Mark Lipinsky, Race Director

Operations@youngstownmarathon.com

Josh Boggs, Co-Race Director

vicepresident@youngstownmarathon.com

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Meet Our

Ambassadors

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Congrats to our 2019 Youngstown Marathon, 1/2 Marathon & 5K Ambassadors! 

 

Kyrsti Davis - Clarksburg, Maryland

Youngstown Race Distance:  Marathon

Kyrsti is a native of the Youngstown area and former McDonald cross country stand-out who competed at the state championships in high school. 

Davis has an affinity for Mill Creek Park as she has trained there frequently and is looking forward to coming back to the area to race as an ambassador for the Youngstown Marathon, which will be her fifth marathon. 

 

Davis motivates other runners by sharing her running journey and positivity because “marathon training is hard.”  Interestingly, Davis has a twin brother Taylor Sowers, who is also running the Youngstown Marathon.  “Being able to do races with my family means so much to me.”

Follow Krysti on Instagram @kyrsti24

Follow Krysti on Twitter @kyrstimadeline

 

Michelle Klim - Poland, Ohio

Youngstown Race Distance:  Marathon

Michelle started running in seventh grade and competed for the Youngstown State University Penguins in both track and cross country up to the 10K, which is her favorite race distance. 

In 2014, Klim won the women’s 5k at the Horizon League Indoor Track Championships.  She is currently training to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Trials.

Klim gives this advice when training for a major event.  “Visualize your race.  Imagine the things that can go wrong during the race, and then picture yourself pushing through the obstacles."

Klim, who is an environment scientist, sees the benefits that going outside has on a person.  “I believe that encouraging people to go outside not only helps their physical and mental health, but also increases their awareness about preserving our natural landscapes,” which adds to her love of training in Mill Creek Park. 

Follow Michelle on Instagram @michelle.f.k  

 

Dave Littler - Canfield, Ohio

Youngstown Race Distance:  Marathon

Dave has run a marathon every year for the last four years and became an ambassador to step outside of his comfort zone.

Littler raced the Youngstown 1/2 marathon in the inaugural year and the full marathon last year.  

Although he is running the marathon again this year, Littler remains humble in his training. "I am just your average middle-aged dad that likes to run."                 

 

Evan Middleton - Austintown, Ohio

Youngstown Race Distance:  Marathon

Evan ran the full marathon last year and says her favorite part of the course is Lake Newport.  She considers Mill Creek to be the most beautiful place around.  “Every second I get to spend running through Mill Creek is completely perfect,” she said. 

 

Middleton began running to lose weight after having her children.  In her youth, she remembers running with her mother while she trained for her own marathon and hopes the tradition will continue with her own children.

 

She also describes herself as not being the stereotypical runner as she has “crazy colored hair, tattoos and piercings.” 

Follow Evan on Instagram @evansrunninglife

 

Taylor Sowers - Canton, Ohio

Youngstown Race Distance:  Marathon

Taylor is attempting the Youngstown Marathon for the first time and is eager to race the roads he trained on while growing up as a standout distance runner at McDonald.  The Youngstown Marathon will be his tune-up race for the Boston Marathon. 

Sowers lost his best friend unexpectedly last year.  He has used the pain of that loss as his motivation during his training.  He wears a “Donate Life” jersey while racing and hastaging his triumphs with #4George.  His favorite racing experience is when he qualified for the Boston Marathon while running for George in Columbus!

Sowers has been training since fall with 4:00am to 5:00am starting times with a group of ten other runners.  He also hopes to train during the summer months at Mill Creek Park and to meet others registered to race the marathon.  If all goes well Sowers’ parents will also be racing one of the distances for the 2019 Youngstown Marathon weekend.  His sister, Krysti, will be running the marathon as one of the ambassadors for the race as well.

