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 shares regularly on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Reddit 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 in August. 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, and the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon reserves the right to remove any Ambassador from the team for any reason.

Amanda Schwartz

Amanda Clark

Hometown: Bowling Green, OH
First Marathon: Glass City (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 ten 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 (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 (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 26 full marathons, a 11x Ironman 140.6 finisher, and Boston Marathon qualifier at the 2019 Mercy Health Glass City Marathon.

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.

Dave Essinger - 2020 GCM Ambassador

Dave Essinger

Hometown: Bluffton, OH
First Marathon: Glass City (2006)

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.

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.

Michael DeLapp

Michael DeLapp

Hometown: Saint Clair Shores, MI
First Marathon: GCM (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.

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!

Andre Page - 2020 GCM Ambassador

Andre Page

Hometown: Toledo, OH
First Marathon: Glass City (2016)

I hated running!  I thought it was the most boring thing….ever.  But after getting a personal trainer in 2010, I set a goal to run my first 5k after my 40th birthday in under 30 minutes.  So in September 2011 I ran my first race (in life) the local Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure an hit my goal of sub-30.  And since then I haven’t stopped running.

I am a certified running coach through the Road Runners Club of America, I’ve been a pacer in a half marathon and have coached a large group running in the 2019 Glass City half and marathon.  I have also coached individuals and written training plans to help them achieve their running goals. To date I have run 8 marathons, 20 half marathons, and several 5ks and 10ks.

Running has been an outlet for me as it helps me clear my mind as well as think of what I can do to help the sport of running for everyone.  Although I run to stay in shape and for the love of the sport, I also run to inspire others, especially people of color.  There is such a small percentage of African American runners that I hope to change that by showing that it can be done.  It feels good to get random messages from people letting me know how much I’ve inspired them and that they too have started running.

Andrew Grod - 2020 GCM Ambassador

Andrew Grod

Hometown: Berea, OH
First Marathon: Towpath (2015)

I was born and raised in Rossford, Ohio.  I was never athletic in high school, but in college I was looking for a positive change and discovered running while exploring the hilly, gravel trails at Island View Park.  I started with setting little goals.  I focused on jogging and progressed to strides, hill repeats and built a foundation.

After moving to Cleveland, I started running longer distances in the Metroparks and found the half marathon was the perfect distance for me.  My first half was the 2011 Glass City Half Marathon and I have ran it just about every year.

I really enjoy helping others achieving their running goals. For the past few years, I’ve been the pace leader for the 3 hour 20 minute group for the Medina Half Marathon.  It’s amazing the sense of accomplishment people get when finishing a race.

I’m very excited and grateful to represent the Glass City Marathon.

Anthony DeMarco - 2020 GCM Ambassador

Anthony DeMarco

Hometown: Cleveland, OH
First Marathon: Disney World Half (2018)

Originally from Erie, PA, I’ve proudly called Cleveland my home for the past 5 years. I begrudgingly participated in my first race at the Cleveland Marathon 10K in 2016 and I’ve been hooked ever since. My wife Tatsiana, also an ambassador, inspired me to make the jump from casual jogger to racer. I will be running my first marathon in January.

The motto “beat yesterday” motivates me as a runner. I never imagined I’d do this, having never been a runner and warming the bench on my high school varsity basketball team, so every day is a new high. The Savage 5k has helped me reach my time goals by providing a flat course, impeccable organization, and a competitive environment. This will be my third straight year participating in the race weekend.

Amanda Munger - 2020 GCM Ambassador

Amanda Munger

Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN
First Marathon: Glass City (2019)

Mother turned runner! Started running about three years ago, as an outlet and alone time after becoming a mom! I’ve ran all different race distances from 5k to marathon. Running has become a way for me to challenge myself and push myself beyond my self determined limits!
I started a Sunday Runday running group for parents and kids alike to enjoy running, conversation, and fun! Encouraging other runners through coaching and blogging (#happymilesmommy) has been fulfilling! My passion for running is deeper than my personal times and races, but also helping others find the joy of running, as well.
“Running gives us a blessed window of time-for-self that somehow makes the rest of the day easier to carry… when we breathe deeply into one passion, we provide oxygen for others.”- Kristin Armstrong
Danielle Castro - 2020 GCM Ambassador

Dani Castro

Hometown: Columbus, OH
First Marathon: Columbus (2019)

