The 2018 TCTC Racing Team



Chris Stark

Age & Hometown: 33. Newberry, MI

Current resident: Kingsley

Employment: Supervisor, Interlochen State Park

Family: Wife Jessica, son Eric (6), daughter Allison (3), #3 expected May 31st

Years running: Was pressured into running my first 5k in June of 2011, but didn't start regularly training until 2012.

Why do you run? I began running to help deal with anxiety and depression due to PTSD. Although it still helps me cope with this, it has come to mean so much more. Having the opportunity to be a healthy role model for my children motivates me each day.

Running accomplishments: Boston qualifier in first two marathons at the Bayshore the past two years, 2016 Mackinac Bridge Fall Colors Run overall winner, other overall and age group awards over the past couple of years.

Favorite running shoes: Brooks Launch

Favorite races: Kingsley Heritage Days 5k (my wife and I are race directors so I'm obligated), Mackinac Bridge Fall Colors Run, Mackinac Island 8 Miler, Kurt Knierim Memorial in my hometown, almost anything in the TC area.

Favorite race distance: Half Marathon

Running hero: My 6 year old son Eric. He has struggled with a form of asthma (reactive airway) that has led to a lot of time in doctor’s offices and emergency rooms as he has grown up. Despite this, he has taken to racing, and completely blows me away with his competiveness and desire to do his best despite the sleepless nights.

Favorite pre-race meal: Pizza

Goals for 2017: Represent TC in Boston, lower my 5k PR, stay healthy!

Favorite running quote: Our family moto – “Do your best and have fun!”

Best running advice given to me: The hardest part of most training runs is getting to the end of your driveway.

What is one thing your teammates would say about you? Who is the new guy? Or, “where are his kids today?”

How do you feel about representing the TCTC by being a TCTC Race Team Member? I look forward to representing such a wonderful organization through not only my competitive participation in a lot of events throughout the year, but also through my sportsmanship and passion for running.

Andrea Cherwinski

Age & Hometown: 34, Baldwin, MI

Current resident: Potterville, MI

Employment: Staffing Manager, Elwood Staffing

Family: Husband Jeremie Cherwinski, Dad Mitch Sanders, Brother David Sanders

Years running: 3

Why do you run? To help keep the weight off and to meet new people.

Running accomplishments: Detroit Marathon 2016 27th 30-34 out of 194

  • Gazelle Girl Half Marathon 73rd out of 2500 runners
  • TCTC 2015 Grand Prix Winner
  • TCTC 2015 Womens Runner of the year
  • Countless other age group and overall wins in multiple distances.

Favorite running shoes: Asics Gel Nimbus 18’s

Favorite races: Ottawa Marathon, Gazelle Girl Half Marathon, Crim

Favorite race distance: Marathon

Running hero: My Great Uncle Francis

Favorite pre-race meal: Spaghetti

Goals for 2017: To qualify to run the Boston Marathon

Favorite running quote: Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must, never give up.

Best running advice given to me: Take your time and train smart.

What is one thing your teammates would say about you? That I’m a little crazy! But in a good way lol.

How do you feel about representing the TCTC by being a TCTC Race Team Member? This will be my third year and I am very excited to continue representing this awesome group of people!

George Townsend

Age & Hometown: 57, Traverse City, MI

Current resident: Michigan

Employment: Rayfield Investments, LLC (single-family business/investment office)

Family: Susan (wife), and children George and Sarah

Years running: 25

Why do you run? Running is healthy and makes everybody and every day better

Running accomplishments: Being able to run almost daily year-round

Favorite running shoes: Hoka

Favorite races: The Harvest Stompede

Favorite race distance: Half Marathon

Running hero: Susan

Favorite pre-race meal: Fruit

Goals for 2017: To run better than yesterday each day

Favorite running quote: Breathe

Best running advice given to me: Run with the entire body, not just the legs

What is one thing your teammates would say about you? Dependable

How do you feel about representing the TCTC by being a TCTC Race Team Member? Very proud, excited and motivated.

Kristen Verrett

Age & Hometown: 42, Sault Ste. Marie

Current resident: Williamsburg, MI         

Employment: 4Front Credit Union

Family: Kyle, Kylanna and Keegan

Years running: 7.5 ish… give or take

Why do you run? I run to stay healthy. I have two kids to keep up with now. Not that I can, but I try.

Running accomplishments:  I ran several races last year almost every one of them with Keegan by my side. He is now registered for his first marathon. So, I suppose I can say I’ve accomplished creating a little runner!

Favorite running shoes: As always, too many to decide. Currently wearing Brooks Launch. Love Saucony Ride and New Balance Vazee… I guess it depends on who’s got the prettiest color out at the time.

Favorite races: Any race across the Mackinac Bridge or on Mackinac Island

Favorite race distance: 10k

Running hero: Will always be Kyle Kiel. He still inspires me every single day.

Favorite pre-race meal: Pizza and a couple of Bud Lights

Goals for 2017: Considering I am registered for my first full marathon my goal is to finish it.

Favorite running quote: "Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must, just never give up." - Dean Karnazes

Best running advice given to me: My most recent advice and best so far- “Listen to your body”

What is one thing your teammates would say about you? That I’m super awesome!! ;)

How do you feel about representing the TCTC by being a TCTC Race Team Member?  I feel very privileged to have been chosen to represent the TCTC as a race Team Member. The TCTC was a huge part of my running when I first started. I knew one other person when I showed up at a Summer Series run one Wednesday night.  I knew nothing about running except how to move one foot in front of the other. Through the years not only have I obtained a ton of knowledge on running but I have also met so many people through this club. There’s just something about runner friends that make you feel real. I hope by being a part of this team I can inspire people in our community and encourage people to get out and run!

