2018 AMBASSADORS

Gretchen Ammerman
Lincoln City, OR

Why I run

I run to stay sane, I run to stay happily married, I run because, though I enjoy how it makes me look better on the outside, it makes me feel great on the inside. I run because, at 50, I have doctors saying, “Whatever you are doing, keep doing it.”

About Me

I am a freelance writer who enjoys discovering all that Oregon has to offer, especially outdoors. I live with my husband and our four adopted dogs. Staying in shape helps me keep up with some of the high energy dogs at the Lincoln County Animal Shelter where I volunteer to run with dogs awaiting fur-ever homes. I have been trail running since 2006 and started running ultras a few years ago, including the Lake Sonoma 50 mile. But a persistent injury led me to explore cross training, and I have found that triathlons are providing a better sport to age without injury. and help me get to my goal of being one of those inspiring old ladies you see still running in their 90’s


Tamara Baumberger
Newport, OR

Why I run

I simply love it - everything about it. It gives me the chance to be outside in nature rain or shine. It keeps my body healthy and my mind anchored. It gives me the chance to meet many new friends and to get to know a new community. Local races, group runs and running related social events helped me to get to know my new home when I just moved here (and still do). Destination races show me the beauty of Oregon. Looking at run statistics makes me happy. Seeing progress is motivating. Talking about running shoes, other gear and upcoming races get me excited. Yes, I simply love it.

About Me

I am a marine geochemist working on the gas chemistry of hydrothermal systems and submarine volcanoes. I grew up in Switzerland and lived for four years in Norway before I moved to Newport, OR in 2016. In my free time, I love being in the great outdoors rain or shine. Hiking, backpacking, kayaking and cross-country skiing are my favorites. About year ago, I discovered my love for running. I started out with running on the road, did my first half marathon in June in Newport, and have done another two since. Lately, I got more and more excited about running on trails. It feels like speedy hiking and fits well with my love for nature and the outdoors. I just signed up for an 18 miles trail race along the McKenzie River in April 2018. This is going to be the longest distance I ran so far. Let´s see how that goes.

Crystal Farstad
Hebo, OR

Why I run

For the absolute love of the sport. For the health benefits and time inside my own head. I do my best thinking on the move. I love the feel of the pavement beneath my feet and meeting like minded people along the way. Runners are some of the most supportive and encouraging people I have ever met.

About Me

Wife, mother of 2 terrific boys, boat builder, fisherman and lover of all things outdoors. I started running later in life, to manage my blood pressure and weight, always on the treadmill with the curtains closed until about 5 years ago when a friend encouraged me to enter a 5K to raise money for our local track team. I was so nervous, and it was really a struggle to finish but I was hooked!!! Since then, I have done multiple 5Ks, 10Ks, a couple marathon relays and several half marathons. This last year I was able to add my first overnight relay and completing my first marathon to the list. For 2018 I am hoping for a marathon PR in April and possibly my first 50K. We shall see...

Crystal Frost
Seal Rock, OR

Why I run

I love the simplicity of the sport. I crave the challenge and the sense of freedom it gives. Other than watching my little girls become happy and kind human beings - there is no better way for me to feel more alive than sucking in crisp mountain air while ripping up and down a mountain trail. Basically, running is one of the three true loves in my life.

About Me

Hey guys! I’m obsessed with my little family, trail running, photography, and always down for adventure. I love fast packing up mountain peaks, car camping, gardening, antiques, and homemade birthday cakes. I love good food, good people, and good beer. And wine. But I’ll drink that out of a box. No shame. I finished my first 50k in 2017 and currently training for my first 50-miler. For me, it’s the journey of training and the personal battles in finishing that fuels me to shoot for longer distances. I am excited how these far these two feet will take me and discover what my body is capable of. Cheers!.

Ashley Lande
Siletz, OR

Why I run

I initially started running because I was really overweight and unhappy. I started seriously running in January of 2016 with the goal of running my first half marathon that June. During that time, I lost a bunch of weight and gained a lot of self-confidence. I can’t say that I love actually running but I love how I feel after a good run and I love being part of the running community. I also love eating and beer and life is about balance so that’s where running comes in! Finally, I run because I love being outside and running is just a new avenue for exploring my local area and signing up for races lets me experience other places I might otherwise have missed (plus the swag isn’t bad either).

About Me

I grew up in the Newport area and keep leaving and coming back to the area but have always stayed in the Pacific Northwest. I graduated from Oregon State University with a Zoology degree and am love anything involving the outdoors and the Beavers! I live here with my husband, dog and four year old and we do everything we can to get outside from camping and hiking to mushrooming, etc. I am doing what I can to set a good example for my son by being active and chasing goals like finishing 6 half marathons and several other races in just over a year. I am hoping to venture into some new territory this next year like a triathlon or more trail races and hopefully get a little faster.

Meredith Matherly
Waldport, OR

Why I run

I run because I am a super serious competitive person and I like to be the fastest! As you can see by my picture this is no joke to me, I can crank out a 3:05 marathon like it's nothing. I'm in it to win it.
But in all seriousness, I'm about the opposite of all those things. I leave the speed to my husband and have no problem being in the back of the pack as long as I'm having fun. I've run one marathon, Disney, and it took about 5 ½ hours. There was so much to see and so many pictures to take, and so many Disney songs to sing loudly to other runners in encouragement (much to my husband's embarrassment). I run because I love the community and friendships it has brought to my life. I love that it connects me to nature and allows me to explore new places.

