BD Sechler, 15 year NHCM Pacer

One of the easiest ways to give back to your running community is to volunteer at a running event. There are lots of ways to do it, and most any kind of help is welcome. 

Arguably, one of THE most rewarding volunteer opportunities is serving as a pacer or pace team leader at an event. Guiding someone or a group of runners you might not know or ever see again… and getting them to the finish line for the first time or their best time. There’s really nothing like it. 

And once some runners get into the pacing game, they just keep on keeping on. One of those runners is BD Sechler. You’ll see him at this year’s Novant Health Charlotte Marathon… AGAIN! 

Chris Kelly & Megan Fitzsimmons, Birdsong Run Club

DC, do you have plans on Thursday night? Well, you do now… if you’ve yet to make it out to the Birdsong Run Club you’re missing out on ANOTHER excellent opportunity to do a little running around Charlotte. (See what I did there?)

They meet Thursday nights at 6:30 at the taproom on North Davidson here in Charlotte. The Birdsong Run Club has a mix of a couple different routes, and some fun folks to run around with. We’ve got a couple of them right here on the program today! 

Angela Knepprath, New Board Member, CLT Running Club

Experience, they say, is the best instructor. Sharing that experience with others as a coach or teacher is a heck of a way to pay it forward. Here in Charlotte, we’re lucky enough to have LOTS of experienced coaches and guides willing to help runners of all kinds reach their goals. 

Angela Knepprath is one of those runners who do just that. She’s an experienced marathoner herself, a “Run Far” coach, and a newly-elected board member of the Charlotte Running Club. Even cooler, she’s our guest today here on The Running Around Charlotte podcast.

Ayumi Nagano, Highland Creek Run Crew & Personal Coach

Running is a lot of things to a lot of people. It’s a way to get or stay fit. It’s a way to unwind or get fired-up. It’s a way to get some “alone time,” or it’s a way to be around old friends and make new friends. Running is a way to connect with people and make a difference in many different ways. 

Ayumi Nagano is one of those people who seems to use running for ALL that it can be. She’s a mom, runner, coach, and activist … the kind of person you’d absolutely want in your corner. We’re excited she’s slowed down long enough to join us on this week’s episode of the Running Around Charlotte podcast!

Brad Pope & His Weight Loss Journey

The running community is FULL of stories. From triumph to tragedy, success and failure… Some of our favorites are ones where running LITERALLY changes someone’s life.

Today’s guest on The Running Around Charlotte Podcast has one of THOSE stories. Brad Pope says running SAVED his life, and he’s here to tell us about it. We won’t spoil this one for you, so let’s get right to it! 

Jimmy Molina & Sunkul Soni — NHCM Charity Chasers

If you’re old enough, you probably remember the old school charity walks where donors would pledge a certain number of dollars for every lap you walked for charity. (Do they event still do that??)

Either way, there’s a pair of runners who’ll put a new twist on that this year at the Novant Health Charlotte Marathon. Jimmy Molina and Sunkul Soni are running as “charity chasers,” to gin up money for the Novant Healthy Hemby Children’s Hospital.

And if you’re wondering how this whole “charity chaser” thing works, we’ve got Jimmy and Sunkul on this eposide of the Running Around Charlotte podcast to tell us all about it.


Dave Koontz

If you’ve been running around Charlotte for any length of time – or swimming or cycling – you may know of our next guest. Dave Koontz is arguably THE OG in the Charlotte Trialthon scene. He and his wife, Sharon, have logged no telling how many miles around the globe training and competing for decades.

After a 42 year career as an engineer at Duke Energy, Dave has retired from “that” kind of work, but he’s still an age group force to be reckoned in triathlon. He’s the publisher of the “Tri News” email… and he’s authoring one very incredible comeback story after donating one of his kidneys to his younger brother.

Anthony Butler

Boston. Berlin. Tokyo. Chicago. New York. London. They’re not just great places to add to your passport. They’re home to some of the most prestigious marathons on the planet. Running one is something special. Running them all and earning the six-star,
World Marathon Majors is a bucket list for many a runner.

Charlotte’s Anthony Butler earned his sixth star in April at the London marathon. And he may very well hold another unique distinction: Butler is believed to be the only visually impaired runner to check the box on all six stars.

He adds yet another milestone to his list today, as our guest on the Running Around Charlotte podcast!

Jessica Carranti – Ambassador

Like we’ve heard countless times on this program, there are SO many reasons that we run. And many of us use our running as a vehicle to help others.

The 2022 Running USA “Global Running Survey” shows that nearly 40-percent of runners are running FOR a cause. And their efforts add up to millions of dollars each year.

Jessica Carranti is one of those runners. She’s a Novant Health Charlotte Marathon ambassador, a spouse, a mom, and a runner on a mission.

Cornell Jones – Mad Miles

If there was ever a guy who could “walk the walk” AND “talk the talk,” it’s our next guest on the Running Around Charlotte Podcast. Cornell Jones has a resume of work at the Charlotte Hornets and ESPN, and can “talk the talk” about sports. He’s also a runner – and he’s “walking the walk” by bringing hundreds of runners along with him on his daily runs, both in person and across the country.

It all started with a New Year’s Day decision 3 years ago – to run a mile a day, every day. Yes, Every. Single. Day. And he’s done it! The promise turned into a movement, and the daily jog turned into a Tuesday group run that encourages others to learn, get healthy, and go for goals. Cornell is here to tell us how he’s doing, starting year 4 of the “Mad Miles Club.”