Kyle Kiel

Name: Kyle Kiel

Age & Hometown: 35, Williamsburg

Current resident: Williamsburg, MI

Employment: Wimsatt Building Materials

Family: My soon to be wife, Kristen, Kylanna and Keegan

Years running: 8

Why do you run? I run to be healthy and to encourage others to be healthy as well.

Running accomplishments: I have ran the Boston Marathon, New York City Marathon and Chicago Marathon

Favorite running shoes: Mizuno

Favorite races: All of the Mackinac Island races and the major marathons.

Favorite race distance: Any and all!

Running hero: My soon to be wife, Kristen Verrett

Favorite pre-race meal: PIZZA!

Goals for 2017: I plan on running the Lighthouse 100 Miler from Petoskey to Traverse City in June.

Favorite running quote: Just Do It

Best running advice given to me: I have two. 1. Just keep going and 2. Don’t get lost

What is one thing your teammates would say about you? That’s a good question :)

How do you feel about representing the TCTC by being a TCTC Race Team Member? I love promoting running in our community. I love what the TCTC has to offer and all it does for our community. I am very proud to be a part of promoting it!


Mark VanderKlipp

Age & Hometown: 52, Grand Rapids

Current resident: Traverse City - for a quarter century

Employment: conduct_experience (my new company!)

Family: Suzanne (ageless), Alex (23), Charlie (20), Bingo (10) and Hobbes (2)

Years running: 37

Why do you run? Definitely to be a part of this great local running community, for the lifelong friends I’ve made and the challenge with my training partners.

Running accomplishments: 2016 was my first Boston finish. Even though it was hotter than I’d hoped and my race day plan was out the window, it was still the greatest single event of my running life. Gotta give props to my coaches for getting me there!!

Also, in 2016 I ran my fastest 5K since high school (19:34). For the record, that time would have earned me a Varsity letter on my nephew’s HS XC team.

Favorite running shoes: Brooks Launch

Favorite races: Bayshore Marathon, Charlevoix Half, Leapin’ Leprechaun, Farmland 5K, Harbor Days 10K, Cherry Fest 15K, Zombie Run

Favorite race distance: Half Marathon. I’ve run 14 in the last 4 years.

Running hero: Ryan Shay, who died during the 2007 Olympic Marathon trials. What a way to go.

Favorite pre-race meal: Thai Chicken Pizza from Maddy’s in Interlochen

Goals for 2017: Finish my 4th marathon with another BQ, represent the TCTC well on the racing team, volunteer more at races, and have FUN ALL THE TIME!

Favorite running quote: “Pain is temporary. Finishing Boston is forever” (my wife gave that to me before the race)

Best running advice given to me: Hire a coach!

What is one thing your teammates would say about you? “Holy smokes - you don’t look anywhere near 52.”

How do you feel about representing the TCTC by being a TCTC Race Team Member? This is my 3rd year on the team and I’m still honored to be part of this group. Such great runners at all levels, and such good people! Glad to be back for 2017. Let’s get out there!

Jeff Houser

Age & Hometown: 31 years old, Cleveland Heights, OH

Current resident: Traverse City, MI

Employment: Account Manager at Knorr Marketing

Family: Parents: Lillian and Jim Houser, Sister: Kelly Gordon

Years running: 17

Why do you run? The journey…and beer at the end.

Running accomplishments:

  • Devil’s Dive Half Marathon 2016: 2nd place overall
  • Frozen Foot 5-Miler (1/29/16) 3rd in age group, (1/24/15): 2nd in age group
  • The Great Beerd Run: 1st overall (2015 & 2016)
  • Traverse City Half Ironman Triathlon: 3rd in age group, 2016
  • Cherry Fest Half Marathon: 1:30:51 PR 7/15/15
  • Bayshore Marathon (5/23/15): PR 3:14:40
  • Betsy Bay Frozen Foot 5k (2/21/15): 1st overall
  • Resolution Run 5k (1/1/15): 3rd overall, 1st in age group
  • Harvest Stompede 7-Miler (9/6/14): 4th overall, 2nd in age group
  • Ludington Olympic Triathlon (8/24/14): PR 2:36:18
  • Gail Easter Memorial 5k (4/5/14): 2nd overall

Favorite running shoes: Nike Lunar Glide

Favorite races:

  • Los Angeles Marathon
  • San Francisco Marathon
  • Cleveland Marathon
  • Traverse City Triathlon

Favorite race distance: Marathon

Running hero: My high school soccer coach

Favorite pre-race meal: Coffee, turkey meat on a bun w/ mustard, and a banana.

Goals for 2017:

  • PR and/or qualify for Boston in 2017 Cleveland Marathon
  • Participate in a triathlon, 50+ mile race and multiple full-marathons
  • Inspire at least two people to start running

Favorite running quote: Running…For the most part, it’s cheaper than therapy!

Best running advice given to me: Hydration starts the day before. Not the morning of a race!

How do you feel about representing the TCTC by being a TCTC Race Team Member? Blessed. TCTC club has been given me an amazing group of friends since I moved here in 2013. I’m exhilarated to represent a club and promote a sport that I’m so passionate about.

Jami Grant

Age & Hometown: 37, Holt

Current resident: Williamsburg

Employment: French & Science Teacher @ TC Central High School, Assistant Girls Cross Country Coach

Family: Shane, Molly Kate (7), Padraig (5) and our sweet yellow lab Ella

Years running: 26 & counting!

Why do you run? Running leads to mental clarity, personal strength and self-confidence to keep moving toward doing my best in all arenas of life…

Running accomplishments: High School & Collegiate Cross Country & Track Runner, 7 completed marathons (including 2x Boston Marathon & 1x New York City Marathon Finisher) with a PR of 3.07; 1.25 PR in the Half… this past year post-kiddo PR’s of 18:30 in the 5K & 39.39 in the 10K.

Favorite running shoes: Asics Gel Nimbus

Favorite races: We have so many great races in our area! Love to race locally with TCTC racing teammates!

Favorite race distance: Depends!

