Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Team HMF pace leaders at Red Dress Run for Women

We've introduced a new perk to help encourage you at this Saturday's Red Dress Run for Women, presented by UnitedHealthcare.  Pace teams are a group who run together led by an experienced leader - the pace leader runs a steady pace and keeps track of that pace so that the group can achieve their goal of finishing at a specific time. This is a free service for any registered runner.  Thanks to Team HMF for volunteering to pace, meet the pacers here!

Sarah Bourdeau

8 min/mile Pacer

Hometown: East Haven, CT            
Occupation: Dental Assistant & full time Mom
How long have you been running competitively?  3 Years
What is your favorite distance to race? Half Marathon
What is your favorite HMF race and why? Surftown. While I love the crowds, energy and big race feel that Hartford has to offer...I just love the course at Surftown. It is absolutely beautiful and is at the right time of year. Early fall so it is not to cold and not to hot.... just the way I like it. I also love all the post race fun! This year I stepped out of my comfort zone and ran the O'series and had a blast!!! I age group placed at O'Niantic and O'Hartford. I had so much fun running this series that I decided to once again step out of my zone and run the Scramble Series...I will keep you posted if I have a new favorite.
What was your single most memorable race day experience? My most memorable race day experience will be the NJ marathon May of 2013. I had planned early on in making the BQ attempt at NJ. As everyone is aware 2013 brought us the most horrific Boston Marathon to date. These events just fueled my fire for the BQ even more. I can still remember race day in NJ and how everything just felt perfect...my legs, the weather, my mind. I had an amazing race that day absolutely nothing went wrong and I can still remember approaching the finish and seeing the clock and realizing my dream was really going to come true and I would have the BQ. This moment is even more memorable to me then running Boston 2014 as it just proved hard work and determination would give me my dream come true!
What one piece of advice would you give to someone running his or her first race this year? Dream big and have fun! Don't get discouraged...everyone has bad training days and just bad days in general but if you can just keep pushing forward running can be your exercise, your therapy and your fun!



Susan Rubenstein

9 min/mile Pacer

Hometown: Simsbury, Connecticut
Occupation: Full-time overall fitness trainer, instructor and lifestyle wellness coach
How long have you been running competitively? about 7 years now.
What is your favorite HMF race and why? My favorite HMF race was actually the CTfastrak 15K this last May.  The energy that day was just so exhilarating from the other participants.  The course was the perfect length and everyone was so positive about the experience when it was finished.  I think too the day was just that perfect Spring day where as a runner you are reminded why you like running so much. I carried that race day with me for a month.
Why do you run?  I run because running gives me the power to feel like I can take on anything life hands me.  It clears my mind, helps me to love my body, shows me so many parts of the world that I would never discover just moving through life.  I have run in Paris, London, Rome, Brazil, Mexico, California, Arizona and so many other beautiful places.  I run because I remember as a little girl my Mom ran when women really didn't.  I run because it has given my daughter Elanna and I a bond that will last forever.  I run because I am now part of a team that continues to motivate me to run the next race. I run because I love too.



Katie Ouellette

9 min/mile Pacer

Hometown: Right now, New Britain, CT. But I am from Terryville, CT
Occupation: Auto Claims Adjuster 
How long have you been running competitively? A little over a year! My first race was May, 2014!      
What is your favorite distance to race? 5k

What is your favorite HMF race and why?  Not only is it my favorite HMF race, but it is my favorite race altogether: Shamrock 3.3. It was my first race ever in May 2014 and I hope to do it every year to mark my progress. And maybe one day, I will be brave enough to do the whole duathalon. MAYBE!!    
What was your single most memorable race day experience?  When I completed my first race and placed in my age group. I didn't even know there were "awards" given at races or anything so it was a cool surprise. The whole thing was an experience I didn't expect with tents and vendors and a post race beer!     
Why do you run? I run to see what my body can accomplish. I am amazed that in April 2014 I literally couldn't run 1 mile and I've completed 3 half marathons and many races of other distances since then.  
What one piece of advice would you give to someone running his or her first race?  RUN YOUR OWN RACE! By that, I mean, don't worry about who is passing you, who is front of you, and who is behind you. Just run what you can run and enjoy the finish! 


