Event Director/Sponsorships/Brand Marketing Professional
Heather has spent her career in brand marketing. In 2003, she established Highway 101 Communications to bring extensive knowledge and experience in branding to small businesses on the Central Coast of California.
Heather began her career at small marketing agencies in Los Angeles, California, before taking a consulting position with Philip Morris, USA. She worked in the event marketing department, promoting Virginia Slims Tennis worldwide, professional concerts, entertainment events, other sports initiatives and the launch of new brands.
After Philip Morris, and a short stint with Major League Soccer (MLS) Tampa Bay Mutiny, Heather returned to agency work in Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo. Heather developed marketing strategies and executed many campaigns for Fortune 500 companies specializing in the automotive, financial, energy, political, entertainment, technology, retail, sports, fashion and non-profit industries. Heather has developed campaigns for American Express, ChevronTexaco, Honda, Cox Interactive, Working Assets and HBO to name a few companies.
Heather established Get Off The Couch Potato Sports Productions LLC with business partner Samantha Pruitt in 2010 to bring world-class events to the California Central Coast. She continues to work as a marketing consultant to several central coast businesses.
Heather earned a degree at UCLA and continues to educate herself in the ever-changing world of marketing. She is currently training for the Surf City Half Marathon.
Certified Race Director USAT, Certified Triathlon Coach, ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Ultra Endurance Athlete and Endurance Sports Coach
Samantha Pruitt grew up on the beach in Carpinteria, California and as an adult lived throughout the California Coastline from San Diego now in Arroyo Grande. Samantha attended both Santa Barbara City College and Palomar Community College where she studied Business and Marketing Management. After school she married and became a successful national sales and marketing manager in the wholesale cut flower industry.
By age of 25, high stress from work plus lack of self-care took its toll and her health began to deteriorate. Sam divorced and moved her infant son to San Diego for a fresh start, where she eventually remarried her husband, Dave and his three children. Together they managed his greenhouse business but the sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition compounded her health problems until she could no longer make it through the work day. Her body weight ballooned to 185 on her 5'4 frame. Western medical doctors had no answers so she took it upon herself to find a solution by going back to school to study Holistic Health. Sam soon realized that taking responsibility for her own quality nutrition, adopting an exercise program and living a stress reduction lifestyle was the way to rebuild her health, body and in fact her entire life.
In 2003, Sam moved to Arroyo Grande, California and became a Certified Personal Trainer to educate and inspire others to change their own bodies and lives. By 2004 Sam walk-ran her first 5k race and next she took on the challenge of her first sprint triathlon. Learning to swim, riding a borrowed bike and showing up with a can-do attitude she had the time of her life! So empowered from her accomplishment, Sam embraced triathlon racing, became a Certified Triathlon Coach and formed an all level women’s team training program in 2005. By 2006 she had lost 50 pounds but had a hard time finding the energy to do all her new activities.
Eventually through her own research and by working closely with a registered dietician, Sam was finally diagnosed with Celiacs Disease, an autoimmune disease that responds to gluten like poison. Liberated by this knowledge, Sam strictly controls her diet and lives a more balanced life now. She is highly motivated everyday to help others break through their own limitations and discover their best selves through multi-sport training and racing. In 2009 she launched the Central Coast Tri Sport Club and then became a Certified USAT Race Director. In 2010 she co-founded Get Off The Couch Potato Sports Productions and produces the San Luis Obispo Marathon and Central Coast Cancer Challenge to further live her passion of inspiring others to use endurance sports as a tool to live their best possible life.
Since Sam's transformation she has coached hundreds of all level athletes, worked countless race events and personally completed hundreds of races from 5k to 26.2 mile Marathon runs, Sprint Triathlons thru to now being a 140.6 mile Ironman triathlete and a 50 mile Ultra distance trail runner.
Office Manager, Accounting, Certified Road Runner Coach
Sheryl Collmer is an avid runner and hiker. With 30 years experience in accounting, she enjoys the number-crunching side of the marathon as well as the actual logistics. A certifiable Marathon Maniac, she has finished 28 marathons and ultras and loves to see the sport growing, especially in run-friendly San Luis Obispo.