Running hero: All of the girls that I help coach at TCC keep me continually in awe of our incredible sport and the grit, determination and passion they show is so inspiring!

Favorite pre-race meal: Anything will an equal combination of carbs & protein

Goals for 2017: Well… after 8 years away from the marathon distance… it is time to go for it again! Thinking Detroit in October! Hoping for a ‘third time’s a charm’ at Boston 2018 with my dear friends and teammates Jill Burden & Erica Parkinson!

Best running advice given to me: I say this each year, but my running mentor Lisa Taylor is my go-to when needing advice on anything running related. She truly understands the complexities of the sport, and her expertise and insights are immeasurable.

What is one thing your teammates would say about you? I would hope that my obvious love for running and quest to continually improve would inspire my teammates to keep striving for their personal goals with positive zest!

How do you feel about representing the TCTC by being a TCTC Race Team Member? Being a part of this team the past few years has reignited my genuine joy in racing… I am grateful for another year to support the TC track club!

Trevor Darnell

Age & Hometown:  43, Brighton, MI

Current resident: Rapid City, MI

Employment: Family & Sports Chiropractor

Family: Rachel (wife), Grant 11, Qwynn 8, Genevieve 5, Gwendolyn 10 months

Years running: Since I could walk!

Why do you run?  I love the competing, the serenity, the health effects and the connection to God’s creation when I’m running.

Running accomplishments: 2nd in MAC conference in Steeple Chase, 4:10 mile, 15:20 5k, 1:15 Half Marathon, 2:46 Marathon,

Favorite running shoes: just started running in the Altra Provision 2.5

Favorite races: Any with obstacles

Favorite race distance: 2 mile

Running hero: Evan Jager – steeplechaser (silver in 2016 Summer Olympics)

Favorite pre-race meal: Bananas

Goals for 2017: Top 5 in all triathlons, win a tough mudder, under 16:30 5K

Favorite running quote: “Two things burn my ass…quitting a race and a flame about butt high.” Jack Shaw, WMU Track Coach

Best running advice given to me: Good racing prep is about balance:  speed, distance, weights and stretching.  Also, “Running is 90% mental and 10% physical.  Sharpen the 90% and the other 10% is easy.”

What is one thing your teammates would say about you?  “You used to be fast, right?”

How do you feel about representing the TCTC by being a TCTC Race Team Member? It’s an honor to be a team member of the TCTC and represent a fantastic group of people who promote the great sport of running in our community.

Josh Pellow

Age & Hometown: 33 years old from Sidney, Michigan

Current resident: Lake City, Michigan

Employment: Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) – Manager of North Higgins Lake State Park and the Grayling Construction Crew

Family: Wife: Jennifer and son: Logan

Years running: 9

Why do you run? Both of my parents had heart attacks before they were 40 years old, my own weight was increasing, and my diet was horrible. So, my wife, who’s an Exercise Specialist in Cardiac Rehabilitation at Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital, told me I needed to start doing something to prevent myself from following in my family’s footsteps. I decided I needed to find a way to improve my health. On January 1, 2008 I started running and I’ve never looked back. I’ve also found it’s a great stress reliever after a day at work.

Running accomplishments: In 2016 I ran 1,937 miles, all outdoors. I am proud to say that I have encouraged several friends and family members who had never participated in an organized race to sign up for and complete a race. I enjoy seeing others push themselves and accomplish something they never thought they could, or would, do.

Favorite running shoes: Under Armour Speedform Apollo

Favorite races: Kingsley Heritage Days 5K, Greatest 4th in the North 10K – Lake City, Michigan; Marion Old Fashioned Days 5K – Marion, Michigan; Higgins Lake Sunrise Run Half Marathon – Roscommon, Michigan

Favorite race distance: 10K

Running hero: Dathan Ritzenhein. Dathan attended Rockford High School, which is near where I grew up in Sidney. While I have never met Dathan, his name and accomplishments, including a sign which read “Home of Dathan Ritzenhein” at the city limits of Rockford, were all over the local media outlets. Even though I wasn’t a runner then, I remember thinking “how does a person run a 5K in 13 minutes?” It still amazes me to this day!

Favorite pre-race meal: Minimum one cup black coffee, a banana, and a peanut butter Clif bar.

Goals for 2017: To not get hurt or acquire any nagging injuries and to participate in events that I have never done before.

Favorite running quote: “Go fast enough to get there, but slow enough to see” – Jimmy Buffett

Best running advice given to me: Run your fastest, do your best, and most importantly, have fun!

What is one thing your teammates would say about you? He’s the guy wearing a bandana because he sweats so much if he didn’t he wouldn’t be able to see anything!

How do you feel about representing the TCTC by being a TCTC Race Team Member? It’s an honor. While I don’t consider myself to be super-fast, I’m a strong advocate for running and how it can change your life. I’ve been a big supporter of the TCTC since I joined in January 2016. By participating in races in the Lake City, Houghton Lake and Higgins Lake areas, which unfortunately are not large running communities, I feel that I can promote awareness of the TCTC and promote all we do to those who may not know, or have never heard of us.

Derek VanderHorst

Age & Hometown: 26, Kalamazoo, MI

Current resident: Traverse City, MI

Employment: Infectious Diseases Pharmacist

Family: Patients: Doug (Dad) Gerriann (Mom) Erin (Sister) Kendall (Girlfriend)

Years running: 12

Why do you run? I got into running as a stress relief but I have continued running because I love the challenge of trying to continually better myself. Also, runners are a fun and I like making friends.

Running accomplishments:

  • Marathon PR: Detroit Free Press Marathon 2016 (3:08:44)
  • Half-Marathon PR: National Cherry Fest Half Marathon 2016 (1:25:57)
  • 10K PR: (38:59)

Favorite running shoes: Adidas Energy Boost

Favorite races:

  • Grand Rapids Marathon
  • Bayshore Marathon
  • Kalamazoo Marathon
  • National Cherry Fest Half Marathon
  • The Great Beerd Run
  • Thomas Judd Care Center Northern Lights Fun Run

Favorite race distance: Half-marathon

Running heroes: Mike Tiberg & my high school track coach

Favorite pre-race meal: Pretzels and hummus!

