May 17 2015

Meet Your Official Pace Team

Amy AL-Khalisi

Pace Group – 1:45 = 8:00 min/mile

Why are you running as a pacer? What do you like about it?

I have paced Portland Marathon many times, Rock ‘n’ Roll and friends to their Boston qualifying times. I enjoy pacing much more than racing myself. I love encouraging others and seeing their faces at the end when they have made their goal. 

What’s your advice for people running with your pace group? 

Relax, smile, breath and run your race. Say hello to your neighbors, enjoy the music and try to stay with the group. Trust us to pace you to the finish.

What is your favorite type of running? 

Trail running without a doubt! I love the scenery, terrain and not having to deal with cars. I also enjoy road running but less mileage.

What’s your favorite post-race treat?

Big, fat Bloody Mary with the works. Nachos, salt and vinegar chips and sometimes frozen yogurt with goodies.

What is one race (marathon or not) that you would like to do once in your life and why?

I would love to run the Coastal Challenge 3 day course in Costa Rica. I love Costa Rica, and this would give me a chance to see more of it and makes for a tough challenge. 

How many marathons have you run? What was your favorite PR? 

I have only run one marathon and hated it. I’ve run much farther on trails and loved it. I don’t race much, but my favorite PR was at the Peterson Ridge 20 mile trail race in Sisters, Oregon. 

Keith Shishido

Pace Group – 1:45 = 8:00 min/mile

Why are you running as a pacer? What do you like about it?

Being a pacer brings great joy to me when I can help others attain a goal that’s important to them. It allows the runner to enjoy the race more knowing that as long as they keep pace with me I’ll get them to their goal so that they don’t have to watch their watch the whole race.

What’s your advice for people running with your pace group? 

My advice to all runners is that they need to trust us and know that we’re gonna get them across that finish line at the time we promised. We don’t run equal splits, but rather run our splits according to the intensity of each mile and account for the up hills and down hills, allowing the runner not to get burnt out trying to keep up on the harder sections of the race.                                

What is your favorite type of running? 

My favorite type of running now seems to be ultras because I love the challenge of going longer distances and get to enjoy Mother Nature.

What’s your favorite post-race treat?

My favorite post-race treat has got to be mint gelato.

What is one race (marathon or not) that you would like to do once in your life and why?

The one race I’d like to do once in my life is Western State 100 Miler and finish. There’s got to be something said about anyone who’s crazy enough to run that far and like it.

How many marathons have you run? What was your favorite PR? 

I have done 7 marathons in the last 4 years and found my favorite to be the New York Marathon because I ran equal splits for the whole race.

Mercedes Atwood

Pace Group – 2:30 = 11:26/mile

Why are you running as a pacer? What do you like about it?

I love being a pacer because the people who train for races are so inspiring. I am honored to be a part of their experience.

What is your favorite type of running? 

I actually love all types of running – trails, roads, ultras. Each type of running has a special feature that I enjoy. For example, I like trails because they push me harder and they offer more shade in the summer. I like ultras because they tend to be relaxed while still being challenging. The ultra community is pretty awesome.

What’s your favorite post-race treat?

My favorite post-race treat is water or fresh fruit. I don’t think water or fruit tastes quite as good as after a run.

What is one race (marathon or not) that you would like to do once in your life and why?

I hope to do Comrades one day. Reading about Comrades inspired me to run further than 6 miles. I had planned to do it but got sick the year I was supposed to go. One day I would like to go and complete what I started so long ago.

How many marathons have you run? What was your favorite PR?

I have run 2 marathons and more than 10 ultras. The most memorable was the Timberline Marathon. I ran it when the course started at Timberline Lodge. It was so beautiful and peaceful, and my body felt good even at the end. 

Hadas Cassorla

Pace Group – 2:30 = 11:26/mile

Why are you running as a pacer? What do you like about it?

I often train with my friends who are new runners, and I find it motivational for me to help people with their goals and encourage them in a sport I love.

What’s your advice for people running with your pace group?

There are so many things. Generally, at the pace I am pacing at, these are newer runners. So, I think one of the most important things to do is to get a good breathing rhythm down. This helps prevent cramping and helps maintain a steady pace. I usually tell people to breathe out every second time their left foot hits the ground. Your body will naturally take care of the breathing in. 

What is your favorite type of running?

I mostly love the road races, but when I am on my own or just with one other person I often like to try trails. They are bouncy.

What’s your favorite post-race treat?

I really like to rehydrate with Nuun. It has a good replenishment of electrolytes without sugar. For food, I always love homemade kale chips.

What is one race (marathon or not) that you would like to do once in your life and why?

