audio book, she much prefers running with friends and often joins group runs with her Shred415 Sawmill or Columbus Running Co run buddies. In addition to running, she enjoys hiking, walking, and exploring the Dublin/Columbus running trails, capturing it all for @LivingFitColumbus. Teresa is a teacher, photographer, wife, and busy soccer/hockey mom... but continues to make her fitness & mental health a priority mile after mile. 

Chris Glover

My name is Chris! Your friendly neighborhood superhero runner! I'm a former high school athlete who took some time off and decided at the end of college to half marathon. The first race I ever did outside of track just so happened to be 2012 Cap City Half and it's been a wrap since (10-year Cap vet!). I enjoy training hard during my training blocks, but when it's race day, motivation and fun will always come to the forefront. My rule of thumb is we are all in it to cross the finish line together, so let's make the best of our hard work and enjoy every moment!!

Morgan Grant

Hi I’m Morgan! I started running 6 years ago for physical health but over time running has become a huge part of my mental health journey. I am a 2 time Dopey Challenger | a Disney World to Disneyland Coast to Coast Challenger | 3 time marathoner and currently training for the Chicago Marathon and Goofy Challenge. After 6 years of running, and on my 11th half marathon, I hit my PR (taking 21 min off my previous PR) at this year's Cap City Half! Needless to say, Cap City will now always have a special place in my heart. And that's what I love about running, it allows me to constantly challenge myself and prove over and over again that I can do hard things. I'm thrilled to be part of the M3S Sports team and can’t wait to expand my race portfolio while sharing the experience with all of you!

Alissa Henry

Alissa is a Columbus native and local TV personality. She started her long-distance running journey about 8 years ago, with the 2012 Capital City Quarter Marathon as her first official long-distance race. She had such an amazing experience and was hooked! Since then, Alissa has run 5Ks, 4-milers, half marathons, and her first full marathon. If it involves a medal and supports a good cause, she’s in! Alissa’s favorite training runs happen outdoors, year-round before 6AM and involve running with a group of friends from Moms Run This Town or Black Girls Run. She is a running-with-headphones enthusiast, always listening to an upbeat playlist. She also posts every run on Instagram stories and loves cute workout gear. Alissa’s fitness goal in 2024 is to run her second full marathon. She encourages people who want to run that they can do it. Her advice is to find what you love about running, focus on that, and be your own #goals.

Kathy Kapes

Kathy started running in 2012 and crossed over into the triathlon scene in 2017. Over the years has completed 22 half marathons, seven full marathons, and four 70.3 events. In 2019, she became an Ironman in Maryland and says it was an experience like no other. She works with a coach year-round and looks forward to crossing the finish line at her next Ironman. Kathy describes herself as a ‘back of the pack’ athlete and she gets her money’s worth out on the course. She loves helping others achieve their goals and has done that by being a pacer at events. She races with positivity and gratitude, sets big goals, and works towards achieving them. Of course, we can’t forget that she is an avid Buckeye fan. Go Bucks!

Amanda Knight

Hi everyone! I’m Amanda and I’m from Wheelersburg, Ohio. My running journey began in 2018 when I made the conscious decision to focus on my health and fitness. I ran my first local 5K in March 2018, my first half marathon in October 2018 (Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Half Marathon) and my first marathon in July 2022 (San Francisco Marathon). Since then, I have run thirteen half marathons and five marathons. I look forward to many more to come! The Cap City Half Marathon is very special to me because it is the first time I achieved a personal record (PR) in a race! My running highlight was the 2024 Big Sur Marathon which was the most beautiful and most challenging course I have run. Running is a priority for me. It’s my way to decompress and refocus my mind and body. Even when days leave me mentally exhausted, a run always reframes my headspace! Outside of running, I work as a school psychologist and I’m a doctoral student who hopes to graduate this year! I love food, cooking, and trying different restaurants. Birria tacos and guacamole are among my favorite; and I drink way too much iced tea! I am very excited to be among the Voices of Cap City this year and I’m looking forward to an incredible year of training, racing, and camaraderie!

