Glass City Ambassadors

||Glass City Ambassadors
Glass City Ambassadors 2018-07-10T11:13:32+00:00

Mercy Health Glass City Marathon Ambassadors

Mercy Health Glass City Marathon AmbassadorThe Mercy Health Glass City Marathon and Owens Corning Half Marathon annually partner with influential runners to represent our event and city as Official Ambassadors.

We’re annually looking for dedicated runners/walkers who are passionate about the sport, have previously participated at GCM, and are actively involved in their own running community (both on-the-ground and online), and are ready to be part of our amazing team of Ambassadors.

If you’re someone who writes a running or fitness blog, shares regulary on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ and other social platforms, is part of a running or training group, and/or rallies your friends and family for social events, then you could be an Ambassador.

In addition to select local and regional individuals, we look for Ambassadors from outside the Toledo Metro area who have previously participated at GCM and can offer a unique visitor perspective to the public. — Does this sound like you?

Ambassador Application is Now Open

Those applicants selected to be 2019 Mercy Health Glass City Marathon ambassadors will be notified via email. Please note that Ambassadors are NOT financially compensated in any way. We do not subsidize travel or training expenses. Ambassadors will serve for one calendar year. The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon reserves the right to remove any Ambassador from the team for any reason.

BE KNOWLEDGABLE IN: Website Content, Registration Links, Event & Expo Info, Course Maps, UT Campus & Parking, Relay Team & Shuttle Instructions, Friday, Saturday & Sunday Schedules, Charity Partners, Sponsors, First-timer Perks, 10th Anniversary Half Info, more…

FOLLOW/LIKE: GCM on Each Social Media Platform

ENGAGE REGULARLY: During Events, Online, In Running Groups, At Other Events

WEAR OFFICIAL APPAREL: At All Events in Which You Participate

SHARE KNOWLEDGE: On Your Blog & Social Media Profiles

SUPPORT OPERATIONS: During Expos & Other Race Weekend Events

Official Mercy Health Glass City Marathon Ambassador Gear; Complimentary entry to any event as part of the Glass City Marathon weekend; Profile hosted on Glass City Marathon Website; Additional Incentives based on Involvement; All Ambassadors will be featured on the Glass City Marathon Website. Chosen applicants will have a profile, photo, and opportunity to connect with other runners through social media and more.

  • OFFICIAL GCM AMBASSADOR TITLE & LOGO
  • CUSTOM GCM GEAR
  • COMP RACE ENTRY
  • PROFILE & LINKS ON GCM WEBSITE
  • AMBASSADOR TEAM OUTING
  • MORE…

Senior Ambassadors

Amanda Schwartz

Amanda Schwartz

Hometown: Perrysburg, OH
First Marathon: Glass City Marathon — 2012

Amanda is a runner, fit-ish bodybuilder, and occasional healthy eater. In 2010, she started running and has been hooked on the runner’s high ever since.

After losing 40 pounds by running and bodybuilding, Amanda knows that staying fit is a journey, not a destination. Staying in shape is something she takes seriously, but life is about balance, so she always tries the new Oreo flavors and occasionally eat her weight in cookie dough.

Amanda lets nothing keep her from achieving her fitness goals, even six knee surgeries from a high school soccer injury and an ongoing heart condition. They can make running difficult, but that is never a reason to quit.

She has run too many races to count, including eight half marathons and two marathons. Amanda is just your average tattooed runner bodybuilder who eats all the food and is looking to earn that next PR.

Follow her fit-ish life at Fit-Sized Amanda.

Dean Whitmire

Dean Whitmire

Hometown: Columbus, OH
First Marathon: Columbus Marathon — 2014

Prior to 2012, if you were asked to describe Dean, you would of said an extremely over weight, tattooed biker that doesn’t appear to exercise or care how much he was eating. In late 2012 his bad health choices finally caught with him, and was faced with no other option but to make the changes that would inevitably release the runner that was trapped inside of him. After two years, three months and eight days of hard work and determination Dean has removed over 140 pounds and managed to keep it off for two years now.

Dean has combined his idea of “healthier for me” eating habits, counting calories, and running to maintain his results. In Dean’s new life as a runner he has completed several races of multiple distances including the marathon. During his weight loss journey Dean used other blogs to inspire him along the way, so he created his blog to pay it forward to those who are in need of the same inspiration.

