Orca Running Ambassadors

Amy C.

Hello! I’m Amy Cunningham, and love running because it’s a positive way to clear the mind and get outdoors. I completed my 10th marathon this past year and have run over 27 half-marathons. I enjoy both road races and trail running, and as a mom of three teens, try to fit running in whenever possible. In addition to working for Kiterocket, a Seattle marketing and PR agency, I embrace spending time with family, writing, reading, baking, and cycling. I started giving speeches competitively at a young age with the local 4-H team and graduated from the University of Georgia with a speech communication degree. This spring, to foster some cross-training, I’m learning how to row and plan to join my rescue dog Romeo on long walks. I’m honored to be an ambassador and look forward to running with all of you this year!

Instagram: @amysanderscunningham

Rachel

Hi ALL! My name is Rachel and I am PUMPED to be taking on my third year as an Orca Running and Evergreen Trail Ambassador. // I am a mom of two wild boys. Kaleb (6) and Colton (3). This organization feels like family to us. My boys have watched as I have taken on my first marathon and ultra marathon with Evergreen, and completed their first 5ks with Orca Running. The energy and beauty of these races, the running journeys leading up to each race, and this community is truly magical- and I can’t wait to share it with you this year! // Let’s do this 2023! Hope to see you at a finish line!

Instagram: @rachelgetsoutside

Patrick

Hello! My name is Patrick. I was born, raised, and live in south Sound area, currently University Place. I’m 40-ish, married, and have 2 kids (one is now an adult!). I am a forester and part time archaeologist for the State, spending as much time as I can getting paid to wander the forests of Washington (sadly not as much as I used to).
I have always been active in some fashion from soccer and basketball to, obviously, hiking through the forest. I didn’t start running, however, until the fall of 2015 after I decided to focus on my health more. I needed a new challenge in life and wanted to improve my health and conditioning after being a light smoker for much of my early 30s and moving to an office-centric work role.
I definitely do not take running or myself too seriously. Running should be as fun as it is grueling and I try to have as much fun as possible while cheering on other runners. In 2022 I hope to get at least one new PR (looking at you Iron Horse Half!). Hope to see you out there!

Instagram: @run.forester.run

Calvin and Kristen Simerson

Hello! Our names are Cal and Kristen, and we are super excited to be joining The Pod this year as the first-ever couple ambassadors! We both started running in 2015-2016, although Cal was in the “3 mile a year club” throughout his 25 year Navy career (sailors have to run 1.5 miles twice a year for their Physical Readiness Test). Once we did our first 5k race in 2016, we were hooked! That sense of accomplishment, badassery, and growth as you begin to conquer different aspects of running is so fulfilling! Plus, the running community is like no other. Since that first race in 2016, we’ve leveled up to some bigger distances, and we both completed our first 50k races in 2022. Actually, Cal did 2 of them because he’s just that extra! Cal is more of a trail runner, and Kristen is more of a road runner, but we often cross over to the other side to run together. We are active in two different run clubs, Mt Erie Runners and Penn Cove Run Club, and Cal also hosts a running group after work on Wednesdays for some of his workmates who are just starting their running journey. Once you add all of this to our training plans, we have a lot of running going on each week! Aside from running, we love traveling the world, hiking, woodcutting, and we’re just getting into biking. We love trying new restaurants, wineries, breweries, and coffee shops. Most weekends in the summer you will find us camping! We enjoy thrifting and Kristen is always proud to tell people that almost all of her running clothes are second hand…race tees *might* be the only brand new clothes she invests in. We also enjoy researching our heritage – Kristen is a proud member of the Chinook Tribe and Cal recently found out that he has a lot of Scottish heritage…so don’t be surprised if you see him running in a kilt one of these days! If you see us at a race, please come say hello!

