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? Keep an eye on what current Ambassadors are doing and consider applying for the next class. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to our newsletter to get notified when the process is open.

GCM Ambassador Selections

Applicants selected to be Mercy Health Glass City Marathon ambassadors are notified via email ahead of registration opening each Labor Day. Please note that Ambassadors are NOT financially compensated in any way. We do not subsidize travel or training expenses. Ambassadors serve for one calendar year. Mercy Health Glass City Marathon reserves the right to remove any Ambassador from the team for any reason.

Senior Ambassadors

Amanda Schwartz

Amanda Clark

Hometown: Bowling Green, 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.

Dean Whitmire

Dean Whitmire

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

Prior to 2012, if I asked you to describe me, you would of said I was an extremely over weight, tattooed biker that doesn’t appear to exercise or care what he was putting into his body.  In late 2012, after years of trying fad diets and looking for that “magic pill” everyone is always looking for, in late 2012 my bad health choices finally caught with me.

I was at the proverbial fork in the road, where one way leads to a short life expectancy or the other that, while doesn’t guarantee a long life, it sure as hell didn’t hurt my chances.  I finally decided to put down the donuts, get serious and put in the hard work that eventually released the runner that was trapped inside me. I set a goal weight and after two years, three months and eight days of blood, sweat and tears, I was able to remove 142 pounds from my 5’7″ frame and continue to keep it off to this day.

I combined my idea of “healthier for me” eating habits, counting calories with an iPhone food journal, and running to maintain my weight loss.  While the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon was not my first marathon, it has been my favorite over the years, and whether you are looking to run your first ever race or you are a seasoned pro looking to qualify for Boston, I can’t think of a better race.  That is why it is on my race calendar every year, no matter what distance I choose to run!

Brian Hackenburg

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

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.

As a career firefighter and avid Endurance athlete, I have completed 24 Full marathons, and I’m a 10x Ironman 140.6 finisher.

I compete in most races dresses in full firefighter gear to raise money to deliver Gund Teddy Bears to hospitalized Children over the holidays. I have two amazing beautiful athletic daughters who love to run: Kayli and Krista.

2019 Mercy Health Glass City Marathon Ambassadors

Allison Szedlock

Hometown: Columbus, OH
First Marathon: Marine Corps Marathon

Allison is a mother, runner, high school special education teacher, and most often on weekends she’s not running, she’s working for a race timing company or volunteering at races. She loves everything about the running community!

Allison began running in college when one of her sorority sisters asked her to enter the NYC Marathon lottery. Neither of them believed that their names would be drawn, so they entered… and sure enough, they got in. She spent all summer training, but unfortunately a week before the marathon, Allison was diagnosed with lupus and anemia and was unable to race.

After her diagnosis, she took a few years off from running longer distances to focus on her overall health. Once everything settled, she slowly began to increase her mileage. She ran her first half marathon in 2013 and instantly became hooked. Soon after her daughter was born in fall of 2014, she decided to give the marathon distance another chance. A year later, she ran and completed the Marine Corps Marathon and has been running marathons since. This past fall, she completed her 9th marathon, 3 of which have been the Glass City Marathon.

As for many, running has become Allison’s “me time” – time for her to disconnect, let her mind wander, socialize with her friends, test her physical and mental strength, and work towards achieving her goals. Most days shes up and running at or before 5AM to get it done before life pulls her in other directions.

Dave Essinger

Dave Essinger

Hometown: Bluffton, OH
First Marathon: Mercy Health Glass City Marathon (2016)

Dave Essinger’s novel about ultrarunning, Running Out, is newly out from Main Street Rag Publishing Company in print, and on Audible and iTunes as audiobook. He’s no elite runner, but he cares enough about the sport to get it right, and is more than halfway to his 1000-mile buckle at the Mohican 100, where he also rocks 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 his run is still the best part of his day.

