BHRS ambassadors

Beth Bayer, Ocala

“No pain. No gain.”

Beth Bayer, 53, loves running with friends and groups and feels that running is a great way to spend time with friends. Running for six years, Beth has run 40 plus 5ks, 10-10ks, 25 half marathons and one marathon. Her favorite running gear are her Asics Gel Nimbus 19 shoes because they really provide comfort and can lead to injury-free running. Her dream race is to run the New York City Marathon.

 

This is Beth’s third year in the BHRS and currently runs 15-20 miles a week and has a personal trainer to help her cross train twice a week. She mostly runs, but the summer heat encourages more run/walk opportunities. Beth loves how the series brings the racing community together and looks forward to competing this year.

Kenneth Bienhoff, Ocala

“You don’t stop playing because you get old; you get old because you stop playing!”

Kenneth Bienhoff, 44, wouldn’t dream of running without his Nike watch since it tracks his running and all his running secrets! You can find Kenneth training between 15-30 miles a week depending on the distance he is training for. He loves his Brooks and Asics running shoes and doesn’t mind running on the road or the occasional trail.

 

This is Kenneth’s third year in the Big Hammock Race Series and he loves that the series motivates him to get out there to run. He has completed a variety of races including 20 plus 5ks, seven 10ks, six half marathons and three full marathons, including the Disney Goofy Challenge. He’s dream race is the Hawaii Marathon. Kenneth loves that running provides him with a great feeling of accomplishment and self-reward.

Christie Casey, Belleview

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it will not change you.”

Christie Casey, 45, started running in high school and then picked it back up 15 years later. This is her third year in the BHRS and loves that the series helps her connect with friends and set personal challenges and goals. She’ll run on any surface and loves her face towel she runs with to wipe the constant Florida heat away. She loves running by herself and with a group.

 

Christie has run numerous 5ks and 10ks, five half marathons, one marathon and one triathlon. Her dream race is to run the Pittsburgh Marathon. She runs about 9-12 miles a week and cross trains as she does laundry, yard work and cleaning! She loves running because it is a mental laxative and it’s safer for general health public if she runs.

Cynthia Fassoulas, Summerfield

“A 12-minute mile is just as far as a 5-minute mile.”

Cynthia Fassoulas, 48, started running seven years ago and it all started with a Couch to 5k app! You can find Cynthia running three to four times a week and besides helping her stay in shape, she loves how running has brought some wonderful people into her life. She does walk/run intervals and has run every distance up to a half marathon. Sometimes she runs by herself and other times she runs with the Turtle Running Club or the Ocala Reliables because they made her feel welcomed right from the start.

 

Cynthia’s loves running with her Garmin and listening to music especially the 80s pop hits to keep her going. She prefers to train on asphalt and her favorite races have been the Donna Marathon Relay race because she supported a friend whose sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. The other was The Michelob Ultra Lime Cactus Challenge at Gasparilla (2019). This was her first race challenge. This is Cynthia’s third year in the BHRS and she loves how the series is for all fitness levels.

Lisa Foley, Ocala

“I run so I can eat more cake.”

Lisa Foley, 39, loves that running gives her the confidence and extra energy throughout the day. She runs about three to four times a week depending on what she is training for. She loves to run with friends during the week and join bigger group runs on the weekend. She loves to train on the road and her favorite running gear is her moisture wicking socks because they save her feet from blisters.

 

Lisa has been running for four to five years and hopes to run the New York City marathon one year. She has run numerous local 5k and a handful of 10ks. She has run seven to eight half marathons and two marathons. She has been in the BHRS since it started and loves how the series helps to keep her motivated throughout the season.

Christy Jergens, Ocala

“If you want something you never had, then you have to go do something you’ve never done.”

Christy Jergens, 36, has been running for 18 years off and on and has enjoyed her first year in the BHRS. She likes how the series provides camaraderie and she has enjoyed getting to know new people across the span of the season and seeing everyone at the races. Christy loves to run on the blacktop and running with her Garmin Vivoactive 3 with music watch because when she listens to music while she runs it helps her set her pace, provides a good distraction when she’s working hard, and helps her take things up a notch when she needs to. She even has different playlists depending on how fast she wants to run.

 

Her favorite race fuel is GU gels and she loves running in her Brooks Glycerin. She usually trains weekly with the Pezzelles and then runs solo on other days and runs between 10-15 miles a week. Christy has several 5ks under her belt and had never run further than that before the series. This past year she ran her first 10k, 15k and first half marathon. Christy hopes to one day run some of the Vacation Race series of the national parks. She would love to run the half marathon at Glacier National Park and Zion National Park. Christy feels that running is cathartic to her and helps her work the stresses of the day out in a healthy way.

Casey Lussier, Belleview

“I run because punching people is frowned upon.”