Instagram: @mrssimersonrunswhidbey

Instagram: @guysimerson

Marilou

I am excited and honored to be back for my fourth year as an ambassador. While I am not the fastest runner – you can usually find me in the middle of the pack at races — I do enjoy running as many races as I can fit into my schedule (and budget)! Last year I was able to participate in 34 races, and even got to be a pacer for a couple of half marathons – something I had always wanted to try but never had the opportunity to do until 2022. // I’ve run races ranging from a 5k to a full marathon, but my favorite distances are the 10k and half marathon. And I enjoy the fun and challenge of relay races and other endurance events. This year, I am signed up for my first 30k race at the Birch Bay Road Race. // One of my goals this year is to meet more of “The Pod” at races. So if you see me at a race, don’t be shy, be sure to say “Hi”, and take a selfie with me! And please don’t be offended if I ask you to say your name several times, because I am the worst at remembering names! I’m looking forward to another fun, race-filled year. // Also, remember to follow me on Instagram!

Instagram: @marilouubungen

Eve

Hello friends! My name is Eve. I started running in 2011 when my dad decided to jump back into the sport and wanted a partner. I did not grow up a runner, so completing a 5k was quite the accomplishment. Running challenges me in a very personal way and has helped me feel comfortable with being uncomfortable. I also love the energy of race events; it’s become tradition to run certain races each year (both by myself and with my dad). Orca events have become a favorite, so it was such an amazing thing to become an ambassador! I’ve connected with running so much more since I started working with a coach in January 2022, and I’m looking forward to continuing the momentum I’ve developed into 2023 (I’m looking at you, Iron Horse Half Marathon). // Outside of my job as a program manager I like to read, go backpacking, cuddle my two grumpy old-man cats, build Lego sets, and find ways to be crafty.

Instagram: @small_fry_runner

Denis

Hi! I am Denis, 42-year-old and father of a 12-year-old girl who will shine as a pro goalkeeper! I was born and raised in Brazil and Seattle has been my home for the past 14 years. I am well adapted to the PNW, love the outdoors and staying active, particularly on or around Puget Sound waters. My passion for the ocean and protecting all aquatic creatures and their environment is part of my profession, which gives me even more joy when I am running around Puget Sound trails and courses. I have been running as a “side gig” among a few other sports for the past 15-20 years. But I found myself on my couch for almost the entire 2020 with an injury and a hip surgery. This event made me decide to take running as one of my priorities alongside kiteboarding and my passion for wind and water. I found out I needed to challenge my body and mind a bit more and run more frequently and further.

Basically, I needed to add more dots on my kitchen calendar. Since then I have been discovering the joy of running, the happiness of sharing the tracks, trails, roads, and courses with fellow runners, the ecstasy of the finishing lines, the pleasure of waving and smiling at random drivers or runners as I cruise along as well as every single dog on their adventures. Just all that fun stuff! I am very excited to be a part of this awesome group of runners at Orca Running, make new friends and continue to share the stoke of running with EVERYONE! Let’s goooo!

Instagram: @deniskitesnw

Hannah

My name is Hannah and I’ve been running for a little over 10 years now! For me, running started as a stress reliever and quickly turned into a way to gain confidence and meet my fitness goals. My favorite running distance is a half marathon, but I’ve ran two full marathons including the Chicago Marathon in 2022! I’m so excited to be a part of the 2023 Orca Ambassador Team and make more friendships on the roads and trails!

Instagram: @bauerha

Jamie

Hi I’m Jamie, first time Orca/ Evergreen Ambassador and super excited about it! Started running the summer of 2019 and fell in love with it! Unfortunately Covid derailed my first real year of racing but Orca luckily made my first half possible by offering virtual options. Since the summer of 2020 I’ve run approximately 25 half marathons countless 5 and 10K’s. Orca and Evergreen have been a huge part of my racing resume. I’m not a fast runner, sometimes I’m near the back of the pack but I’m never made to feel bad about it. I love this community and the people I’ve met though it. I recently ran my first full Marathon and OMG it kicked my a$$ 😆. Hoping to make new connections this year and make stronger ones with the peeps I know.

