Voices Of Cap City

Introducing the Voices of M3S Sports! After receiving a remarkable number of applications and reading through each from top to bottom, we made our selections and believe that this group of inspiring individuals support our passion for producing remarkable celebrations of the active, healthy lifestyle with a focus on an amazing participant experience. Be sure to follow our ambassadors on social media to learn about upcoming events, participate in fun giveaways, and follow their training journey to the OhioHealth Capital City Half Marathon!

Morgan Affleck

Hi, I’m Morgan! I grew up in California, and moved to Columbus a couple of years ago. I played soccer in college, and then took up running after graduating as a way to stay active and healthy. When I moved to Columbus, I started signing up for events to keep myself motivated with running, and loved the events, atmosphere, and satisfaction of finishing so much that I now do every running event I can! Outside of running, I work in environmental compliance, have an adorable cat named Millie, and love all things outdoors. I’m excited to be an M3S Ambassador to encourage others to stay active, and to join a community of people who love running as much as I do!

Jessica Baldwin

I am a back-of-the-pack runner that uses the run-walk interval method, which I have found to help me achieve my distance goals. I am co-director of OutRunners Columbus an LGBTQ+ running and walking club that encourages fun and fitness within the community and ally’s. I am a pace coach for marathoner in training which is the group that got me through my first (and many more) half marathon after having kids. I learned through these groups that running can be as fun as you make it. I have met some of my best friends through running, and the community has been so supportive. I have completed 2 50k ultra marathons, 2 marathons, many half marathons and other distances. I run for mental health, physical health, and for friendship!

Andy Bracken

Where should I start with my bio? For starters, part of the reason why I run is that it kept me sane
during the coronavirus pandemic. Some people took up a hobby such as knitting or baking homemade
bread or delved into home brewing as a way to pass the time through the pandemic. I took up running
regardless of the weather outside. It helped me stay sane. Plus running during the winters brought
back memories of me being on the wrestling team in high school. The other reason I took up running is
that I had gastric bypass surgery in January 2020. Getting proper exercise is just as important as
maintaining a healthy diet. Considering the strides I’ve made over the last few years, I honestly could
call someone a liar if they told me 5 years ago that I would be running half marathons today. My 12 th
half marathon is scheduled for this October in Detroit. In fact, I’ve already registered for next year’s
Capital City Half Marathon with 3 more ready to register for when the time comes.
Considering all the events I’ve participated in through M3S Sports through the years, my biggest
accomplishment was the 2023 Capital City Half Marathon this past April. I ran that half marathon less
than a week after running the Glass City Marathon’s half marathon. My times for both half marathons
were nearly identical considering I had very little time to recover between them. The support from the
crowd and the camaraderie from my fellow runners during the race was phenomenal! I also loved
participating in the inaugural Run Grandview Yard Quarter Marathon last year. That race kicked my butt
big time. Quite honestly, you need a race that will beat you up from time to time.

Shelby Bradford

I was never a runner. I woke up one day in 2017 and said to myself that I wanted to run a half and a full marathon before I turned 30. Running was simply a bucket list item for me at that time. Little did I know that running would totally change my life. My first race ever was the Cap City Half Marathon in 2018, followed by the Columbus Marathon in 2019. I so often thought to myself, how can you both love and hate something so much? I was completely and totally hooked. Now? I've run the LA Marathon, I've run 6 half marathons, I've run races in 3 different states (shooting to get a race in all 50!), and I am completely hooked. I'm learning to run fast, and to run through pain and difficult days. Running is my hobby and my passion. I also love sharing running with others - our stories, tips, tricks, and experiences with gross tasting gels. I also credit my love to the groups I've been part of during marathon training - LA Road Runners and Fleet Feet MIT. I've run with some of the best humans in the world and I'm so grateful to be part of this inclusive, kind, inspirational community. Outside of running, I love spending time with my 3 yr old Golden Retriever, Sue (maybe M3S Sports' new mascot?!), cooking, and traveling. Here's to an amazing year of celebrating this sport in our city!

Mark Carter

My name is Mark Carter, and I’ve been running for just over 8 years.  Cap City Half 2015 was the first race I ran after deciding to give this running thing a shot.   After that, I was hooked.  Running initially started as a way to get physically healthy, but I found it gave me a way to de-stress and clear my head as well after a long day of work.