Casey Lussier, 23, has been running for four years and has been part of the Big Hammock Race Series since it started. She loves to run solo because running is a nice mental break for her and gives her that break she needs after the crazy everyday reality. She loves training on the treadmill because it provides great people watching and she likes how she can adjust the incline to vary her workouts. She cross trains as well, integrating weights to change up the workout. Unless she has a race coming up she mostly weight trains and runs less than 5 miles a week, but if there is a race on the horizon she runs 7-10 miles a week.

 

Her favorite running gear is her blinking LED light that she wears when she trains at night because it makes her feel safe. Casey has done multiple 5ks, 10ks and halves plus two Disney Challenge races and would love to run Disneyland Paris with Run Disney or Rock ‘n Roll Savannah one day. She loves that running can justify eating more ice cream the more she trains, but also the “me time” it provides as well. Casey loves the BHRS bling and loves wearing and bragging about the amazing medals.

Mary Lou Marcotte, The Villages

“My inspiration is my running community.”

Mary Lou Marcotte, 58, loves how running makes her feel good about living an active life. She has been running for eight years and has completed many 5 and 10ks and 10 half marathons. Last year was her first year in the BHRS and she loved the opportunity to participate in different races and support different charities. She runs with the Villages Running Group and averages about 20 miles a week. When Mary Lou is not running you can find her swimming, doing yoga or strength training.

 

Her favorite race was Yellowstone Half Marathon and she prefers to run on asphalt. She loves Honey Stinger chews, specifically Cherry Cola flavor. She loves her Garmin watch and her flipbelt because it can store so much like her phone, keys and snacks. Mary Lou never met a race she didn’t like and looks forward to her next racing adventure!

James Mathis, Jr., Candler

“Running is not about being better than someone else it’s about being better than you use to be.”

James Mathis, 55, loves to train on trails or asphalt, as long as it’s not a treadmill. He loves running in his kilt because bridges fear him when he wears a kilt, or that’s at least what he tells himself. James runs about 20 miles a week and has been running for three years. The best part of being in the Big Hammock Race Series is the friends he has made and the friends he has not met yet. This is his first year in the series.

 

Before a race, James loves to eat lean beef the night before and drink lots of water. In the morning before a race he likes to eat blueberries and peanut butter, if it’s a half marathon he’ll add an apple fritter. He has completed countless 5ks, nine 10ks, 11 halves and one relay race across Florida. James feels that running has kept him from closing down the bars and loves the friends that he has made! They have made him a better person.

ML McEwen, The Villages

"What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."

ML McEwen, 59, can be found working out every day but only running three days a week and has been running for 34 years. She started running in the military in 1982 but it became a habit in 1985. She usually runs between 20-25 miles a week, but it really depends on the races she is training for. She is working on completing a race in every state and has completed 50 marathons or beyond (five were ultra’s). She recently finished her 70th half marathon and has done the Gasparilla Challenge, and many overnight relay races both in Maine, New Hampshire and Canada.  She has also had the opportunity to run in the Boston Marathon.

 

Last year was ML’s first year in the BHRS and loves the fact that the series encourages people to get out and move, plus the variety of races distances and that it supports local nonprofits. She loves to run in her Hoka Bondi shoes and she an ambassador for Anything by Skirt Sports because the company’s mission is awesome and they make very comfortable clothes for all sizes and shapes. She can be found running with the Villages Running Club and loves the people that running has brought into my life.  

Ruth McFarland, Ocala

Ruth McFarland, 34, loves running on trails and love her GU energy gels to keep her going. She has been running for five years and her favorite running gear is her Flipbelt because it allows her to be hands free while running. This is Ruth’s third year in the BHRS and loves the camaraderie that the series provides for people of all skill levels and distance preferences.

 

She runs anywhere between 10-20 miles a week and can usually be found running solo. Ruth enjoys mountain biking with her husband for some cross training between runs. She has completed numerous 5k, 10k, 15ks and half marathons with the Run Disney’s Star Wars half as the most recent. She would love to complete the Grand to Grand Ultra in Arizona one day.

Dana Moran, Summerfield

“It never gets easier, you just get stronger.”

Dana Moran, 44, feels extremely fortunate to run with The Villages Running group, she loves the friends she has made. Her favorite race fuel is Hammer nutrition and she loves having pockets in the bottom half of her clothing so she can shove them full of the running necessities. Dana loves that the series encourages and rewards a commitment to fitness and activity for everyone within the community, all ages and levels of fitness. This is her second year in the series.

 

Her favorite race was completing the Gasparilla Michelob Ultra Challenge that included four races in two days including a half marathon, her favorite distance. Dana’s has been running for eight years and runs about 15-20 miles a week. She has completed one marathon, 26 half marathons, five or six 10ks and too many 5ks to ever count. She loves that running improves her quality of life, mentally, emotionally and physically. She feels like when she takes care of herself, she can give her best to her family, friends and career.

Robin Onufrock, Ocala

“Anything is better than nothing.”