Instagram: @jamie_runsthrulife

Josh

Hi, all! My name is Josh. I have been a practicing Physical Therapist Assistant rehabbing runners since 2007, am a personal trainer/coach at Orangetheory and a UESCA certified run coach. I started running to get healthier and fell in love with the process. At my heaviest, I was over 225 pounds and my first run in my early 20’s I only made it one block before I had to sit down. Time and consistency is the key to everything and anywhere you want to go. My passion is sharing what I have learned about running to help others find the love and joy that I feel with less mistakes than I made. Trail running and the woods are my favorite but most of my miles are on the road with friends. I’m excited to meet you and share some miles and smiles!

Instagram: @RTNT_RUN_Coaching

Matt

Hi Orca Fam; so psyched to be joining the team this year as a freshman ambassador! I grew up in the Seattle area and hated running when I was a kid but started getting into it after college and somehow stumbled my way into signing up for the 2017 Orca Half. The experience was phenomenal and I’ve been hooked ever since running 2 marathons, 11 half marathons, six 10Ks, and lots of other races in between. // Most mornings you can find me running Seattle’s lake, canal, and sound trails or running/volunteering at an awesome Orca Running event. My pet project over the last couple years has been attempting to run every street in Seattle and I’m 77% complete! My pet cat is a 10-year-old rescue named Milly who does not care for running but always greets me when I get home to beg for food. In 2023 I really want to improve my marathon/half marathon PRs with the ultimate goal of someday posting a BQ time and representing Orca in the commonwealth. In addition to running I enjoy hiking, volleyball, paddleboarding, climbing, and sports. // Some favorites…Race: Great Ferry Race // Running Weather: 47° with a light mist // Gear: Brooks Ghost Shoes, Garmin 255 Watch // Post-Race Meal: Vegan nachos // Local Hike: Mt. Tenerife to Mt. Si Loop // Weekend Activity: Volunteering at Orca Races!

Instagram: @mattghall

Nancy

Hello everyone! My name is Nancy, and I am super excited to asked back as an Orca Ambassador for my 6th year with the amazing Orca Running Family! I began my running journey in the summer of 2014 and have completed 340+ running events! I love being part of the running community and have made some life lasting friends over the past 8 years. So, my running goals were to grow in distance the more I ran but I have had to pull back a bit due to some minor medical issues. I was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis (usually the early onset of MS) back in December of 2012 but over the past couple of years I have noticed some progression of neurological damage that has begun to slow me down a bit and makes the distance events difficult. But I refuse to let this get me down so I have decided that running/walking shorter distances would be best for me and keeps me doing what I absolutely love doing. // And of course, my dogs – my dogs are one of the biggest joys in my life. I have 2 wonderful Boxers, Dexter who is 7 years old and Paisley who is 8.5 years old. These two mean the world to me – so much so that I also volunteer with MustLuvBoxers Rescue! I love being part of a Boxer Rescue and have been doing this for almost 11 years now – such a reward 😊 // Find me on Facebook in the running group I help admin called Puget Sound Runners – we would love for you to join us there! 

Puget Sound Runners

Morgan

Hello everyone! I am so excited to be back for the second year in a row as an Orca and Evergreen ambassador! I’ve been running for over 10 years. I mostly stick to road races with the occasional trail race thrown in there. I love the half marathon distance (though I do have a secret goal to run all 6 marathon world majors, I’m halfway there). Most days you can find me running with my early am running crew and my 4-legged pal Murphy. Find me on Instagram and please message me with any Orca/Evergreen/running questions.
 