Goals for 2017:

  • Continue to improve my PR times
  • Qualify for the Boston Marathon
  • Make more running friends! (Or more friends into runners! J)

Favorite running quote: Not quite a running quote, but it’s applicable: “Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

Best running advice given to me: Never beat yourself up about a bad run.

What is one thing your teammates would say about you? I’m not quite sure. They would probably just shake their heads because I just told some awful “dad joke”

How do you feel about representing the TCTC by being a TCTC Race Team Member? I’m truly honored to be able to represent a team that stands for bettering the community through healthy habits like running.

Duane Amato

Age & Hometown: 66, Warren, MI

Current residence: Suttons Bay, MI

Employment: Self Employed-Expert witness in asbestos litigation

Family: Married to my wife Vicki for 23 years, two daughters-Andrea, a school teacher in Burlington, WI -Shannon, a veterinarian in Germany, Two sons-Nick, a sophomore at the University of Michigan-Andrew, a sophomore at Traverse City West

Years running: I have now been running for 36 years. Up until age 30 I dreaded running. The only reason I started running at age 30 was because a friend of mine bet me that I could not finish a 10K race. I won the bet and in fact beat him in the race! I was hooked after that.

Why do You Run: You can run anywhere, you can run from your home without driving somewhere, there is no expensive equipment you need to buy, there is no better form of exercise that you can get in a short period of time, it fuels my need for competition, and it is the final and critical leg of a triathlon.

Running accomplishments in 2016:

* Won my age group in 18 running races in 2016.

* In 2016, won my age group in 6 triathlons and duathlons, earned a spot on Team USA and represented the U.S. in the ITU World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Cozumel, Mexico placing 12th. Also I earned a spot on Team USA and represented the U.S. in the ITU World Age Group Duathlon Championships in Aviles, Spain placing 11th. Achieved the honor of “All American” in the triathlon two years in a row.

Favorite running shoe: Brooks Launch

Favorite Races: Years ago it was the Chicago, New York, and the Boston Marathons, now it is the Bayshore 10K and all 5k races

Favorite race distance: 5K

Running heroes: Frank Shorter who in my opinion started the running boom. My son Nick who in 2016 won 8 overall running races and my wife Vicki who only ran 1 running race in 2015, got hooked on running, and ran 28 running races in 2016 winning her age group in 5 of them.

Favorite pre-race meal: Oatmeal with dried cherries, an English muffin, and one cup of coffee

Goals for 2017: Stay healthy, compete in many races, do my best, and represent the Traverse City Track Club racing team in my running races to the best of my ability.

Favorite running quote: “So what if there is a hill get over it”

Best running advice given to me: Don’t keep your head down and look at the ground right in front of you when you start getting tired in a running race

How do you fell about representing the TCTC by being a TCTC Race Team Member? I feel that it is an honor being on the team. I will do my best in my races and will support my fellow team members in any way I can.

Jessie Hernden

Age & Hometown: 27, Traverse City, MI

Current resident: Traverse City, MI

Employment: Baker, Mary’s Kitchen Port

Family: Wes and Connie Hernden (Parents), Carly Hernden (19, Sister)

Years running: 18 total, 4 competitively

Why do you run?: I run to be outside and feel the seasons, to challenge my mind and body, and so I can eat ALL the good food.

Running accomplishments:

* Gale Easter Memorial 5k 2014, 3rd Overall Female

* The Great Beerd Run 5k 2015, 2nd Overall Female

* Resolution Run, 1st in Age Group (2015) and 3rd in Age Group (2014)

* Shamrockers 5k, 2nd in Age Group (2016)

* ‘Most Spirit,’ Crosstown Campus 10k (2016)

* Devil’s Dive 5k, 2nd in Age Group (2016)

* Traverse City Trail Running Festival 10k, 3rd Overall Female (2016)

Favorite running shoes: Nike Zoom Elite

Favorite races: Resolution Run, Betsy Bay Frozen 5k, Harvest Stompede, TC Zombie Run 5k, Run VASA, TC Trail Festival, Cleveland Half-Marathon

Favorite race distance: 10k and Half-Marathon

Favorite pre-race meal: Apple with almond butter, dry wheat toast, coffee

Goals for 2017: I hope to recover fully from a May injury, come back stronger, healthier, and smarter and run my first Marathon in October.

Favorite running quote: “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.”

Best running advice given to me: “Just have fun” and, “even if you don’t have to go, get in the porta-potty line.”

How do you feel about representing the TCTC by being a TCTC Race Team Member?: Becoming a member of the TCTC Racing Team has introduced me to some amazing people and motivated me to push myself harder than ever before. I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm and energy with everyone and encouraging other runners to get out there and have fun.


Megan Graverson

Age & Hometown: 30, Flint, MI
Current resident: Traverse City, MI
Employment: Histology Lab, Munson Medical Center
Family: 7-year-old son (Jack), mom (Betty),  and sister (Mary)
Years running: 4
Why do you run? I run to be healthier and to be a good example for my son. I also run to have my “me” time and to help clear my head.