Everyone I work with knows my love of running, and I’ve even motivated a few to take it up after hearing my stories.  I’m hoping to share my love with even more people, so they can experience the best tour on two feet.

Dave Cherry

I started running at 37 years old in 2008, and in the last 15 years, I have completed over 60 races including 9 full marathons, a half Iron Man, 15 half-marathons, 5 200-mile relays, 4 Pan Ohio Hope cycling rides (328mi), and 2 Pelotonia rides. I’m working towards my goal of completing 26 full marathons, including all 6 of the Abbot World Majors. My go-to running accessories are NUN electrolytes (also a NUUN Ambassador), Asics, Shokz headphones, Oakley glasses, and Ultimate Direction hydration belt. I’m always easy to spot running the trails in New Albany in my signature headbands!

Laura Czuba

Laura started running in 2008 when she moved from North Carolina to Ohio for Graduate School at The Ohio State University. Laura’s first race was the Cap City 5K.  She became an avid runner for the mental escape and the pursuit of a healthy, active lifestyle. She’s since completed over 30 Half Marathons and 3 Triathlons. Her favorite things while running include:  1. Smelling fresh laundry from dryer vents. 2. Giving other people a compliment. And 3. Taking pictures of something beautiful.  When Laura was 7, her mother suffered a stroke that left her paralyzed. For Laura, running is a reminder to be thankful for and celebrate what her mind and body can do.  Laura’s other hobbies include traveling and running in new cities, woodworking and volunteering with her therapy dog, Gracie Bird.

Kristin Ferrell

Hi! I’m Kristin – an outdoorsy mom of two very energetic boys. I’ve been running ever since I laced up a pair of running shoes for my 8th grade track team and I’ve never looked back. Over the years, running has become therapy for me and I run to keep my anxiety and depression in check. I’m a proud member of the mental health team at Still I Run to help others do the very same! I love to travel and run new routes in beautiful places locally and around the US, especially trail runs! Over the years I’ve completed countless 5ks / 10ks, 11 half marathons and in 2019 I ran my first and only full marathon at the Nationwide Columbus Marathon. When I’m not running you can catch me reading (historical fiction or thrillers are my jam!), gardening (flowers and veggies!) or watching Cleveland sports teams.  I’m very excited to join the M3S Team this year and look forward to all the fun races coming up!

John Fout

While I do Crossfit and lift weights, running is something that I always look forward to for exercise of choice. Having headphones in and running in new areas or scenery just always motivates me to push it a little harder and run a little longer. Whether it is in race events or just casual runs I enjoy running with others and completing that goal together. I have completed 3 half marathons and countless 5ks. My goal is to one day run a full marathon in the next couple of years.

Teresa Gellenbeck

Teresa first started running as a soccer player, and post-college, the half marathon became her favorite distance.  Although she is learning to enjoy the occasional solo run with an audio book, she much prefers running with friends and often joins group runs with her Shred415 Sawmill or Columbus Running Co run buddies. In addition to running, she enjoys hiking, walking, and exploring the Dublin/Columbus running trails, capturing it all for @LivingFitColumbus. Teresa is a teacher, photographer, wife, and busy soccer/hockey mom... but continues to make her fitness & mental health a priority mile after mile. 

Tori Gilmore

I was never a runner and I never played sports. I was a casual runner in 2016 but started seriously running in Feb 2022. I ran ocrs in 2021 and saw progress so I signed up for the 2022 cap city half on a whim. After that race, it all went downhill from there. My first marathon was the Columbus Marathon and my second full and first major was the 2023 Chicago Marathon. I race to improve my physical fitness and gain mental toughness and grit. I enjoy running with Fleet Feet MIT, and I couldn't imagine my life without this running community. I run to keep my mental health in check. When I'm not running I can be found walking my dog, hiking, cooking, and making crafts with my cricut. I've participated in many M3S Sports races but the Capital City Half Marathon is my favorite local race. I participated in the inaugural Grandview Yard Half Marathon and it beat me up (it was the day after Pelotonia - I've been told I'm insane). I've participated in numerous half marathons, 2 marathons, and 1 duathlon (that's a one and done for me). Excited to meet the other M3S ambassadors and surround myself with like-minded people!

