2019 Luray Ambassador Team
Introducing the 2019 Luray Ambassador Team! Look for them at our Luray events!
Sharon Adams is a Reston, VA based personal trainer, USAT certified triathlon and run coach, yoga and bootcamp instructor and runs her business, Rising Sun Fitness.
She is a mom to Phoebe and Forrest (and two labs!) and lives her passion of fitness and wellness daily!
Her mission is to change lives through the love of movement, the excitement of achieving goals and the beauty of making the most of each day!
She has a Masters degree in Exercise Physiology, is an Ironman, multiple USATriathlon Nationals competitor, and USA Triathlon All – American since 2014.
She can be reached at email@example.com
Hi! My name is Amanda Himmelwright and I am a wife, a mother, a full-time occupational therapist, and a runner. My story begins in August 2009, when it was suggested that I consider medication for controlling several elevated blood pressure readings.
At the time, I was 29 years old and a mother to a 3-year-old and a 5-month-old. I asked for an eight-week trial, without medication, to see what I could do myself to lower my blood pressure. I decided to go for a run, it sounded easy enough. Let me be very clear, it was NOT easy. I ran for 5 seconds before stopping to hold my chest and catch my breath. But, I didn’t stop. At the end eight weeks, I was down 9 pounds and my blood pressure dropped, though was still slightly elevated. I asked for more time.
I continued to “run.” Eventually I was able to run a little further without stopping, and my blood pressure decreased as my energy increased. Then I noticed something – my daughters were watching. I signed up for a 5k. Then I signed up for a half marathon. And, before I ran that half marathon, I had already registered for another so that I couldn’t stop at just one. In a 16 months’ time, my blood pressure was holding steady within normal limits and I had lost a total of 80 pounds. I signed up for a full marathon next, followed by a Racine Multisports duathlon. I refused to stop.
With any journey, amongst the celebrations, there are obstacles to overcome, and I had my share. Five years ago, with the help of my husband, a tiny close-knit group of family and friends, and a holistic nutritionist, I fought my way through an eating disorder with every ounce of my being. After all, though they weren’t fully aware, my daughters were still watching me. I focused on running just a few half marathons during that delicate process, as the training of and running a full marathon was too detrimental on my body during my recovery. There are still instances when the mental barriers float to the surface; but I made a promise to myself that “You are worth so much more than this.”
Fast forward to this moment and I have never been healthier or happier with myself. I am SO HAPPY that Racine Multisports has announced its first distance running event and have my sights set on the Inaugural Luray Half Marathon in September of 2019. Luray 13.1 will not only coincide with my 10-year health journey anniversary, BUT, upon crossing that finish line, it will mark the completion of my 50th half marathon. Running through that familiar Racine arc at the finish line will feel like “coming home,” as the Racine family couldn’t be any more supportive to our community.
Over the course of a (almost) 10-year journey, I have completed 49 half marathons, five full marathons, three Racine Duathlons, two sprint triathlon relays, six 200-mile relay races, a 26.2k, five 10 mile races, and various 10k’s, 6k’s and 5k’s. I’m proud to have been chosen as a Luray Race Series Ambassador for Racine Multisports and I’m eager to recruit volunteers, participants and to cheer YOU on! You ARE worth it and NOTHING is impossible!
Gwynnavier Jones is a fitness instructor and triathlete currently living in beautiful Luray, VA. She feels that her mission in the fitness industry is to empower individuals to create sustainable solutions for lasting health, happiness, and confidence. Her vision is a world where daily acts of self-love and care are a regular part of life.
Gwynnavier enjoys her involvement in persistent training as an Olympic and Sprint distance triathlete. Her focus is to be an optimistic ambassador for people in the sport while inspiring them to find their potential.
She would like everyone to know that, “By sharing the experience and knowledge as a triathlete, my plan is to help motivate and provide the opportunity to learn. True joy and satisfaction are achieved when we push ourselves to the limits achieving that flow state. In that moment is when we can we live life to the fullest! Viva la Vida!!”
After losing 100 lbs., Lili began competing in triathlons in 2010. She instantly fell in love with the sport and has been hooked ever since. Lili has participated in all but one Luray Triathlon weekend since 2012 (missing 2014 to compete in Timberman 70.3) and 2019 will mark her 6th Luray Double! Lili lives in Dickerson, Maryland with her wife and two dogs.
I am 40 years old from Leesburg, VA. I started doing triathlons in 2012 after coming from a running background. I joined Team Z and was a member for 4 years. During that time, I completed over 30 triathlons, including 2 full IRONMANs and five 70.3s. Although no longer on the team, I still compete, mostly in the Olympic and sprint distance, and the occasional half.
I am currently in the process of running a marathon on every continent. This past January, I finished the Marrakech marathon in Morocco, and have previously completed Antarctica and of course North America. I am doing Sydney, Australia this September, and plan to do the Great Wall marathon next spring.