Emily Krichbaum

Hi! I'm Emily. And for the last 15 years, I've been lucky enough to consider myself a runner.

I've run almost 20 marathons, completed several 50 milers, and secured a few BQs. But running gives me more than timed results. I think running proves that we are more capable than we could imagine--not just in daily mileage but in all aspects of life. I really enjoy the training process and am excited to get back on the road after just having my second daughter in December. I still think I have a PR in me!

When I'm not chasing down personal goals, I'm coaching others to achieve theirs as a UESCA certified running coach, RYT-200 certified yoga instructor, and writer. You can find me on instagram at shortstories_longdistance or www.shortstorieslongdistance.com

If you're wondering if you can, you can. This is your sign to sign up for that race before you're ready. And when you do, let me know, I'm in your corner.

Rachael Kroeger

If I could sum up my personality into three words, it would be running, skincare and tequila! All things that I find enjoyable and provide balance in my life. I picked up distance running in college as a stress reliever from organic chemistry classes; I never would have expected this hobby to turn into gaining a whole new supportive community, 3 full marathons and 12 half marathons. I have learned so much about myself over the years through these races and I am excited for what is to come! Cheers to faster race times and post-finish line tequila!

Patrick McKennedy

I am very happy to be a Sports Ambassador for M3S this year.  I have been trying to get out to different run communities in the past years, seeing the way Columbus runners help and support each other is really amazing to witness.
I am a 2x stroke survivor, I run to explore the city through training runs and with the different races throughout town. Of course I also run for the health benefits too, including building a stronger heart.  And the friendships I have built through running is something I am very thankful for. I think it is as a runner, we all have that one over all goal, “where is the next finish line.”
I count myself very lucky, and I would like to help you cross that next finish line also. 

Michael Murry

Michael lives in Grove City and started walking in the fall of 2020 as a way to improve his health. On his first walk, he completed 3/4 of a mile in about 25 minutes. Today, he has lost 250 pounds and has completed multiple half-marathons and one full.

While initially very intimidated at the idea of entering races, Michael has experienced nothing but support and encouragement from the running community. 

That is also why Michael enjoys M3S races - they are for everyone! Fast, slow, runners, walkers, experienced, first timers - everyone will feel welcome, will feel comfortable, and will have a lot of fun at an M3S event!

Michael’s favorite race is the OhioHealth Capital City Half-Marathon because the course allows him to pass all of his favorite locations in Columbus and because he does the race with a group of friends - and 13.1 miles doesn’t seem as far when you do it with friends!

If you see Michael at a race this year, make sure to stop him and say hi!

Dave Parsons

Dave started running in 2010 with a desire to lose weight. Since that time, he’s lost 35 pounds, logged more than 31,000 miles, run over 160 races (including 36 marathons and several ultras), and become an RRCA certified running coach. He's also a member of the Rogue Racers team, and in addition to racing, he loves pacing others in races. Outside of running, Dave is a Public Information Officer for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and enjoys cheering on his daughters in all their endeavors. Fun fact: nearly one-third of Dave’s races have been M3S Sports events as he has raced in more than 50 of them!

Andrew Queler

Andrew started running in 2011 after deciding he didn’t want to be 225 pounds anymore. Over the years he’s worked his way down to 175 pounds and continues to enjoy running and racing whenever his schedule permits, as he’s a local small animal veterinarian. He appreciates the friendships that he’s made over the past 8 years in Columbus and the extraordinary running community. Andrew believes that M3S produces the greatest events with the greatest swag all year round, spanning January 1st with the First on the First 5k, all the way through December with the Jingle Bell Run. It’s the perfect motivation to keep his running on track all year long and he feels forever grateful. Andrew is also a member of the free Columbus Westside Running Club (CWRC) and loves running every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday with a group of amazing people, from runners to walkers.

