With the guidance of RRCA Running Coach and founder of ForWord Running, Linda Word, we're providing twelve Pace Team Leaders for our Half-Marathon through Lexington's Thoroughbred Farms; two each for our most popular Finish Times of 1:45, 2:00, 2:10, 2:20, 2:30 and 2:45. They will be at our Race Expo, Thursday and Friday, March 29th and 30th, to answer your questions and help you any way they can!
Our Legendary Pace Crew!
Kyle Brumbaugh (1:45)
Known as “Broomy” by fellow runners. Kyle has been running for over 25 years. He enjoys anything a good runner would enjoy: bourbon, beer, and pretty much any food you set in front of him. He has completed Boston four times and finished 3rd place overall in the 2015 RuntheBluegrass Half and is coming back as a pacer for the third time in 2018. He is quite proud of making it to this milestone in this fantastic event's history and looks forward to capping that off with helping you reach your goals during the race.
Tim Tharpe (1:45)
After running with an official race pacer for the first time in a half marathon, Tim became inspired and wanted to pay it forward to others. Tim was afforded his first pacing gig in 2015 at one of Kentucky's largest half marathon races and was hooked. Tim found that, while earning his own PRs were good, the greatest reward was having the opportunity to help others achieve the running goals that they think may be out of reach. So, if you are ready for an even-paced run full of enthusiasm, fun, and maybe a bad joke here and there, come run with Tim and set your next PR!
Greg Lowe (2:00)
Greg started running for exercise in 2008 after breaking a 16 year smoking habit and putting on weight. In 2013, he discovered how much fun a group run could be when he ran with a group to honor the Boston bombing victims. Late that fall, with his new-found friends’ encouragement, he ran his first half-marathon and became hooked. After many half marathons and a handful of marathons, he decided that he really enjoyed the combination of race-day excitement and the camaraderie of a group run. Pacing is a great opportunity to meet new people and help them meet their goals while selfishly enjoying their company. It's a win-win situation!
Mark Heyerly (2:00)
Originally from Northern Indiana, Mark will be completing his first full this October in Chicago, followed by the his 2nd full, the Indy Monumental in November, with his 5th Bourbon Chase squeezed in-between. He was an Assistant Cross Country Coach for Boyd County High School before moving to Frankfort last autumn. Mark (like his father and son) has a strong love of cross-country running and loves running with his dog. This year will be Mark’s 3rd RTB and 2nd year pacing the race. Mark loves helping runners of all abilities meet their goals!
Manivannan Vangalur (2:10)
Mani (pronounced “Money”) started running late 2002 and ran his first half marathon at the Louisville Derby Festival marathon in 2003. He started to improve his fitness and slowly started enjoying it. Now after at least 21 marathons and several half marathons, he can say running is just a reward onto itself. He is grateful for the joy it brings him and the wonderful runners he gets to meet in the process. Mani has been based out of Frankfort for the past few years, and is happy he can help out and pace some other runners to their goals!
John Unger (2:20)
John Unger's running career has spanned several decades and he has been a fixture in the Lexington and Frankfort running community for as long as anyone can remember. Now into his early 60's, his wealth of experience and easygoing attitude make him the ideal pacer PLUS he can still pull off a sub 2 hour half marathon! Ask John for some stories as you go along in his pace group, you won't regret it!
Becca Atkins (2:20)
Following in the running footsteps of Becca will be an adventure you won’t soon forget! Fun, encouraging and steady in her pace, Becca will help you achieve your running goal while enjoying every step of the way. Her passion is running, but she also has a love of craft beer. Just as brewers take their time to create the perfect brew, Becca has crafted her love of running by logging countless miles through the beautiful state of Kentucky. An avid runner since high school, Becca recently completed her twentieth half marathon and is a 5 time finisher of RTB, where she set a PR of 1:44:23 in 2015. Becca looks forward to celebrating your PR achievement in the 2018 RunTheBluegrass!
Betsy Grewe (2:30) Pictured left
Betsy is a Michigan farm girl transplanted to Frankfort several years ago. Her love of horses and search for a career brought her south, but it was a return to running that enriched the move in ways she hadn’t considered. Her co-workers convinced her to start running with them her first weekend in Kentucky. Now with three marathons, countless half marathons and other races in the books, Betsy is still running strong! While her least favorite part of running is, well, the running, the feeling of accomplishment after just one mile, the sights she sees on course, and all the wonderful runners she meets along the way makes every step worth it. When post-race recovery dictates more rest and less running, Betsy can be found in the kitchen baking up high-caloric desserts for her future carb loading needs, or searching out new adventures with her beagle, Matilda.
Amber Boyd (2:30), Pictured right
Amber is excited to be back for her third year of pacing RunTheBluegrass. This was her first half marathon ever in 2012 and 2018 marks her seventh year running this race. When she is not running, Amber enjoys summers on the river, spending time with her husband, spoiling their furbabies (3 cats, 2 dogs and a horse), watching UK basketball as well as crafting. Since 2011, running has become a big part of her life and has since earned multiple race “bling” from several half-marathons, four Bourbon Chases and a full marathon. Amber wants to help you set a new PR or achieve a personal goal to get your RTB “bling” one hill at a time.
Kristie Allen (2:45)
Kristie became an accidental runner on September 6, 2013. Since then, she's learned that running is about so much more than running! It's the friendships made along the running journey and being continually inspired by those who push themselves beyond their boundaries. Runners are amazing people! She looks forward to an opportunity to cheer YOU on in your running journey! She proudly runs in memory of Meg Menzies, a story you can read about here.
Kelly McKenzie (2:45)
Kelly ran her first race in 2008, the Black Cat Chase 5K in Frankfort, not knowing if she could even finish that. But she fell in love and has been running ever since. She has now raced several half marathons plus one full marathon. Kelly likes the enjoyment of crossing the line and seeing others who are doing their best to finish also. While she feels she is an average runner, she loves pounding the pavement to enjoy nature. Kelly is a three-time RTB Pacer and is looking forward to helping you reach your goals at RunTheBluegrass 2018!
Linda Word (Pace Crew Captain and 2:10 Pacer)
Linda began running in 2008 after being a smoker for 25 years. To her great surprise, found that she was fairly good at it! She became so passionate that she became an RRCA coach in 2015, an ACE personal trainer in 2017 and began pacing 10 milers, 15K's and half marathons in different states in the US AND qualified for Boston last month!
She leads 4 running groups a week, teaches barre classes, bikes, swims, and competes in road races and triathlons. She founded ForWord Running, which is now a pacing company, in 2015 and then joined forces with a triathlete coach to form Small Batch Coaching in 2017.
She is a six year streaker for RTB and this is her third year organizing the pacers for us!