Linda Word and her team of pacers at ForWord Running have once again signed on to serve as pacers for the KY History Half. The entire group is made up of local runners who know the course and run it frequently. Their job is to help you tackle our Frankfort hills, be a “tour guide” of sorts and, hopefully, lead you to your new PR!
Read on to learn more about Linda and her team.
Linda Word (Pace Captain)
Linda has considered herself a runner since 2008 when she made an extreme lifestyle change and quit smoking. Some friends invited her to go on a 5-mile run with them a few months later and she “caught the running bug.” Since that fateful day, she has run five full marathons, over 26 half marathons and countless 5Ks and 10Ks.
Linda started her business, ForWord Running, in 2015 when she decided to take her enjoyment of running and share it with others as a coach. She is now also a certified personal trainer, working with people on their own lifestyle changes to improve their health and overall well being.
Her first time pacing was with the first running of the Kentucky History Half in 2015; she became pace captain the next year. Since then Linda has paced several half marathons in different states and is also pace captain for RunTheBluegrass, which happens in the spring in Lexington.
Mani Vangalur (1:45)
Mani is our 1:45 pacer for the 2nd year in a row. Mani (pronounced “Money”) started running late 2002 and took on his first half marathon at the Louisville Derby Festival marathon in 2003. He says he started to improve his fitness and slowly started enjoying it.
Now after at least 19 marathons and several half marathons, Mani says running is a reward onto itself. He is grateful for the joy it brings him and the wonderful runners he gets to meet in the process.
Mani has been in Frankfort for a few years now. He ran the KY History Half Marathon in 2015, paced last year and is happy he can help out and pace some other runners to their goals.
Will Hibbard (2:00)
Although Will has been running since high school, he didn’t tackle his first official race until 12 years later. September 2010 was his first half, The Rails to Trail in Norwalk Wisconsin. After running countless halfs and a few trail races, he finally ventured into full marathons.
Will says he has met interesting people and made many lifelong friends through running. And, he adds, he enjoys pizza as much as he does running.
Doug Eades (2:15)
After being diagnosed and successfully treated for cancer in 2014, Doug decided a lifestyle change was in order. “I needed to lose weight, eat better and find some way to rid myself of stress,” he says. Running proved the answer. He began in September 2015 — restricting himself to short distances (1-2 miles) — and, he says, “I found my passion.
“2016 was my first year of serious running, learning proper form (one that fit me), building distance and connecting with the running community — a supportive family of fellow runners who have encouraged me every step of the way,” he explains.
The KY History Half will be Doug’s first time to pace a half marathon. “I’m excited to run this race with you — no matter how long you’ve been running or for what reason. And remember — when we hit the backside of the Frankfort Cemetery, it’s all downhill from there!”
Nancy Stephens (2:30)
Nancy began running in her early 40s as an outgrowth of walking for fitness and to “beat the winter blues,” she says. Her favorite aspect of running is definitely all the friendships that develop from logging miles together in all kinds of weather and the camaraderie of group running.
“The Central Kentucky running community has become a family of sorts for me,” Nancy says. “I am so grateful to each and every one of my running friends for all the encouragement and support I have received over the years, so the idea of pacing to help other runners reach their goals is exciting. I’m looking forward to it.”
Nancy has completed one marathon and numerous half-marathons and shorter distance races over the years. A perennial goal is to add more trail running to the mix.
Brittany Hulette (2:45)
Brittany is a true Frankfort native. Except for a brief stint in Lexington while she completed her degree at Transylvania University, Brittany has lived in Frankfort her whole life.
To say that she knows the ins and outs of local roads is an understatement. In fact, living in downtown Frankfort gives her the distinct advantage of running parts of the Kentucky History Half Marathon route very frequently. You are in good hands, runners!
Brittany is a newer member of the running community as she began walking/running to improve her overall health and fitness about two years ago. Over that time, she has gone from barely being able to walk a mile to completing three half marathons (this year’s Kentucky History Half Marathon will be her fourth) plus numerous smaller distance races and runs.
Brittany says she is very excited about the opportunity to be a pacer for this amazing race and is eager to meet and work with other runners to help them accomplish their goals. She loves the Kentucky History Half Marathon for its challenge, breathtaking sights and (of course) the history!
It also holds a special place in her heart as the 10K portion was her very first race two years ago.
Emily Sambrook (3:30)
Emily, our sweeper for the KY History Half this year, has been running ever since she decided to see if she could run up the biggest hill in her neighborhood 13 years ago. She continues to run because she likes to challenge herself to accomplish things she never thought she could.
She says she’s not likely to win a speed competition, but she can go the distance with you at the KY History Half!