Ron is elated to be selected as an ambassador for the 2018 Magic City Half Marathon. He is a native of Fairborn, Ohio and currently resides in Madison, AL, where he is on the brink of retiring from 30-years of service in the United States Army.  Ron cultivated his love of sports at age 5, where he started playing baseball, basketball and football.  He did not run competitively until he began running track in high school and continued running throughout college and his military career.  Ron ran his first open race in the country of Panama in 1995 and has continued to enjoy traveling to various races throughout the United States on weekends.  His favorite race is the half marathon.  His goal is to inspire those who think they can’t to believe they can and come out and enjoy what running/walking can do for their body and soul.




After her third child and at the age of 40, Ashley discovered her love of running.  She had always been very active and was a fitness instructor, but it wasn’t until a friend invited her on a run that she found her true passion.  Within a short time she had signed up for her first half marathon and she has not slowed down since.  She has completed numerous half marathons and many races at other distances throughout the Southeast, including a handful of ultra-marathon trail races, but she loves running in her hometown with her regular training partners.  In addition to the simple joys of fellowship and competition, running has become her favorite time for meditation and prayer.




Roberta was born and raised in Birmingham, AL.  She’s a busy mom trying to find balance with work, family and exercise.  She is an avid runner and a fitness fanatic.  After her first Half Marathon she was hooked.  From the excitement of the gun going off at the start, to the accomplishment of the medal at the finish, she finds enjoyment in every mile.  She has a passion to help others find that same love for exercise and running.  Her motto is “if it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you.”




As a former D1 college basketball player, Simone Eli chose to get into distance running after moving to the Birmingham area … and it all started with the Magic City Half Marathon in 2016! Simone moved to central Alabama for her television job as a Sports Anchor at CBS42 (WIAT) … And what a better way to get to know your new city than by running right through the heart of it! The 2016 Magic City Half was Simone’s first ever try at 13.1 and the reason why she loves crossing a finish line today! Simone is married to Bart Sessions, a high school football head coach, so she loves, lives, and breathes competition and sports!




Lacy is an active Veteran Advocate and serves as Birmingham’s Chapter Captain of Team Red, White, & Blue, a national veteran service organization ( dedicated to enriching the lives of veterans through social and physical activities. His passion to serve, lead, & inspire our community to connect to veterans stems from his 17 years of service as an Officer & Instructor Pilot in the United States Air Force. He can be seen running all over the Magic City, flag in hand, usually surrounded by other Team RWB “Eagles” reminding us to remember our nation’s veterans. Lacy is a known public speaker (, reaching thousands each year, sharpening the leadership skills of elite athletes, companies, churches, & reaching organizations that impact our young leaders.




Adrianne Gurley is thrilled to run the 2018 Magic City Half Marathon as an Ambassador. The Magic City Half Marathon was her first ever Half Marathon in November of 2014, and she is very excited to be part of the first class of the Magic City Half Marathon Ambassadors almost four years later.  Adrianne is returning for her 3rd Magic City Half Marathon, and her 8th Half Marathon overall.  Adrianne began running in 2012, after losing 65lbs in 11 months, completely changing her life.  She developed a love for running as she became healthier, and met amazing people through the running community.  Adrianne has run the Georgia Publix Full Marathon (Atlanta, GA); Savannah Rock n’ Roll Full Marathon (Savannah, GA); Ronald Reagan Half Marathon (Snellville, GA), and two Mercedes Half Marathons (Birmingham, AL).  Adrianne is known for her weight loss transformation, love for running, and passion for health and wellness.  Adrianne credits all of her success to Jesus Christ.  Now a new Florida resident, Adrianne enjoys traveling with her husband and family, and relaxing along the beach.




Kristin is a 45 year old mom to three teenagers and started running in 2007 when her kids were moving on to school-aged activities. She needed to find something for herself and she needed a hobby that she could call her own! Through the years, her love for running and the friends that she has made along the way has grown enormously. Now she will travel all over the country to run, but she’s also so proud of her hometown runs. She’s a social butterfly, doesn’t care about her finish times, and wants to just enjoy every moment of the race. You will never find this girl looking up the race course ahead of time! Live in the moment is her motto and bringing new runners to Birmingham, Alabama is her game!




In 1979, at age 6, Joey went on his first run with his mom and has been a fan of running and track and field since.  He ran in junior national meets at Franklin Field, home of the Penn Relays, at Memorial Stadium in the Texas Relays, New York, Chicago, Brigham Young University and shared the track with Carl Lewis at The University of Houston track in his hometown.  At one time, he held a national age group hurdle record and two Texas state age group records.  These days, he’ll say he’s not nearly as competitive, except with his own goals.  The track is still his happy place, but he has come to love long runs with amazing friends.  Joey’s first half marathon was The Magic City Half Marathon in 2012, and he has paced the event on three separate occasions and has participated every year since 2012, only missing the inaugural year.  He feels that running seems to give back when you least expect it, on days when you really need it.  But, also seems to be very humbling when you need a dose of that too!  Joey met his wife, Carrie, through running.  So, more than any record or time or medal, that has been running’s greatest reward.




In 8th grade, Abbi was talked into joining the cross country team and fell in love with the sport.  Her sophomore year of high school, she talked 20 of her XC friends into running their first half marathon together- the Magic City!!  They had so much fun they’ve made it a tradition, with different first timers joining them every year.  To her, half marathons reflect the true joy and culture that surrounds running.  When Abbi isn’t running, she loves to travel and spend time with the people she loves.  She is so excited to be an ambassador to share the joy of running with all people!




Stephanie has a passion for running and is excited to be an ambassador for the Magic City Half Marathon and 5K!  Stephanie was inspired by her dad to start running at an early age and has developed a love for the sport.  She ran her first half marathon in 2007 and has now run 41 half marathons and 17 marathons!  Her ultimate goal is to run a marathon in all 50 states.  She met her husband at a race in 2011 and now loves to train and race with him.  Stephanie and her husband have two little boys who love to be pushed in the stroller during their family runs.  Running is what makes her happy and she hopes to continue doing it as long as she possibly can!




Eric began running to improve his health in 2011 after being diagnosed as obese, having high cholesterol, and at risk for heart disease.  At the urging of a friend, Eric participated in his first 5k benefiting cancer research in 2012 and was quickly “bitten” by the racing bug.  Since then, Eric has logged thousands of miles training, running over 60 races of various distances, including 11 marathons and 7 half-marathons, and even becoming a certified run coach.  Eric is very passionate about running, Birmingham and it’s vibrant running community, and meeting and helping newer runners do awesome things they probably never thought they could do!




Sara’s love for running started out as a dare.  She had never been a runner – never even considered it.  Then a friend dared her to do an adventure run 5K in 2011.  From there things were never the same.  Over the years, she has ran many races, but the Magic City Half Marathon holds a special place in her heart.  In 2016, she ran the half with her brother, and then in 2017, Sara was able to achieve a sub two hour finish.  She recently completed her first marathon, the Mercedes Marathon.  She will race the Chicago Marathon later this year.  Sara hopes her love of running will inspire others to have big dreams and not be afraid to reach for their goals.  When she’s not running, you can find her wake-surfing on Smith Lake or ‘OneWheeling’ with her husband and children.


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