Instagram: @morgoster

Jen

I started running 10 years ago this December. My best friend asked me to do San Jose Santa 5k with her; with little training and zero expectations we had a great time and I found a sport I loved. A decade later, I’ve run over 65 half marathons, countless 5 and 10ks, two 30ks (Birch Bay virtual and in-person for 2022!), one marathon, and one 50k. A decade later, I’ve run over 65 half marathons, countless 5 and 10ks, two 30ks (Birch Bay virtual and in-person for 2022!), one marathon, and one 50k. 2012 Jen never could have dreamt that I would love running so much and find such an amazing community with Orca and Evergreen. I’ll be ecstatic to be back for a third year as an Ambassador and can’t wait to get out on the streets and trails and meet more new running buddies.

Instagram: @la_canadajen

Ingunn

I was born and raised in Norway, but now live in the gorgeous Seattle area with my husband, two little daughters, and our Italian Greyhound! I first started running a decade ago, but it wasn’t until I was between births in 2016 that I started taking it more seriously and entering races.

I love the joy and endorphins and alone time running gives me, especially on trail. It has been hugely important for my mental health! Most importantly, the community I’ve found in other runners is so accepting and inclusive and positive!

My favorite hobbies are going for long runs in the mountains and then scrapbooking about it when I come home.

Instagram: @smultrigunn

Rory

Hey, I’m Rory (He/Him)! I’m a Chicago boy who moved out here in the PNW about 6 years ago for work. Greatest decision of my life. I’m 32, been married to the love of my life, Madison, for 8 years and we live happily in Bothell with our dog, Orion, and our cat, Harlow. Since moving out here, I’ve developed a love of the outdoors (I mean look at all those TREES!) and a passion for running which is something I never thought I would even like. // I was diagnosed with SVT (supraventricular tachycardia – i.e super fast resting heart rate) about 2 years ago. At the time, I was a firefighter and I was told I wouldn’t be able to do that profession anymore let alone any intensity above a walk. I didn’t like that prognosis on my future so I found a new doc who has since helped me continue leading an active lifestyle without jeopardizing my health. During my first year after being diagnosed, I found running – more importantly, I found something to continually challenge myself on. ORCA Running played a huge role in my new found love for running – from the events they put on, the race routes to the absolute best community, it felt good to be a part of something so great. It’s exciting to be an Ambassador for something I’m so passionate about but it’s a huge honor to represent such a great organization like ORCA Running. // Let’s go crush those miles together!

Instagram: @roarhree

Trish

Hi! My name is Trish. I am a runner and soon to be mom of two enjoying life in the PNW. I started running in 2011, and after my first half marathon I was hooked. Since then I’ve run lots of marathons, half marathons, 10Ks, and 5ks, sometimes all in a row at the Dopey Challenge, but nothing beats Orca Races! // As a current stay at home mom, running keeps me healthy physically and mentally, and I’ve come to really love stroller runs. When I’m not running you’ll find me sewing, reading, or baking. I love being outside with my toddler, exploring the many nearby trails and parks. I’m looking forward to getting to know the Orca Pod better and trying out some new challenges this year, including some trail races!

Instagram: @pnw.runnermom

Amy K.

My name is Amy and I’m so excited to be a first time ambassador! I didn’t learn to love running until 2020 when the shut-down halted my work to help keep the cabin fever away. Running was always a chore to me in the past but once I broke into longer distances and discovered I was capable beyond what the brain tells us our bodies can’t do, I gained so much confidence and enthusiasm for distance running. In 2022, I ran my first half marathon and proud to say I completed four; three more than I thought I would! Once I broke through that barrier, I’ve now expanded my running bucket list to complete a 30k this spring and hopefully a marathon in the fall. Running for me is more than just time to destress but a time for personal growth and movement therapy. During the day, I’m a wedding photographer and commercial stylist for REI. I also participate in one triathlon a year and I love it! I’m a horrible swimmer so give me your swimming tips please! My hobbies besides running are cooking, road cycling, dreaming of a European vacation to Greece or Croatia, walking my giant Golden Retriever and wine tasting with my best girlfriends. I am honored to represent The Pod as an ambassador and have a tighter running circle of inspirational humans. Cheers to 2023!

