We've chosen our special runners! Passionate runners! Runners who love the SLO Marathon. First-time runners of the SLO Marathon. Runners who just love to run, share their experiences, share other's stories. They love to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Blog. Meet our SLO Marathon Ambassadors and connect with them! You will see them at the race, so make sure to say hello!
SLO Marathon Ambassadors
Dani Bahnsen has been an athlete for most of her life and has competed in numerous 5k, 10k, half & full marathons, and triathlon. Her certifications are through National Academy of Sports Medicine, American Aerobic & Fitness Association, Newton Natural Running Coach Certification, TRX suspension training. Dani is currently the running coach for the Ventura County Marathon Training program. She has served in the United States Marine Corp. and US Air Force Reserve. Dani lives in Ventura County.
Ashley Ballinger is a fourth year Cal Poly Communication Studies major who co-created the SLO Marathon Brand Ambassador Program for her senior project. She completed her first half marathon last year at the SLO Marathon with her boyfriend Jake and is beyond excited to get a second chance at the course. She hopes to beat last year's time and is considering registering for her first full marathon in the fall. Ashley loves completing races for various causes from cancer awareness, foster youth, local charities, and a color run just for fun. When not trying to battle shin splints or stretching, Ashley can be found doing photography, coaching kids gymnastics, dancing, reading athletic blogs, pinning crafts on Pinterest and blogging on her website (link below). She is excited to meet the other ambassadors recruited and making this the best year for the SLO Marathon yet!
Hi, my name is Falyn otherwise known as Slacker Runner. I started running back in 2010. Well I tried at least, ran my first 5k in September of that year. Ok, let’s be honest I walked 85% of that. My goal was to finish under 35 minutes; didn’t happen. After that I slacked off a bit, maybe a lot. In February of 2011, I drove a friend down to run the Surf City half marathon, the same friend who got me my first pair of running shoes actually. Standing on a street corner watching all the people running by and smiling, I thought enough is enough, I can do this. I spent the next few years alternating between running like crazy or not at all. I would go from a month of running 6 days a week to a month of maybe running once. I read books, magazines, etc, but I wasn’t getting any better and it was frustrating me. So after many ups and downs, successes and failures and spending hours reading and splicing training ideas that I have read over the years, I made the Slacker Way. It worked for me. I have run 5 half marathons, multiple 10K’s and numerous 5K’s. I admit that I love watching my times improve the more I train. I may not be the fastest but I am getting faster. . I have been looking forward to running the SLO Marathon since its inception in 2012, but was never able to make it work. I am so excited to have the opportunity to run it this year.
Hi! I’m Danielle Janda, hailing from sunny San Diego. A baseball lover, total nerd, and Disney fanatic, I’ve always been athletic as I played softball and soccer throughout school but it wasn’t until some years ago that I discovered running to be the savior of my sanity. I ran my first organized run (a 10k) in 2010 which I followed up with my first half at the Inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon in 2011. I was hooked from that moment on and since then I’ve run over 10 half marathons, countless 5k/10k/fun runs, and have involved my entire family in my running schemes and dreams.
For this year, the last year of my 20s, I’ve been inspired from joining this wonderful event as an Ambassador to pursue my 1st full marathon! It is both exciting and scary to be taking this on and to be sharing my journey with everyone. San Luis Obispo is beautiful and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to enjoy its wonderful views in my running shoes!
Hi there, I’m John Joines, although most people call me JJ. I’m a pretty simple guy and so is my bio! I’m a husband to Christine for the past six years and daddy to Jakob, 3 and a half, and Isabel, 18 months. I started running in September, 2012, when my wife suggested that we enter the Disneyland Half Marathon the following year. Prior to that, I had never run unless someone was chasing me and I didn’t lead a very healthy lifestyle. I weighed between 255 and 260, I ate poorly, and I thought runners were crazy! Before I knew it, I had lost 20 pounds or so and I started to feel like a runner. I ran my first 5K in January of last year and was hooked! Since then, I’ve lost a total of 61 pounds, completed five half marathons, and will be running my first full marathon in March. When I’m not running or in the gym, I work as a manager for Security Special Services at the Disneyland Resort and I enjoy all things sports, especially motorsports. I’m thrilled to be a part of the SLO Marathon Ambassador team and I can’t wait until race weekend!
