Meet the Elites

Bailey Beery

Favorite shoe: Saucony Tempus

High school: Bellmont High School

College: University of Louisville / BA in Biology

Occupation: Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant

How I started running: When I was in elementary I would run laps around my big country yard to keep in shape for soccer. I started running cross country in middle school, but only because my sister did. Soccer was still my number one sport and I continued to play all through high school. But my high XC school coach, Carl Risch, made sure I was running cross country in the fall. Then in the spring when I said I wanted to play tennis he fairly easily talked me out of it to run track. And I am so happy that he did! I am lucky to have found a love for running.

5,000 - 16:35
10,000 - 34:19
Marathon - 2:38:40

Anna Clayton

Favorite shoe: Saucony Endorophin Elite

High School: Concordia Lutheran High school

Occupation: Customer Service Representative at Vera Bradley

How I started running: I started running in 7th grade and right away was at the back of the pack. After already trying every single sport I could in school and not really succeeding at any of them, running was the only one I wasn’t “quite” as bad at. (Didn’t require as much coordination ) I continued running in high school and in fear of falling behind the group, I forced myself to stay up with everyone and very quickly fell in love with the sport.

5,000 -
10,000 -
Half Marathon - 1:21:43

Hidi Gaff

Favorite shoe: Saucony Endorphin Elite

High School: Holland High School (Holland, MI)

College: Hillsdale College and IPFW

Occupation: Marketing and education

How I started running: I started running my sophomore year of high school after being recruited by the XC coach during my gym class. What began as an outlet for typical teenage emotions grew into my first love. After running competitively in college, I took 12 years off to raise my six children. When my oldest son started running XC in 2012, I decided to lace back up so I could share my love for running with my children.

5,000 - 18:16
10,000 - 37:17
Half Marathon - 1:21:50
Marathon - 2:59:52

Yvette Rojas

Favorite shoe: Saucony Endorphin Pro

High school: West Noble

College: Indiana Wesleyan University

Occupation: Kindergarten Teacher at West Noble Primary

How I started running: In elementary school, we had a mileage program students could participate in by running a mile during recess. We were rewarded prizes after 50,100, & 150 miles. We were also taken to a local cross country race every fall to compete against other elementary schools!

1500 - 5:16
3,000 - 10:50
5,000 - 17:20
10,000 - 39:12
Half Marathon - 1:26:14

Taryn Thor Garlington

Favorite shoe: Saucony Triumph

High School: Northwestern

College: IU Kokomo (Undergrad), South College (PT school)

Occupation: Physical Therapist

How you started running: High School Cross-Country

Mile - 4:56
5,000 - 16:57
8,000 - 29:02
Half Marathon - 1:17:25
Marathon - 2:44:39

Laura Zenger

Favorite Shoe: Saucony Tempus

High School: Blackhawk Christian School

College: Purdue University

Occupation: Underwriter at Brotherhood Mutual

How you started running: My mom used to run, and I always wanted to go out running with her when I was a kid.

5000 - 17:48
Half Marathon - 1:18
Marathon - 2:42

Jack Beakas

Favorite shoe: Saucony Guide

High School: DeKalb High school

College: Trine University and Notre Dame

Occupation: Water Engineer

How you started running: Everyone in my family is a runner so it was a natural choice!

3,000 - 8:25
5,000 - 14:44
8,000 - 24:20
10,000 - 30:18
Half Marathon - 1:10:29
Marathon - 2:18:18

Aaron Combs

Favorite Shoe: Saucony Endorphin Speed

College: UNC Wilmington, Queens University

Occupation: Head Coach at Purdue Fort Wayne

800 - 1:49.4
Mile - 4:07

Sam Hardy

Favorite Shoe: Saucony Kinvara

High School: North Muskegon High School

College: Taylor University

Occupation: Worship Pastor at First Missionary Church in Fort Wayne

How you started running: I went to a cross country call-out meeting in 7th grade thinking it was for track and field because I wanted to be a jumper... I had very little interest in long-distance running but my family convinced me it'd be good for me to build endurance for other sports. Then I made a great group of friends on the cross-country team and slowly began to fall in love with running.

3k Steeplechase - 9:26
5,000 - 15:41
Half Marathon - 1:12:40
Marathon - 2:30:26

Justin Kowalski

Favorite Shoe: Saucony Triumph

High School: Mishawaka High School

College: Tri-State University (Trine)

How you started running: I started running my paper route when I was 10. I joined the elementary track team at age 11 and had mild success and continued it through high school and college.

5,000 - 15:28
10,000 - 32:17
Half Marathon - 1:09:17
Marathon - 2:24:51
50 Mile - 6:44:53

Derek Miller

Favorite Shoe: Saucony Endorphin Elite

High School: Westview High School

College: Trine University

Occupation: Civil Engineer

How I started running: I had an uncle that ran, and I watched him race when I was growing up, so I wanted to do it too. I did my first 1 mile fun run as a first grader, and did the race every single year until I was old enough to join the cross country and track team at school. As a fifth grader I was running the mile in PE and the junior high cross country coach happened to be outside setting up for a meet that day and immediately started recruiting me to join the team. I have been running competitively ever since!

5,000m - 14:52
10,000m - 30:35
Half Marathon - 1:08:19
Marathon - 2:21:43

Brendon Moody

Favorite Shoe: Saucony Endorphin Elite

Robert Murphy

Favorite Shoe: Saucony Ride

High School: Warsaw Community High School

College: Vincennes University (2 years), IUPUI

Mile - 4:08
3000m Steeplechase - 8:44
5k - 14:18
Half Marathon - 1:07
Marathon - 2:18:58

Andy Williams

Favorite Shoe: Saucony Triumph

High School: Northridge High School

College: Manchester College (now Manchester University)

Occupation: Physical Education Teacher and Coach

How you started running: We had a quarter mile track at our elementary school. If we chose to run it during recess, we could keep track of our mileage and move up to new "Mile Clubs". I ran 300 miles total during my 2nd grade year, and 525 miles during 5th grade. My teacher let me put my name and footprints in the new track cement that year. I was hooked. Those footprints are still there today!

Mile - 4:22
5,000 - 15:09
10,000 - 31:50
Half Marathon - 1:08:39
Marathon - 2:17:49

Riley Worl

Favorite Shoe: Endorphin Shift

High School: Western High School

College: Manchester University

Occupation: Pharmacist

How you started running: I started running when I was a senior in high school when the cross country coach persuaded me to stop playing soccer and join the cross country team. I have continued to get more and more into running ever since.

10,000 - 33:08
Half Marathon -1:11
Marathon: 2:28:16

Jeff Zenger

Favorite Shoe: Saucony Endorphin Pro

High School: Penn High School

College: Ball State University / Purdue Fort Wayne

Occupation: Commercial Real Estate Agent

How you started running: My section leader in HS marching band also ran XC, and inspired me when they said they had gone for a 70 minute run before practice one day. I couldn't believe someone I knew could run that long without stopping! I went for my first run the next day (in skater shoes), and shortly after ran my first 5k. I was hooked!

5000 - 16:40
Half Marathon - 1:11:15
Marathon - 2:32:52
50k - 3:10:30
50 Mile - 5:37:05
100 Mile - 13:42:19

“In today’s world full of corporate franchises and online retail giants, it is great to see a locally owned and operated business be successful. They are amazing, always friendly and helpful. They love running and it shows. It doesn’t matter if the customer is a beginner or a state champion.”

Robin Dombrowski


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