Chris Glover

My name is Chris! Your friendly neighborhood superhero runner! I'm a former high school athlete who took some time off and decided at the end of college to half marathon. The first race I ever did outside of track just so happened to be 2012 Cap City Half and it's been a wrap since (10-year Cap vet!). I enjoy training hard during my training blocks, but when it's race day, motivation and fun will always come to the forefront. My rule of thumb is we are all in it to cross the finish line together, so let's make the best of our hard work and enjoy every moment!!

Alissa Henry

Alissa is a Columbus native and host of the Cash Explosion lottery show. She started her long-distance running journey about 8 years ago, with the 2012 Capital City Quarter Marathon as her first official long-distance race. She had such an amazing experience and was hooked! Since then, Alissa has run 5Ks, 4-milers, half marathons, and her first full marathon. If it involves a medal and supports a good cause, she’s in! Alissa’s favorite training runs happen before 6AM and involve running with a group of friends from Moms Run This Town or Black Girls Run. She is a running-with-headphones enthusiast, always listening to an upbeat playlist, posts every run on Instagram stories, and loves cute workout gear. Alissa’s goal in 2020 is to encourage people who want to run that they can do it - find what you love about running, focus on that, and be your own #goals.

Dom Hoecherl

Dominique moved to Dublin, Ohio 7 years ago from Denver, Colorado and is originally from Salt Lake City, Utah.  She played soccer at the University of Utah for four years and graduated with a degree in Sociology and Psychology.  She currently serves as a Coach Liaison at the Dublin Soccer League and is the Tournament Director for the Dublin Charity Cup. Dominique loves things all coaching and currently holds a USSF National “A” soccer license and has served on the Region IV staff for the Olympic Developmental Program.  She coached for Colorado Rush Soccer Club for 12 years as a Director of Coaching for Youth Girls and many other roles within the club including running the Recreational League and as the General Manager for the clubs W-League semi-professional women's team.   Dom has over 23 years coaching experience from ages three-adult. She is also currently the head coach of her daughter’s competitive soccer team.  In addition, Dom teaches group fitness classes at Lifetime and has her ACE Certification.  Dom loves all things fitness, running races, trail running and spending time with her daughters Sophia and Bella.

Kathy Kapes

Kathy started running in 2012 and crossed over into the triathlon scene in 2017. Over the years has completed 22 half marathons, seven full marathons, and four 70.3 events. In 2019, she became an Ironman in Maryland and says it was an experience like no other. She works with a coach year-round and looks forward to crossing the finish line at her next Ironman. Kathy describes herself as a ‘back of the pack’ athlete and she gets her money’s worth out on the course. She loves helping others achieve their goals and has done that by being a pacer at events. She races with positivity and gratitude, sets big goals, and works towards achieving them. Of course, we can’t forget that she is an avid Buckeye fan. Go Bucks!

Rachael Kroeger

If I could sum up my personality into three words, it would be running, skincare and tequila! All things that I find enjoyable and provide balance in my life. I picked up distance running in college as a stress reliever from organic chemistry classes; I never would have expected this hobby to turn into gaining a whole new supportive community, 3 full marathons and 12 half marathons. I have learned so much about myself over the years through these races and I am excited for what is to come! Cheers to faster race times and post-finish line tequila!

Chris Manz

Born and raised in Columbus. Started running in 2011 when he completed his first quarter marathon at Cap City. Has been hooked ever since. Father of 3 boys. Marathon runner. Cross-country and track coach. Loves running.

Tyler McGrath

Started running about a year ago to continue pushing myself to get better/healthier after a more serious ankle surgery in 2021. Before that I was never much of a runner outside of sports growing up. I’ve grown to love it & the running community in general. I try to do as many road running or OCR events as I can throughout the year. The atmosphere of the events, the sense of competition and just the motivation to keep getting better and faster keeps me motivated to do more and encourage others to get involved and to do the same.

Michael Murry

Michael lives in Grove City and started walking in the fall of 2020 as a way to improve his health. On his first walk, he completed 3/4 of a mile in about 25 minutes. Today, he has lost 250 pounds and has completed multiple half-marathons and one full.

While initially very intimidated at the idea of entering races, Michael has experienced nothing but support and encouragement from the running community. 

That is also why Michael enjoys M3S races - they are for everyone! Fast, slow, runners, walkers, experienced, first timers - everyone will feel welcome, will feel comfortable, and will have a lot of fun at an M3S event!