About Me

I'm a Park Ranger at Oregon’s tallest lighthouse so my “work” is getting to play in the tide pools, watch seals and whales, and give people tours of the lighthouse in full on 1880s garb. I grew up on the east coast and tried getting into running a few times but could not handle the heat and humidity. It wasn’t until moving out here that running became bearable, and eventually even fun! Three years back I had never done more than a 5k and swore people who did marathons and ultras were crazy and yet here I am planning to run my first 50k in September. Nothing wrong with a little crazy.

Meric McNeilus
Newport, OR

Why I run

I run because I feel most alive when I run. I run therefore I am. I'm nuts for the trails, treadmills and roads are just work. Thanks to my association with Team Ardor I have grown into a strong runner and have achieved many goals that seemed all but impossible.

About Me

I am a stay at home Dad who exercises obsessively when not nourishing and nurturing my daughter.

Nic Ric
Newport, OR

Why I run

There are many reasons why I run. It all started as a way to get fit and stay fit. It is always challenging and forces me to push my own limits and improve. Running is always my stress relieving outlet. No matter what the external circumstances are, running clears my head and keeps me centered. Another huge motivator that keeps me running is my dog Izzy. She loves it and I want to stay healthy to keep up with her. Those that know me well know that my dogs are my world.

Running has been a great way to get me connected with my community and meet people I’d otherwise never have the pleasure of knowing. I moved to Newport over a year ago and immediately felt connected due to my involvement with Team Ardor. Running with Team Ardor has resulted in new friendships and many good memories!

About Me

Over the past two years, running has become a huge part of who I am. It has shown me that the impossible is possible. As a kid with uncontrolled asthma, I was told over and over I could not do things, especially running. I accepted that running was out of reach for me. As an adult, I slowly broke through the barriers that were put up and started pushing myself further and further. Due to my family health history, I wanted to do everything I could to maintain my health long-term. To top it off, I was out of shape and not happy with my fitness level. Through some peer pressure, I agreed to do an obstacle run 5k with some friends. I kept telling my friends the ever common phrase, “I’m not a runner.” I trained at the gym, but didn’t incorporate much running. After the race, I felt strong, but somewhat defeated about my running since, “I’m not a runner.” It wasn’t until I started running community group runs that I really got the bug. Motivation and encouragement through friends really started the fire under me. I knew I wanted to improve for myself. I never felt better than when I was running or when I reached another goal. When I adopted my dog Izzy in 2015, it was my priority to keep her healthy, and in turn, myself. After multiple 5ks, 10ks, and seven half marathons in the past two years, I’m finally considering myself a runner. Running has helped me form friendships with various people in different stages of their journey; all of which are inspiring. My running friends, and Izzy of course, are what keep me going! If you ever see me and Izzy on a run, feel free to join in or say hi!

Shelby Tilden
Waldport, OR

Why I run

I run to stay in shape. I compete in dog agility, which involves a lot of running. Most of my life revolves around dog agility, and I plan to run agility until the day I die. Running 5-6 days per week helps me stay in shape so that I can get where I need to be on course and be the teammate my dogs need me to be. They certainly don't complain about running with me every day! I’m a fairly competitive person, and running gives me a good outlet for that. I like seeing if I can beat my last race time, how low I can drive a PR, and the “new achievement!” notifications on Garmin and Strava are addicting. I also have a fairly stressful job, so running gives me a good outlet for my stress. I run on the beach whenever possible, and I like counting wildlife and including it in the notes on my Strava activity record - I love seeing whales and pinnipeds while I’m running!

About Me

I am an attorney for a nonprofit that provides free civil legal services to low-income Oregonians. I have always loved the ocean, and always knew it was only a matter of time before I lived close enough to visit daily. I compete in dog agility with our three dogs. I moved to Lincoln County in 2015 and I love being part of this community. Running people are “my people” and finding and being part of Team Ardor has confirmed that i have found my home.

Joaquin Varo
Newport, OR

Why I run

About four years ago I was diagnosed with type II diabetes and high blood pressure, I did not have any insurance and no money, so getting expensive medical treatment and a gym membership was out of the question. Since I am a registered nurse by training, I know that along with medication the best thing for high glucose levels and high blood pressure is to improve one's diet and to loose weight and well, RUNING IS FREEE! Six months later I ran my first organized race. It was the 2014 Newport Turkey Trot. That day I felt in love with running running. Participating in local races races become an important part of my life and my health. My glucose levels and blood pressure are all back to normal levels. We know that running helps maintain a healthy weight level, helps with what I call the 5-high: high blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, and body mass index, as well as depression. Needles to say running will continue to be an important part of my over all health and well being.

About Me

I was born in Mexico city, but grew up in the Pacific North west. I spend 17 years of my life working within the medical field though now I am very blessed to have a job where I get to have Fridays and Saturdays off, that allows me to go to as many races as I can afford and a few I can't. I enjoy running three to four days a week and reading science/medical journals. I'll see you all out on races/trails! Came and say hi, I will!