The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon is a special race for him, as the first marathon he and his wife ever ran a little over ten years ago. Dave teaches at the University of Findlay, runs when he can with the Findlay Striders and Team Possum, and otherwise lives and runs in Bluffton, Ohio.

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.

Desirae Eisenman

Hometown: Defiance, OH
First Marathon: TBD

If you would have told Desirae a year ago that she would be a GCM ambassador, she wouldn’t have believed you. She always said she would never run anything more than a 5k, but after completing her first sprint triathlon in 2017, she caught the race bug!

If Desirae isn’t swimming, biking, or running with her Team Toledo or Daves MIT buddies, you can find her with her husband (best cheerleader!) and two fur babies!  Between triathlon and half training, she keeps herself busy renovating houses, practicing yoga, hiking, bow hunting, visiting breweries, traveling, and working as an occupational therapy assistant.

Desirae is planning her first half Ironman in 2019 and still claims she will never run a full marathon! (But if she does, it’ll probably be at the end of an Ironman!)

Her best advice is to just go for it, and never compare yourself to other runners. Desirae sets herself a mantra before each race and uses that to keep herself going! “Don’t be scared of the 8’s.” “Breathe into fear and turn it into adventure.” “My body is healthy. My mind is strong. And my heart is full.”

Emily Lee

Hometown: Kent, OH
First Marathon: Pittsburgh (2010)

I get the question often…”So how long have you been running?” if you were to be technical from years of competing then 17 years but if you were to go off of when I fell in love with it, well then that feels like forever. I can remember so vividly telling my mom to time me as I ran around the house at a very young age (I still do it sometimes to make her laugh).

I’ve always loved to see what these legs could do! From running around the house to competing in Cross County & Track throughout Middle & High School to continuing to train on my own and race competitively since graduation in 2008. I’ve completed tons of 5k/10k races, 6 Full Marathons and 41 Half Marathons. I ran my first Full before racing anything longer than a 10k in 2010. In 2014, I ran my first Half in 2014 and have been addicted since. I love everything about running; it’s a stress remover, relaxation, a time to bond with others but also can be “me” time. I love that your goals never end, you reach one and then chase another.

I can’t wait to chase another goal in Toledo in April!

Jason Frampton

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.

Jeff Anderle

Hometown: Shaker Heights, OH
First Marathon: Chicago (2015)

Jeff began running again in 2015 after a 15-year break.  During that break, he had struggle with the motivation and finding the time to run.  A race to support a friend’s non-profit organization got him off the couch and he has been running ever since.

In the last three years, he has run over 2500 miles and more importantly has met an amazing group of people through his runs.  Jeff really enjoys the running community and the inspiration he finds in every runner he meets.

A large focus of his races is raising funds for different causes which has totaled over $10000 since 2015.  These races have included 5 marathons, 2 half marathons, one ultra and two extremely fun 100+ mile relay races.

Since he started running again at age 49, and now in his fifties, he looks forward to increasing the list of races run but more importantly adding to the group of running friends that he has made.

Jeff Edwards

Hometown: Cleveland, OH
First Marathon: Air Force (2017)

A few years back, after never running in any single event, it only took one 5k to start the addictive (er… fun) journey of running for Jeff. Over 20 half marathons, 2 fulls, and tons of other races in the books wasn’t what he expected from that first step, but he’s definitely thankful for each step since and all the fun that’s come along the way. 

Jeff would consider himself an average runner, but with a driven approach and can be very competitive at times (especially with himself). Goals are made to keep him focused, PRs are meant to be chased (and broken!), but he may argue that the real reward isn’t just the medal, but also the post race meal! 

Jeff will also tell you that “race-cations” are a real thing and the best way to travel! Getting to see different destinations and locations by way of foot is the way to go, and he’s always on the go to somewhere new at least twice a year! Clearly keeping it fun is a priority in this running journey!

John Kirtos

Hometown: Sylvania, OH
First Marathon: Glass City (2013)

I started to run in 2012 as a way to keep weight off and running seemed to came somewhat naturally.