Dani is a Toledo native who moved to the Columbus area about two years ago for her dream job. She grew up doing cheerleading in high school and college and didn’t start running until her early twenties when she caught the running bug and runs on an almost daily basis for her mental and physical well being. She loves the freedom that running brings and the opportunities to meet so many new people while doing something that brings her so much joy. She has run multiple half marathons, 15k’s 10k’s, 5k’s and recently completed her first full marathon this past October (more to come in the future!).
Glass City (Owens Corning Half) was her first half marathon and holds a special place in her heart because of that and because Toledo will always somewhat be home. Glass City is one of the best races of all the different events she’s participated in over the years!
Joan Mathews - 2020 GCM Ambassador

Joan Mathews

Hometown: Maumee, OH
First Marathon: Columbus (1987)

I started running in 1982 just before I found out I was pregnant with my daughter.  My first marathon was in 1987 in Columbus and have run 7 in total including Toledo and Boston (qualifying twice). Half marathons used to be a favorite distance and have completed hundreds of them all over. Lately  5k’s  are the run of choice due to have total knee replacement in November of 2017.
Coaching for Dave’s for the past 5 years has been a great experience. Prior to this I coached at Anthony Wayne high school, Notre Dame Academy and Springfield middle school for over 12 years. Officiating track and cross country over 20 years is another love of mine. I love running and will continue to be an advocate forever.
Kathleen Walsh - 2020 GCM Ambassador

Kathleen Walsh

First Marathon:

Kelly Bandfield - 2020 GCM Ambassador

Kelly Bandfield

Hometown: Toledo, OH
First Marathon:

I’ve been an avid road/trail runner since 2011 and long time Toledo resident. My most recent running accomplishment was completing my first 100k in June 2019. My training methods are unconventional but they work for me. 2020 will be the 6th Mercy Health Glass City Marathon for me and I am looking forward to helping others meet their goals and supporting the entire running community at large.

Marissa Ward - 2020 GCM Ambassador

Marissa Ward

Hometown: Strongsville, OH
First Marathon: Glass City (2016)

I started running distance a year after I graduated high school as a way to stay healthy. While on vacation, I ran my first race – a 2 mile sand dune race – where I placed as the 2nd overall female and realized that this is something I like.

After coming home from vacation, I ran a 5 mile race and my first 5k before walking onto the XC team at Cleveland State University. I ran for 2 seasons and had the intention of running my first marathon within 6 months of graduation.

I ran Glass City Marathon 4 months before finishing my degree on my 21st birthday and 21 weeks pregnant. Even though I told myself marathoning would be “one and done”, I ran a BQ and have been hooked since. My goals are now to run a marathon in every state and finish the World Marathon Majors Challenge.

Mindy Larocca - 2020 GCM Ambassador

Mindy LaRocca

Hometown: Petersburg, MI
First Marathon: Glass City (2010)

I hated running when I was in high school and would avoid it at all costs.  However, as I was mid-way through my freshman year at the University of Michigan I was incredibly stressed and found that running would help clear my head.  I occasionally ran through my college years and began to enjoy it more and more.  Never back in those college years did I think I would run a 10K let alone a half marathon or a marathon.
Then in 2007 I decided to quit smoking.  The day I quit smoking I signed up for my first half marathon.  I got myself some new running shoes and hit the pavement and the treadmill and have NEVER looked back.  My husband, two children, family and friends have supported me 100% in my 12+ years of racing.  There has never been a race course or a finish line where a family member or a friend hasn’t been somewhere waiting for me.  Most people think I’m crazy but I can’t get enough of it and couldn’t do it will all of their support.
Being selected as an Ambassador has given me the push to start a community running group and we will have our first annual Turkey Trot in November 2019.  I feel so very fortunate to have been selected as an Ambassador for this amazing race and to be a part of such a tremendous running community.  My next goal?  I plan to run a 24 hour ultra marathon.  Look out 2020!
Sara Langley - 2020 GCM Ambassador

Sara Arnold

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
First Marathon: Yuengling Shamrock (2018)

I grew up in a small town called New Paris, Ohio but have lived in Indianapolis for 8 years. I’ve been a runner most of my life and have completed 15 half marathons and 2 full marathons with various distances in between. The Glass City Marathon will be my 3rd full marathon after I completed the half marathon in 2019 and fell in love with the entire culture and atmosphere. Running is my passion, so much that in 2018 I became co-owner of the Indiana Brewery Running Series where I am able to help others find their passion through running and also enjoying local breweries all the while supporting local nonprofits.

Tatsiana DeMarco - 2020 GCM Ambassador

Tatsiana DeMarco

Hometown: Cleveland, OH
First Marathon: Detroit (2017)

I started running in 2016 after deciding to complete a half marathon as a New Year 2016 Resolution. Ever since crossing that finish line I was hooked. Glass City Marathon weekend 2020 will be the third consecutive year I’m coming to race in Toledo. Toledo never disappoints and I cant wait to come back. The long term goal I pursue is to run a half marathon in every state!