Michael’s favorite race is the OhioHealth Capital City Half-Marathon because the course allows him to pass all of his favorite locations in Columbus and because he does the race with a group of friends - and 13.1 miles doesn’t seem as far when you do it with friends!

If you see Michael at a race this year, make sure to stop him and say hi!

Akeem Needum

Born and raised in Columbus Ohio. Former Collegiate Football player at Tiffin University. Started running for discipline and relaxation. Great family workout as my mom and dad joins me in running anything from 5Ks to Marathons. I also enjoy Weightlifting, Hiking, Yoga, and anything that makes me active! Current Operations Manager at the Columbus Lululemon Distribution Center. HUGE Buckeye enthusiast

Dave Parsons

Dave started running in 2010 with a desire to lose weight. Since that time, he’s lost 35 pounds, logged more than 31,000 miles, run over 160 races (including 36 marathons and several ultras), and become an RRCA certified running coach. He's also a member of the Rogue Racers team, and in addition to racing, he loves pacing others in races. Outside of running, Dave is a Public Information Officer for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and enjoys cheering on his daughters in all their endeavors. Fun fact: nearly one-third of Dave’s races have been M3S Sports events as he has raced in more than 50 of them!

Andrew Queler

Andrew started running in 2011 after deciding he didn’t want to be 225 pounds anymore. Over the years he’s worked his way down to 175 pounds and continues to enjoy running and racing whenever his schedule permits, as he’s a local small animal veterinarian. He appreciates the friendships that he’s made over the past 8 years in Columbus and the extraordinary running community. Andrew believes that M3S produces the greatest events with the greatest swag all year round, spanning January 1st with the First on the First 5k, all the way through December with the Jingle Bell Run. It’s the perfect motivation to keep his running on track all year long and he feels forever grateful. Andrew is also a member of the free Columbus Westside Running Club (CWRC) and loves running every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday with a group of amazing people, from runners to walkers.

Drew Riley

I’m happily married with 4 children and I love to promote running to people of all ages!

Hydie Shiplet

I am married to Jacob and we have four kids; One son (20) and three girls (23, 17, and 7).  I only began running a year after the birth of our last child when my husband decided he wanted to run a half marathon and I was trying to be supportive and join him.  Six years later, I am still running every day and he is not. My faith and my family are my number one priorities. You can usually find me running at 4:30 in the morning before my crew wakes up. After that, I can be found at a multitude of sporting events for each of our kids, or volunteering at church. Our youngest has recently fallen in love with running, so now you will find me running 5Ks and 4 milers with her while still trying to balance my own running goals. 

Nicole Steffanni

Nicole Steffanni is a wife, mom, school nurse and lover of all things running. She began running in January 2020 and has since fallen in love with the sport. The Cap City half marathon is her favorite local event and holds a special place in her heart, as it was her first road race in 2020 and her PR race in 2023. She has completed the Chicago Marathon twice, and has a lifelong goal of completing all six Abbott World Major Marathons. She co-leads the Health & Wellness program for her school district, encouraging staff to maintain an active lifestyle and planning wellness programs and events.

Johnny Steiner

Johnny Steiner is a professional musician who lives in Columbus, Ohio. A graduate of Otterbein University, he is also a fitness instructor for the YMCA of Central Ohio. In between singing, conducting, and leading Spinning classes, Johnny can be found running races throughout the area. He is motivated and motivating, passionate about health and wellness, and believes in all things positive and possible.

On Memorial Day 2016, at the encouragement of my cycling and swimming friends, I set out on my first official run. I got about 2 blocks and thought I’d die. So I walked back home. But I saw what running did for people and marveled at the tremendous (global) community surrounding it. So a day or so later, I tried it again. And then again. And again. Each time I ran, I went a little farther and with each run I, got a little bit stronger. So now - countless runs, races, and 7 half-marathons later - running remains a constant in my life. I run not only for the health of my body, but the wellness of my mind and soul. I am beyond excited to be one of the Voices of M3S this season!”

Torre Summers

Torre is a born, raised, and stayed Columbus girl. Her life is busy and wonderfully full between being a wife, a Mom of one collegiate athlete and one high school athlete and nurturing Chadwick Home-Cozy Living and Celebrations her lifestyle brand. Torre has been an athlete for the majority of her life, tennis being her main sport and great passion. She found the gift of running in her late-30s and has since completed many half marathons, the very first being Cap City, and completed her first full marathon in 2019. She’s very active within the Columbus running community and is a Coach with Marathoners in Training (MIT). She also serves on the MIT Culture Committee as the Event Lead. When she’s not running, Torre is oftentimes at Lifetime Upper Arlington lifting weights, on a yoga mat, in a cycle class or doing a workout with her personal trainer.

