Meet our 2021 Brand Ambassadors
The Philadelphia Marathon Ambassador Program launched in 2018 and was designed to help grow Marathon Weekend by engaging with runners on social media around the world and bringing them together for race weekend. The program helps us reach running communities throughout the USA and world to spread awareness about the Philadelphia Marathon Weekend and reach audiences who may speak a different language, but all share the same love for running.
Our Ambassadors have qualified for the program through their diverse geographic location, activity level, and follower count on social media. They post every week about their involvement with the Philadelphia Marathon to share their passion for running (especially running Philly!) with their followers. Ambassadors receive perks like training gear, Philadelphia Marathon Weekend SWAG, access to special events during race weekend, and more!
Our 2021 program is currently filled and closed.
“A few years ago, I caught the run bug, and never recovered! I ran the 2019 Philly Half during marathon weekend, and think I signed up for the 2020 full marathon just days after running that race. I knew I needed to make the Philadelphia Marathon my first 26.2, but 2020 had other plans. I modified those plans – I continued to train despite the pandemic, which kept me grounded and resilient during a very trying time, and ran my first marathon virtually on the day the 2020 race was supposed to take place. I am so grateful to be able to run the 2021 Philadelphia Marathon in person. It’s going to be tough, but I’m hoping to PR. My goal is to qualify for Boston – I was just 3 minutes short of doing so virtually and alone, so I’m hoping the excitement of an in person race will get me over the finish line with that extra push I need to go a bit faster!“
My name is Vera Barnes and yes, I am a Runner. Eight years ago, I stepped out of my comfort zone and hit the asphalt. Since then, I have completed several 5K's, 10K's half marathons, marathons and 1 triathlon. I am currently an Ambassador for Black Girls Run where I have been a leader and motivating and encouraging women to help reach their fitness goals. I have always had a love and passion for fitness, but running has changed my life. This sport has introduced me to a different world of fitness where I have met some awesome people, formed bonds where we hold each other accountable and learned to have fun with fitness.
“I grew up in Philadelphia and started running track and cross country in middle school. Running was my first passion from that point on. When moving downtown, I started my own running club, Fairmount Running Club. I’ve been leading group runs, events, and volunteering for over 16 years. One of my favorite races in the area has always been the Philly Marathon. It’s one of my first marathons I’ve run and I love the challenges of running through our hometown streets. But most of all, love seeing the crowds that line the streets.“
“Running is a way to make your heart beat forever, it’s a lifestyle! I am bringing these endless vibes to Philly to inspire more people on their journey towards a happy life!”
“In 2009, I moved countries from the United Kingdom to the United States to pursue my full-time career as a Nuclear Physicist working in international nuclear safeguards and security (…in a nutshell, I work on the science behind how we ensure nuclear material is used for peaceful purposes!) I recently discovered a love of distance running when I joined a running club and ran my first half marathon for charity, and haven’t looked back since. My goal to cross that 13.1 finish line became a goal to run 26.2, and now I’m literally chasing my dream to run a Boston Marathon qualifying time. I love running for the sense of community it brings, even in a crowd of strangers, as well as those therapeutic solo long runs outside in nature. Running makes me realize my own strength and resilience. I’m running my second full marathon at the Philadelphia Marathon Weekend because I got to experience the incredible and inspirational atmosphere as a marathon spectator in 2019. I can’t wait to return and run Philly!”
Willow Grove, PA
“I found running when my doctor suggested that I should do a little more cardio. I started with a walk, progressed to a walk/run, to eventually a full on run. I never ran for exercise or fun outside of sports practice. Once I started, I instantly loved the constant challenge, the highs, the lows. It’s such a roller coaster! From anxiety, adrenaline, energy, excitement, camaraderie and support! Instantly hooked and continued to challenge myself to the next level. 1950+ days and going on my run-streak. Not sure when it will end, I just know it won’t be today, and most likely not tomorrow, God willing. The Philadelphia Marathon was my first marathon and will always be near and dear to me. It’s very well organized, an awesome tour of the city, and excellent fan support, especially when I begin to hit that wall, the roar of the crowd in Manayunk picks you up to send you on your way to the finish line."
“I am a local Philadelphia athlete that found my passion for running only a few years ago. After running my first Philadelphia Half Marathon in 2017, I completely fell in love with race weekend. The city comes alive with athletes from all over the world and you can feel the energy as you are walking the streets. I love running because of the challenge that comes with training for any distance. A run whether good or bad will teach you something about yourself and allow you to grow in so many ways. I consider myself lucky to be a part of this community as both an athlete and a coach. I’m so excited to run the Dietz & Watson Philadelphia Half Marathon this fall.”
“I started running in 2016, mainly with the goal of losing weight. Then I ran my first race, a 10K with two friends in May 2018. Then my 1st half marathon in Oct 2018. Then it was a non-stop endless cycle of registering for races and more running. I love running because it makes me feel free, makes me feel good and happy. It’s my ‘me’ time and I get to think (or not at all) in different ways I wouldn’t be able to, sitting at home. Running has brought me into a great community of amazing runners and athletes who are supportive of my (and others) journey. And it is so inspiring to follow and learn from other runners who go through their own ups and downs. I have always planned to run the Philadelphia Marathon and it’s definitely up there on my list. This year I will be running the half and hopefully next year I will run the full.”
“I love running because of its simplicity and the great benefits that come from it. Running allows me to learn more about myself, find my limits, mentally unwind and destress from external factors for a brief moment. I love running at the Philadelphia Marathon Weekend because of the community support that you receive throughout the race. People cheer you on like you are family! The energy that comes from the crowd carries you the last few miles. Lastly, running through some of Philadelphia’s most historic sites is also great. “
Severna Park, MD
“I am originally from Indonesia, and have been living in the USA for 12 years. I have two kids, a nine year old boy and a seven year old girl. My husband of 13 years is originally from Springfield, PA, 20 minutes from Philadelphia. I never would have thought I would fall in love with running. I have learned running gives me a sense of accomplishment. It has helped me learn about myself and give me confidence to do hard things. Also, through running, I discovered new places, and new friends. My first marathon was in Philadelphia and I have fallen in love with this race since. This will be my 4th Philadelphia Marathon. I love the city, the spectators, and the volunteers. It’s so well-organized and I have so much fun traveling to Philadelphia for the event. I mean, come on, Philly is a popular entertainment spot, not only for running!”
“I am a married, full time working mom of 2 and have been running for over 25 years! My first race was the Broad Street Run in 2001 and I caught the long distance bug! I’ve run 19 marathons thus far and have done the Philly Marathon 9x. 2021 will be my 10th year. I am trying for the Legacy runner status!! I qualified for Boston twice at Philly (’04, ’06) and just have so much love for this race! Marathon weekend has come a long way since I first ran it in 2003 and I’ve loved watching it grow and evolve into what it is today! I love being a part of it!!!“
“I’m an avid endurance runner who has completed 15 marathons, 50+ halfs, 2 50Ks and a 50 miler. I fell in love with running post-college, when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Running gave me a place to feel confident and strong again, and filled the competitive void I missed from playing collegiate soccer. When I’m not running I can be found enjoying the beach or our family mountain house, sipping a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. I have a husband and a silver lab named Boomer who is my favorite running buddy. I’m also a bit of a book/science nerd and just recently graduated with my Masters of Science from Temple University. The Philadelphia marathon holds a special place in my heart as it was my very first marathon. I’ve run the marathon every year since except one year when I was injured. It feels like home and I still get chills every time I approach the Philadelphia marathon starting line. Also that post race Philly soft pretzel is everything!”