Kristi Wallace – 45 Minutes
Stephanie Butzer – 50 Minutes
I’ve raced everything from 5Ks to ultramarathons on all sorts of terrain. I was honored to qualify for and run the Boston Marathon in April and plan on returning in 2018! I started running in 2006 as a freshman in high school after my soccer coach told me my speed and endurance was good but my footwork needed some help, and why don’t I try cross country? It ended up leading me on an incredible journey, meeting tons of amazing people and experiencing new states, races and challenges. I hope to one day run a 100-miler and do some 50Ks out west, but for now am staying away from those big mileage numbers after a hard training cycle leading up to Boston. I’m so excited to lead our Freedom Run group to a 45-minute 10K! Through the tough spots and the easy downhills, I vow to bring us across the finish line strong and happy and, of course, full of pride for both our hard work and the work of others who served and continue to serve our beautiful country.
Cindy Barbour – 50 Minutes
Cindy has an extensive background in the wellness industry. She started out as a competitive runner and quit competing only to find herself gaining weight quickly. She joined a gym in Maryland and starting attending classes most days of the week. On a stormy night, the instructor scheduled to teach couldn’t teach and Cindy was asked to step in. The rest, as they say, is history. Cindy went on to get certified in teaching group exercise, personal training and a certification as a running coach. As an adult, Cindy went to UNCG and finished her degree in Exercise Science and Sports Studies. She has worked in numerous gyms in Maryland, Illinois and settled in North Carolina in 1993. She has been with the YMCA many years as a wellness director as well as a former columnist for the News & Record. For a while Cindy was on the WXII Channel 12 morning news leading the 12 minute workout segment. Cindy has also been a guest writer in numerous publications. Her passion is clearly helping people achieve their goals through lifestyle changes. Cindy is currently working as the Fitness Director at Starmount Forest Country Club and racing & pacing running races of all distances from the track (Ultimate Runner) to 202 miles (Tahoe 200)
Nikki Wickline – 55 Minutes
Nikki Wickline is a wife and mother to three kids. She is a fitness instructor at the Spears YMCA and The Club at Green Valley. Nikki has run 4 half marathons, and several 10K and 5K’s; but did not start running consistently until 6 months ago when she was training for a PR (1:44) in a half marathon. She placed 3rd overall female in the RunnerDudes 10 miler here in Greensboro and has hopes of someday doing a full marathon. While falling in love with running for the first time this fall, Nikki realized that a lot of people helped her through her runs and training & thought pacing may be a nice way to give back and possibly helps someone else meet a goal and/or fall in love with the sport too.
Jenn Disney – 60 Minutes
Before I developed a passion for running, I remember hearing about groups that would meet up to run 14+ miles or so “for fun”. I thought these people were absolutely crazy! I’m now one of those people, and I love being a crazy runner! I’ve been running since joining my high school’s cross country team, many years ago, but only started running distance since right after college. I use to only run as a form of exercise, but now I run for many other reasons. I have developed so many close friendships and have been introduced to many strong, amazing people within the running community.
Johnny Redwine – 60 Minutes
I started running almost 8 years ago on an invitation from a friend. Seven weeks after my first run, I ran the Cannonball Half. I thought I was going to die and promised myself that I would never do that again. Well, that promise did not last long as I have ran that distance or longer a couple hundred times.
I have been fortunate enough to run races in some beautiful places all over the US, including some of my favorites including Pasadena, CA, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Texas, DC and Colorado. However, it seems I run the fastest near home with my fastest times coming in Myrtle Beach or any flat beach race.
As I get older and seem to get slower every year, I now find I get more satisfaction in Pacing others and helping them reach their goals. The Freedom Run has always been a fun event and I think I have participated or cheered for most of them, so come out and join us on July 3rd. See you there.
Melanie Wright- 65 Minutes
Melanie is a wife, a mom to a daughter and a middle school Spanish teacher. Although she run track in middle and high school, she did not find her love of running again until 2009. She is experienced runner having run over 150 races, completing every distance from a 5K to a 53 miler. Her true love is pacing! She has successfully paced runners in 15 races. It’s added a whole new dimension to her running. She’s ready and excited to help runners meet their goals and be the voice of encouragement along the way!
Christie Strupe – 65 Minutes
I have the best husband of 23 years and an 18 year old son, who is our world. Because of them, I am a fighter.
I can’t wait to pace the Freedom Run for the second year in a row.