Instagram: @official_famousaymos

Andrew

Hello! My name is Andrew and I am so glad to be back for my third year as an Ambassador. I was born in Colorado, raised in Wisconsin, did undergrad in Minnesota, and grad school in Illinois. I currently live in south Marysville. I studied Aerospace Engineering and work in the Aerospace industry on standardization and strength of materials. I am married, with 2 amazing daughters. I have always tried to stay active, but I didn’t get back into running until Dec 2019. I picked up a treadmill, and started running consistently right away. In hindsight, that was such an amazing decision because running has been a major part of my new normal ever since. You can often find me running (of course), reading, and hiking. My family makes it a goal to hike together once a week in the spring and summer, and that has been a really amazing way to bond and grow together. // I was introduced to Orca Running & Evergreen Trail Runs in 2020 by the Social Distance Run, and was so excited by the wonderful, welcoming community. I especially appreciate their commitment to the local community, environment, and more. // Current goals are to build strength, build up distance, and strive to be a better human.

Instagram: @the.running.steevens

Arielle

Hi there! My name is Arielle, I’m a nurse in the operating room, and I like to run in the mountains and the woods! Currently, I live in Ballard with my husband.

 

I ran cross country in high school, came back into running in 2018, and I transitioned from the roads to the trails after running my first ultramarathon, the Grand Ridge 50k, in 2021.

 

I ran my first 100 mile race at the Oregon Cascades 100, in August 2022. It was a life changing weekend and it has firmly cemented my love for the trail running community. 

 

Sometimes, you’ll find me on the Burke Gilman doing a run commute, but you’re more likely to find me on Tiger Mountain, getting as much vert as I can and hammering down the descents. I’ll be out there more than ever because my A-race for 2023 is the Gorge Waterfalls 100k on April 1st! 

 

If you find me at a race, I’ll have my camera in hand! I love being able to showcase the beautiful places we have to run on here in Washington State.

 

Looking forward to meeting all of you at upcoming races! 

 

Instagram: @ohaiitsarielle
YouTube: @ohaiitsarielle

Strava: Arielle Ruizo Trumble 

Ryan

Hello, Friends! I run with the zeal of the recently converted, although 2023 will be my fourth consecutive year of running consistency. Prior to November 2019, most of my adult life was marred by long stretches of unhealthy choices and obesity punctuated by short-lived efforts to return to fitness. I am grateful for the motivational alchemy of circumstances and relationships that continue to conspire to keep me on a trajectory of health, longevity, and speed. In response to this gratitude, I strive to be an encourager and cheerleader to everyone I see moving their bodies. I believe we all benefit from a “woohoo!” whether we’re struggling to survive or crushing it. If we’ve encountered one another at an Evergreen Trails race or even just out on a training run, you’ve (hopefully) found a smile in response to my somewhat breathlessly shouted affirmations. I’m stoked to enjoy smiles, waves, and fist bumps with those of you I already know and look forward to making a bunch of new friends this year. // When I’m not running like a maniac, I’m talking with friends and family about the other passions in my life. I’m a bright-eyed true believer in the promise of the youth of our nation. This equips me well for my career as a public school teacher. I teach high school students. They’re my favorite humans. I’m a voracious consumer of all types of narrative: books, movies, tv shows, podcasts, comics, music. Live music is my favorite kind of music, but only performed in tiny venues. Seattle’s Showbox and Portland’s Wonder Ballroom are about the largest venues I’ll attend. I love high quality food and drink, especially when it’s prepared locally or, even better, by somebody I love. I’m pretty sure I make the best smoked brisket in the world. I think I give great hugs, but for some reason neither my loving spouse of 23+ years nor any of my three children (21, 19, 17) are ever willing to receive a hug from me when I’m drenched in post-run sweat. I keep trying, though! // Follow me on instagram @salishsearunner and friend me on the facebook ryan.akiyama.7 if you’d like to see my frequent enthusiasms about running, food & drink, and education.

Instagram: @salishsearunner