Follow Taylor on Instagram & Twitter @sowersts

 

Sunny Brick - Wellsville, Ohio

Youngstown Race Distance:  Half Marathon

Brick is an avid 5k runner who completed her first half marathon in Pittsburgh in 2017.  She loves to run and hike in Mill Creek Park and saw the opportunity to apply to be an ambassador and took a chance to combine her training with her love of the park! 

Sunny began running after a long time walking on the treadmill.  She states, “I figured I could get steps faster by running, so I kept turning the treadmill speed higher.”  Eventually she took the plunge and signed up for her first 5k race, the Virtual Pi Day 5k, which spoke to her inner math teacher too.  After completing her treadmill 5k, she ventured outside and hasn’t stopped entering races since. 

She took a small break from running when her father became ill and passed away from Multiple Sclerosis.  She now logs some of her miles with the Charity Miles app which donates money towards a non-profit organization.  She has chosen National Multiple Sclerosis Society in memory of her father. 

Brick has said that it doesn’t matter if you are “slow” or if you have to walk while you are out for a run.  “OWN that you are a runner, and celebrate what your body can do,” she said.

 Follow Sunny on Instagram @sunnywaslike                            

 

Shalon Farmer - Chippewa, Pennsylvania 

Youngstown Race Distance:  Half Marathon

Farmer’s close friend Jenn Knight spent a year telling her she should run because she has the energy and the drive to be a runner.  Eventually Farmer took up the challenge after a little extra inspiration from the movie “What Women Want.”

In 2018, Farmer was a participant in the UPMC Health Plan’s “This is What a Runner Looks Like” campaign.  She notes that the experience “was humbling, and will be the highlight of [her] running career.”

Farmer participated in the Youngstown Marathon in 2018 because it was only a thirty minute drive from her home and because of the affordability of a “big city race.”  She decided to run the half marathon in 2019 because, “it’s my favorite half - from the course in the park, to the staff and volunteers and the post-race party.”

Farmer loves to share her running story with others.  “It does not matter whether it’s a 14-minute or a six minute mile.  A mile is a mile. There are many people faster or slower than you.  I myself am a slower runner. We are all here to give it our best shot and be better than we used to be,” she said. 

Follow Shalon on Instagram @Runnercrazy21

 

Allison Jeric - Salem, Ohio

Youngstown Race Distance:  Half Marathon

Jeric began running nine years ago to lose weight but it also became a lifestyle, a stress reliever, and a way to meet new people.  She has raced all over the country and even had the opportunity to participate in the Geoff Roes Ultra-Running Camp in Alaska.  Allison will be running the Youngstown half marathon this October.   

Jeric’s advice to runners to is to not get caught up in the numbers.  “The important thing is to find joy in each step you take towards your goal,” says Jeric. 

She is especially excited about the “I Run Youngstown” Race Series which promotes and highlights several events in the area starting with Firecracker 4-Miler, continuing with the Youngstown Peace Race and finishing with the Youngstown Marathon events.  Jeric approves the moving of the Youngstown Marathon from June to October.  “Nothing beats the beauty of fall,” she said.     

Jeric is also an ambassador for Mind Over Matter, Coeur, Nuun, and Just Strong. 

Follow Allison on Instagram @allisonjeric                          

 

Michael Mannozzi - Youngstown, Ohio

Youngstown Race Distance:  Half Marathon

 

Mannozzi, often known as “The Italian Stallion of USA Track & Field”, will be participating in the Youngstown half marathon, as a race walker for the entire 13.1 miles of the course.  He raced the Youngstown 5K in its inaugural year and race walked the half marathon in 2018.

Michael began his running and walking career in Youngstown and despite having raced in eight countries he states, “no place is preferred over our Green Cathedral, the world class Mill Creek Park.”

 

Mannozzi is also an Olympic Trials bronze medalist in the 50k race walk, but came from humble beginnings and receives much inspiration from his father who wasn’t able to walk in the final decade of his life.

He participates in multiple events a year, promoting fitness and perseverance, and receives much support from his wife.