When not training, I am also a white belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu at The Basics Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in Leesburg, VA, and an avid practitioner of yoga, in addition to my full-time job as a federal law enforcement officer for the Department of Homeland Security. I love traveling, cooking, and any kind of puzzles!
My favorite post-race snack is ice cream!
One thing triathlon taught me is gratitude. So much gratitude!
My favorite mantra is “forward is a pace”
My 2019 goals are to qualify for USAT AG Nationals, get my pink belt in Jiu Jitsu (graduate the Women Empowered course) and finish the Sydney marathon with no injuries!
Evans is 50 years old, racing in master races 45+. He has raced almost every kind of bicycle there is since starting with BMX at 14 ….. BMX, Road, MTB, cyclocross, Track, and gravel.
He has taken up Duathlons, starting last year at the Hagerstown Duathlon #2 where he finished 6th in 45+, and had the 2nd fastest bike split. He is looking forward to racing the Luray Duathlon!
My name is Monica Sanders. I first got into sports at age 14 when I was recruited to run middle distance track and field.
I’ve always ridden bikes for fun, even commuting while in law school, but never thought of becoming a multi sport athlete. I signed up for a half century ride and got hooked on cycling. But the real transition came after doing some of Racine Multisport’ s open water swims and clinics. The open water and race atmosphere is what keeps me coming back to triathlon.
My goals for this year are to go from completing to competing again. I also want to elevate my triathlon “practice” from sprints to International distance. Along the way, I hope to inspire other beginners to get out there and try!
What prompted you to start running?
In 2012, we were living with my mom in Maryland so she could help out with the boys. We needed a way to de-stress at the end of the day, so my husband suggested we download the Bridge to 5k app.
How did you start?
We ran about 3 times a week, usually when we got home from work. I suggested we do a 5k as a goal and we picked the Arlington Police, Fire and Sheriff 9/11 Memorial 5k. It was a great first race! When we moved over to Fairfax from Maryland, I was a lurker in the Fairfax/Chantilly MRTT group for a while. I finally decided to join a welcome run and met some amazing women. I joined the couch to 5k group and the rest is history. Now, I am co-chapter leader along with 2 other amazing women. Our chapter currently has 945 members.
What was the biggest hurdle to running and how did you get over it?
The biggest hurdle was the guilt I had when I was not spending time with my boys. I was not used to taking time out for myself. Once we had established a routine it got a lot easier. I don’t have any guilt nowadays and I have become super organized. It is so important for me to have time away even if it is just for a little bit. I come back happier, more energetic and able to be a better mom and wife.
What is the most rewarding part of your running life?
Getting stronger and inspiring other family members, friends and coworkers to start healthier habits. Also, meeting amazing people!
What kind of changes did you make to what and how you ate while running?
I was a vegetarian before I started running, but was eating a lot of processed convenience foods. Now, I am eating more unprocessed foods and experimenting with new foods and recipes. I love my smoothie maker and instant pot.
What advice would you give to a beginner runner?
Start out slow, foam roll, don’t compare yourself to others, and have fun!
I’m just a dreamer making a choice to live in my purpose.
In 2010 I signed up to run a half marathon, as a fitness challenge at work. I was motivated to meet the challenge because I was extremely out of shape. After the birth of her second child, I decided to participate in an office fitness challenge to run a half marathon. Honestly, I didn’t know the distance of a half marathon (13.1 miles- which I discovered the day of the race), nor did I have a clue about how to train. My mindset was, “where there is a challenge, there I will be”. I wanted to make a bold decision to improve my health, change my life, and increase my ability to be there for my family.
To date, I have completed 16 marathons, 20+ half marathons, 2 ultra-marathons and several duathlon races. In 2018, I embarked on, yet another, challenge to become a FIGURE Bodybuilding competitor.
I believe that we, as women, have no boundaries, and that we all have a story that is worth being told. My story is still written by me taking on new challenges as a duathlon and body builder. I truly believe that being a multisport athlete has made me a better person. I can excel in various sports and help inspire others, especially, women over 40, to take on new challenges and opportunities to grow.
In 2017, I launched an Athleisure clothing brand, “BE YOU 4 LIFE APPAREL”. I have a vision to use the platform that sports provide to impart inspirational messages of self-awareness and fitness affirmations.
If you were to ask me what motives me each day, I would say it is my F-Factors: Faith, Family, and Fitness. Through my faith, family, and fitness, I have found my voice and hope to inspire others to find their voices.
Follow me and my fitness journey:
YOUTUBE CHANNEL: sandradtroutman
Scott S. Turner originally comes from New York, but he’s been proud to call Maryland home for over a decade now.
An actor by trade, he currently works as the Access Coordinator of Imagination Stage Children’s Theatre in Bethesda. He gets to spend his 9-5 helping students of higher need experience and make theatre of their own.
In his free time, he performs with Synetic Theatre, a physical theatre in Arlington, VA.
He’s been an avid triathlete for four seasons being lucky enough to race all over the East Coast (and win his age group a few times). If you held him down and asked him his favorite workout, he’d say “50 by 50 on 0:50!”