Wayne Kurtz is the passionate about the lifetime benefits of endurance sports. Over the last 27 years, he has tested himself and triumphed over 300 endurance races throughout the world and most recently a Guinness WR finishing the 2013 Triple DECA Iron event in Lake Garda, Italy (30 Iron distance triathlons completed in 30 days (1 per day, 72 miles swimming, 3,360 miles biking, 786 miles running). When not racing ,Wayne is in the London office of Liquid-Investments serving as the Chief Commercial Officer. He is the founder of RaceTwitch.com, the world’s largest, free, online, multi-discipline, racing resource – “Helping Endurance Athletes Build Exceptional Race Calendars,” Endurance Racing Report, RunforBooks nonprofit organization and www.Chiefgoalsofficer.com. He is the author of Beyond The Iron and Never Say "I Wish I Had" and co Authoring the upcoming book - Stronger Than Iron (epic world record journey of the athletes who finished the 2013 Triple DECA Iron).
Laura Moir started running in 2009 and hasn't stopped since, completing over 60 races to date including two full marathons. At first, running was just a way for Laura to get back into shape after having her second child, but it quickly became a life-long commitment and Laura is always challenging herself to train smarter, push harder and run farther. This will be Laura's first time running SLO and her 19th half marathon. As a California native, she is very excited to complete 13 happy miles through the beautiful terrain of San Luis Obispo.
Krissy Murphy is an RRCA certified coach who loves Disney, coffee and marathons! She started running in the summer of 2010 simply as a way to become more active, but after her first 5K, she was completely addicted. The SLO Marathon will mark her 10th 26.2 race and second in the beautiful state of California.
Currently residing in Sarasota, FL, Krissy loves traveling on racecations and spreading the word of awesome events everywhere her running shoes take her. When she's not logging miles, you can probably find her tweeting up a storm, hanging out with her husband, or playing with her adopted pup, Dug!
My name is Lisa Nagy and I am so excited to be a SLO Marathon Race Ambassador this year! I've always admired runners and wanted to become one, however, I thought I was never going to be a runner because I was heavy. I was the funny one, I was the great student, and I was always the one sitting on the sidelines cheering everyone else on. I was everything except a runner, and that was what I wanted to be. At the age of 24 I decided my life needed a change. I underwent weight-loss surgery in December of 2012 and started running with the Couch 2 5K program January 13th 2013. I completed multiple events during my first year of running to include a triathlon sprint and a half marathon! It is safe to say that I am now addicted to running and I try to race as often as I can. I am super excited for my second half marathon to be at the SLO race this year and it is needless to say that running has changed my life for the better. I truly believe that if I can become a runner, anyone can! You just need to set your mind to it!
Heather Purkiss is a former Elite gymnast, mother of twins and a gymnastics coach. She'd always been active, but after the twins and a serious health scare, decided not only to start running but to set goals and become an athlete again. She started running in April 2013 and ran two 5k's, a 10k and 3 half marathons before the end of the year. She's shed 25 pounds so far and is really excited about running amongst the beauty and history of the San Luis Obispo community!
Amy Beth or 'AB' for short is the lady behind 'Sweat & the Sweet Life'. Originally starting the blog for school, it quickly turned into a creative outlet and space that incorporates her biggest passions: health, fitness & all the sweet things in life like home decor, entertaining, personal style, recipes, etc. She is about to finish her degree in Communications at Cal State East Bay with an emphasis in PR & Marketing. A certified fitness instructor, Amy Beth loves teaching SPIN and motivating her students with everything from old school classics from Michael Jackson and Hall & Oates to new jams by Beyoncé and Katy Perry. She is so excited to be apart of the SLO Marathon Ambassador Team and looking forward to sharing her racing journey with her readers and the rest of the race participants!
Hi I'm Kaitlyn Rispoli, I'm 16 years old. I go to Cabrillo High School. I do the school cross country team and I love running.
I'm Debbie Woodruff, and I'm a runner, blogger, and coach. I've been running for more than 20 years, and during that time I've run 35 marathons and countless races of shorter distances. I have a personal best of 3:16, but that was a long time ago. I blog over at Live from La Quinta, where I talk about running, plus general fitness and living a plant-based lifestyle. You'll find training programs, workouts, vegan recipes, product reviews and more.