Running accomplishments:
    •    Overall female runner for Shamrockers run for the gold
    •    Overall female runner for Runfree4Tiffany 5k
    •    3rd place in age group for Cherry Festival 10k
    •    1st place in age group for Vineyard to Bay 5k
    •    1st place in age group for Running 4 babies 5k
    •    1st place in age group for Betsie Bay 5k
    •    1st place in age group for Trout Festival 10k
    •    2nd overall female runner for Traverse City Record Eagle 2 mile run
    •    Ran my first out of state half marathon and placed 1st in age group (Lucytown half marathon in Jamestown, NY Oct. 2016)
    •    Ran three additional half marathons in our state in 2016 (Bayshore, Charlevoix, and Glen Arbor Solstice)
    •    Third overall runner at Sleeping Bear 5k

Favorite running shoes: Brooks Ghost

Favorite races:  Zombie Run, TC Turkey Trot, Vineyard to Bay 25k/5k, Charlevoix half marathon, Betsie Bay 5k, Grand Rapids Bridge Run, Bayshore half marathon, and Jingle Bell Run

Favorite race distance: 5k or half marathon

Running hero: All my running friends I have met from TCTC

Favorite pre-race meal: Pizza and a honey stinger before the race

Goals for 2017: To work at getting faster, to run at least 5 half marathons this year, and to continue making running friends (the best friends to have).

Favorite running quote: "Running is not about being better than someone else, it's about being better than you used to be."

Best running advice given to me: I have been told to run slower on training days and this will help run faster on race days.  So far it has been working.  

What is one thing your teammates would say about you? Very active in the local races.

How do you feel about representing the TCTC by being a TCTC Race Team Member? It is a wonderful team to be on and I want to encourage other people that enjoy running to join our great club here in Northern Michigan and to participate in our events like the Grand Prix, summer series, and our fun runs.  


Tom Harbaugh

Age & Hometown: 67 Petoskey

Current resident: Boyne City

Employment: Retired

Family: Wife-Gayle; Sons-Aaron & Parker

Years running: 30+

Why do you run? It is the second most fun I can have with my beautiful wife Gayle.

Running accomplishments: 2014 Boston Marathon, 2015 RRCA Senior Grand Master 10k Regional Champion, 2016 2nd place Smoky Mt. Black Bear Double.

Favorite running shoes: Asics gel nimbus

Favorite races: Bayshore ½, Crim 10 mile, GR 10 mile Bridge Run, any Mackinaw Bridge Run.

Favorite race distance: Half Marathon

Running hero: Jim Elzinga

Favorite pre-race meal: Endurox R4 fruit smoothie.

Goals for 2017: Stay injury free and continue to have fun running.

Favorite running quote: “A lot of people run a race to see who’s the fastest. I run to see who has the most guts.” Steve Prefontaine.

Best running advice given to me: If you’re not having fun you should stop running and maybe go bowling.

What is one thing your teammates would say about you? “He always supports other runners.”

How do you feel about representing the TCTC by being a TCTC Race Team Member? Being a TCTC race team member gives me a recognizable platform from which I can continue to promote the health and social benefits of our sport.

Kathryn Treston Aurand

Age & Hometown: 28, Hometown: Brighton, Michigan

Current resident: Traverse City

Employment: Trauma Physician Assistant, Munson Medical Center

Family: Jan (Mom), Paul (Dad), Kristi (Sister), Nick (Boyfriend), Nike Joe Louis (Golden Retriever)

Years running: 6

Why do you run? (enter cliché answer about it clearing my mind, soul, and being beautiful unicorns all the time). Real answer: I love doughnuts, pizza, sweating, and crossing the finish line at Boston.

Running accomplishments:

* 4x Boston Marathon Qualifier

* My Golden Retriever, Nike Joe Louis, took first canine at the Jingle Bell 5K and the Resolution 5K

* 1st female Vineyard to Bay 25K

* 1st female Ice Cube Half Marathon

* (Non-running) AuSable River Canoe Marathon Finisher x 2

Favorite running shoes: Newton Fate

Favorite races:

* Marathon: Boston and Philadelphia

* Half Marathon: Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Roll Tide.

* 10-miler: Broad Street, Philadelphia

* 5K: Definitely not my favorite. Cheers to all you short distance runners.

* Triathlon: M22 Challenge

Favorite race distance: Marathon

Running hero: Kara Goucher, Lauren Fleshman

Favorite pre-race meal: Bagel, almond butter, coffee.

Goals for 2017: PR in the marathon distance

Favorite running quote: 1. Badass is beautiful. 2. “There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living”- Nelson Mandela

Best running advice given to me: Run Faster- Kristi, my sister.

What is one thing your teammates would say about you? My teammate for the AuSable River Canoe Marathon, my sister, says that I am a much better runner than a paddler.

How do you feel about representing the TCTC by being a TCTC Race Team Member? I am beyond excited to have met an awesome group of people who share the same passion of running and racing.

Frank "Jeremy" Treadwell

Age & Current Resident: Frank “Jeremy” Treadwell, age 56, lived in Traverse City’s Central Neighborhood for 22 years

Family: Wife Melinda Mitchell, 2 adult children Mitch and Jamie

Years running: 38

Why do you run? I run mainly for the health benefits but enjoy the fun of racing and the boost in energy and mood I get from regular running. I try moderate how much I run so I can avoid injury and still be running when I’m 100 years old.

Running accomplishments: 1980 Detroit Free Press International Marathon. My best 5k time was 18:29, back in 2005. This year I ran the Cherry Open Mile in 5:35, the Record-Eagle 2 mile in 12:21, and the Cherry Festival 5k in 19:27. I was the fastest guy over 40 in several races this year, including the Bayshore 10k, VASA Trail Run 5k, and Devil’s Dive 5k.

How many races do you run in a given year: This year I ran 16 Grand Prix races and all ten races in the TCTC Summer Series. That’s a new record for me, but I plan to continue at that level if I can.

Favorite races: Bayshore 10k, Cherry Fest 5k, Dune Dash 4 mile, VASA Trail Run.

Favorite race distance: Anywhere from one mile to 10k. I try to avoid longer distances to save wear and tear on my legs.

Goals for 2017: Develop a better sense of pacing at the start of a race, and practice getting “negative splits”, running faster with each successive mile.

Best running advice given to me: Come to the weekly fun runs. Regular outings with a peer group will make you a better runner and a better person.

