YPOM Members - Present and Past

"Johnny Lightning" Hodgson
December 2006

Co-founder of the club. He now lives on the East Coast, but will always be YPOM Member #1.

John is the heart of the running club, and a phenomenal runner as well. Has completed numerous marathons and has been a pace group leader for several. Anyone that has run in his group is sure to have an enjoyable experience.

John is capable of some fast marathon times, and in fact nearly qualified to represent the U.S. at the 2008 Olympics. However, when he was just 1/4 mile from winning the Team Trials, he stopped to stare at some shiny beads on the ground. Before he could regain focus 5 runners had passed him. Better luck in 2012!

Jen Keuten
December 2006

Co-founder of the club. "Curro, Ergo Sum = I run,therefore I am."

But, I couldn't run without my club friends! Running is not only enjoyable with the club, but it helps me enjoy so many other aspects in my life - kids, husband, friends, family, eating, drinking and sleeping!

With 9 marathons under my belt, I finally qualified and ran Boston with 2 club members, Argenta and Nora. The experience was incredible and even better shared with YPOM friends.

Joe "Jeo" Terranova
December 2006

I was an on and off casual runner for many years until the late 90's when I decided to run more regularly to improve my health.

Deciding to commit to my first marathon in 2001 started me on a journey to where I would have never thought I'd end up - having completed 8 marathons, 25+ half marathons, and numerous 5Ks, 10Ks and 10 Mile races. If that doesn't impress you, check out all the hardware around my neck. Do you think they just give a medal to anyone that finishes the race? Well, actually they do, but try to be impressed anyway.

One of the founding members of the Your Pace or Mine Running Club, I have developed a love for the sport that has grown along with the club itself. My nickname came from the registrars for the 2010 Crim. Who would have thought it would be so difficult to spell "Joe" on a bib?

Argenta "Sargenta" Lucas
December 2006

One of the original members of the running club, ran her first half marathon just to go to Disney World. After finishing, she vowed that she would never run a marathon, but wanted to run Goofy. So in January of 2007 she completed her first marathon and in 2008 completed the Goofy Challenge.

Her biggest accomplishment was convincing 8 of the best runners in the world to join her for a Goofy time in 2010. 

Joe Gonzales
January 2007

Joe ran with us during that first year or two. Was not a serious runner, but was fairly fast. He ran with us off and on up until he got married and moved to Birmingham. Came back for the 2008 YMCA Back to School 5K, but hasn't been seen since.

Tom ?
January 2007

Tom ran with us in the early days as he prepared for a spring marathon where he hoped to qualify for Boston. He ended up missing his qualifying time by about a minute. He had qualified for Boston in the past, so it while it was disappointing it was not the end of the world.

Tom took a break from running and took up biking. Has been spotted occasionally on the trail or at the YMCA, but as far as we know he has not gotten back to full time running.

Sue "Goose" Siragusa
April 2007

Creator of the club's name and the popular "O'Connor's Run Rally" and "Run for the Beads". Sue's goal is to run 50 marathons in 50 states. Her words to live by:

Run for the Shirt
Run for the Beer
Run with Sue
Or stay and cheer!

Slow is the new fast
That fast we can do
Just look cute
And run with Sue

Sarah "Duct Tape" Pete
August 2007

One of the earliest members of this club, Sarah enjoys eating, drinking and having lots of fun which motivates her to run. She has completed several half marathons and three full marathons (Freep 2008, Chicago 2009 and Nashville Country Music 2011). Sarah has also volunteered as a Brooksie Way Training Group Leader (BW3) in 2010 for the half marathon.  

(Editor's note:  Sarah's nickname comes from her unusual method of preventing blisters.)

Sunil Ramakrishnapa

October 2007 

After having grown up in a warm climate, showed up for his first run in gloves, hat and long pants despite a temperature of 50 degrees. Ran his first marathon in 2008 and now requires less layers of clothing (although getting him out in the winter is still a challenge.

Update - after his wife had their first child, Sunil's available free time shifted and he has not ran with us since then.

Kris Mooney
October 2007

Lucky Kris lives closest to Joe of anyone in the club. Has been spotted running down the street back and forth in front of Joe's house, but swears it is just a coincidental part of her normal training runs.

Kris is finally taking the plunge in 2010, signing up for her first marathon - Chicago!

Stephanie "Sleepy" Osterland

November 2007

Destined to never live down sleeping through the 2008 Brooksie Way Half Marathon. After joining the group was coaxed into running her first marathon in 2008.

Has since given up regular running and has not been back with the group since 2009.

Chris "The Professor" Herman
April 2008

While I have always played soccer, I never ran recreationally until February of 2008. After joining YPOM a couple of months later, I completed the 2008 Crim and Detroit Half Marathon. More recently, I completed the 2009 Crim, Brooksie Way Half Marathon, and the Chicago Marathon in October 2009, which was my first full marathon. I currently live in Royal Oak and enjoy running with YPOM to stay motivated!

Mike "Forrest Gump" Fitzgerald
May 2008

On my 42nd birthday, I would have never believed that I would ever be running a marathon. A few months later, I found myself recovering from emergency eye surgery to correct a condition which nearly left me blind. During this time, I developed a renewed appreciation for life, and my running career was born.

Six years later, not only have I run "a" marathon, but I have run a marathon in eighteen different states. I hope to have run a marathon in all fifty states by the end of 2016. My nineteenth state will be Minnesota (Grandma's Marathon, June 2013).

The hours and miles that I have spent with YPOM have been one of the many great blessings in my life.

Natalie Lombardo

June 2008 

Natalie found us by accident on the Paint Creek Trail. Since she was starting to train for the Free Press Marathon she asked if she could run with us.

After the marathon she stopped running with us. Ran into her a couple of times the following summer, but has since disappeared.

Mark Anthony Torres
July 2008

I met the group by accident on the Paint Creek Trail and I've been running with them ever since. This great group has helped me complete two marathons and several other races in between. My mission in life is to run a sub 4 hour marathon.

In order to juggle my family and demanding career, I like to run early in the morning. I live by the Chinese proverb “No one who can rise before dawn 360 days a year fails to make his family rich." Or in this case, fails to complete a marathon.

Neil Hayner
August 2008

Introduced to the club through Sarah Schmidt, who he used to service regularly at her old job.

Neil qualified for the Boston Marathon at the 2009 Free Press Marathon.  

John Siragusa
August 2008

The only reason he is allowed in the club is due to his marriage to Sue. Famous for his half marathon virtual training method that allowed him to complete the Martian while running approximately 5 physical miles during training. Generally has no idea what runs or races he's doing until he sees his schedule posted by others on the forum.

John ran his first marathon in October 2011 - Marine Corps in DC.

Lisa "The Shuffler" Mausolf
December 2008

Not an original member, but certainly an original - no one else can claim to be Argenta's project!

I love being a member of YPOM! Whether we are getting ready to run a 5K, or getting ready to "shuffle" down the trail, I know that there is always someone there to provide support and friendship - no runner left behind! I am looking forward to running many more miles together!

Sue Ingermann
December 2008

Sue joined us in 2008 for the New Year's Eve Resolution run, and then the Martian half marathon the following spring, but then had a string of bad luck with injuries.  Various foot problems caused by improper shoes and by busting bones while kickboxing tookher off the road.

Besides teaching karate, she also is a lifeguard at the YMCA. Sue is hoping to have more free time with less injuries and get back on the trail with us.

Jim Jones

December 2008 

I began running in early 2008 through some inspiration from a couple of friends that enjoy the sport. The running helped me turn to a healthier lifestyle and I was able to quit smoking.

I trained and ran my first marathon in Detroit just 9 months after I started running. Since then I have completed 2 full marathons and many other race distances.

I officially became a member of YPOM in late 2008 and thoroughly enjoy running and training with everyone. I am now working out of state and miss everyone, but hope that I will be able to return and rejoin the group.  

Dave "Nifer" Figurski
April 2009

I have been running steady for 20 years. Mostly for the exercise and stress relief. I recently have been running more with others to make it more fun and to give/get encouragement. This group has been great welcoming me!

(Editor's note:  Earned his nickname while running the Crim in Jen's place. Fearful of being arrested for impersonating a female runner, was only able to tape over the first 3 letters of "Jennifer" on his race bib.)

Neil Dunn
July 2009

I always had it in the back of my mind to start running consistently and even work my way up to a marathon. But I never really stuck with it.  I knew that I needed to find a good group to run/train with or I would never continue on with it.

Thankfully, I found the coolest running group there is in YPOM. Without their motivation, spirit, and that beer during the marathon, I would have never finished it. I look forward to continuing on with the group and actually running throughout the marathon without having to walk as much as I did. 

Jim Crombez
July 2009

I started running in December 2007, just two months before turning 45. I'd never run any distances in my life. I had little endurance and was not able to run a mile without stopping.