You can follow along and learn more about Dean’s weight loss and running journey at Running in the Fat Lane.

Brian Hackenburg

Brian Hackenburg

Hometown: Sandusky, OH
First Marathon: Rev3 140.6 Triathlon at Cedar Point — 2011

I’ve completed more than 57 races, 11 of them full-length marathons, dressed head-to-toe in firefighter gear. I originally started competing in endurance events 50 pounds overweight and at risk for heart disease. Today, I am “in the best shape of my life,” and I continue to pursue fitness as a way to promote health and raise funds for the Fireman Rob Foundation to provide Gund bears to hospitalized children. My story is one of passion and pursuing fitness for a cause greater than ourselves.

Back in 2010, I found performing the basic fire ground operations became exhausting and difficult, so I knew he had to make a change. 40%-50% of all In-The-Line-Duty deaths on the fire ground are related to heart attacks and strokes. I remain committed to bringing more awareness to physical fitness in the fire service. While Change is slow, it all comes in good time.

2018 Mercy Health Glass City Marathon Ambassadors

Austin Bartos

Austin Bartos

Hometown: Toledo, OH
First Marathon:

I began running in pre-school for my cross country team in Assumption, Ohio, beginning with a half mile race. I loved it so much that I continued running every single year, moving from a half mile to a half marathon my second year of college at the University of Toledo. Once in college, I found out cross country did not exist like it did in high school. It was more competitive at the university level, and with the busy schedule work and classes creates, joining the university team was not really an option. Instead, I found Recreational Running Club, which focused on having fun while running, and making friends that like to run as well.

After a year, I became the president of the club, and now lead workouts and social events for our members. As a club, we help our members reach their running goals by culminating their work at the Glass City Marathon, which occurs at the end of the academic year. Whether they run the 5k, half, relay, or the full marathon, our club helps guide them through the training process and provides access to other runners who are around their pace.

This is my final year at UT, and I wanted to give our club, as well as anyone at the university who may want to join, the best opportunity to get in shape, achieve new PR’s, and run farther than they have ever run before.

Dave Essinger

Dave Essinger

Hometown: Bluffton, OH
First Marathon:

My novel about ultrarunning, “Running Out,” is newly out from Main Street Rag Publishing Company. I’m no elite runner, but I care enough about the sport to get it right, and am halfway to my 1000-mile buckle at the Mohican 100, where I also often rock the forest for a mile-plus radius as Captain of the famed Fire Tower Aid Station. Even when the wind chill’s below zero, sometimes my run is still the best part of my day. Toledo, Glass City is a special race for me, as the first marathon I and my wife ever ran a little over ten years ago. I teache at the University of Findlay and live and run in Bluffton, Ohio.

I have gotten my best results and my marathon PR and BQs from utilizing a specific training plan, with some trail 50ks thrown in as over-distance, but lately have been experimenting with about 30-50 miles per week, year-round on varied terrain and supplemented with lots of cross-training (elliptical, swim, bike, and weights).

Deric Tedora

Deric Tedora

Hometown: Monroe, MI
First Marathon:

As the owner of Run Hip, a run specialty store in Monroe Mi, I have a huge passion for running and all the health benefits of living an active lifestyle. I’ve been an avid runner since I tore my ACL in 2006. My first official race was the cork town race in downtown Detroit in March of 2007.

Ever since then I can’t imagine my life without running and living an active lifestyle. I have encouraged the community to join me by creating a local running group that meets twice a week to run and have social time with other like minded individuals. I have completed four full marathons, two 50k trail races and countless half marathons, 10k and 5k races. My 2018 plan is to run the Glass City Half Marathon, Bayshore Marathon and Run Woodstock 50k.

Frank Murphy

Frank Murphy

Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN
First Marathon: Sunburst Marathon — 2013

For most of my adult life, I was content to sit on the couch and watch TV. I’d look at people I’d call “fitness freaks” and think, “Chill out and relax. Enjoy life.” Exercising and eating right looked like a lot of work and it didn’t appeal to me at all. By the time I turned 43, I had morphed into an obese guy that struggled to do many simple things, like trim my own toenails. Eventually, I started to realize I was on a bad path and I needed help.

In 2013, I was selected to participate in the weight loss program, Fort Wayne’s Smallest Winner (FWSW). They provided dietitians, trainers, running coaches (and more) in a supportive, gimmick-free environment. They taught me to eat properly, exercise responsibly and practice accountability. With their help, I lost almost 90 pounds in less than six months!