How do you feel about representing the TCTC by being a TCTC Race Team Member: I already wear the Track Club logo to races and enjoy the camaraderie of club members. I feel proud to represent the club, but I also want to do a better job of encouraging other runners.

Vicki Amato

Age & Hometown:  52; Hudson, MI

Current resident:  Suttons Bay, MI

Employment: Retired Flight Attendant of 20 years

Family: Husband Duane, 2 sons; Nicholas (Sophomore @ Uof M) and Andrew (Sophomore @ TC West), 2 Step-Daughters; Andrea (Wisconsin) and Shannon (Germany). Pampered Poodle; Dakota

Years running:  I started running about 28 years ago and ran on and off over the years because of injuries and raising my family.  I’ve never loved running more than in the last year and finding my place in the track club.

Why do you run?  I love the socialness, stress release, and the health benefits of running. It makes me feel invigorated and empowered; it also takes me to my “happy place”.

Running accomplishments:  In 2016 I competed in 28 races, and placed in 20 of those. I had five 1st place, nine 2nd place, and six 3rd place finishes.

Favorite running shoes:  Saucony Triumph ISO

Favorite races: Vineyard 2 Bay 5k, Glen Arbor Solstice 5k, and the Cherry Fest 5k.

Favorite race distance:  5k

Running hero:  My husband Duane and son Nick. They make it look so easy and I strive to catch Duane, but he just keeps getting faster.  Nick is such a “Happy Runner”; he inspires me to reach new goals and ALWAYS encourages me!!!

Favorite pre-race meal:  Oatmeal w/ Almond Milk, dried cherries, PB powder, flaxseed, & honey.

Goals for 2017:  Take an additional minute off last year’s PR, work on overall strength and core fitness as well.

Favorite running quote:  “The voice inside your head that says ‘you can’t do it’,  is a liar”!

Best running advice given to me:  Strength train along with running to try and stay injury free.  Also, “Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate”!!!

What is one thing your teammates would say about you?  I think they would say “I’ve come a long way in the last year.”

How do you feel about representing the TCTC by being a TCTC Race Team Member?  I am beyond excited to be representing the TCTC Race Team!!! It is such an honor.  I will work very hard to do my best at each and every race and I’ll support my teammates in any way I can.  It gives me a new motivation to train harder and smarter. I’m looking forward to seeing what this year has in store and trying new races.

Susan Townsend

Age & Hometown: age 48 (on Jan.25th), from Chapel Hill, NC in 2005

Current resident: Traverse City, MI

Employment: Rayfield Investments (part-time)

Family: George, husband of almost 24 years George (21), Sarah (17)

Years running: 28+

Why do you run? I enjoy the exercise part of it and the challenge of pushing my body to see what I can do, as well as the aspect of getting my mind in shape too.

Running accomplishments: I’m planning to run my 5th Boston Marathon in April. I have also been fortunate enough to place in my age group at many of the local races.

Favorite running shoes: Nike Vomero and Nike Pegasus

Favorite races: Bayshore, Cherry Festival Half, Devil’s Dive Half, Remembrance Run, Zombie Run, Turkey Trot, Harvest  Stompede, Sleeping Bear Half and all theother races in the TC area!

Favorite race distance: Half marathon

Running hero: The people at the back of the pack who finish last, who ran the same race I did, and even though they may be slower, they got out there and did it instead of not starting at all. They can still say, “I have finished”.

Favorite pre-race meal: I don’t usually eat before, but if I do it’s a banana or a Lara Bar.

Goals for 2017: To continue to enjoy running while trying to improve my times.

Favorite running quote: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Best running advice given to me: Run the mile you’ re in.

What is one thing your teammates would say about you? They will hopefully realize that I like to cheer people on and push them to do their best, whatever that might be.

How do you feel about representing the TCTC by being a TCTC Race Team Member? I am very honored to be selected to be part of the TCTC Race team. I will do my best to live up to the missi on of the club and to stay motivated and to motivate o thers about the joys of running.

Kelly Slater

Age & Hometown: 52 years old. I was born In Syracuse, NY, but have moved dozens of times in my life and have lived in 9 states.

Current resident: Suttons Bay since November 2014

Employment: none

Family: Husband Ted, Mason 22, Emily 21

Years running: 41 years! Since I was on the 4th grade track team in elementary school.

Why do you run? Running has always been a part of my life. I have boundless energy and running helps me stay focused, happy, strong and confident, and somehow completely exhausting myself while running is very relaxing! I have spent my lifetime moving around the country and everywhere I go, I have found a welcoming connection with the local running community.

Running accomplishments: I have run everything from a 2-miler to half marathon in the two years since moving to this area, with many age group place awards and master awards. My most recent PR's since joining the 50 and older crowd are a 23:14 5K, 49:56 10K, and 1:55:00 1/2 marathon.

Favorite running shoes: Currently I am wearing Asics Cumulus 17.

Favorite races: Any race where I see the smiling faces of the people who love running as much as me!

Favorite race distance: Definitely the 5K, short and sweet!

Running hero: Anyone who is older than me that is still running strong and hard every change they can get. This includes a good many of the Traverse City Track Club members!

Favorite pre-race meal: Half a banana and half of a peanut butter Power Bar

Goals for 2017: To continue to challenge myself with different race distances and maybe get a little faster by running my races smarter. I would also like to get to know more people in the TCTC.

Favorite running quote: A good laugh and a long run are the best cures for anything.

Best running advice given to me: Run for yourself and you will never outrun the joy of running.

What is one thing your teammates would say about you? I am always happy!

How do you feel about representing the TCTC by being a TCTC Race Team Member? I am humbled to represent the TCTC Race Team and hope to be a positive representative of the club. I hope to encourage other people (old and young) to embrace the sport of running and look forward to running with the amazing TCTC community.