In May 2008 I finished my first race. I couldn't believe I finished much less enjoyed it so much. I was soon looking for other races to participate in and I began making new friends along the way.

The people in YPOM are very supportive, motivating, and the greatest people to celebrate with after a great race or training run. I had never thought running could have been so much fun, and it has put me in touch with some of the finest people I know.

Shaun Hegarty
July 2009

Shaun has refused to write his own profile, so here goes. Shaun joined this club in the summer of 2009, pretty much by accident. He came across our club on the Paint Creek Trail, and joined on the spot. One of the fastest runners in the club, both on the trail and in the bar.

Ravi Vangipuram

July 2009

Came across our club by accident while running on the Paint Creek Trail. Ran with us most of the summer, but then disappeared after the Freep Marathon. Finally ran with us again in July 2010, but hasn't been back since. 

KT Kim

July 2009 

Came across our club by accident while running on the Paint Creek Trail. Ran with us most of the summer, but has not been seen since the 2009 Freep Marathon.

Nora Bikos
October 2009

I used to run for leisure during weekends. I have spent the last two summers pushing a heavy stroller with my son Nathan on PCT. In Spring 2009, I decided to spend more time training for a specific goal or race, and have since completed a variety of 5 and 10K's, and my first half marathon in October 2009 (Brooksie '09).

It's not easy to find the time to get that running workout while juggling work and family, yet, many people pull this off every day. Running has been a great way to keep me active and stress free. My target is to finish my first full marathon in 2010!!

Update - Nora completed her first marathon - the difficult Flying Pig in May 2010!

Irina "tcup" Novikova
October 2009

Since joining the group in late 2009, I've completed two full marathons (Big Sur and Chicago) and a number of halves with CRIM thrown in for good measure. And contagious energy of this group had everything to do with every one of my accomplishments. Closest to my heart after family, these folks provide counsel, support, encouragement and a kick in the butt when I need one.

Incessant chase for the finish line is the biggest drug and a sweaty hug is the biggest reward, so get running!

Sarah Roberts

October 2009

I began running shortly after my son Shawn was born in April of 2006. I did my first 5K on New Year's Day in 2007 and have been going ever since. I completed my first half-marathon in Mackinac Island in October of 2008, and have since completed a variety of 5 and 10K's, two other halfs and my first full marathon in Detroit in October, 2009.

Running has been a great way to keep me grounded (no pun intended) and appreciate all that life has to offer. I look forward to many more miles with new friends!

Sarah stopped running with the group in 2010.

John Roberts

October 2009

I started running because my wife signed me up for a 5K on New Year's Day! I enjoyed it so much, I signed us up for a half-marathon. We had a nice weekend get away on top of accomplishing a big goal.

I have been running, training, and racing ever since and most recently completed the Detroit Free Press Marathon. I plan to continue adding up the miles this season to train for my next big run...whatever that may be.

John stopped running with the group in 2010.

 Deb Bennethum

October 2009

I met the group through Lisa and Jen. I have been running consistently (that is when not injured) for about 10 years. I am currently training for the Boston and Big Sur Marathons in April 2010. I hope to add some multisport events this year as well...I only swim if my life depends on it so I have some work to do! Thanks for the great runs - you guys are great.

October 2009

Does not want her name on the website for professional reasons. She is fast though!

Connor Crombez
October 2009

I began running in August of 2008, but only began running seriously to train for the middle school track season in March 2009. Now running occasionally with the group, (when I can find time between homework) I have now run multiple 5K races and am training for my first 10K.

Melissa "Mel" Bruno

November 2009 

Started running in September 2009. A guidance counselor, married with two young boys, has run her first three races, the Brooksie Way 5K, the Hidden Forest 4K, and the Big Bird 10K.

Mel stopped running with us early in 2010. 

Jason Bruno

November 2009 

Melissa's brother - participated in our first Run Rally then ran with us regularly for a short time before disappearing.

Sharon Koenig
November 2009

My motto is "Start slowly then taper off."

I ran my first marathon in 2006 to celebrate a milestone birthday. I have run several half marathons since then, and another full one in 2009. My main motivations for running are eating dessert and collecting medals.

I wish I had found YPOM sooner. It is so much more fun to train with others who share similar goals! I am looking forward to running many miles with the group in the future.

Richard Koenig
November 2009

I run so I can eat ice cream. And pizza. And anything else I want. I joined YPOM so I would feel guilty about not dragging myself out of bed Saturday morning. My body is not made for running long distances but I do it anyway. Because even if I'm the slowest person on the run, I'm faster than everyone who is home on their couch.

Anne Meirow
November 2009

Started runnning a week after my 40th birthday, after being shaken by the shoulders by Sue Siragusa, saying "You must run!!" Ran my first 5K just around a month later.

Since then, have run - a lot! Certainly not fast, but going more for fun than for speed.  Usually training for some longer distance run…have my sights set on an ultra…

Veronica "Running Freak" Voakes
November 2009

I started running in September of 2009 after losing over 100 pounds. I quickly found YPOM via Joe Terranova and Facebook and WOW! what an amazing group of runners!

I am happy to say that as of March 2012, I have run 10 marathons in 9 states. I am aggressively pursuing my goal of running a marathon in every state (along with a few other YPOM crazies!) I'm always up for a pre, during and post-race beer!

Andrea Bloomfield
November 2009

Andrea is from the Flint area and travels far to join the YPOM fun. Andrea has run the most Crim 10 mile races of anyone in the group. She has run three full marathons:  Martian 2010 (practice run),  Bay Shore 2010 and Country Music Nashville 2011.

She will drink anyone under the table and is known to get a little wild and crazy post-runs when beer in involved. Be sure to watch for her at the Crim beer tent!  You won't miss her!

Sandy Bowlby
December 2009

Sandy joined the club late in 2009 and joined us for several Stony Creek runs before developing an injury and then getting pregnant.

She has since moved to Oxford, making it more difficult to get to our runs. We are hoping she can join us again for runs in the future.

Jeff Stuart
January 2010

I started running 30 years ago in high school, with a 7-8 year break after college (got lazy....and fat!). Since picking it up again in 1996, I've run numerous 5 and 10K's and in 2009, finished my first half marathon in Detroit. My goal this year is to run the full marathon. Hopefully the long training runs this year will be much more enjoyable with YPOM (at least as enjoyable as a 20 miler can be)!

Update:  After recovering from injuries in 2010 Jeff ran his first marathon at The Qualifier in May of 2012.

Brenda Firestine
January 2010

Started running about 13 years ago and just really kept on going. I Hooked up with YPOM a few years ago and have run 3 marathons total, improving with each one. I love to run with the group. I have run numerous Half marathons and have claimed Half Fanatic status!!!

I Ran Ragnar Chicago last year and I am currently training to Run Ragnar Utah this year. LOVE THE RAGNAR RELAYS. If you ever need a Ragnar team member count me in! 12 people, 2 vans, no sleep, 30 hours is just a slice of heaven for me.

I have many half marathons in my sights but have not decided whether to do a full again or not. I am sure the YPOM influence will bite me and I will be signed up for one much sooner than later. As long as it is a spring marathon because I hate hot weather. If you're looking for a winter training partner I am your girl. YPOM Rocks!!

Jen McPherson
January 2010

I started running in 2004 when I did my first full marathon in Alaska, with Team in Training. I was 80 pounds overweight and it took everything I had to finish. But I did finish and since then I've lost 80 pounds and have been a hooked runner.

Since running with YPOM, I have turned my children on to running. They have run a few kids marathons. I guess it’s true what they say about being a role model for your children. They want to do what you do.

I am still chasing that dream of breaking my goal PR of 2:10…when I will consider another full. Thanks to YPOM - I always have someone to run with!

Mandy Hetfield
February 2010

I started running in August of 2006. I ran my first half in Vegas that December and have been addicted ever since.

I teach elementary PE and love to get my kids out and running. In 2009 I had 52 students running in one of the Detroit Turkey Trot races. Look for our group at the Mini Martian Marathon - we always represent there too!

In addition to running, I am also a Triathlon junkie. In 2009 I completed my first 1/2 Ironman in Tawas. It was great and I can't wait to do it again!

Holger "Ze" Hornisch
February 2010

My name is Holger and I have lived in MI since October 1996. I came here from Germany where I spent my first 18 years of life.

I found YPOM through Google and have been a member since February of 2010. Since then, my YPOM family has helped me to reach several goals:

- Completing numerous 'fun' 5Ks and 10Ks
- My first 10 miler (Crim)
- My first 25K run (Grand Rapids)
- Completing 2 Marathons, one of which I BQ'd

I love my running group, run happy and run safe!

Annette Wolford
February 2010

Ran regularly with us for a short time, very enthusiastic, but then disappeared without a trace.

 Korin ?

February 2010

Similar to Annette, ran regularly with us, was enthusiastic, then disappeared without a trace.