Chris Rutter

Chris resides in Worthington, Ohio with his husband (Steve) and their rescue dog (Moira). They recently
moved back to Ohio after living in Maine for three years and they are so excited to be back in their
Chris started running in 2013 as he was searching for an active way to eliminate the stress of everyday
life and that is where his love of running began. He started out by running around the block without
stopping, to one mile, his first 5k and so on.
Chris completed his first full marathon in 2014 and as of today he's completed 13 full marathons
including Berlin, Ottawa, Maine, Akron and of course Columbus. He's also finished 21 half
marathons with two more scheduled in 2024.
Chris has grown to love running for many reasons such as the supportive community, the feeling of self-
accomplishment and staying mentally healthy. He was a 2022 Maine Ambassador and 2024 Ottawa
Ambassador and is excited to be a 2024-2025 M3S Sports & Capital City Half Marathon Ambassador
right here in his hometown!

Emma Shaffer

Hi I'm Emma! I started running about 5 years ago with my German Shepherd, Ada. After working up to 6 miles I decided to join a run club and train for my first half, 2022 Cap City!! I have since ran 5 half marathons, a full marathon, and joined several run clubs. 

My favorite part of running is the community. No matter how fast or how far you go, we all have something in common: enjoying the active lifestyle! You can normally find me at 3 different run clubs a week with a camera/selfie stick in hand to capture all the wonderful running moments.

Hydie Shiplet

I am married to Jacob and we have four kids; One son (20) and three girls (23, 17, and 7).  I only began running a year after the birth of our last child when my husband decided he wanted to run a half marathon and I was trying to be supportive and join him.  Six years later, I am still running every day and he is not. My faith and my family are my number one priorities. You can usually find me running at 4:30 in the morning before my crew wakes up. After that, I can be found at a multitude of sporting events for each of our kids, or volunteering at church. Our youngest has recently fallen in love with running, so now you will find me running 5Ks and 4 milers with her while still trying to balance my own running goals. 

Torre Summers

I am a born, raised, and stayed Columbus girl. I love our city!! My life is busy and wonderfully full between being an entrepreneur, wife, and Mom to Marin, a collegiate tennis player, Tucker, a high school power lifter/golfer and Tripp the goldendoodle. torrechadwick is my brand that focuses on building strong, confident and fierce female athletes, coaching/mentoring athletes fills my bucket in more ways than I can count. I have been an athlete for the majority of my life, tennis being my main sport and great passion. I found the gift of running in my late-30s and have since completed many half marathons, the very first being Cap City, and completed my first full marathon in 2019. I am very active within the Columbus running community and am a Coach with Marathoners in Training (MIT).  When I am not running, I am on a tennis court taking lessons or hitting with my daughter. I am a member at Lifetime Upper Arlington where I weight train, and every so often hop into a yoga class.

Missy Tilton

My name is Missy, and I’ve been actively running since 2015, and I absolutely love the Columbus running community. I’m currently the chapter leader for the Columbus, Ohio She Runs This Town.
My first Cap City half marathon was in 2016, and my favorite race is the 5th Line 5K, of which I have ran each year from the start. 
I currently reside in Canal Winchester with my husband, Chris, and our Australian Shepherd Lucy. She is a rescue and we love her so much! My twins, Zach and Brittany, are grown and living their best adult lives. Several people in the Columbus running community may know my son Zach. I was his inspiration to start his running journey in 2017. I made it look like so much fun! And I hope to continue to inspire not only him, but everyone I know, and some I don’t know that may watch me from afar. I love being part of the M3S Sports family and promoting their awesome and exciting events. Giddy up!

Aaron Tucker

Good Morning, Good Afternoon and Good Evening.  My name is Aaron Tucker but I go by my nickname TUCK.  I am that loud (in a good way) energetic person that you will find at run clubs throughout the week and at races just enjoying the energy of the community and helping with keeping the vibes high on race day! 

I started living the running lifestyle in 2021 and it has been nothing but amazing to me from the connections that I have made with amazing people, being able to run in races from a 5k all the way to a full marathon.  Since 2021, I have ran in 6 half marathons and 1 marathon.  Running is truly my therapy both mentally & physically that keeps my life going in a positive direction.  I’ll see you at the starting line and let’s continue to help inspire each other in this amazing community of runners/walkers!  GEAH GEAH!  

