Meet the Team

BTB is more than just a running group.

We are a diverse group of runners, working together toward the shared dream of becoming our best possible selves. We range from age 20 to 60, and from sub-3 hour marathoners to first time runners. Each of us believes that together we can achieve more.

BTB is here to offer friendship, accountability, motivation and support along every step of your running journey. Our group aims to inspire, and never intimidate. We train hard and we train smart. We set goals, push boundaries, and we celebrate every small victory.

At BTB, we know that if we Believe in ourselves and Train together, we will Become our dream.

 

Meet the Runners:

Ari Ziskin-Bailey

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  • From: Mesa, AZ
  • Favorite Race: NYC Marathon
  • Why did you start running? I started running after reaching a plateau in my weight loss. I felt stuck and inadequate, and I needed a new way to track my progress that would give me back the feelings of accomplishment and pride.
  • Fun Fact: I love bad 90’s pop music including Hanson, The Spice Girls and NSync. I’m not even embarrassed.

Carmen Mena

  • From: Casa Grande, AZ
  • Favorite Race: Boston Marathon (especially when I qualify)  
  • Why did you start running? I started running when I was 10 years old.  I remember watching track/field on t.v. and the women were running the 3,000 meter run. I remember sitting there in awe on how they were running, soon after they were done, I went outside and took off running! I have been running ever since. I love how I feel when I running!
  • Fun Fact: I love to country dance, I could dance all night!! Especially line dancing! My two favorite shoes in the world are of course my running shoes and my cowboy boots!

Denise Dohrmann

  • From: Mesa, AZ
  • Favorite Race: Jack n Jill Marathon (where I qualified!!)
  • Why did you start running? I was unhappy and insecure. I didn’t like who I was. I started to work out and accidently fell into running. My goal was to finish 2 miles in 20 minutes. So I worked on that. Then I signed up for a ½ marathon not knowing what I was getting myself into. The rest is history!
  • Fun Fact: I just started running ultras and am loving the trails!

Holly Lawson

  • From: Tempe, AZ
  • Favorite Race: This December I am running a half in Portland, OR  that is supposed to be a really fun holiday half through the downtown.
  • Why did you start running? I started running track and cross country when I was in the 6th grade and by the time I graduated high school I was burned out! I’ve been running off and on since then for exercise, with two marathons under my belt with no proper training, so I am looking forward to the PF Changs Marathon with Susan’s training. I was introduced to this group from Ari, a co-CrossFitter, to get me back into running.
  • Fun Fact: I enjoy knitting, all things outdoors, and IPA beer!

Jasen Santiago

  • From: Chandler, AZ
  • Favorite Race: Las Vegas Rock N Roll ½ marathon. It’s not every day that you can run down the strip at night…at least legally.
  • Why did you start running?: I’ve actually always hated running. I started running so that I could finish triathlons. As I started to progress, however, the competitor in me started to come out. Not competing with other people, but competing with myself. “If I was able to run it this fast this time, how fast can I run it next time?” The rest is history…
  • Fun Fact: I went to Culinary School right out of high school with the intention to be an executive chef. 16 years later, my experience only helps me impress friends and family with my cooking…

Jenna Williams

  • From: Mesa, Arizona
  • Favorite Race: Chicago Marathon
  • Why did you start running? I started running after college as a way to lose a few pounds and fell in love with the sport and how I felt after every run. At first running a mile was daunting but I slowly added more and more miles until I signed up for my first half marathon. Now I love to race and am looking forward to running the Chicago Marathon in a few weeks.
  • Fun Fact: My bikes name is Likkity Split, after the go-kart in Wreck It Ralph.

Joe Cowin

  • From: Phoenix, AZ
  • Favorite Race: Indianapolis Monumental Marathon (fingers crossed)
  • When did you start running? I started running midway through high school as a way to finally join a sport and lose weight. Fell in love with track, then 5Ks and progressively longer races as a way to challenge and better myself.
  • Fun Fact: I’m originally from New Jersey but don’t have an accent (it’s a common question wherever I go).

Kyle Herrig

  • From: Albert City, IA
  • Favorite Race: XTERRA triathlons
  • Why did you start running?: On a bet! Dared to run 13 miles in July in Phx at noon.
  • Fun Fact: Trained Matt Long for NYC marathon and Ironman Lake Placid

Leslie Neville

  • From: Phoenix, AZ
  • Favorite Race: Favorite Road Race would be Boston Marathon.  Favorite run ever was the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim To Rim.  There is nothing better than running one of the Greatest Natural Wonders of the World.
  • Why did you start running? I started running years ago because it was an easy way to get exercise when I traveled for work.  It was a fun way to explore a new city.  Then, I started running trails and never stopped running.  This slowly evolved into a marathon a few years ago.
  • Fun Fact: I grew up in a rural community in South Dakota.  My graduating high school class had 21 students.

Maria Arana

  • From: Phoenix, AZ
  • Favorite Race: Houston Marathon
  • Why did you start running? I started running after my mom passed away in 2007.  It started with a 5K in her memory and that led to running a full marathon in memory of both my parents in 2010.  Running gives me a quiet place to think and the confidence to overcome obstacles.
  • Fun Fact: I can’t sing but I like to pretend I am an opera singer when I am home- my kids make fun of me.

Michele Propps

  • From: Phoenix, Arizona
  • Favorite Race: Tough question because each race has its own personality.  However, I will have to say NYC Marathon, as it was my first marathon and I am from the Big Apple/Long Island.
  • Why did you start running? Running gives me strength, courage, acceptance, gratitude, hope, and love.  
  • Fun Fact: I worked for the C.I.A. when I lived in Morocco.

Patricia Murphy

  • From: Phoenix, AZ
  • Favorite Race: I do love the Flying Pig Marathon in my hometown of Cincinnati. I also really enjoyed the Madeira Island Ultra Trail race in Portugal.
  • Why did you start running? I ran casually throughout high school and college. I started racing in 2001 and have completed over 90 races of all types: Half Ironman, mountain bike relays, trail races, marathons, duathlon, running relays, and more.
  • Fun Fact: I went to High School at the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati with Carmen Electra and Nick Lachey.

Tamara McLeod

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  • From: Tempe, AZ
  • Favorite Race: Tucson marathon (current PR)
  • Why did you start running? I ran a bit in high school and college and always had a marathon  on my bucket list. After completing my first, I was hooked. Now I run for exercise, “me time” and to achieve new goals. Hopefully a BQ is up next!
  • Fun Fact: I am originally from Canada, but can barely stand the cold after 13 years in Arizona!

Tracie Rogers

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  • From: Chandler, AZ
  • Favorite Race: The NYC marathon holds a special place in my heart, but the Boston Marathon is truly one of a kind and my favorite race.
  • Why did you start running? I started running in 2011, 10 weeks before the NYC marathon.  There was an opening on the Chances for Children charity team and Susan asked if I would be interested in running.  My husband, Brad, and I crossed the finished together in NYC and my life was forever changed.
  • Fun Fact: Although I have lived in AZ for 20 years, I am proud to be a 4th generation Nevadan.  Brad and I were both born and raised in Northern Nevada and have been together since we were 16. There are few places in the world as beautiful as Northern Nevada!