Michele Sechler
February 2010

Michele's first group run was the coldest day of the year at Stony Creek where you really have no choice but to run 6 miles. Prior to joining YPOM she would run on the treadmill.

After that first brutal day Michele became a regular on those cold morning runs and began training for her first half marathon - the Flying Pig in Cincinnati.

Joanne "Jo" Gondert
February 2010

I love to run. It is where I find joy and peace. I started running in 1995 as a newly single mom who couldn't afford a gym but I had a pair of track shoes from high school so I ran.

Thousands of miles later, with holes and duct tape on those shoes,  I bought my first pair of "real" running shoes and ran my 1st event ever, the 2006 Detroit Free Press Marathon.

In 2010, I have rediscovered my love to run, registered for the Chicago marathon, found YPOM, and am looking forward to many many miles with this great group. 

Brian Kelly
February 2010

I have always been an avid cyclist until I met my wife Kim. Although we ran shorter races over the last 15 years together, we began to look seriously at our health about 2 years ago and realized focused training was needed. We trained for a 10K and then moved up to a half marathon.

My bad knees haven't allowed me to exceed this distance but maybe some miracle surgery will get me to a full marathon in the future. Until then I enjoy doing adventure racing (canoeing, mtn biking and running) and riding one of my three bikes. I love getting out with my family and being active.

Kim Kelly
February 2010

I have been an on-again/off-again runner for 30 years. I started seriously training in 2008 when my boys were older with some short races and kept increasing my race distance. Within a year and a half, I finished my first marathon and now would like to run 2 to 3 a year to keep in shape and ready myself for an ironman triathlon in the future (very distant future).

I love running at a pace that will keep me injury free and allow me to be a runner for the rest of my life. No Boston for me!  My connection into YPOM was made thru Joe T., an old friend from way back who kept telling Brian and I how wonderful you all were. So here we are ready to run and party with y'all!

Patty Schultz

February 2010

Patty has not run with us since 2010, but is hoping to join us again soon. Her location makes it difficult to come to Rochester, but she is friends with some of the East Side members of our club.

Allison Koenigbauer

February 2010

Organizer and leader of the East Side portion of the club, which unfortunately has been disbanded for now.

Allison's location precludes her from joining our group runs, but we do see her at races from time to time and she enjoys participating in our Run Rallys.

Patrick Cusmano

February 2010
Patrick started running with us early in 2010 at Stony Creek. While running faster than most of the club at the time, Patrick still met us even though he lives on the far East Side.

Patrick ran his first marathon at Bayshore in 2010 running a stellar 3:39. He followed that up with an all afternoon/night party celebration that would put even the hardiest YPOMer to shame.

He returned to Bayshore for another run at the full in 2011, finishing with another stellar time of 3:47. At times Patrick has tried to organize group runs on the East Side, hoping it will eventually take off.

Jane Evans

February 2010

I am married with 2 children, Kendall, 9 and Colin, 7. I live in Rochester Hills. I am a Realtor for RealEstate One. I have been running for a long time but never more than 3-4 miles until I did my first half marathon in Detroit in October, 2008. I did it through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

My goal is to do a half marathon at least every 6 months so I can keep it up.

Update:  Jane has been missing since summer of 2010, but we still see her name popping up here and there.

Jeff Ropponen
March 2010

I first started running with Cross Country during High School. I did not run at all over the next 10 years, but finally returned to running in 2008 to improve my health and get back in shape. During my first year back, I lost 50 lbs., dramatically improved my health and fitness, and managed to fall in love with running and racing again.

I have run several 5 and 10k’s and have completed my first half-marathon, the Brooksie Way, in Oct. of 2009. I currently have no big races scheduled, but still plan on running several races this year and will be working towards building a strong base for a possible marathon in 2011. I joined YPOM looking for a good group of people to share some long runs with and keep me motivated.

Rob Kolks

March 2010

I started running about two months ago. I was going through a tough time in my life. I had broken up with the girl I was planning on marrying and I wasn't sure if I was happy with my career choice. I found myself doing a lot of aimless driving and thinking about my situation, then I saw someone running and thought, "I can do that". I fell in love about 10 steps into my first run.

I work as an EMT at Universal Ambulance and am taking my paramedic test in a month or so. I've already done my fire academy and plan on doing the police academy next and working as a public safety officer. I usually run by myself and am looking for a group of people to enjoy this sport with, I think I found the perfect place.

Update:  Rob has not run with us since 2010.

Bill Barsuhn
March 2010

About a year ago I started walking, but that soon got boring so I started to do some light jogging after not running for over 25 years. I was running 2 or 3 miles a couple times a week last year when a friend asked if I wanted to run for his boss in the Brooksie Way. I only had 10 days to prepare for the race but I finished the race and I am looking to significantly improve on last year's time this year.

I started running with YPOM to get motivate me to run farther and faster, it is also much more fun running with someone instead of going it alone.

Chris Brower

March 2010

I have been running on and off for years. Really started getting into seriously the last few. Just finished the Flying Pig in Cincy, my first full, and what an experience. Just started walking right today (4 days after the race) and already ready to do another. 

Found out about the group through Joe and Sue at the Y. Just started talking to them one day and away we went. Don't get to run all that often with them because I live on the other side of town but know that it is getting nice out hopefully can be a regular at the Wed/Thur night run. Look forward to meeting more members in the near future. 

Lana Rahme
March 2010

Lana kind of watched and stalked YPOM for quite a while starting late in 2009. After running into Sue and Joe at Stony she got the courage to join us. Once she showed up for one run, she was hooked!

Lana had been training for the 2010 Freep Marathon, but thinking about how far off it was she decided to sign up for Bayshore. She missed breaking 4 hours by less than 2 minutes in her first organized race of any kind since high school.

Lana recently accepted a job in Germany, so she will be away from us for a while, except for the occasional trip back home.

Cheryl Kengerski
April 2010

My first meeting with YPOM was on St. Patrick's Day at none other than Gus O'Connor's. I met Sue and some other members partying like rock stars and I was pretty much hooked right then and there. Seriously though, what an awesome group of people. I knew that I wanted to be part of the group even though I am really not a runner.

They have taken me under their wing and now I hope to be the official walker of the bunch only to run to the finish line when I see them waiting for me. Because of back issues, I really can not run that much, but I hope on my good days that I can do the walk and run thing a bit.  You never know though anything can happen!

Paul Ranke
April 2010

Rebirthed my running life in 2010 and started running with YPOM in early spring. Got sucked into running obnoxiously long distances because I am sort of crazy that way. I've now done a couple of Half Marathons, 10 mile runs,  and a bunch of 5K's this year.

Looking forward to doing more runs with the group, and doing Ultras in the future, because I enjoy torturing myself. I run to spend time with my running idol, Jo,  and for beer, mainly for beer.

Michael Walker
April 2010

I started running because I wanted to get into shape. I started in college with the help of my sister. Out of college I continued to level up in my running abilities (http://xkcd.com/189/, I'm a geek, I know) for a little while, getting really serious in 2006.

I ran my first race in 2009, with my sister (the first Annual Boston pre-Marathon 5K). Fell in love with racing after that. I have run several 5ks, 10ks, 1/2 marathons and 12 marathons to date. I ran D2A2 for the first time in 2010. The race was delayed due to a downed tree from a tornado. Good times.

Jaye Quadrozzi

May 2010

I have been distance running for a bit over ten years. I run because I can. I run because I must. I run because every time I get up, lace up my shoes and head out the door I win a small victory. Okay - and I also run so I can eat more. I found YPOM in May 2010 when I needed some like-minded runners and motivation.

Stavros McBezas
May 2010

I'm 29, married and have a wicked awesome 2 year old son.  I work in downtown Detroit at DTE Energy doing MBA-Strategy geekery. I have never have been very athletic before starting to run last year and put two 5K's under my belt over the Winter. I recently got bold and decided I am going to run a marathon. I plan to follow the Non-runner's Guide to Running a Marathon which lays out a really solid 4 month plan that has a real impressive success rate. The hard part is on my end! 

I am planning a few races over the summer, including the hilariously over-the-top Warrior Dash in Chicago. If the plan works out I will do the North Country Run up in Manistee for my first Marathon!

Update:  Stavros has been unable to join us since 2010 due to his location and schedule. May return. 

Andrew Willows
May 2010

Having run for years just to keep in shape, one night I accidentally ran into YPOM…not on the trail…but in O'Connor's! I decided to join and within one month I signed up for my first ever race, the Solstice 10-mile run in Novi, achieving a time I would have once thought unimaginable.

I became hooked and in 2010 I completed many more races including 3 half marathons. In 2011 I completed my first full, the Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City.

It has been through the support and camaraderie of YPOM that I have found the motivation and inspiration to push myself to new levels. This is a fantastic and diverse group of people with whom I have shared many enjoyable miles, celebratory beverages and have made some great friendships!