Robin, 64, has been a BHRS participant for three seasons and loves how the series keeps her going. She has met the most amazing people along the way and learned so much from them. She loves to eat a good breakfast and knows the importance of staying hydrated throughout the race. She mainly trains by herself and runs nine to 12 miles three times a week. She loves running in her Brooks Glycerin 15 and loves her SPIbelt because it’s just big enough for her ID, phone and easily allows my headphones to be accessible, plus it fits snugly with no bounce throughout my run.

 

She started running seven years ago with the podcast, “From Couch to 5k” and now has a personal trainer who works on strength/core and stability with her She loves to cross train and do TRX and spin bike class. She also loves the run clinics with Coach Pezz and always thinks about what she taught her during every race. She has completed 23 5ks and loves how running provides her the discipline of staying active which is the key to a longer, happier life.  

Bill Payne, The Villages

"Running is freedom of expression, the joy of celebrating what is in your soul."

Bill Payne, 67, has been running since he was a wee little one. He enjoys running with the Villages Running Club and has run everything from one milers to marathons. He runs 30-40 miles a week but also values cross training through lifting weights and rides a bike. This is Bill’s second year in the BHRS and he loves how the series offers a variety of race locations and venues, not to mention meeting other runners.

 

Bill loves running in his Brooks Ghost 10 shoes and his must have running gear are his cool sox. He has participated in the Bay to Breakers run in San Francisco, which is the longest continuing road race in the world (118 years).  He’s run more than 100 5ks, six 10ks, 10, 10-milers, eight half-marathons and four marathons. Bill loves how running provides a way to stay healthy and enjoy the comradery and support from fellow runners.

Mary Ponder, Ocala

"I run because I can."

Mary Ponder, 53, has been running seven years and can remember when she couldn’t even run the dirt track around Jervey Gantt in Ocala. She prefers run/walk intervals and loves running with the Turtle Running Group and the Ocala Reliables because it’s filled with such awesome people. Mary has run countless 5k and 10k, 27 half marathons and 2 full marathons but says that 9.3 miles is just perfect! She says she’s not your normal runner and has to have a Dr. Pepper and an egg mcmuffin before she runs. 

 

She hopes to run in the New York City marathon one day. She has applied for the lottery five years in a row and is hopes this year is the year. Her favorite race was running the Marine Corp Marathon where she honored the memory of her dad. Mary gets about 20 miles in a week when life doesn’t get in the way and loves to run on asphalt in her sparkle skirt and always her Garmin watch. This is Mary’s second year in the BHRS and loves that the races are for everyone, no matter what their fitness level is.  Runners, joggers, walkers are all welcome! She loves to see a walker finish their first race and to see the smiles on their face as they cross the finish line!  

Lynn Ruis, Oxford

“Finish Strong.”

Lynn Ruis, 60, has been running for 21 years and loves how running makes her feel good and accomplished. She loves to be able to share her experiences with her fellow runners. Lynn runs 20-35 miles a week when she is training and not injured! Her dream race is running in the New York City Marathon and loves running with her friends in the Villages Running Club. She loves her Fitletic fuel belt because it holds all her nutrition on her long runs.

 

She loves that the Big Hammock Races Series provides a challenge and the diversity of races. This is her second year in the series. Lynn has run a variety of distances including several half marathons and marathons and an ultra race. She cross trains and includes swimming, biking and strengthen training.

Sarah Satterfield, Ocala

“She believed she could so she did.”

Meet Sarah Satterfield, 46, a runner and triathlete who only started running 11 years ago when life took an unexpected turn. She runs for her husband who nearly died after contracting a rare disease that led to acute renal failure and experienced a heart attack. Sarah runs for him and all those who cannot. She loves the sense of community that the Big Hammock Race Series fosters by supporting local races and has been participants in the series for three years.

 

Sarah typically trains alone but is also a member of Ocala Triathletes. She is a run/walker and typically bikes 60 miles a week, swims once a week and runs 18 miles a week. She loves her Hokas because she feels like she is running on air. Her favorite race was competing in the Dopey Challenge and the USAT Nationals. She has completed 31 half marathons, 1 marathon, 55 triathlons, countless 5ks and 10ks in 18 states and 3 countries.

Clyde Williams, Ocala

“Run for life, run for fun, run for yourself.”

Clyde Williams, 51, has been running for seven years and can usually be found running 18 miles a week with run groups the Reliables and Ocala Turtles. He is a huge fan of his Asics Kayano and his light vest is important since he runs early in the morning three times a week before daylight. Clyde has been a member of the BHRS for two years and loves the structure the series provides as well provide a great way to stay engaged and meet new friends.

 

Clyde stays active biking and spinning and has participated in 40 5ks, seven 10ks, 14 half marathons and completed one full marathon. He hopes to one day complete the Bolder Boulder. Although running provides a great way to stay healthy, Clyde loves the friends that he has made along the way.

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