Kelly joined Get Off the Couch Potato Sports in 2010 and was intimately involved in the design and layout of the SLO Marathon, Half, 5k and Kid's Race courses. Kelly is a competitive age group runner and triathlete with a civil engineering day job. Kelly is also a USA Triathlon Level 1 Certified Coach and part-time coach with Pinnacle Training Systems.
Leslie joined the Get Off The Couch Potato Sports Productions team in 2010, working the Central Coast Cancer Challenge since its inception and the Inaugural SLO Marathon & Half in 2012. She assisted in developing volunteer staffing positions, writing job descriptions, and has organized, staffed and managed the massage tent at each event. Her roll and responsibilities continue to grow and evolve within the company.
Leslie has a background in hospitality business management, print planning, sales and marketing, and is currently in her third (but not last) career in massage therapy. Her massage practice is in SLO and primarily focuses on injury prevention and rehabilitation.
She enjoys putting music together for special occasions, making art out of re-claimed materials, cycling and light hiking. She has a life-long partner, grown daughter, two dogs, and one cat.
Armando Siqueiros, MD
Event Medical Director
Dr. Siqueiros has a long history of running and coaching runners. He started running to keep up with his older brother and found he enjoyed the sport. He ran for Watsonville High School with best times of 4:32 mile, 9.21.6 for 2 miles and 14.34 for 3 miles. He started college at the Military Academy at West Point, but left there and wound up at UC Santa Cruz where he ran on the track team and became an All-American. Dr. Siqueiros attended UC Irvine for Medical School and continued running with best times of 3:45.8 for 1500 meters, 14.06 for the 5k and 29.12 for the 10k. He moved to San Luis Obispo in 1992 and continued running with the Aggie Running Club. When his son took an interest in running, he helped in the formation of the track team at Mission College Preparatory School and coached there for 6 years. One of his runners at Mission Prep was Jordan Hasay, the University of Oregon track standout. Dr. Siqueiros is now coaching the Cal Poly Distance Club.
Dr. Siqueiros is on staff at French Hospital Medical Center specializing in Internal Medicine
Stacey Ritter, MS, ATC
Course Medical Director
Stacey Ritter is Director of Sports Medicine & Athletic Training at San Luis Sports Therapy, and will be overseeing any medical care that runners may need while on the course. As a BOC-certified Athletic Trainer with over 20 years of experience, her role is the prevention, emergency care and rehabilitation of sports injuries. She has had the opportunity to work with athletes at the high school level, NCAA university champions, Olympians and professional athletes. Stacey also specializes in psychology of injury, performance nutrition, and sports concussion management.
Stacey was a competitive swimmer for many years, and has done a few running events, sprint triathlons, and fitness challenges. Her current sport is competitive outrigger canoe racing, which explains why she has a paddle in the trunk of her car at all times. Her husband, Chris, is also an Athletic Trainer, and they can be seen running, hiking and paddling all around the beautiful Central Coast.
Maria is originally from Montauk, NY and she decided to venture to the west coast to find a new lifestyle in 2009. Maria now works full-time as a physical therapist in Acute Care Medicine in SLO County. She received both her Master's Degree and Doctorate through Boston University, and is also board certified as a Neurologic Clinical Specialist, following her passion and interest in Brain Injury and Stroke recovery.
Since moving to California, Maria has completed three half marathons and then decided to expand her interest in community programs and athletics by joining the SLO Marathon staff as the Volunteer Manager.
Athlete Safety Manager
Dan Nelson is a local public safety professional who lives on the central coast. He is also an avid triathlete and coach in the Central Coast Tri Sport Club. He has been training and racing for 7 years. In 2011 he became an Ironman. Dan is passionate about multi sport, athletes and their safety.
Traci became involved with Couch Potato Productions as a volunteer in 2010 with the inaugural Central Coast Cancer Challenge.. Inspired by Heather and Samantha's passion to bring fun, inspiring and competitive events to the Central Coast, Traci anxiously awaits for the "phone call" for the next event. She has been a part of each Central Coast Cancer Challenge as well as the first SLO Marathon in 2012.
Course Marshall Manager
Ron Baers is an architect, artist and has run 68 marathons all over the globe, from Death Valley to Catalina Island to Paris, France. He has been an active volunteer for all kinds of endurance events for the past 30 years. He moved to Los Osos from Newport Beach at the beginning of 2012 and enjoys the calm and beauty of the Central Coast. He came in 2nd in his age group ( 70 + ) in the LA Triathlon in September, 2012.