Elizabeth Mashiak

10 min/mile Pacer

Hometown: Somers, CT
Occupation: Health and Wellness Director
How long have you been running competitively? Two years
What is your favorite distance to race? 5K
What is your favorite HMF race and why? Surftown because of the beautiful course!
What was your single most memorable race day experience?   My most memorable race day experience was breaking the course record at the Amica Iron Horse 5K race this year!     
What's your "Go to" pre race meal?  I always eat Wagon Wheel pasta the night before and a half of a chocolate glazed doughnut in the morning for race day fuel!
What's your "Go To" Post race meal? My favorite post run meal is always grilled cheese!!
Why do you run?  I run because exhausting myself on a run is one of the most relaxing and satisfying parts of my day.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone running his or her first race this year?  You may feel miserable during the race, but the feeling of crossing your first finish line is like no other feeling. Cherish that moment. 

Diane Perry  

10 min/mile Pacer      

Hometown: Bloomfield, CT
Occupation: Director, Program Management
How long have you been running competitively? April 2014  
What was your single most memorable race day experience?  There are so many memorable race day experiences! From being a course monitor volunteer and having so many runners thank me for being there and giving me high fives to placing second overall female in a 5K. But I’ll share a more recent one, in which I ran the longest race to date, the CTfastrak 15K (May 3, 2015). I saw so many friends and fellow runners, who cheered for me, encouraged me, ran with me and then at the end, so many who told me they used me as a “pacer” to keep them going. This was the first race that I had friends waiting to cheer me on. At the end, not only was I so grateful that I had completed this distance, but imagine my surprise when bibbed strangers who I didn’t and couldn’t see thanked me for simply running (my race which allowed them to run theirs)!  
Why do you run? I run to feel capable, fit and strong and to spend time challenging myself to do something that last year felt labored and the year before seemed implausible. 
What one piece of advice would you give to someone running his or her first race this year?      Ask questions, get a plan, follow it as best you can, start slow, cross-train to stay healthy and cut yourself some slack along the way as you listen to your body. Keep a running/fitness journal as you enjoy the journey as you will discover it's not all about the end goal of running the race. Along the way, you will make countless friends, learn countless things about running, nutrition, your body and your capabilities. But most importantly when you reflect, you'll be thrilled about your accomplishment(s) and your successes along your journey to and on race day!

Elanna Rubenstein

Floating Support

Hometown: Simsbury
Occupation: Sports Broadcasting - ESPN
How long have you been running competitively? Since 2008      
What is your favorite distance to race? I love the challenge of a half marathon but take more enjoyment in a good 10K, it's that perfect distance to challenge yourself but you can run it everyday!
What is your favorite HMF race and why?  Amica Iron Horse! It is right in my hometown!! It's great being so close to home and running the race in my favorite community!
What was your single most memorable race day experience? The Iron Horse half this year, I ran it with pneumonia!      
What's your "Go To" Post race meal?  Pancakes, or Grilled cheese
Why do you run? I run to stay active and healthy, as a way to spend time with my mom.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone running his or her first race this year? Never doubt yourself, for years I never thought I would run, than one day I just went out and put one foot in front of the other and I haven't stopped since!

Kimberly Markey

Floating Support

Hometown:  East Hartford, but I currently reside in Berlin
Occupation:  Marketing Manager
How long have you been running competitively? I hardly consider myself a competitive runner.  I’ve been running since July, 2008
What is your favorite distance to race? Race – 10K, run - marathon
What is your favorite HMF race and why?  The O races – O’Putnam, O’Niantic, and O’Hartford.  The O races are my current favorite HMF races because in 2015 I ran all 3 races with my 8-year old son.  To share those miles, finish lines and accomplishments with him was pure joy.
What was your single most memorable race day experience?  Running the Harvard Pilgrim Middletown Half Marathon with my coach (Olympian, Jeff Galloway).
What was the lowest moment in a race you experienced?    Mile 20 - 22 of the Marathon during the 2014 Dopey Challenge – I had completed chemotherapy treatments the week prior and by Mile 20 which was really mile 42 of the 48.6 challenge, I was struggling, walking, and didn’t think I was going to have the energy to finish.  But I did, walking all 26.2 miles in 7 hours
and 28 minutes.
Why do you run?  I run to keep my mind and body healthy.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone running his or her first race? You can do anything you want to do.




Heather Labbe  

Finisher Pacer    

Hometown:  South Windsor
Occupation:  Wellness Director Indian Valley Family YMCA
How long have you been running competitively? 20 years
What is your favorite distance to race? Half Marathon
What is your favorite HMF race and why? Surftown Half…so beautiful, perfect weather … jumping in the ocean!
What was your single most memorable race day experience?  PR Surftown 2013
What's your "Go to" pre race meal? Banana and almond butter  
What's your "Go To" Post race meal? BEER
Why do you run?  It makes me feel like the best version of myself
What one piece of advice would you give to someone running his or her first race this year?  Run with joy!  Smile!

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