The 13 enthusiastic runners below are ready to lead 27,000 Chevron Houston Marathoners and Aramco Houston Half Marathoners to the finish line. Congratulations to our 2016 team!
Emilia Benton – Emilia is a 20-something writer and editor born and raised in Houston, with some East and West Coast stints thrown in between. Although she’s been a runner since she was a 16-year-old high school sophomore and has run 22 half marathons and 6 marathons to date, she admittedly is always learning something new about the sport. She loves traveling (especially if it involves a race with her twin sister, Carla), baking, country music and all things hot pink.
Blog – www.runforyourlifeblog.com
Twitter – @emmiemarieb
Instagram – @emmiemarieb
Mariana Cano – Mariana has run four half marathons and one marathon. She’s a mom who started running when her first daughter was born to lose the baby weight and fell in love with it! Up to this day, Mariana finds it very hard to wrap her head around the idea of how her body can physically resist running non-stop for two hours or more, but after 10 years of running she just keeps going. Mariana is a Mexican mom of three children under 10, who has been living in Houston sine 2004.
Blog – www.yomariana.com
Twitter – @yomarianablog
Instagram – @yomarianablog
Hung Cao – Hung started running just 3 years ago, hoping to build cardiovascular capacity after a torn hamstring. He is currently the president of the Kung Fu Running Club that meets every Wednesday night and positions themselves as a social running club. He is also an officer at West End Running Club and frequents local running events hosted by Sun And Ski Sports and Trail Racing Over Texas.
Twitter – @housecao
Instagram – @housecao
Esteban Coca – Esteban is a 36 year old husband and father who loves running and forces it into 4-6 days each week. He found the joy of running by accident while trying to lose weight. When he began, a 10 minute run was torture – a half or full marathon was surely impossible. The 2012 Aramco Half showed Esteban he is capable of much more than he ever imagined. Now, each fall he trains hard and then enjoys the euphoria and electricity of race day in Houston. Running is now his primary hobby, but he also enjoys cycling and being a Den Leader for his son’s Cub Scout den.
Twitter – @estecoca
Kristin Collins – My name is Kristin Collins and I have a running problem. Kristin started by running 5k’s for fun in 2003, when she swore she would never run a marathon. Twelve years later she has become addicted to them! Her 10th Houston in 2015 marked the 27th full (including Boston twice, Chicago, NYC, Nike women’s, Marine Corps, Flying Pig and Pittsburgh) and she is heading back to run Flying Pig in May! She teaches science and coaches girls Cross Country at McCullough Junior High in The Woodlands, in addition to serving on the board of The Woodlands Running Club. Kristin has also been on the pace team for The Woodlands Half Marathon for several years. Hobbies include shopping, Astros and Red Sox baseball, cooking, and finding new places to run while traveling!
Twitter – @kacmbc
Instagram – @rnrgirl
Heather Foley – After graduating from college, affordable access and time for team sports was harder to find so Heather picked up running to keep in shape. She joined Runner’s High Club here in Houston in 2008 and a new family and passion was discovered! She has run over 30 marathons/ultramarathons (including back-to-back finishes at the Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa), but loves all the other distances as well. To keep in the best running shape she can be in, she also regularly does crossfit and yoga. Running motivates her on a personal level, but it also gives her the opportunity to interact with the incredible and vibrant community that exists among runners, and all people who love an active healthy lifestyle. When she does sit still, she likes it to be on a patio on a nice day with live music and friends. This is Heather’s third year in the Ambassador program.
Twitter – @haf811
Instagram – @haf811
Sara Hudgens – Sara grew up in Houston, living all but her college years in the greater Houston area. She ran competitively for Cinco Ranch High School, attended Texas A&M University, and currently teaches math and coaches cross country in The Woodlands, Texas. She got back into running after college, beginning with 5ks and building to marathons. She paces The Woodlands Half Marathon each year and is a 4-time Boston Marathon qualifier. Sara is currently training for the Boston Marathon next Monday and will run the Chicago Marathon in the fall. Besides running, Sara loves the pool, shopping, and checking out new restaurants in Houston.
Twitter – @saramhudgens
Instagram – @shudgens
Marcus Lewis – After completing his first tri season, Marcus began training for his first half marathon, which quickly became his favorite distance. He has been running for eight years and currently has his sights set on a Boston qualification. Marcus is a husband and father of four sons ages 9 months to 8 years old. He works in engineering as an I&E Designer and enjoys reading and learning more about history. His hobbies include triathlons and of course running.
Twitter – @mrlewis08
Instagram – @irondad
Bryan Kreitz – Bryan started running with friends after being advised by his doctor that his weight (200lbs) was very unhealthy for his height (5’6″) and could lead to many health issues. Starting slow, Bryan worked his way from 5ks to 10ks, and now has completed 6 Half Marathons, 3 Marathons, and 3 Half Ironman races. Bryan has the wonderful support of his wife and 2 kids and a host of other family members during his long training days and races.
Twitter – @kreitz09
Instagram – @kreitz09
Cintia Listenbee – Cintia is a 35-year-old journalist who caught the running bug during childbirth recovery. She found the cure while running the 2014 Chevron Houston Marathon. She enjoys singing with her husband and their 3 small children. She records all her running and family adventures in her bilingual (English-Brazilian Portuguese) blog SimplyCintia.com.
Blog – www.simplycintia.com
Twitter – @simplycintia
Instagram – @cintialistenbee
Lindsay McClelland – Lindsay is a PR and social media professional at MMI Agency in downtown Houston. Making her way to Texas by way of Hawaii, she’s found that trading in her flip flops for cowboy boots isn’t so bad! While she does miss living in paradise, she’s fallen in love with her new city, its great food and friendly fitness community. Lindsay has run nine marathons and more half marathons than she can count, is a yoga teacher and former collegiate swimmer. One of her favorite things about Houston is the supportive running community, from the competitive training groups to fun social runs. Lindsay’s father is also a runner, last year they trained together and even ran the first 10 miles of the Houston Marathon together! When she’s not running, you can find Lindsay at the yoga studio or planning her wedding!
Twitter – @Lindsaylm
Instagram – @lindsaylm
April Ockerman – April has been running off and on the past couple of years and has completed 10+ half marathons. Her main running goal is to complete at least one marathon in her life!! Being a mom of two and wife are April’s main duties. She has a blog, loves to bake, is a member of the PTA, a cervical cancer survivor, and loves to volunteer my time.
Blog – www.insightsbyapril.com
Twitter – @insightsbyapril
Instagram – @aprilock
Sarah Pepper – Hot 95.7 DJ Sarah Pepper has been a runner for most of her life. Starting in grade school and continuing all the way up through her senior year of high school, Pepper ran cross country with her brother. But after graduating, and with no team to run with, her running faded into the background. The tragic loss of her brother in October 2010 brought her back to running. It was a way to remember him, so every now and then she would run a few 5Ks.
Twitter – @sarahhot957
Facebook – Sarah Pepper