Jennifer Lynn Kryvicky

June 2010

I have been a runner for eight years and have finally realized that this has little to do with the races that I train for, this has everything to do with the person I am becoming. I joke that I do triathlons because I am crazy and run to become sane again. Each mile that I am out there swimming, biking, or running is an additional memory and experience in this journey of life.

My favorite quote has been my mantra for years now - "The run is yours. Embrace each step."

Eric Gramlich
June 2010

Started running in April 2010 after dropping about 40 lbs with a variety of lifestyle changes, increased activity and weightlifting. Soon became bored running around in little circles at the YMCA and got hooked into outdoor running. After a quick Internet search I found the YPOM site and thought it sounded fun.

Six months ago I never would have even thought of running more than 3 miles, and now I am looking at 15K, 10 mile and even half marathon races! YPOM really helped me to push myself - though mostly straight to the Pub after the trail, but hey motivation is great no matter the reason.

First race was the Oak Apple (2 mile), followed by the 10 mile Solstice only 3 weeks later. Planning on running a variety of races over the summer and I am looking to run my first half marathon late this summer or fall. Would like to try for a marathon in 2011.

Tom Cameron
June 2010

I started running @ 10 years old, after watching Marty Liquori and Jim Beatty duke it out in the mile on TV. My first race was in 1979 and I've done about 200 races, 13 marathons, and coached running for 20 years.

I'm part of Saucony's back of the pack team, Hanson's team (Keith says), and YPOM. At 62 I don't have to run fast anymore, but don't stand around at red lights or I'll pass you!

Tiffany McNally
June 2010

December 18, 2009 I decided I needed a new challenge to keep me motivated. I went out and bought new shoes the next day and printed off a 12 week beginner running program. When I started my first 1 minute run, I thought I was going to die. I kept with the program and on March 20, 2010 I ran my very first 5K ever.

I am thoroughly addicted to running, and I have run at least one race per month. I have now completed two 10Ks and am thinking of tackling a half marathon in the spring. Never in a million years did I think I could run, but I am proud of what I have accomplished and am excited about running.

Running has given me more than physical benefits, it has given me my "me" time which makes me a better wife, mom, and teacher!

Michelle "Mo" Alamo

July 2010

Shortly after joining the club Michelle was sucked into doing her first race - the Undy 5000 that same month. And in true YPOM fashion she ran it in her underwear. Well, closer to pajamas as she quickly bought a fine looking Wonder Woman outfit for the race. But she came up with an injury not even 1 mile into the race which sidelined her for a while.

Eventually she was back with a vengeance, regularly taking age group awards despite her erratic training schedule. She does not do marathons, but is into triathlons and is always up for Pub Night or general nights on the town.

Cathy Schmantowsky

July 2010

I started running in the summer of 2008, because I wanted a way to improve my fitness after losing 100 pounds. I ran my first race, a 5K, in September '08 and I was hooked. I run lots of races because it scares me into training so I don't get lazy.

The half marathon is probably my favorite distance, though I ran my first full marathon in October 2009 just to prove to myself that I could do it.

I'm looking forward to many runs with YPOM members in the future.

Adam Stewart

July 2010

I am married with 4 kids. I am running to get back into shape and general fitness. Training gives me something to shoot for so I’m focused on the Brooksie Half for 2010. Ran the Brooksie 5K last year (my first race) and was really impressed with the supportive atmosphere – not a competitive as I thought it would be.

I look forward to training with the group to help me achieve my personal goals and to be a good example for my family.

Dave Harnishfeger
July 2010

Nicole "Nicky" Thiele
July 2010

Began running in HS, was a sprinter and high jumper on track team. Suffered knee and back injuries in early 20's that sidelined me for quite some time, but decided to give it another go about 5 years ago. Have also played women's soccer for about 8+ years, but after several painfully "graceful" injuries (snapped ligaments, cracked ribs, and torn meniscus, etc.) it may be time to hang up those cleats, LOL!

I'm happy to have stumbled across this crazy group of hooligans. Have ran in countless 5K & 10K's, several Crim 10 milers, about 9 half marathons, one Milford 30K, and one full (Nike Women's Marathon in SF). Over the past year my attendance has been a bit sporadic due to health/family events, but getting things in order, soon to return. Have been pondering a sprint distance tri for several years, someday...I'll get there.

For those new to the club, I am also known as Paavo, a goofy name with a story that's not worth retelling. It's been said that Paavo Chica has become my alter-ego, and known to be the ringleader in various shenanigans. Honestly, I have no idea what they're talking about. I'm an angel.  Just ask anyone.

 John Frendo

September 2010 

John ran with us for a couple of months before disappearing.

Tom P.
September 2010 

I've been running for years and I’m still trying to get it right! That said, my greatest moments of peace have been while running. Paradoxically, my most exciting feelings of competition have been when running. It’s been a great stabilizer in my life.

I've done a bunch of marathons, both big ones like New York and Disney, as well as small ones with only a couple hundred runners. I used to run the shorter stuff only as a way to prepare for marathons, but over the last few years I've learned to enjoy the more immediate gratification (and even the pain) that a full-effort 10k or 5k can provide.

Nevertheless, I’m a long-distance runner at heart and don’t think I've yet hit on my best marathon, so I’m hoping to get off the dime and get focused enough to take another shot at a marathon PR before Father Time takes too much more out of me. 

Stephanie Bono
September 2010 

I have always run - but never with any specific goals or running friends, kind of a "RUN FORREST RUN!" plan. I ran the Detroit Marathon in 2009 and crossed it off my Bucket List with no intention to ever do another full.

This year, I joined the Brooksie Way Training Group to meet other runners and meet a specific time goal for the Brooksie Way Half. I've enjoyed that so much, I jumped at the chance to start running with YPOM when Argenta told me about it.

And after only a few weeks of hearing everyone's enthusiasm and stories about their full marathon plans, I am getting the bug to do another full in 2011. And truthfully, I love all the cute running skirts - that pushed me over the edge!

Heidi Bliss

September 2010

I was a treadmill junkie until earlier this year when I finally discovered the great outdoors. I started looking for a group to run with this Winter and the guy at Hanson's recommended YPOM. I must admit that the biggest selling feature was that he told me the group frequently drinks Margaritas!

The 2010 Brooksie will be my first half. I've already got my eyes on a full for next year.

Tom Kollar

September 2010

Tom joined us during the great Tom recruiting drive in the summer of 2010. His appearances are sparse but always welcome.

Now if I could just get him to write his bio and send me a picture...

Cathy Ivan

October 2010

I started walking about 4 years ago to lose weight and prevent diabetes. In 2009, I joined the Brooksie Way Training Program to walk faster for the 2nd Brooksie Way ½ Marathon, only the walking group in the Training Program would be walking 4 minutes slower per mile than I currently was. My only option, I was told, was to do the running program. “I am not a runner” I said over and over. That was 4 10K’s, 3 10 mile races, 1 20K, 2 25K’s,  6 ½ marathons, 2 full marathons ago.

I have met some truly amazing and inspirational people along the way, but what makes the YPOM group so special is they are your friends too.

Kara Coraci

October 2010

I have always been envious of people who started running well after high school, for "the love of the game." I started running in middle school, jogging and talking around the track (doing more talking then jogging).

When I hit high school I became completely obsessed with the sport and then went onto competing at the collegiate level for a full four years at Oakland University. I never ran any groundbreaking times but I've always been quite passionate about running. I can’t imagine who I’d be without it, it’s a community and culture I am very proud to be a part of.

I am running my 7th marathon this April, The Boston Marathon, and have VOWED I will quit running after I complete it. Then again, this is an addiction I've yet to shake.

(Update:  Kara has moved to Chicago)

Matt Shipes

October 2010

I am not a runner. I am not built like a runner and I do not have the mindset of a runner. I tried running back in college and enjoyed it until an injury sidelined me for a while.

8 years later this is slowly changing since I started again in 2009. At the urging of my roommate Kara, I entered my first 5K with simply the goal of finishing. After running that race I have ran a couple more and then set the goal of increasing my mileage with the eventual goal of a half marathon.

Since my first run with the group the encouragement has been fantastic and it helps keep me motivated.

Update - Reached my half marathon goal and completed my first full marathon in the fall of 2011.

Dave Hanley

November 2010

I am a hockey player, but I'm running today...

Got into running as a distraction, and now I'm hooked. YPOM has successfully coerced me into half marathons (about a half dozen scheduled in 2011), and is working very hard to get me into marathons. I guess the peer pressure goes both ways, though, as I have brought several YPOMers into triathalons as well (a half dozen of those scheduled for 2011).

Unofficial YPOM social chair with Michelle Alamo and Jeff Ropponen and general rabble rouser.

Corinna Melcher

November 2010 

It is no secret where I am from, look at my pic. I have always enjoyed running with people and I need some motivation, so it took only 24 hours after moving to Michigan, that I Googled a running club in Rochester. I needed to meet people, stay active and be a bit competitive…Your Pace or Mine sounded perfect for me. Finding YPOM was one of the best things happening to me at the end of 2010!