After running a half marathon distance in 2012 it only seemed appropriate to  set the goal for running the Glass City Marathon. Making running part of my lifestyle has helped to keep the weight off.

That was 16 marathons ago including a trip to Boston in 2017.  Two of those years running have included running 5 marathons in a year.  John’s hoping to be above 20 by summer.

2018 started off  a little slow after having knee surgery,  which happened at the gym, but running is back up to full swing now.

The feeling after completing a marathon is amazing, I always start to look forward to my next race right after completing one  Running is a family affair,  my wife is a runner and running coach. Our kids are runners too.

I have run Glass City every year since except  in 2017 when  I followed and cheered my then 18 year old daughter as she ran her first full marathon at Glass City.  She wanted to do it by herself and I couldn’t have been more proud.

Mary Jo Bicanovsky

Hometown: Sylvania, OH
First Marathon: Glass City (2013)

I never really was a runner, I was a walker.  I could walk for miles.  One day a friend of mine said to me, hey want to run a 5k with me and my mom?  I said sure I will give it a try.  I haven’t stopped!

I am a hairdresser  with a wonderful husband and two great boys, both grown and on their own.  I started running 5k’s, then started training for my first half back in 2013.  Since 2013 I have ran more 5k’s than I can count, 9 1/2 marathons, 2 duathilons, 2 Ragnars  and my first full marathon just this April at the Glass City.   I currently am training for my second full marathon in October down in Columbus .

I became a pace coach for our local running group here in Toledo lat year, Daves Marathon Training Group, love this program and the people I have met along the way.  Prior to running and coaching I was a Rowing instructor for 3 years.  Workout  or  any kind of fitness is truly what I love.  I lift 3 days a week and run the rest plus bike.  My family is very supportive of my crazy fitness life.

I am a huge meal prepper and love to cook, so its easy for me.  I

I love destination runs, I am been to Vegas for the Rock and Roll and am going back this November.  My husband and I travel to 

Hawaii often, this February I  m going to sign up for a 5k while staying in Kona, I mean why not right?  lol.

I think someday I may try an Ultra race or even something bigger, I will have to see how my body holds out, 53 and counting doing things I never thought possible.  Never give up on your hopes and dreams and most of all have fun with it, life it meant to have fun and I try to make all my runs with friends as fun as possible.

Megan Hammis

Hometown: Saginaw, MI
First Marathon: Detroit Free Press (2016)

Megan aka “RD on the Run” is a registered dietitian and velocity challenged runner. Her running journey started in 2010 when she was a student at Central Michigan University. She began running as a way to lose weight, and although she did get healthier, the running part didn’t quite stick. Fast forward to 2012 – while planning her wedding and working her first jobs as a dietitian she used running as a stress reliever and eventually started running regularly again. In 2015 she joined a couple of online running groups and in 2016 she went to her first local group run. And that was when the real fun began!

At her first local group run, Megan met a fellow run/walker that was training for the same half marathon as she was. On their 8 mile training run, they learned so much about each other and became instant friends. This new friend ran Megan’s first half marathon with her and just after they crossed the finish line she asked Megan, “So are you ready to run the marathon with me?” Megan looked at her like she was nuts – the half marathon had taken them almost 3 hours to complete, and a marathon was twice that much, who in their right mind would run for over 6 hours?

Apparently Megan wasn’t in her right mind because just 6 months later she ran her first marathon with that same friend. So far Megan has run 4 marathons (including the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon in 2018), 5 half marathons and tons of other races for a total of over 70. She strives to run at least one race every month to keep her consistently in training mode. Plus, she just loves the race bling!

As a registered dietitian, Megan promotes moderation, balance, and variety and she lives that in her every day life. She owns a t-shirt that says “I run because I really like cookies”. Megan also runs for mental health, hoping to promote awareness and demolish the stigma associated with mental health. Megan has been happily married to her husband Ken since 2012. In 2017 Ken started running races here and there with her but he mostly leaves that crazy running stuff to Megan. They have a beautiful, fluffy black and white 10 years young cat named Bella.