Each FWSW participant was expected to complete a half marathon. At first, I was terrified. It didn’t seem possible; however, as my weight dropped my stamina increased. As running became a little easier, it also became a lot more enjoyable. I’m not sure when it happened, but one day I realized I loved to run! Not only did I crush that half marathon, but my appetite was whet for more. I have since completed 18 half marathons, 11 full marathons and 13 ultramarathons.

My fitness journey has not been easy, but it has been rewarding. I am surrounded by many loving people who have helped me beyond measure. I am thankful that FWSW invested in me, and I want to follow their example and encourage others to pursue a healthy lifestyle.

Mercy Health Glass City Marathon Ambassador

James Mackert

Hometown: Elyria, OH
First Marathon:

I have run two Toledo marathons; l990 and l99l. Plus many 1/2 marathons in the past decade. I was president of the Lorain County Road Runners for 12 years.

I had the honor of running marathons with Sy Mah. I have told many runners of how well the races are organized in Toledo; from the expo, post-race party outside, efficiency and awards. I proudly wear my sleeveless vest I won as an age group winner a few years back. I used the Toledo half marathon as training for the Cleveland Marathon (only runner to complete all 40).

Soon I will be 81, and recovering from back surgery. Because of this, my times have slowed; 7 hours for the marathon and 3 hours 30 minutes for the half.

I am usually running somewhere near Ruth Fleck. One of my most cherished awards is my Glass City Marathon award of 1990, with Sy Mah’s picture on it.

Jennifer Mitchell

Jennifer Mitchell

Hometown: Livonia, MI
First Marathon:

I ran the Owens Corning Half Marathon in 2016 and I was beyond impressed with this race. I’ve run several other half marathons (Detroit Free Press and Cedar Point Run and Ride), Toledo was an amazing experience from start to finish, and even the post race activities.

My Husband and my parents came to support me and while I raced and I learned there were many activities to entertain them while they watched my progress on the app. It’s been a goal of mine to qualify and run Boston before I turn 40 and I am starting to think 2018 GCM may be the place I’ll do it (oh, and I haven’t run a Full Marathon yet…)

I’m a Michigan native, with family now living in Ohio. I am currently running with Northridge Ridgerunners group and raising money for the Love Runs charity that has a network of over 500 runners.

I am writing about my running, training and another passion of mine – wine. It’s a fun venture that is leading to many new connections.

Jennifer Perkins

Jennifer Perkins

Hometown: Clawson, MI
First Marathon: Glass City Marathon — 2015

I have always been active, but never considered myself an athlete, until I began running later in life, at age 49. What began as a joke with my boyfriend, turned into a six day a week running habit, a change in diet, and a lot of new friends. I’ve run over one hundred races, including fifteen half marathons, three full marathons, and two Ragnar relays in just over four years. I believe the challenges of training prepare me for more than just race day – the mental toughness translates into all aspects of life.

I live in the metro Detroit area with my runner boyfriend, Dan and super lazy cat, Olivia Mae. While running is my number one obsession, it is closely followed by movies, travel and gardening. Up next: my first ultra distance race in July of 2018.

Mercy Health Glass City Marathon Ambassador

Jessica Swonger

Hometown: Findlay, OH
First Marathon:

I have recently fallen in love with being a coach for my school’s Girls On The Run program – my students look up to me as a motivational and inspirational coach. I look forward to engaging in my community of Bowling Green, and school (with young runners) as a GCM ambassador.
Mark Davidhizer

Mark Davidhizar

Hometown: Wakarusa, IN
First Marathon:

I run to stay healthy and be a good example for kids.
Michael DeLapp

Michael DeLapp

Hometown: Saint Clair Shores, MI
First Marathon:

I’m a Toledo native who has been living in the Detroit area for several years now, but still have many ties to Toledo. The Glass City Marathon will be my first marathon (I participated in 2017 in the family relay and have done the 5k before as well). The relay jump started my interest in long distance running and has been something I have been able to share with my father (who has completed the GCM a few times). A rare thing indeed.

I have been actively training since March and would like to bring that enthusiasm and unique perspective to everyone.

Tackling new challenges is my primary motivation.