Kayla Six

Age & Hometown:  27, Interlochen, MI
Current resident:  Traverse City, MI
Employment:  Strategic Sourcing Manager at Anthem, Inc.
Family:  My guys… Steve, my husband and biggest race day supporter, and Fulton, my rambunctious 1.5 year old son and training pattern- a la stroller.
Years running:  I have been running for about 15 years, but more seriously in the past 10 years.  
Why do you run?  I am competitive by nature, so running gives me a great outlet to challenge myself to reach new levels, improve my time or just catch the person in front of me before the finish line!  But beyond that, I have learned to love running in other ways.  It is my therapy after a stressful day at work,  a way to explore new places/trails/cities, bonding time with my son as we run to the library or a local park (one of the few workouts I can actually share with him!), and a great social outlet (TCTC Wednesday Night runs!).
Running accomplishments:   My proudest running moment was running my fastest 5k of 21:49 (beating my high school times!) just shy of my son’s first birthday.  I am also proud of running 2 half marathons both under 2 hours (2011 Bayshore Half in 1:57:18 and 2014 Ventura Surfer’s Point Half Marathon in 1:52:25… 6 weeks pregnant with my son!)
Favorite running shoes:  Asics, hands down.  I have been a loyal Asics runner since high school.
Favorite races:  I just moved back to northern Michigan from southern California, so I have a few races in each area.  I loved the “Ventura Boogie Nights 5k Summer Series” along the Pacific Ocean as well as any race in Ojai, CA (one of the most beautiful places in southern CA!).  On the Michigan side, the Bayshore Half is a beautiful course along the Peninsula and I really enjoyed the Farmland 5k and Bike Race (the combo is a great challenge!).   And for a completely fun non-timed challenge, I finished a Tough Mudder in Tahoe back in 2013.  Nothing like crawling through mud and playing on monkey bars in the middle of a 12 mile course!
Favorite race distance:  I like the 5k for an all out “race-it” event, the 10k for a bit more of an endurance challenge, and the Half Marathon distance as a full on “I have to train for this!” event.  
Running hero:  My younger brother, Luke.  He is one of the most hard-working and “grittiest” people I know.  He runs and hikes to keep in shape for his job as a forest firefighter in CA and his dedication has always inspired me.  He also runs an annual marathon with his crew in memory of the fallen members of his fire department.
Favorite pre-race meal:  If its a morning race, I go with eggs and toast.  If the race is later in the day, I follow up my breakfast with an apple and/or a granola bar.  And coffee…always coffee!
Goals for 2017:  I will be training for my 3rd Half Marathon (Bayshore Half 2017) so I hope to keep up the miles through the snowy season so I can run well in May.  My goal is to improve my time a bit from my last Half.  I also plan to race the TCTC Summer Series and mix in some bike races throughout the year as well.
Favorite running quote:  “Always an adventure.”  It may not go as planned, but its always an adventure!
Best running advice given to me:  Stay strong and stay positive.  Running is such a solitary sport and mental game at times, it takes not only physical strength to keep going but mental strength to avoid self doubt or negativity.  I always have to remember that… stay positive and trust your strength, but listen to your body when you need to ease off or take care of yourself (a humbling reality at times).
What is one thing your teammates would say about you?  Kayla may not be the fastest runner, but she works hard and challenges herself, all while keeping a smile on her face.
How do you feel about representing the TCTC by being a TCTC Race Team Member?  I joined TCTC in August 2016 shortly after moving from California to Michigan.  It didn’t take long before I was looking forward to the TCTC Wednesday night runs where I found a welcoming community of dedicated runners and a chance to run and hang out with new friends and acquaintances.  But more importantly, I have been continually inspired as I hear about the TCTC’s work to promote health and fitness in northern Michigan.  Everywhere I look, there is another group or organization (including my high school alma mater, St. Mary School- Lake Leelanau) thanking the TCTC for their generous support.  It is an honor to represent and promote the TCTC as a member of the 2017 TCTC Racing Team. 

Nick Amato

Age & Hometown: 20, Suttons Bay, MI

Current resident: Ann Arbor, MI (returning to TC on breaks from college)

Employment: Studying for B.S. in Public Health and minor in Business at the University of Michigan

Family: Duane, Vicki, and Andrew Amato

Years running: Since I could walk! Competitively since middle school, so that would make nine years.

Why do you run? My favorite thing about running is going from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ using my own willpower and strength. For that reason, I believe it’s the equalizer sport. Besides for an investment in shoes, runners are only limited by themselves, and that makes breaking our personal best times and distance goals all the more rewarding.

Running accomplishments: Competing at the Duathlon World Championships in Spain is one of my most memorable accomplishments, as well as winning my age group at the 2015 Detroit Marathon in 2:51:07 and running a sub-10:00 two mile.

Favorite running shoes: Zoot TT 7.0

Favorite races: Vineyard to Bay 25k, Farmland 5k, and the Cherry Festival 15k / Cherry Mile.

Favorite race distance: 10k

Running hero: My father Duane, to whom I owe my involvement in running. He continues to be passionate about the sport that he loves and it’s inspiring and encouraging to compete alongside him. He always gives his all in every race. I’m also very proud of my mother Vicki for her efforts in running these past two years. It’s great to have a supportive family.

Favorite pre-race meal: Quaker oatmeal with peanut butter, and toast. It’s taboo to change the pre-race routine.

Goals for 2017: Sub 16:00 5k’s, and to finish a full Ironman triathlon.

Favorite running quote: “Everything you need is already inside” – Bill Bowerman

Best running advice given to me: “The hay is in the barn” – Ross Deye. When you have done all you can to train for a race it’s time to be calm and let greatness happen. In this way, you know that the nervous energy you feel before the gun goes off is just raw adrenaline in disguise.

What is one thing your teammates would say about you? “Even if you call at 2AM in the morning, you can expect him to finish the conversation by asking if you want to go for a run.”