Course Set-Up Manager
A self proclaimed "event nerd", Christine joined Get Off The Couch Potato in 2012 for the Inaugural SLO Marathon assisting in aid station coordination. From 2003 to 2011, Christine was the event coordinator for the City of San Luis Obispo producing community events and permitting events at City facilities. In addition to Get Off the Couch events, Christine works on the finish line production crew for the Amgen Tour of California and has also worked production for the Tour of Georgia, Livestrong Challenge San Jose, Austin, TX and Davis. With her extensive event experience, Christine has a black belt in zip tie use, is skilled in the construction of rain gear out of almost anything and can sleep comfortably on a piece of cardboard in the back of a box truck.
Asst. Course Set-Up Manager
Amy earned her event cred in the streets of SLO by hauling barricades, posting no parking signs, recruiting volunteers, begging local merchants to donate, sponsor, and hang posters, and installing “E-Z ups” solo (it takes a professional). She has worked with some of the largest events in San Luis Obispo County including Amgen Tour of California and Savor the Central Coast and is exited to be a part of the Get Off The Couch Potato team in 2012 to support the SLO Marathon.
I have lived on the Central Coast for over 30 years and have enjoyed all that SLO has to offer. When I turned 55,I decided to set some goals and began training with Samantha Pruitt. Much against my will, she convinced me to start running and I completed my first half marathon that same year. A few years later, I ran a marathon and finished a half iron man, and more recently ,completed 2 50k's. My passion has become trail running and that's where you'll find me. And yes, I'm still training with Samantha where I continue to be motivated and inspired.
My name is Marie Ocafrain, I've been proudly living the beautiful SLO life for over 20 years! I started running half marathon races in 2008 and a few CRAZY mud runs too. Now I've progressed to the adventures of trail running and I've completed my 1st trail marathon race at North Face Endurance Challenge, Marin Headlands, in 2011 and completed 2 ULTRA 50K races in 2012. You can’t miss me, the LOUD & ENTHUSIASTIC staff member at the registration area! If you have any questions about the AWESOME SLO Marathon & Half Marathon Race don’t hesitate to ask, we are ALL there to help you have an amazing race.
Parking, Safety & Administrative Manager
Sharon brings passion and commitment to the spirit and mission of Get Off The Couch Potato Sports Productions. She became involved as a volunteer in 2010 with the Inaugural Central Coast Cancer Challenge and lent her production and event managment skills to the 2012 Inaugural SLO Marathon. Sharon is a Certified Project Manager and ever-ready to reply to help Couch Potato bring quality events that focus on health, education and service to the Central Coast.
Debbie joined Get Off the Couch Potato in 2012 for the Inaugural SLO Marathon + Half as an Expo manager. Previously she has volunteered at several other local events, doing everything from start to finish - registration and packet pickup to course clean up. Debbie has also been responsible for the graffiti on the run course for the City of San Luis Obispo’s triathlon. Every year she does more than 400 squats, bends and hunches to write encouraging messages and the names of the participants on the course. Get Off the Couch Potato events provide Debbie with an opportunity to pair two of her favorite activities: distance walking and fund raising for worthy causes. She has a degree in accounting from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, which helps her create amazing spreadsheets that she’s used to train for eight half-marathons and one marathon.
Expo Set-up/Breakdown Manager
Ray categorizes himself as a "social runner" and has completed several marathons and dozens of half-marathons with the single goal of having fun while crossing the finish line. Prior to his current career as a Civil Engineer, Ray spent seven years as a Combat Engineer in the United States Marine Corps and gained a great deal of experience in logistical planning and construction of temporary camps. He is excited to lend his experience to the planning, organizing, and set-up of this years marathon Expo.
I am a lifelong runner and a former teacher, as well as high school track and cross country coach . I love the excitement of running races whether I am a participant, a coach, or a volunteer. I grew up in the Bay Area where there are a lot more races and thought it would be exciting to volunteer at something as big as a marathon on the Central Coast.
Expo Security Manager
Jeff is originally from Gary, Indiana. He was brought to the central coast by the United States Air Force nine years ago. On December 1st he retired after 21+ years of service. He has provided security for numerous events including NASCAR, Special Olympics and last year's SLO Marathon. Jeff currently works as a government civilian launching missiles from Vandenberg AFB.