Being shy and thinking, “What if they are serial killers and what if they leave me behind?” the ice was broken very fast. After one run with the YPOM group, I registered for the Turkey Trot. 

I have been enjoyed the company of a great group with wonderful team spirit of different ages and personalities. Running, pubbing, go-carting, the local nightlife, a wonderful Christmas party and of course taking jumping pictures have been making my stay in Michigan far away from home fantastic.

YPOM you are great!!

Dave Gruber

November 2010

I did my first 5k in 2004, and was introduced to the club by Deb B.in 2010. I'm more of a multisport guy than a pure runner (jack of all trades, master of none). I've done the Brooksie a couple of times, a few adventure races, an Xterra, as well as a number of sprint and Olympic distance triathlons.

For 2011 I am registered for the Brooksie 1/2, the Stony Creek X-Tri, the Warrior Dash, and the Peak2Peak Mountain Bike race.

My wife and I had a blast at the Run For The Beads!

Joe Burns

November 2010

Kelley Kuhn

January 2011 

Hi, I’m Kelley! I am a current student at Oakland University and have recently changed my major to Health Sciences with a minor in Exercise Science. I have always loved the idea of nutrition and physical fitness but have never really been a long distance runner if runner at all.

One day I woke up and said “What am I waiting for??” lol. So I decided to sign up for the Traverse City Bayshore half-marathon. I joined this group in January to help me get prepared for the race and have loved it since then! Everyone is super supportive and I hope I can be that for someone else!

Lauryn Roycraft

February 2011

I started running for fitness in college and quickly became addicted. In 2010 I decided it was time for a new challenge and I completed my first half marathon, the Brooksie Way, and became a Certified Personal Trainer. I joined YPOM in 2011 and naturally committed to running my first marathon fall of that year (Grand Rapids Marathon). I couldn't have done it without the support and encouragement of all of the members of YPOM.

Since then I've run the Chicago Marathon and plenty of half marathons and other races. I'm glad to have found such a supportive and fun group of people to keep me company and to motivate me, especially during the long runs! I'm looking forward to many more training runs and races with YPOM.

Liz Ferry

February 2011

I am new to Michigan, moving from Pittsburgh several months ago. I have been running as long as I can remember. Recently, upping my mileage since joining YPOM. Three weeks after joining the group, I found myself signing up to run my first marathon, the Marine Corps! I still do not know how that happened!! I am excited to reach that milestone!!

Feel very lucky to have found such a wonderful group of people who enjoy running and support each other so much! Most importantly, know how to have fun! 

Caroline Lang

February 2011

I started running in 2008 when a friend suggested we join Gilda’s Runners and run the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon. Running for Gilda’s Club (a free cancer support community) jump started my addiction to running. I love it!

I have ran 4 half marathons and plan to run many more. I also love to run in the CHOK, Crim, Brooksie Way and several others. I am very happy to have found YPOM. I was searching for a club to run with in my area and could not have found a more welcoming, friendly group!

MaryBeth Garcia

February 2011

Ran with us in the cold weather, then disappeared.  Did run into her after the Free Press Half Marathon, she said she plans to start running with us again.

Won her age group at the 2011 Bill Roney 5K.

Kaitlin Edgerton

February 2011

I am not naturally good at running... In fact, back in Elementary school when we had to run a mile for the fitness test, I stopped and picked dandelions for my teacher.

I started seriously running (well not really seriously) back in 2009. I started with one foot in front of the other, training for a triathlon. My reason, to stay in shape and to be able to drink as much beer as my heart desires. I have dabbled in triathlons and running events starting at a 5k and going up to the big one... the 26.2! I did not finish my first marathon; actually I crashed and burned, messing up my knee. My goals for the next year or so... to finish grad school, complete a marathon, and ride my road bike a hundred miles.

Danielle White

February 2011

I have been a member of YPOM for 1 year and still appreciate every aspect of the group, i.e. the people, encouragement, friendliness, etc.   I have recently started the Nursing Program at Oakland University, so some may not recognize me still as I am busy as we all are. Running helps keep me focused and is cheap therapy.

I finished and celebrated my first marathon with members of the group and wouldn't do it any differently! I already have my goals for 2012 and my second marathon registered for is Chicago 2012. I hope to get out with you all this summer while training and look forward to another great year.

Tim Gregorio

February 2011

I started distance running in 2010 when a coworker finally harassed me enough to sign up for my first ½ marathon 4 weeks before the race. After that turned out so badly I just had to do it again. I finished two more ½ marathons and the Crim that year and added a marathon to the list of goals for 2011. Since 1 marathon wasn't enough, I ran 4 of them in 8 months to get my fill.

I started running with YPOM in January 2011 for motivation over the winter and it turned out to be the best running decision I’ve made.  The combination of friendship and motivation has made running more fun than I would have believed, and the races run with a group of friends and supporters are the best.

Cleo Pawlyn

March 2011

Cleo ran her first marathon in Detroit in the 1980s. Not really knowing how far that meant, and never having kept track of how far she ran, it was more of a social event as she stopped to talk to friends multiple times during the race, even just seconds from the finish line. And yet she still came in under 4 hours.

She has continued to run over the years and regularly wins her age group. More recently with her son Tom pacing her at the 2010 Grand Rapids Marathon she qualified for Boston. Despite recovering from the flu, she completed the Boston Marathon in 2011. She regularly runs with a small group of friends in the Warren area, and frequently runs with Diane and others from YPOM.

Diane LaLonde

March 2011 

It all started with the bling. One bling in particular… Donald. In 2005 I lined up for my 1st ever event & got swept for the 1st time ever LOL. Still a good experience as I sat there watching  the Marathoners turn onto Bear Rd (Disney).  I thought to myself, “I want to be there next time”.

Well at the time I thought it was the Half Marathon finish area. I never planned on doing a Full.  2006 I completed my 1st half, 2008 my 1st Full, 2010 my 1st Goofy. All walking. These days I am trying to run more.

One important thing I've learned.  Never say never. Saying never landed me with Mickey and Goofy. The photo was taken just before the Goofy, outside our room it sat taunting me. I was all, "Oh come on!"

Rochelle North

March 2011

I joined YPOM early in 2011 because I wanted company as I trained for a 5K. Well, the 5K quickly turned into two Half Marathons, The CRIM and several 10k's!

Due to some injuries I have had some setbacks this year, but I am on the mend and looking forward to running my first marathon in Grand Rapids in the fall!

Kathleen Dobrovic

March 2011

2011:  Had a baby, joined YPOM, ran my first half (Brooksie Way) with the awesome support from the group.

2012:  Expecting twins - on hiatus from running, hope to return and train for my first marathon!

Frank P.

March 2011

At the end of 2010, I decided that ~40 years of no exercise was probably long enough. I started dieting, and started running by doing the "Couch-to-5K" plan. I went from doing my first 5K in Nov 2010, to doing 10Ks, the CRIM, and finally the Capital City Half Marathon in September 2011. During that training, I started running with the club members on weekends, which really added to the fun of running.

Unfortunately I stopped running shortly after that for no good reason, and am have restarted from scratch in June. My goal for this year is to start running with the club again and doing races in August 2012.

Molly Perry

March 2011

Came in the same time as the other March newbies - Rochelle, Katleen, Frank. Moved further west and has trouble trying to make the drive to run with us. Also became pregnant, so we'll see if she returns in 2012.

Darrell Anhel

March 2011

My running career started when Matt Shipes conned me into signing up for Warrior Dash with no prior running experience. A few months later I decided I should probably start running so I don't make a fool out of myself at Warrior. After my first run ever of 2.2 miles, Matt again convinced me to sign up for my first 5K (Bill Roney Memorial) the following weekend.

After a couple runs under my belt I ventured out for my first run with YPOM on a Thursday evening run. The group welcomed and encouraged me the entire time, which was great as I was a little hesitant running with all these 'pros'. Needless to say, after my first run with the club I was hooked.

Though I'm still completely new to running in general, I have already felt that this group will be something that sticks with me for a while.

Jim Micklas

April 2011

I like running. I like beer. I like everyone I've met in the club. The Thursday run/bar evening is pure genius!

Ben Offer

April 2011

I’ve kind-of been a runner since 2004 when I did my first 5K, but it wasn't until training for my 1st 1/2 marathon in 2009 that running was actually fun! Now I’m hooked, except in the winter months, and fixing that is one of the main reasons I decided to get involved with YPOM this spring (other than pub runs).

I’m training for a few “firsts” this year (Sprint-Tri, Century Ride, and Marathon) and know that I’ll complete them all with the help of the club. If you’re on the fence about joining the club, don’t be, just do it! Everyone is a runner. Everyone is a nerd (sorry everyone, but come on, you know it’s true). The group is awesome, supportive, and loves beer, what more could you possibly ask for? Actually, I still haven’t found a member to make me an ID that says I’m 80 years old, can you be that person and help me qualify for Boston next year?