How do you feel about representing the TCTC by being a TCTC Race Team Member? Every member of the TCTC contributes to foster a positive running environment around our town by always finding joy in running, and by sharing it with others. I’ve been proud to be a part of this community and am blessed to continue to be a part of it as a Race Team member for the 2017 year.

Erica Harrell

Age & Hometown: 38 – Originally from Alma, MI. Then, 15 years in Potterville, MI.

Current resident: Traverse City since October 2015

Employment: Munson Medical Center – Rehab Dept

Family: Husband, Michael. Son, Jacob. Daughter, Mya.

Years running: Since middle school track! – 25 years.

Why do you run? I run, because I love to eat!

Running accomplishments: Qualified for the Boston Marathon in 2015. Ran the Boston Marathon in 2016, and qualified for 2017 entry.

Favorite running shoes: Mizuno Riders

Favorite races: Autumn Classic 8k in Haslett, MI, with a course around Lake Lansing.

Favorite race distance: Half marathon

Running hero: Tarahumara Tribe

Favorite pre-race meal: peanut butter and jelly

Goals for 2017: to improve my spewed and qualify for Boston 2018

Favorite running quote: “Run fast, take chances.” Aric Prudden, friend and long-time running partner.

Best running advice given to me: Run your own race.

What is one thing your teammates would say about you? She comes to a hill and she speeds UP!

How do you feel about representing the TCTC by being a TCTC Race Team Member? With such a great group of runners in the area, it is an honor to represent not only the TCTC, but the northwest Michigan area as well. 

Roger Send

Age & Current Resident: 51 300 Birchwood Ave, Traverse City 49686

Family: Wife Karen of 28 years, Daughters Amanda 26, Kelly 23, Melissa 19, Son Jason 25

Years running: Racing for 37 years

Why do you run? Health benefits, makes me feel better, Love it.

Running accomplishments: Ran 13 marathons including Boston, helped train 2 daughters to run marathons, coached my kids in cross country and track. My biggest “Running accomplishment” was in about 1984 when I made up a running schedule for my brother, bought him a running watch and running clothes, and helped him transition from a smoker into a runner. He gave up smoking “cold turkey” after 13 years of smoking and hasn’t smoked in 33 years.

How many races do you run in a given year: Around 12

Favorite races: Bayshore and Cherry Festival

Favorite race distance: 5K Race

Goals for 2017: Stay injury free, enjoy the social aspect of running more, 39:20 10k, 18:50 5K.

Best running advice given to me: You are not going to win a race in the first ½ mile, but you can lose it in the first ½ mile by going out too fast.

How do you feel about representing the TCTC by being a TCTC Race Team Member: Looking forward to the camaraderie and being part of a team. Excited to be an encouragement to others, while being encouraged by them. We can help each other to reach our potential by sharing training tips, racing tips, nutrition advice etc…


Gayle Harbaugh

Age and Hometown: 53 Holly, Michigan

Current Resident of: Boyne City (Hometown since 1989)

Family: Wonderful husband Tom; 2 awesome sons, Aaron 30 and Parker 23.

Years Running: 25

Why do you run: Makes me feel good!

Running Accomplishments: Placed in 27 out of the 31 races I ran in 2017, ranging in distances from 5k to half marathons. In 2010 helped start and co-direct the ”Kiwanis Club of Boyne City Turkey Trot” It is our Kiwanis Clubs largest fundraiser and has grown every year.

Favorite Race(s): I’m bummed my favorite race is no longer. It was the Fall Colors Mackinaw Bridge Run. It’s the only race I have run every year since they’ve had it and I placed in the top 3 every year. Plus an awesome breakfast afterwards.

Favorite Running Race Distance: 10k to the half marathon.

Favorite Pre-race meal: Morning of, a banana or Clif bar. Night before, a whole grain turkey, tomato with extra romaine and a beer for carbo loading.

Any Goals for 2018: Staying healthy and running injury free.

Favorite Running Quote: Running is my therapy!

Best running advice given to me: Lay off the amount of food you eat the day before a race.

Dumbest running moment: Greek food buffet night before Detroit Marathon (not good).

What other interests do you have outside of running? Spending time with family and friends. I enjoy being involved with our BC Kiwanis Club, helping the children in our community.

How do you feel about and how do you plan to represent the Traverse City Track Club as a Race Team member? I’m very proud and honored to be part of such a great group of people. I love running with and supporting all the friends/team members I’ve met over the years. I plan to continue to enjoy, encourage and promote the running lifestyle.


Michelle White

Age and Hometown:  39, Grand Rapids

Current Resident of:  Traverse City

Family:  Abbie-18, Lilly-15, Dominic- 6

Years Running:  since 2007 so this is the 11th yr!

Why do you run: I run for athleticism, clears my mind, stress release, keeps my joints young, set an example for my kids, to see my runily (social), making goals and accomplishing them.

Running Accomplishments:  first 5k in 2010 with a a pace of 24:57, 2017 5k was 21:32, 10k pr of 46:47, 1/2 marathon in 1:46:12, 25k in 2:06:32, first in women for the 2017 summer series (10 races)

Favorite Race(s):  run Woodstock trail run weekend, Bayshore 10k

Favorite Running Race Distance:  10k

Favorite Pre-race meal: smoothie

Any Goals for 2018: run a marathon

Favorite Running Quote: “Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.” - Dean Karnazes

Best running advice given to me:  Do what works for you. Don't do what works for others.

Dumbest running moment: Tripping and falling during a Wednesday night fun run.

What other interests do you have outside of running? Baking, camping, reading, cooking

How do you feel about and how do you plan to represent the Traverse City Track Club as a Race Team member? Enthusiasm, encouragement, positive attitude, pride in our club


Traverse City Track Club  •  P.O. Box 4026  •  Traverse City, MI 49685-4026
RRCA Bayshore Marathon Jingle Bell Run Frozen Foot Race Remembrance Run Farmland 5K