I would like to someday do an ultra. Ever since I read Born To Run, I have wanted to do that. But, I am just finishing recovering from ACL surgery, so I am taking it slow.

How many marathons have you run? What was your favorite PR?

I have yet to run a marathon. I ran about a dozen half marathons prior to my ACL reconstruction. I think my favorite half was a few years ago when I did the Helvetia half. It is a challenging course, and I had no one running with me. I was pretty proud of that accomplishment, and I ran it at an average of 9:45/mile.

Angela Zim

Pace Group – 2:45 = 12:43 min/mile

Why are you running as a pacer? What do you like about it?

I’m pacing because I’ve followed awesome pacers at marathons and they have helped me tremendously in achieving my goals.  I would like to give back and help others do the same.

What’s your advice for people running with your pace group? 

My advice is to hang with us and enjoy the ride.

What is your favorite type of running? 

My favorite type of running is on gently rolling roads.

What’s your favorite post-race treat?

Burgers or pizza.

What is one race (marathon or not) that you would like to do once in your life and why?

Nike Women’s Marathon for the Tiffany necklace!

How many marathons have you run? What was your favorite PR? 

3 marathons. PR at Eugene.

Julius Fernandez

Pace Group – 2:45 = 12:43 min/mile

Why are you running as a pacer? What do you like about it?

I love running as a pacer because it gives me satisfaction helping and motivating fellow runners to reach the finish line.

What’s your advice for people running with your pace group? 

Enjoy the course and take it easy the first three miles. Resist the urge to run maximal effort during the first 3-5 miles.

What is your favorite type of running? 

I love trail running and trail ultras! Running on a trail, I recover faster compared to road running.

What’s your favorite post-race treat?

Anything available at the finish line! My personal favorite is ice cream.

What is one race (marathon or not) that you would like to do once in your life and why?

I want to run Marathon Des Sables in the Sahara Desert of Morocco. It’s an equivalent of six marathons in six days. I am deeply intrigued about this race, and I am currently in search of a USA team to be with.

How many marathons have you run? What was your favorite PR? 

So far I have run 5 marathons and 3 ultras. My PR for a marathon was the Vernonia Marathon in 2012. My PR for an ultra was the Autumn Leaves 50k Ultra in 2012.

Jill Conroy

Pace Group – 2:15 = 10:17 min/mile

Why are you running as a pacer? What do you like about it?

I paced for the first time for the Portland Marathon and loved it. It was great to cheer on the runners around you and meet great people. I have had so much help with my running that it is great to pass it on.

What’s your advice for people running with your pace group? 

Relax and have fun. Get into a groove and go with it. Let us do the thinking and worrying for you. 

What is your favorite type of running? 

I love trail running in the snow. It so much fun to slip and slide, and when you fall you can make a snow angel. My favorite distance is the half marathon. It’s long enough to feel accomplished at the end.

What’s your favorite post-race treat?

Chocolate milk or mocha depending on the weather.

What is one race (marathon or not) that you would like to do once in your life and why?

I would love to run this marathon I saw in Interlaken, Switzerland. It looks crazy hard but beautiful running through the Swiss Alps.

How many marathons have you run? What was your favorite PR? 

I have run 9 marathons and just PR’d in Eugene. It was a great day for running and a fantastic course. Oregon has a fun running community that inspires you to run faster.

Kristin O’ Reardon and Elle Davis

Pace Group – 3:00 = 13:43 min/mile

Why are you running as a pacer? What do you like about it?

Kristin: Accomplishing a goal is so empowering. I’m running as a pacer to help you accomplish that goal!

Elle: I enjoy motivating others to run and love the atmosphere at races. It is always nice to meet new people and share stories about one of my favorite hobbies.

What’s your advice for people running with your pace group? 

Kristin: Enjoy it, meet someone new and rock out to the music!

Elle: Have fun, enjoy the others around you and the music!

What is your favorite type of running? 

Kristin: Races with obstacles are my favorites. Whether man made or from dear mother nature, I like getting dirty.

Elle: Trail running is by far my favorite. I love being out in and enjoying the sounds of nature.

What’s your favorite post-race treat?

Kristin: Anything with chocolate: in, on or smothered by it.

Elle: Sweets. I have a little bit of an addiction!

What is one race (marathon or not) that you would like to do once in your life and why?

Kristin: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Dublin Half Marathon. What better way to explore a new city than a 13.1 mile tour?

Elle: Any destination races are at top on my list. Hopefully Boston in 2014 with my cousin.

How many marathons have you run? What was your favorite PR? 

Kristin: I crossed a marathon off the bucket list in 2009 by completing Portland. Maybe there will be another one in my future!

Elle: I have run 3 marathons so far and have another one planned for this summer.