GOBBLER GRIND AMBASSADORS
Renee Stefani: Renee has been running for almost eight years, and has completed 14 half marathons and numerous shorter distances. She is originally from Western Kansas, and moved to KC five years ago. She enjoys the endless trails that Kansas City provides, and loves to run with her husband, her mom, sister, and lots of friends she’s met in the running community. Renee also enjoys biking, watching baseball, and traveling. She’s very excited to run the Gobbler Grind half marathon this year. With her ambassadorship, she hopes to further spread the word that running truly is for everyone, and there is no such thing as a bad run!
Ashley Dailey: I took up running in 2013 as a way to lose weight and get healthier. I had tried other forms of exercise, but nothing really stuck until I discovered how much fun running was. One I did I was absolutely hooked! I ran my very first race, a half marathon, in 2015 and fell in love. Since then I’ve run several other half marathons and I’m super excited to be running the Gobbler Grind for the second year in a row!
Michele Stidham: Michele started running in 2011 at age 48, when she would run a mile several times a week with her then 10-year-old daughter. she ran her first 5K in 2012. When her daughter began to run on her middle school team, she suggested that they try to run a half-marathon. In spring of 2015, when Michele was not quite 52 and her daughter was in 8th grade, they ran their first half-marathon. In total, she has run 12 half marathons, including the Gobbler Grind in 2015, 2016, and 2018. Michele hopes to encourage other people to join her for the next Gobbler Grind in fall 2019. “I love the race and the course! I also want to show that you can start running later in life and still accomplish hard things”
(Michele’s daughter ran her first marathon this spring at age 17 and is heading off to college in the fall. Maybe her schedule will allow her to come back and run again with Mom!)
Rich Benjes: Rich Benjes has been an avid runner since 2006 and has completed 13 marathons, including the 2018 Boston Marathon. Having participated in the Gobbler Grind marathon three times, Rich is excited to be to be part of the ambassador program and give back to the race and the sport. His goals for this year include encouraging as many people as possible to join him in having a great time, and finishing a marathon sub-3:00. “Generally, my goal every year is to be better than the prior year. There always seems to be something I would do differently or improve upon. Running has been a continual learning process. It’s a puzzle and I am still finding pieces”. A busy father of three, Rich enjoys the portability of running. “Provided even a little window of opportunity, it’s something I can do wherever I am in the world.” Favorite run of all time: Grand Canyon.
Cheryl Lentz: Cheryl started running in 2012 after joining Weight Watchers. Never having been athletic, she was surprised to find herself actually enjoying running! Since then, Cheryl has run 7 full marathons, 23 half marathons, and a load of shorter distance races. New adventures are already planned for 2018. Cheryl volunteers for a running program at Lansing Correctional Facility 3 days a week, she runs for a sweet girl named Ruby with the Who I Run 4 organization (an organization that matches runners with individuals with disabilities – whoirun4.com), and is a member of Streak Runners International. “I appreciate the opportunity to be a Gobbler Grind Ambassador and can’t wait to participate again!”