Matt Kiracofe

April 2011

In the short time that I have been running I have come to the conclusion that if running was a drug, you can call me stone cold addicted. I can't seem to get enough of it. Recently I decided to take the plunge and register for my first marathon, The Marine Corp, before even completing my first half (Let's Move).

Since joining YPOM I have been blown away by everyone in the group. The advice, tips, and encouragement has been unbelievable. I look forward to many more runs in the future.

Leah Pelfrey

April 2011 

I have been running since 2004. I run because it is harder to bully my husband from the couch! My goal is to run a marathon in 50 states and I think I have found some crazy kindred spirits in YPOM.

I enjoy running road and trail. My longest distance to date has been two 50k trail races. I have also done 8 marathons and am really working to add to that number this year.

I credit YPOM with my first stress fracture last summer!! I am recovered and just plod along out of stubbornness.

Tony Davenport

May 2011

I run to drink and I drink to run!

Tony from Northern Ireland started running 4 years ago. He has completed 3 marathons, including 2 Dublins, in sub 4 hours. His picture is from his first race, The Mourneway 1/2 marathon - running from 1,700 feet down to sea level, through the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland.

He heard about the club in O'Connor's Public House and this time he claims that he was stalked.
Emily "Em" Nightingale

May 2011 

Ever since I could remember I've always wanted to run, but always just assumed that "running just wasn't for me." In January 2011 I decided to give it a try, and am now hopelessly hooked.

I just completed my first half marathon at the Back to the Beach this past weekend. Just a few months ago I could have never imagined myself running a 5K, let alone a half! Now I can't wait to run another.

I'm so glad I somehow stumbled on the Your Pace or Mine website. Meeting people from this group has been wonderful - everyone is so friendly and happy to share advice with a newbie like me.

Ken Harrington

May 2011


Dave "Old Dave" Pelfrey

May 2011

I run because my wife Leah, bullies me if I don't run! I have been running since high school, but I have never been a consistent runner, only running for a few miles sporadically.

I generally like running trails, and the only marathon that I have ran was a trail marathon in North Carolina.  It has been a terrific motivation running with YPOM, however, and I hope to do a few trail half marathons this year. Maybe even eventually work back up to another marathon.

Sally Siragusa

June 2011

Sally, daughter of John and Sue, is a novice runner that usually tags along for the free meals and to hear embarrassing stories about her parents.

She has completed an unknown (but small) number of 5Ks, the last one being the Bastille Day run where she ran for the bread at the end (typical). She attends Western Michigan University and hopes to run the Kalamazoo Marathon with a group of her sorority sisters.

Kirt Stalker

June 2011

I ran 35 races in 2010:  one ultra, three full marathons and 10 halves. Most of them are posted on Athlinks. I have been a Brooksie Way trainer for 4 years. Recently married fellow member Cathy Ivan.

 Michelle Romano

June 2011

I started running in 2009 after my son was born as a way to lose weight and get me out of the house by myself for 30 minutes. I started by using the couch to 5K program and quickly became addicted to running!

Since then I've ran a few 5Ks, 10Ks and the Brooksie Way Half in 2010. Thanks to my husband I’m also addicted to triathlons and have done 5 of those. This year my challenge is training for my first full marathon which will be Grand Rapids, with a few triathlons sprinkled in of course.

I joined the club to meet some running partners to help keep me motivated and to share training tips and advice. It seems like a great group of people with a wide variety of experience and people that just like to run. Plus who doesn't like a running group that meets up for a run then goes to the bar?!? I love it and hope I can actually join you for a pub run soon.

Paul Barr

June 2011

I am a Certified Personal Trainer and avid runner. My short term goal is to qualify for the 2013 Boston Marathon. My long term goal is to run in the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials.

 Amanda Andrews

June 2011

Three years (and 100 pounds) ago, my running journey began when I started working with a personal trainer who also happened to be a running coach and from day one she encouraged me to become a runner. About a year later, she finally convinced me to sign up for a 2 mile race. I was positive that she was crazy and I told her that there was no way I'd ever really be a runner.

Well, as I crossed the finish line, my life changed forever...I realized that I wasn't that chubby girl anymore. I was a runner, an athlete, and it felt amazing! I started doing more races until I finally had the guts to run my first Marathon, the Flying Pig in Cincinnati (fitting, I think) and I haven't looked back...

My running motto is:  I may not pass you but, I'll outlast you. 

Cary Aurand

June 2011

YPOM - Hawaii Chapter!

 Brian Pruitt

June 2011

YPOM - Hawaii Chapter!

Karen Malsbury

June 2011

I did it! I ran my first marathon in 4 hours and 42 minutes. Couldn't have done it without YPOM and a few key runners. Thank you Sandy Stiner, Rochelle North and Cary Elizabeth for your love and support.

My running journey still continues and now I am looking forward to some more comfortable halfs and supporting Rochelle in her first Marathon quest in Grand Rapids, October 2012.

Spring is here and summer is on its way. Looking forward to seeing many old friends and some new ones on the trails and roads.

Annie Driscoll

June 2011

I was a swimmer for all my life and turned runner just in the past two years. I started running right before my wedding in 2009 to shed some weight but fell in love with it. I have completed three 5K's and will be participating in a 10K and Half Marathon before the year is out! My goal is to run a Marathon before age 30 and to continue running long after.

My main focus in running is to stay healthy and make my body the best it can be!  Meeting people and having fun thankfully comes with it! And beer! Can't forget that!

I'm a barista, my husband and I love cars and motorcycles (Triumphs mostly), I eat pasta and I'm a big Vampire/Werewolf fan!

Tom Ferry

June 2011


Saundra "Sandy" Stiner

June 2011

I'm the group's crazy ultra runner. I've done 38 marathons and 17 ultras, including two 100 miler races. My craziest streak was 5 marathons in 5 states in 5 days.

My goals are to one day finish a 150 and 200 mile races as well as to qualify for Boston. I'm also working at running a marathon or ultra in every state. I've currently finished 32 states.

Stella Martin

June 2011


Dave Lambert

July 2011

While I enjoy watching sports, I've never really been an athlete. When I turned 55, a couple of co-workers encouraged me to train for a 5K. My first 5K was the Red October Run in 2009. After that, I was hooked on running. I've completed a few 5Ks and one 10K. My goal is to complete a half marathon before I get to be too old.

Fortunately my son Alex likes to run. When he's not training for the Troy Athens Cross-Country team he may be joining me at future running events.

Jeff Dunn

July 2011 

I have never been a natural runner. I started January 1, 2009 as a resolution to lose weight. I chose running because I was told that it was the best way to get into shape, and it was cheap. Well, mostly because it was cheap. After a couple of months on the treadmill, I decided to enter my first race, the Bill Roney 5K. At the end of the race, my legs hurt so bad I could hardly walk. When I bent over to get the timing chip out of my laces, I puked on my shoes. It was awesome. I couldn't wait to race again.

I kept entering longer races, but never really had a plan. As a result, most were slow, painful affairs. Along the way I picked up a training partner, Manny, but since he is younger and a LOT faster than I am, I couldn't keep up. I found YPOM in the hopes we could each find someone our own paces to run with. It was the best move I ever made. I don't know if I will ever become a fast runner, but I am having a blast running with the club. The Thursday night pub runs are a brilliant idea. The guys are great to run with and all of the girls are cute. What more could you ask for?

Manuel Vallejo III

July 2011


Armandina "Mandy" Ramirez-Cantin

July 2011 


Mike Stolnicki

August 2011 

I never ran in my life, I was a couch potato. In the spring of 2010, I decided to get outside and do some activity regularly, so I started walking daily. A few weeks later I added a little bit of jogging to my walks.  I got up to 2 miles after a couple of months, so I signed up for a 5K.  I ran that 5K without walking and it is still my most satisfying race.

I was hooked! I found YPOM the next year while getting ready for my second half marathon. I had never run with anyone before and I was nervous about speed and distance. My fears were quickly quashed.  Everyone is so friendly and encouraging. I even started looking forward to waking up at 5:30 on the weekends to meet them for the long runs.

I signed up for the Detroit marathon after a conversation with Joe (and a few beers) at my first “Pub Run” with the group. I survived Detroit, barely. 2012 brought the Chicago Marathon and many more happy miles spent with my YPOM training partners. 2014 – Boston?

Heidi Scherzer

August 2011 

I never really considered myself a runner. I knew people that ran and I always was a bit envious of them because running seemed so easy to them. I used to say - I wish I could run.

In the spring of 2010, a friend asked me to be her running buddy and I said I'd try. I came over to her house a couple days a week after work and we started running, or I should say she started running and I could barely get a quarter of mile before my lungs were burning and I was walking. My friend would just circle back around and "pick me up" and I would run with her.