Missy Tilton

My name is Missy, and I’ve been actively running since 2015, and I absolutely love the Columbus running community. I’m currently the chapter leader for the Columbus, Ohio SRTT/MRTT She Runs this Town.

My very first M3S Sports race was the Cap City half marathon in 2016, and my favorite is the 5th Line 5K, which I have ran each year from the start. One of my most memorable accomplishments in my running career thus far was completing the Chicago Marathon in 2022. It was a long and tough road getting there, however so worth it!

I currently reside in Canal Winchester with my husband, Chris, and our chihuahua, Millie Marie. My twins, Zach and Brittany, are grown and living their best adult lives. Several people in the Columbus running community may know my son Zach. I was his inspiration to start his running journey in 2017. I made it look like so much fun! And I hope to continue to inspire not only him, but everyone I know and some I don’t know that may watch me from afar.

I’m looking forward to being part of the M3S Sports family and promoting their awesome and exciting events. Giddy up!

Aaron Tucker

Good Morning, Good Afternoon and Good Evening! My name is Aaron Tucker but I do go by nickname Tuck.  I am that energic, loud, bouncing off the walls and full of that good craziness type of guy that loves the running lifestyle along with the fitness lifestyle.  I started taking up running more seriously in 2021 and I haven’t looked back since.  I ran my first half marathon in October 2021 and my first full marathon in October 2023.  Running is such a big part of my life because it's my therapy that helps keep my life going in a positive direction.  What motivates me is seeing all the different types of people that participate in any of the races and enjoying it no matter what their running level is in addition to the amazing running community that I’m very fortunate to be a part of.  DO THE DAMN THING!  GEAH GEAH! 

Allison Tuttle

Originally from Northern Virginia, Allison moved to Columbus, OH in 2015. She played basketball and lacrosse throughout childhood and used to dread running, as it oftentimes was 'punishment' for a bad play, dropped pass, or missed shot. That is until one day when a friend asked her to apply to the NYC Marathon lottery... and they got in. Allison trained all summer leading into her junior year of college and quickly developed a passion for the running community, but just weeks before race day she was diagnosed with multiple autoimmune diseases and was told to immediately stop all activity because her body was in crisis mode. Once her health stabilized and she found a healthy balance, Allison slowly began increasing her mileage and ran her first half marathon in 2013 and in 2015, nearly a year after her daughter was born, Allison completed her first full marathon. The moment she stepped across the finish line, she swore that she would never run another 26.2, but that wasn’t true. Since then, Allison has completed 10 full marathons, 2 24-hour endurance events, dozens of half marathons, countless shorter distance races, and has no plans of slowing down. Aside from running, Allison enjoys traveling, exploring the outdoors, reading, cooking, taking HIIT classes, traveling back to the East Coast to visit her family, and working as an Event Planner.

Shelby Watkins

Shelby is a dog mom recently promoted to a girl mom and the Assistant Manager at the newest Metro Park, Quarry Trails. She is admin for her local chapter of Moms Run this Town and loves strength training and running trails! Shelby stayed active in High School by playing soccer but didn’t really get into running till her junior year of college when her roommates asked her if she wanted to run a half marathon. She’s been hooked ever since completing several full marathons, countless half marathons, a duathalon, a few Ragnar relay races and a 50k!

Julia Wiseman

Julia’s running career began in high school when she ran on the cross country and track teams. She first fell in love with the social element of the sport and then developed an appreciation for the other benefits. After high school, Julia coached cross country and track at the middle school and high school levels for 8 years. In her mid-twenties, she had the desire to race again - she ran her first half marathon and then her first full marathon after her daughter was born and now can’t get enough. Through the journey of training for each of these races, Julia has become convinced that the benefits of running and fitness extend far beyond physical results and she is passionate about sharing these benefits and helping others achieve their goals. In the fall of 2021, Julia joined TeamRunRun as a personal trainer and run coach. Racing has a way of showing us to never place limits on ourselves and M3S provides such a spectacular experience!