Follow Michael on Twitter and Instagram @michaelmannozzi

 

Christina Toth - Austintown, Ohio

Youngstown Race Distance:  Half Marathon

Toth represented the marathon last year as an ambassador and is also our 2019 Pacer Coordinator for the Youngstown Marathon!

An avid athlete her entire life, Toth has participated in everything from volleyball to softball up to the collegiate level.  After college, she coached high school varsity volleyball for eight years. Upon retiring from coaching, Toth found she had spare time on her hands and needed something to fill those hours, which is how she discovered running and has never looked back.

Toth’s social media followers can see the story of her sharing fitness with her parents who are her biggest supporters.  Toth’s parents are often biking alongside her while she runs, sharing their day in person with each other.  Toth also has a “trademark” to her posts as she frequently uses handwritten signs to show off an interesting fact, tidbit, or motivation from her run. 

Toth has said, “My heart and soul is with the Youngstown Marathon.  It’s changed my life and helped me grow into a much more confident woman and I want to share that love with others.” 

Follow Christina on Instagram & Twitter @christinatoth8

 

Molly Campbell - Sharpsville, Pennsylvania

Youngstown Race Distance:  5K

Campbell started running because she needed something to exhaust herself mentally, physically, and emotionally to help her come to terms with losing her mom.  Initially she hated running while growing up yet it became her saving grace.  She now “empties the tank while filling it all at the same time.”

Molly loves knowing that she has inspired and motivated others who initially hated running.  She acknowledges that running is not easy or always pretty but that it is worth it.  “The racing experience allows you to learn a little about yourself,” states Campbell. 

Molly has only been running since 2016 but she has raced locally from Pittsburgh to the “Twas the Night Before 5k” in Columbiana.  She enjoys posting about her journey on social media and can’t wait to race Youngstown where her local friends and family will be able to cheer her on.

In addition to racing, Campbell has three boys that actively keep her moving. 

 

Follow Molly on Instagram @mamasoup64                      

Mike Draia - Boardman, Ohio

Youngstown Race Distance:  5K

Draia has completed both the half and full marathon distances including the Youngstown Half Marathon in its inaugural year.  This year, Draia will be running the 5k as an ambassador helping to promote a race in his hometown. 

Mike works as a physical therapist and is looking forward to giving back to his community by representing the Youngstown Marathon 5k and by motivating people on a daily basis through his work. 

Draia stated in regards to the first year of the marathon, “I was completely blown away how extremely well the race was put together for the first year.” 

Contact Mike at mdraia@kent.edu

 

Timothy Martin - Hubbard, Ohio

Youngstown Race Distance:  5K

Martin wasn’t always a runner, but the day he stepped on a scale and it showed 435 pounds was the day he knew he needed a lifestyle change.  Martin saw a post the very next day about the Youngstown Marathon and knew that the race was the key to his success.  He immediately began training seven days a week. 

This will be Tim’s third time racing the 5k distance during marathon weekend.  In 2017, he lost 178lbs total during his training and he aims to lose another hundred pounds. 

Martin stated, “I always loved the first-year race and will do it every year until the day I can’t do it anymore. To me, doing a race is not about what time you want to complete it, but that you cross the finish line knowing that you did something in your life.”  He feels he can motivate others by sharing his weight loss journey publicly. 

“When I do the best I can with what I have, then I have won my race,” states Martin. 

#justfight has become Martin’s mantra. 

Follow Timothy on Instagram @timfat2fit                                

 

Sean Toohey - Norfolk, Virginia

Youngstown Race Distance:  5K

Toohey was born and raised in Youngstown, but he now calls Norfolk, VA his home.  Norfolk has a large running community, but Toohey is eager to visit Youngstown and run the 5k at the Youngstown Marathon.  Toohey trains three to four days a week and has stated that, “more people should get into running.  It will change your life.”

Toohey has not completed a full marathon, but that distance is on his bucket list.  His first half marathon is one of his proudest moments in running.

Contact Sean at stoohey1973@gmail.com