It was only about a month later that I ran my first 3 miles without stopping and I felt like I was really a runner!

Jennifer Carabio

August 2011 

I had the pleasure of literally "running into" Sue and Mike and some of the gang on the Paint Creek Trail this summer and after chatting they invited me to breakfast, right then and there I knew I met the running friends I always dreamed of having!

I started running in high school and have loved it ever since. But it wasn't until my 30's that I started running longer distances and setting personal goals. I found running to be therapeutic and "needing" to run to feel right with the world! What a difference it makes. I cannot imagine ever losing my passion for running and am so thrilled to be a part of the club, what a great group of people I have met thus far!

Karen Liddle

September 2011 

I joined YPOM last summer to train with a group for my 1st marathon (Detroit Free Press). How lucky I was to find this group.  I met new friends, learned some training tips and just had fun running on the trails with them.

I'm always inspired by reading all of the posts, including all of the great race reports too. The enthusiasm is contagious and I'm now signed up to run my 2nd marathon this fall in Chicago. Can't wait to get back to the trails!

Paula McClellan

October 2011

My running career started with the Brooksie Way Half Marathon training program in 2010. Suffering from asthma and never having run before, it was quite a challenge to learn to breath and run at the same time. With the help of Sarah Pete, and my husband Kevin, I was able to cross the finish line and relish the accomplishment of my first half marathon.

In 2011 a group of friends decided we would attempt to train for our first marathon together. 10/9/11 was one of the most wonderful days of my life when I completed The Chicago Marathon. The day was filled with such great emotion! My great friend and mentor, Sue Siragusa, was instrumental in helping me train and prepare for the marathon. My marathon experience would have been so completely different without her constant support and encouragement!

I have met so many wonderful people while training for and running races, including so many great Your Pace or Mine members. I look forward to running with YPOM and seeing everyone on the trails for many years to come! 

Roxanne Ropponen

October 2011 

I’m a nursing student, so, I have no life. I run, I study, I drink beer…often all at the same time. Sometimes, if I’m really lucky, I might sleep a little. I started running so that I would have something to do with my dad other than drinking beer.

That's my dad in the picture after one of our Saturday morning pub runs. Yes, Saturday morning, run 3 miles in downtown Traverse City ending at Right Brain Brewery right as they open the doors. Brilliant, really. My dad has always run and I figured I better be able to keep up with the old guy. Then I realized that it’s fun!

Running is the hardest thing I have ever done, harder than climbing 14,000 foot mountains, harder than sport climbing, harder than nursing scho… wait, no, not harder than that. As long as I survive, you’ll find me running my first marathon this spring: The Bayshore in Traverse City. My second will be in October: The Chicago Marathon. There might be a few in between, otherwise, I’ll be drinking beer and studying…

 Paul Sterk

October 2011

Dwayne Firestine

November 2011

Well Dwayne claims to "HATE running" but he wanted to hang with the really cool kids at YPOM so has taken it up reluctantly. After many months of running on and off and claiming that he hated it he was thrown into the Ragnar Chicago Relay June 2011 due to a last minute drop and forced to run. Apparently 3 legs over 30 hours and riding around in a stinky van with no sleep and survivng on Chex Mix was the stuff of his dreams. He was hooked after that.

He is signed up to do the Utah Ragnar and has been training hard. He just completed the Rock CF half marathon with a PR and he has the bug now. He is registered for the Detroit Half marathon in the fall 2012 and hoping to just keep PR'ing. He says he will never do a marathon but who knows. You cannot really believe what he says, remember he hates running.

Erin Schmidt

November 2011 

Mythili Srinivasan

November 2011 

I've lived in Rochester for nearly 25 years and work as a Computer Architect for HP, in Pontiac. Married and have two grown daughters. I have always been very athletic and a health freak. I have been walking along the PCT for more than decade.

Beginning last year, my daughter created a running schedule and asked me to participate in a Marathon. Decided to run the Brooksie Way half marathon and completed successfully, without any injury. During Brooksie Way I came to know that many participants train themselves in groups. Hence I searched for running groups in Rochester and found this wonderful YPOM group.

I truly think I found a good place to get trained for a marathon. I plan to participate in the 2012 Detroit Free Press Marathon.

Mark Gleason

November 2011

Despite the fact that he looks 45, Mark is in fact younger than that. Yes, really! 

Mary Gleason

November 2011

No, she is not Mark's daughter, but in fact his wife. Glad to be part of YPOM.

Alex Debusschere

November 2011


Andrew "Bloody Andy" Doral

November 2012

I started running with YPOM members in fall 2011 but have ran off and on since 1999. I have lived in Auburn Hills / Rochester Hills area my whole life. I enjoy running, Telemark skiing, hunting, fishing and good company. The YPOM group is tons o fun!!

Andy was given his nickname by a fellow runner due to his constant bloody nose.

Jan Schroeder

January 2012

I have always been an outdoors person, and have enjoyed biking and rollerblading. In 2008, at the behest of one of my friends, and with almost no running experience, I hesitantly signed up for Brooksie Way Half Marathon training and completed my first half. I had so much fun, and met so many great people, that I returned the next year as a training group leader.

I've been doing that each year since, and hope to continue for many years to come. The power of the group is an amazing thing, and helping others achieve a goal such as a half marathon is awesome!

Through running, I'll continue to improve my fitness level and maintain my health…after all, the greatest wealth is health! And who knows, maybe there will be a marathon in my future! Thanks, YPOM, for being so fun and welcoming—see you on the trails!

Jen Jones

January 2012


Andrew Madak

January 2012


Tracy Cahill Handler

January 2012

I have been around runners my whole life. I even somehow convinced my husband that I was a runner by going running on one of our first dates. I still live with a family of runners, but somehow, I took 20 years off.

When my daughter Brook, was running high school cross country and she went under 18 minutes for her 5Ks, I struggled to get around the 5K courses. I knew it was time to get back into shape. I started training with the Brooksie Way half marathon in 2010 and have not looked back.

In 2012, I am to be a group leader at the remote location at Catalpa Oaks. This year our entire group of friends signed up for the Bayshore Half Marathon which kept me running for the whole winter. What does the future hold, maybe a marathon, possibly another triathlon, but always laughter during the run and a good meal or drink after a hard workout!

Douglas "Doug" Handler

January 2012

Now that I am entering my fifth 5th decade of running, my goals and objectives have changed with the passage of time. Having run in six countries (USA, Mexico, Canada, France, Germany, & Spain), I find that I want to combine travel with running more. Brook and I ran with a running store club in Barcelona last summer, and it was very cool to see that runners are basically the same everywhere.

Running is deeply personal, but under the right circumstances, it can be highly social and entertaining. Group running can be a huge benefit, but it can also be very confining if it becomes too structured or competitive.

I love the enthusiasm that new runners bring to the sport. I spent some time with 2 groups of runners last year, training for their first half marathon, and first marathon. I have also been privileged to accompany two runners on their first marathon journey, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

It has been my observation that YPOM has done an excellent job of balancing all of the more joyous aspects of the sport.  I salute YPOM founders and members.

Yvonne Young-Capece

January 2012


James "Jim" Liegghio

March 2012

I guess I'm one of those "on again, off again" runners, but I have been running regularly now for several years. It's one of the only sports that I truly ENJOY! While I love getting out there in all types of weather (most people think I am insane), I cannot seem to break my 6 mile slump. I'm hoping YPOM can help me change that, and maybe even gear up for my dream of running a half marathon at some point.

My favorite places to run are Stony Creek, anywhere up north, or along beautiful Lake Michigan - at any point. My favorite running buddy George the Wonder Dog is almost 9 now, so he is slowing down, but I'm hoping YPOM can help me keep up or even increase the length and pace of my runs.

BTW my favorite shoes are Brooks Ghosts, my favorite race is the 10k, and my favorite reward after a run is a big egg & pancake breakfast with a hot cup of Starbucks, or of course an ice cold beer (or three) after the evening runs.

Rick Thomas

March 2012

That I became a runner is by far the most bizarre thing that has ever happened in my life. I have been into health and fitness since 1999 but have only been running since May 2011 when out of the blue, I decided to run a 5K.

Initially unable to fathom running farther than three miles, it wasn't until I started viewing running in time rather than distance that I was able to overcome that mental hurdle. For example, running for an hour was an easier concept for my mind to grasp than visualizing running from Hall Road to 12 Mile, which ironically takes me about an hour. Once I figured that out, I went for a long run one day and never looked back. No seriously, I am now 962 miles from home!

For me, running is physically challenging yet mentally therapeutic. I find it equally rewarding to my mind body and soul.

Jenkins Ebiware, Jr.

April 2012

I've always been an athlete. From football to track and everything in between. After meeting the group at a Karaoke event and then being invited for a Thursday evening run, I was hooked.

