Cel Smart – Be Amazing

We love talking about running here, but the best part of running is knowing that you’re doing something to keep your body healthy and fit. Our next guest on Running Around Charlotte wants you to feel amazing in your body .. and, in fact, is inviting you to be a part of “Be Amazing Weekend” in October. Celia Thompson, or “Cel” to her friends, spent 10 years in competitive fitness and now focuses on keeping others fit. She joins us now to tell us how we can, also, “be amazing.”


Lindsay Walter – Runner

Running is a hot, sweaty business. And what’s the first thing you do after you cool down? Taking a shower and washing your hair is probably high on the list. Our next guest on Running Around Charlotte, though, got sick of running with her hair one day during a 20-mile run, and… took it off. No, she didn’t shave it — she was wearing a wig, like she had almost her whole life — and she was tired of it. Lindsay Walter is an athlete with alopecia, which means she doesn’t grow hair. And she’s here to tell us the story of how she embraced her bald head… and literally ran with it.


Bill Johnston – Recover Brands

One really cool thing about our Novant Health Charlotte Marathon is our love for local companies with what we choose to represent us, and the local sponsors who support our race. And we’re excited that once again, our race t-shirts are made by local company, Recover Brands. What’s even cooler is that Recover Brands supports the earth. They are made of 100% recycled material, designed, sourced, and sewn right here in North Carolina. Bill Johnston is the co-founder of Recover Brands, and he’s here to explain more about the amazing sustainable T-shirts that are the must-have accessory from every race around.


Jamey Yon – TriYon Performance

It’s always great to talk to an Ironman finisher — anyone who can go the distance in the mother of all triathlon races is usually a very positive, upbeat, energetic person. Jamey Yon has not only finished an Ironman, he’s done it 22 times! He was also the World Champion in his age group in 2017 Ironman 70.3, and an Olympic Distance Age Group National Champion. On top of that, he’s a father of 5, founder of TRiYon Performance, and maker of Yon-Bons energy snacks.


Michael Sweeting – Rucking Division

During the Novant Health Charlotte Marathon, there are a lot of runners who will grab your attention. One group, though, has its own division. This group honors the armed forces by walking the entire 13.1 miles of the half-marathon wearing weighted backpacks, or “rucksacks.” It’s the basis of military training. Rucking is a great workout for building strength and endurance, but mentally, it’s even more than that. It’s been called, “movement with a purpose,” and Michael Sweeting is heading up the Rucking Division of the Charlotte Marathon this year.



Bekah Eljoundi – Ambassador

We know runners love running, and our ambassadors are the epitome of that. We have with us today one of those ambassadors, Bekah Eljoundi. Her running story is pretty amazing, considering she spent most of her childhood held back by asthma and never even THOUGHT she could be a runner — even though she always admired them. She’s here to tell us how she went on to run 19 marathons now… even one, 6 months after having a baby.



Taryn Cullen – Novant / EXOS

You’ve heard about it, and maybe even felt it – those extra pounds some of us are putting on because we now work a few steps from the fridge, and aren’t following our normal workout routine. They’ve been called the “Quarantine 15” or even the “COVID-15” – Yikes – and we need to keep them off. Taryn Cullen has some ideas to help you. She’s a Registered Dietician with Novant Health and she joins us today on Running Around Charlotte with a few simple ideas to set you back on the right path.



Blair Kitrick – Ambassador

We can’t think about running in groups right now, and we definitely can’t consider running a race with hundreds of other people…. Or can we? Blair Kitrick thinks we can… if we do it by ourselves.

Wait, what? — Yes.. Blair and her Dad are organizing a VIRTUAL 5k and 10k race to raise money for hospital masks. It’s the kind of enthusiasm about running we would expect from Blair.. since she is one of our Ambassadors for the Novant Health Charlotte Marathon. She’s also the founder of JayTalking, a non-profit focused on individual rights, and improving relationships between police and youth. Thanks for joining us, Blair.. we have a lot to talk about!


Dr. Karan Shukla – Novant

Runners… we know you’re hurting. We know you still want to go out and do your usual runs (and we’d also understand if you don’t) — but a lot has changed. We’re all worried about our health, and we’re worried about other people’s health too – and yet we still want to run, safely. Our guest today on Running Around Charlotte can help you do that. Dr. Karan Shukla is a Physician at Novant Health Randolph Family and Sports Medicine, and he’s also served as a physician in the medical tent at the Charlotte Marathon for the last three years. He understands you, runners, and he’s here to help.

Charles Willett – Runner

We all know the transformation that running can make us feel inside. Even now – or ESPECIALLY now – with Stay at Home restrictions, running gives us exercise and freedom we need for our minds and bodies, while allowing us some social distance. Our next guest on Running Around Charlotte is showing the transformation running can make on the outside. We know running is a great way to stay in shape, but Charles Willett was nearly 400 pounds before he decided to adopt a healthier lifestyle, including running. The CPA for NoDa Brewing has now lost nearly 150 pounds and counting.