The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon came highly recommended to Megan from several runners in her local running group. The slogan “You’ll run faster in Toledo” definitely holds true as many of her local running group friends have gotten PRs and BQs at the race. Megan ran the race for the first time in 2018 and crushed her previous marathon PR by 12 minutes and 15 seconds. Her time was 5:59:27, just squeaking in under the time limit! Megan hopes to inspire the “back of the pack” runners as well as the BQ seekers as a Glass City Ambassador this year.

Michael DeLapp

Michael DeLapp

Hometown: Saint Clair Shores, MI
First Marathon: Glass City (2018)

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.

Rick Rayman

Hometown: Toronto, Canada
First Marathon:

I was born, raised and live in Toronto, Ontario. I am a dentist, Assistant  Professor and Director of Student Life at the Faculty of Dentistry University of Toronto. I have, to date run 361 marathons. My first marathon was  in August, 1978, in Toronto. As an aside my third marathon was in March 1979, the Heartwatchers Marathon in Toledo.

I have run marathons in Toledo almost every year since, including the Ottawa Hills Marathon and Sy Mah Marathon. Sy was one my early mentors. My personal best time for the marathon is 2 hours and 47 minutes. I used to break 3 hours regularly, but you are only as good as your last race. So, now my finishing times are around 6 hours or more. I still love finishing a marathon and being around runners. I love the running culture. I also have the longest consecutive daily running streak in Canada and I am second on the International list. I have not missed a day of running in 39 years 8 months 25 days. I run outside every day and my minimum daily run is 30 minutes.

Our winters are similar to Toledo’s brutal winters. I have 4 more marathons planned for this year and hope the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on Oct. 21st  will be marathon # 365. I am also lucky enough to be part of the Skechers Performance Ontario team. I have seen the Glass City Marathon really evolve into a National class event.

I look forward to running in Toledo every April and I am so very proud to be a Mercy Health Glass City Marathon Ambassador.

Subha Lembach

Hometown: Columbus, OH
First Marathon: TBD

Subha started running in 2018 and quickly fell in love. Running was a great way for Subha to engage in a moving meditation while getting healthy. Running helped Subha reduce her high cholesterol levels and gain a much better perspective on life.

Tiffany Lambert

Hometown: Springboro, OH
First Marathon: Walt Disney (2018)

I am a fun-loving adventurer that fell in love when running at a time when nothing else seemed to make sense. As I wrapped up my junior year of college, I felt control slipping away in many parts of my life when a friend asked me to go on a run with him. Reluctantly, I said “yes” but that was the first step in taking back control of my life. Step-by-step, day-by-day (sometimes painfully), I took the time to discover who I was and who I wanted to be – and running played a huge role in my development. Since 2010,

I have run approximately 13 half marathons, countless 5k and 10ks, I run obstacle course races regularly, and I even completed my first full marathon in January 2018. And you know what? The most rewarding part of the whole process was the training. The finish line was exhilarating, but there is something special in finding the strength to follow through with a well-executed training plan.

Now that running and fitness have become staples in my life, I hope to inspire and encourage other individuals to find his or her inner strength and push to new heights. Nothing worth achieving ever came easily and I hope you find that “something” that drives you to target new goals – whether it is weight loss, raising money for a charity, running for those who can’t, or simply running to find yourself, you can achieve your goals.

Tiffany Schmidt

Hometown: Petersburg, MI
First Marathon: Pittsburgh (2018)

I started occasionally running while serving in the United States Marine Corps in 2011. After being honorably discharged I was diagnosed with depression and turned to running as my therapy. I started competitively running in 2016. Now, I run not just for myself but also for my children to bring raise awareness to autism. My goal is to run a race in all 50 states, 46 to go!

Want to be a GCM Ambassador?

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.

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The application will open again after the race.