I run casually and still exercise as much as I used to, but running with the group, talking about 5K's, half, full marathons and training for them brings a level of excitement not felt in quite sometime. Running my first official 5K race in a few days and training for longer distances.

Jannice Chao

April 2012

Lauren Wummel

April 2012

I am a newbie to the running world.  Before I began running I used to think the only purpose for moving my legs this quickly was to escape bear attacks and chase down the ice cream truck, but the running bug bit me in the fall of 2011. My first race was the Detroit Turkey Trot 10K. The above picture proves how happy I was to finish the race!

Since then I've run a 5K and a half marathon. I'm training for my first full marathon (Chicago here I come!!!), and I've joined YPOM for friends and support through this journey and hopefully more to come.

Lauren Carley

April 2012

Joined us at the start of the Pint Team 2012 promotion but halfway through the summer was unable to make it/stopped showing up. Awaiting her return some day.

Kat Wargo

April 2012

I hate running! For real. Until I'm done! Then I love it! I've never been a runner. Running is the only thing I have found that is a true challenge for me, that's why I do it.

I started running in mid May, 2012, got injured the first week of July, and have recently expanded my horizons to the 10k. Sue made me sign up for a half marathon in Pittsburgh in May, so, I begin training for that in Feb! I NEVER thought I'd run a 5k, let alone a 10k, let alone a half marathon.

YPOM is a bad influence on me! They make me run a lot, AND drink a lot, but, I love them!

Kimberly Popiolek

April 2012

I started running in high school as part of the track and cross country teams and continued with cross country in college. After college, I became an “on-again, off-again” runner and stopped running in organized races. I then saw all the fun I was missing and decided to register for the 2011 Run Thru Hell 10 mile and followed that up with the Chicago Hot Chocolate 15K. It wasn't until I started registering for races that I began running more consistently. I then got really brave and registered for my first marathon – the 2012 Bayshore.

Toward the end of my Bayshore training, I joined YPOM. After doing most of my training solo, it was so nice to finally run with others, and I couldn't ask for a better group of people. I now am running races that I have always wanted to do, including the Crim 10 mile and Brooksie Way Half Marathon, and I just completed my second marathon – the 2012 Detroit Marathon. I set a goal to run a race in every state. It doesn't matter if it’s a mile fun run, a marathon or anything in between as long as my feet are moving. And, I look forward to continuing to run with YPOM!

Richard Bond

May 2012


Leslie Cieplechowicz

May 2012


Ingrid Cieplechowicz

May 2012

Martha Cole Childs

May 2012


Dianne Cameron

May 2012

I ran my first 5K on 9-21-2014 on Belle Isle at Women Run the D. I took second in my age group. I've walked 5Ks and racewalked 5Ks, and this was my first running race.

Rachelle Ranzinger

June 2012

My desire for better health and stress relief, led me to join a gym in 2011. As I worked my way through different machines, I found running to be the most challenging (a cyclist in my younger days - thought runners were crazy). So I made a goal to run a 5K this spring, easy for many of you but at that time I could barely do a mile without feeling my lungs would burst.

I reached my goal in May and completed several other races finding this group along the way. I can’t make the weekly pint runs but YPOM helps me stay motivated with updates on race events and funny marathon stories. Hope to do a 10K this fall and set a new goal for half marathon next year.

Thanks to all of you for the inspiration. Looking forward to future events with this fun group.

Divesh "D-Rock" Mittal

July 2012

If I have to start too dramatic, I would say “Never in my wildest dreams I would have thought that I could run. A year ago when I decided for nth time that I would start my weight loss routine, I gave up running in less than 2 weeks and shifted to elliptical machine. A couple of office colleagues  who are avid runners would talk a lot about running. I was inspired and the rest as they say is history.

I joined the group because I wasn't able to run more than 6 miles by myself. My first group run with YPOM, I did 8, second time did 12. And then I signed up for my first half marathon (Brooksie). I can't even imagine I would finish a half and now I am crazy enough already to be thinking of a full marathon.

Even though I don’t sign up for many races I love running. YPOM family gave me a new meaning of running and running groups. Running and fellow runners taught me lot of good things in life.

Laura Lubahn

July 2012

I started running in high school in order to get myself and the family dog in shape. I remember being so embarrassed to be seen that I would hide behind bushes if a car or fellow runner went by (not easy to do with a 100-pound Labrador).

I became more serious about running in 2011 and have since completed one full marathon and countless half marathons, 10ks and 5ks. Trail races are my favorite.

I love running not just for the physical and mental benefits, but also for the awesome people I've met along the way, especially YPOM. Outside of running I am known for being a huge animal lover and for having an outstanding ability to make rum disappear.

Jennifer Bruns

July 2012

I started running with the group in July 2012. Love the camaraderie on the Thursday night runs. Nice to find a group of runners who are absolutely fearless and never shrink from a challenge!

Kheng Be

July 2012


Rochelle Schmitigal

August 2012


Nina Simpson-Jones

August 2012

I started running about 10 years ago as a way to stay in shape, keep my head on straight and manage the stress of co-owning a fine dining restaurant. After running the beautiful trails of Up North Michigan, I was pleasantly surprised to find such a beautiful venue to run with here in Rochester Hills (and such a nice running club!)

My favorite race is the Half Marathon, but I will run any race that I think is interesting. I trained for the Chicago Marathon three times (over trained the first two and found myself tangled in a bicycle accident for the third). Now I am seriously considering training for the Detroit Free Press Marathon October 2013. Favorite Running Mantra: “Turkey on Whole Wheat”.

Holly Krstich

August 2012


Ann Schreier

September 2012

I've been running by myself for many years, but I've never actually run a race longer than a 5K.  I ran into YPOM on Paint Creek Trail in September, and it seemed like fate to further improve my running, set new goals, and make friends who share my love. I especially enjoy beer and burgers at O'Connors, and having people attempt to motivate me to want to do a marathon someday. :)

I'm so inspired by everyone I meet and what they've accomplished. I also bike in the summer and do spinning classes in the winter. I practice yoga and I'm trying to do more strength training this year as well. I have two cats, Luca and Mischa.

This quote by Julie Isphording best describes my running philosophy: "Run often and run long, but never outrun your joy of running." Running for me has always been a therapeutic, almost-spiritual experience, and I never want to push myself so hard or become so focused on achieving goals that I lose touch with that.

Bruce Matthews

November 2012

I've been running casually on and off most of my life. When I turned 40 I ran my first marathon in Detroit, I was bored with work and needed a challenge. Ran it again when I turned 50 in 2012 because I made a promise to myself 10 years earlier. My time at 50 was 16 minutes faster!

Started running with YPOM over the 2012-13 winter and have enjoyed the social side of running ever since. YPOM makes running more enjoyable.

Melanie "Brittney" Trabulsy

December 2012

I have been running since September of 2005 but always on the treadmill. I can recall watching entire football games while training for the Detroit Free Press Marathon. After that marathon, I lost all motivation to run at all. YPOM was recommended to me and I thought to myself "what the heck, I'll try it". Now I am totally hooked. Thanks Mark, I love YPOM!!!

Meg Gleason

December 2012


Rhonda Hanna

February 2013


Kevin Poniatowski

March 2013

I started running with the YPOM group in March, but have been running for 17 years.

Julie Slade

April 2013


Thena Axiotis

April 2013


Rob Roy

May 2013

I ran on and off for a long time but finally stuck with it starting in 2001. I ran my the 5k that went along with the Detroit Marathon that year along side Mayor Dennis Archer. Since then I have run 2 marathons, 26 half marathons, 11 Crim's and countless 5k and 10k's, even a few 15k's.

I have run along the same paths as YPOM for a few years and finally decided I need to join this group. It appears to be a great group of people who support each other and keep running fun!

Jim Szymanski

June 2013

I started running in 2009 to get ready for the Corktown race, so I could get a free beer. Never got a chance to drink the beer, but I've been hooked on running ever since!

I ran the Free Press Marathon in 2010, got my butt kicked and said I'd never do THAT again. Last year during a long run in October at Stony Creek, I thought "Why am I not running in the marathon?" So, this year with the help of YPOM, I plan on evening the score, or I'll remember why I said "I'll never do THAT again"!

Paul Santini

February 2014


Ashok "Ash" Sivaram

May 2014


 Donna Haist

June 2014


 Roy Coates

April 2015

I discovered YPOM by chance shopping at Hanson's in Lake Orion. The place was packed with people so I asked and found out it was the YPOM running club. I never ran much distance (still haven't) and my wife wanted me to teach her to run.

We started a c25k program in June 2014 (age 51). I feared that my torn medial meniscus would cut my running short. Reading much and practicing good form (best I can tell) I completed my first trail half marathon in November 2014.

Over the winter 2014-2015 I had extensive shoulder surgery and just could not train enough for the BayShore Marathon in Traverse City I had hoped for. I am on track now for the Kensington Marathon July 26th, 2015. I am running for weight control, longevity and health.

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