Nicole Shoviak

Nicole Shoviak

Hometown: Nashville, TN
First Marathon:

A Toledo native, I have run many marathons and half marathons all over the country, but it wasn’t until two years ago that I crossed the finish line at the University of Toledo. No other marathon beats it. The Toledo community is so stellar, and even to a ten year out-of-towner, this marathon still makes Toledo feel like home.

I want to show other people from all over the country how awesome this marathon really is. The views are great, the course is flat, and the signs are hilarious, not to mention the race shirts that have been some of my favorites and the perfect refreshments at the end in the brand new glasses.

What started as a weight loss regimen turned into a lifestyle. I started doing half marathons in 2014 and progressed on to a full shortly after that. I fell in love with the energy, the environment, and the constant desire to do better and better until seeing a PR on the clock.

Now, I’ve coached other people into doing 10ks and half marathons, and it is just as amazing to see other people crush their goals. One of the most inspirational moments for me as a runner was coaching a good friend of mine to finish her first 10k. Running is pushing yourself to do better, and it makes for an awesome sport.

Rick Rayman

Rick Rayman

Hometown: Toronto, Canada
First Marathon:

Sara Angelilli

Sara Angelilli

Hometown: Pittsburg, PA
First Marathon:

I ran Glass City in 2016 and to date it is still my half marathon PR. The race follows a beautiful course and you can’t beat finishing inside the stadium. As a person that travels to multiple races per year, I like to highlight the event and the city as well providing suggestions for dining and other things to do for those not from the area.

I love the running community. I’ve never met a more welcoming and encouraging group of people. I volunteer a lot with my local running club and also pace multiple races to stay engaged and give back to the community.

Stephanie Fichtelman

Stephanie Fichtelman

Hometown: Delaware, OH
First Marathon: Columbus Marathon — 2016

I am a stay-home-mom of 4 little girls living in Delaware OH with my husband Jeff and our dog Daisy. Besides running, I love DIY projects, red wine, and Justin Timberlake. This year I celebrated my 10 year “run-iversary.” My first race was the Detroit Half Marathon and I swore I would never do another one ever again. Caught the bug, and am now working on half marathon #19, (4 of those pregnant, 1 with a stroller and a 4 month old in tow), and just completed my 2nd full marathon in Chicago this year.

I work with a local running coach here in the Columbus area where we create training plans, write blogs, and do podcasts. My goal is to complete a full and/or half in every state of the U.S.

I run for social hour with my 5 a.m. running group girls.
I run to test the limits of my body.
I run for sanity.
I run to show my girls that women can do anything
I run for those who can’t.

Stay fit, crush new goals.

Tiffany Iott

Tiffany Iott

Hometown: Petersburg, MI
First Marathon:

I am a USMC veteran that competitively runs 6-7 races a month. Running is my passion and I love supporting other runners. Every race I participate in I share on Facebook and have my family members attends/donate to support the race.

Being a combat veteran and suffering with depression I found running helped decrease the symptoms. I was able to regain my confidence and my life. Running is truly a lifesaver.

Mercy Health Glass City Marathon Ambassador

Tiffany Fridley

Hometown: Miamisburg, OH
First Marathon:

Victoria Calderon

Victoria Calderon

Hometown: Toledo, OH
First Marathon:

I didn’t start running until I moved to Washington DC for graduate school in 2014 and slowly worked my way from a 5k to a 10k to a half marathon, and ultimately the marathon. I was born and raised in Toledo, but as I was never a runner when I lived here. It wasn’t until 2016 that I ran my first Glass City Marathon event after moving back to Toledo.

I ran a huge half marathon PR at the Owens Corning Half Marathon, and it is truly my hometown race as I passed by my parent’s home in Ottawa Hills and my own neighborhood in Old Orchard. I run parts of the course almost every day, and I loved seeing UT campus and the University Trail and other parts of the city begin to change in preparation for the race this past spring.

I love the city of Toledo, and I love running and racing; the combination of the two makes up just about my favorite day in this city. I’d be proud to share my enthusiasm with new runners who may be preparing for their first race of any distance to the those looking to BQ or snatch a new PR.

Even when I don’t feel like setting (and abiding) by an early morning wake-up call for a training run, or have trouble getting myself out the door, I never regret a run. I love that I get to determine the next challenge – a new distance, a new race, or simply deciding to find new places to run – and I control the work that makes meeting that challenge possible. The goal-setting and goal-smashing is addictive and motivating, and I think it makes me more focused, happier, and confident in other areas of my life.