Allison Tuttle

Originally from Northern Virginia, Allison moved to Columbus, OH in 2015. She played basketball and lacrosse throughout childhood and used to dread running, as it oftentimes was 'punishment' for a bad play, dropped pass, or missed shot. That is until one day when a friend asked her to apply to the NYC Marathon lottery... and they got in. Allison trained all summer leading into her junior year of college and quickly developed a passion for the running community, but just weeks before race day she was diagnosed with multiple autoimmune diseases and was told to immediately stop all activity because her body was in crisis mode. Once her health stabilized and she found a healthy balance, Allison slowly began increasing her mileage and ran her first half marathon in 2013 and in 2015, nearly a year after her daughter was born, Allison completed her first full marathon. The moment she stepped across the finish line, she swore that she would never run another 26.2, but that wasn’t true. Since then, Allison has completed 10 full marathons, 2 24-hour endurance events, dozens of half marathons, countless shorter distance races, and has no plans of slowing down. Aside from running, Allison enjoys traveling, exploring the outdoors, reading, cooking, taking HIIT classes, traveling back to the East Coast to visit her family, and working as an Event Planner.

Shelby Watkins

Shelby is a dog mom recently promoted to a girl mom and the Assistant Manager at the newest Metro Park, Quarry Trails. She is admin for her local chapter of Moms Run this Town and loves strength training and running trails! Shelby stayed active in High School by playing soccer but didn’t really get into running till her junior year of college when her roommates asked her if she wanted to run a half marathon. She’s been hooked ever since completing several full marathons, countless half marathons, a duathalon, a few Ragnar relay races and a 50k!

Gary Weber

I began my running adventure in 2010 when my best friend (who is a seasoned runner) convinced me that I could do a half marathon (despite having only played contact sports in high school and college and never running more than 3 miles up to that point). I completed my first half on my 29th birthday the next year, finishing on the track at Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, OR where the Olympic Trials are conducted. Despite thinking I might die (and at one point wishing for it as we climbed a large hill towards the end), I was hooked on the sport and began racing regularly. Since then I have run 24 half marathons, 1 full marathon, 8 15Ks, and more 5k and 4 mile races than I can count (including every 5th Line 5k and Ohio State 4 Miler). 

In 2014 I joined the best marathon training group in the world, Marathoners In Training, and in 2016 became a pace coach. I also pace races with Fleet Feet Sports and Beast Pacing. When I am not running I enjoy weight training, building LEGO sets, and most especially spending time with my family (especially when they can join me at races). 

Hopefully I’ll see you at a race soon!

Whitney Wilson

Hi I'm Whitney! I started my running journey in 6th grade and it has since turned into a life-long passion (with many highs and lows). Running is more of a mental game than a physical game for me, and I enjoy breaking through mental barriers (especially around mile 19 of a marathon) and reminding myself I can do hard things. I moved to Columbus in 2019 from Indiana and one thing I love about the city of Columbus is the running community! I have made so many connections and friendships through running that I will forever cherish. I'm big on mental health and making sure I listen to my body. No one's running journey looks the same, so always remember to be kind to yourself and run your own race at your own pace. I'm constantly motivated by seeing the people around me chase after their goals and joining friends at all the fun run clubs Columbus has to offer for some good vibes, chit chats & coffee!

Julia Wiseman

Julia’s running career began in high school when she ran on the cross country and track teams. She first fell in love with the social element of the sport and then developed an appreciation for the other benefits. After high school, Julia coached cross country and track at the middle school and high school levels for 8 years. In her mid-twenties, she had the desire to race again - she ran her first half marathon and then her first full marathon after her daughter was born and now can’t get enough. Through the journey of training for each of these races, Julia has become convinced that the benefits of running and fitness extend far beyond physical results and she is passionate about sharing these benefits and helping others achieve their goals. In the fall of 2021, Julia joined TeamRunRun as a personal trainer and run coach. Racing has a way of showing us to never place limits on ourselves and M3S provides such a spectacular experience!