YPOM Members - Present and Past
"Johnny Lightning" Hodgson
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!
Joe "Jeo" Terranova
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?
Sue "Goose" Siragusa
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
Slow is the new fast
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!
Mike "Forrest Gump" Fitzgerald
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.
Not only have I run "a" marathon, but as of May 2012 I have run at total of eleven - one of which was run on two days' notice (Chicago 2010). Marathon #12 will be Maui in September 2012, adding Hawaii to my other marathon states (AR, FL, IL, KY, MI, NV, OH, TN, TX, VA). Only 39 more states to go after that! The hours and miles that I have spent with YPOM have been one of the many great blessings in my life.
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.
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.
I love to eat, so it's a good thing I run. Thanks to the amazing support of the group, I ran my first three half marathons in the fall of 2009 and completed my first marathon (Cincinnati Flying Pig 2010) exactly 4 months after my 40th birthday.
My favorite distance is the half marathon (I'm Half Fanatic #296). Training with YPOM is a joy even when I have to get up at 5:30am on summer Saturdays for long runs, and races are much more fun when you know there are YPOM friends at the finish line with cheers and beers. I hope to keep running for a long time, especially since I don't plan to give up eating anytime soon!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Veronica "Running Freak" Voakes
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!
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.
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!
Similar to Annette, ran regularly with us, was enthusiastic, then disappeared without a trace.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Michelle "Mo" Alamo
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.
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.
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...
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
Dave "Old Dave" Pelfrey
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.
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.
I ran my first half marathon in 2010. I became a Brooks Fanatic and Half Fanatic in 2011 as well as ran my first full marathon.
My 2012 goal is to become a Marathon Maniac in April and cross one of the big five marathons off and run Chicago in October.
My 2013 goal is to complete an ultra, and I'd like to qualify for and run Boston before I die.
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!
Manuel Vallejo III
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!
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!
No, she is not Mark's daughter, but in fact his wife. Glad to be part of YPOM.
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!
Tracy Cahill Handler
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!
James "Jim" Liegghio
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.
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!
Divesh "D-Rock" Mittal
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.
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.