Community Run Ambassador Program
For the 2023 Icebreaker, we welcome back our ambassadors from the previous year, as well as have added one additional ambassador. Our ambassadors have been chosen because they value living healthy and active lifestyles, the importance of building and giving back to the community, and because they are overall rad people!
MEET OUR AMBASSADORS
"Rich" is a Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor at West Richmond Community Center and has lived in Steveston since 2015. Rich grew up in Vancouver playing field hockey, training with the Canadian National Team and won a 1997/19998 National Championship for B.C. As a runner, Rich has completed two full marathons, including the grueling "Run the Rock" on Texada Island, B.C. in 3:59. He has run over 50 races in his life, including 12 half marathons - his fastest being the 2015 First Half which he ran in 1:34.
Rich's fitness regime includes cycle fit, tabata, running, weight training, plus a monthly personal goal. For Rich, fitness and running isn't about being fast or even getting faster; it's about the freedom, the fresh air and helping his mental health. He believes physical health and mental health go hand in hand.
"Running is the best way for me to combat my struggles with anxiety and stress. There is no better way for me to decompress, take out my frustrations or get creative inspiration, then listening to music and going for a run on the dyke." - Rich
Join Richard in Steveston on January 15th at the Icebreaker!
Rob is a Manager of Business Process at the Ledcor Group of Companies. Because his work involves lots of meeting rooms, desk time, and travelling to visit project teams, he always looks for a chance to sneak out for a run and stretch his legs.
Rob started running in his late 20's when his first child came along. Running was the perfect excuse to build fitness and steal a little bit of time for himself. For many years he ran alone, until 2017 when he raced in his first half marathon. Since then, he has run many other half marathons, 5K's, 10K's, and a few Icebreaker 8K's.
As a husband and proud father of two children (ages 11 and 7), he loves events like the Icebreaker that allow for the whole family to participate. He can run the New Balance 1K Kidsrun with his kids and have plenty of time to get back to the start line for the Icebreaker 8K. Rob and his two kids are also frequent supporters at the Richmond Olympic parkrun.
Rob has been a proud Richmond resident for over 20 years and you can often find him running in one of his favourite places - on the dyke. Rob believes strongly in setting healthy examples for his kids, his peers, and his community, and strives to support the local running community and many other locally-owned businesses along the way.
Erin is a Senior Manager at Rogers Communications in Consumer Care and has lived in Steveston for 20 years, and Richmond for over 35 years. Family involvement in Richmond sports and recreation runs deep for Erin.
Both her husband and son were born and raised in Richmond, and were active in Richmond Soccer programs. Erin's husband, Tim, and son, Jamieson, own and operate Sanctuary Cafe at the south end of No. 2 Road, and community involvement is an integral part of their lives.
Erin started running in her late 20's to stay in shape. Running 5km progressed to 10km, then to half marathons and full marathons. In her late 30's she transitioned to triathalons and completed four Iron distance events by her mid 40's.
Now at 50 years old, Erin continues to take a balanced approach to fitness, including gravel riding, backcountry backpacking, weight training, swimming, road cycling, and running.
Kim has been running the dykes of Richmond her whole life. Richmond born and bred and still a local resident, she is a former member of Kajaks Track & Field Club and ran her first Vancouver Sun Run at 12 years old. She ran on scholarships for the varsity UBC track and Queen's University running teams, and then progressed to road running. She has ran 6 international marathons, including Boston, New York, and Vienna.
As a strong advocate for health and wellness and being active for life, Kim pursued a career in physiotherapy and is the owner and founder of Physio2U, which started in Richmond, BC. In the past, she has volunteered as a cross-country coach and board member for Kajaks, and has raced many Icebreaker 8K's. She is thrilled to be back as an ambassador for the 2023 Steveston Icebreaker 8K.
If you live in Richmond, you will likely see her training at Minoru track and the dykes wearing her favourite New Balance 1400v6 running shoes! Be sure to stay tuned for running injury prevention tips from Kim on social media - @kimphysio.
Dean is a person fuelled by passion. His love for the outdoors, fitness, and connection has been a constant in his life from an early age. Dean is a lifelong Richmond resident, and is grateful to be raising two kids in the city he grew up in. In addition to being a dad, Dean wears many hats, including lululemon run ambassador, teacher, musician, podcaster, and pastor. He lives and breathes community, connection and movement, and he especially loves when those three things converge, and running has served as an intersection for those three passions.
Dean discovered running in his mid-20's as a means of staying fit. At first, running was a burden of fitness, something he felt he had to do. Eventually, he realized the freedom that running brought, and that it was anything but a burden, but rather a necessity of life. Running has given Dean so much beyond mere fitness; it has deepened his connection to community, and has provided opportunities to learn and grow, to push himself, and to help elevate others.
As the co-lead of the Steveston Run Crew, Dean loves to see people come together to discover and deepen their love of running. Catch him Wednesdays at 6pm with the Steveston Run Crew, or any other day of the week putting in laps around the village. Join him at the Icebreaker start line!
Rachel is a Richmond Elementary school teacher, coach, and avid runner. She has called Steveston her home for the past 15 years and loves the close sense of community that it has to offer. With a big, blended family of 5 children and a puppy, Rachel is always on the run!
Rachel started running in high school and has competed at the local, provincial and national levels in track, cross country, and road running. While she doesn't compete at the same level as she did in the past, she loves local community races and seeing the joy that fresh air, exercise, and friendships brings to people of all ages. She has run in numerous Icebreaker races and has helped grow the New Balance 1K Kidsrun.
"Running is a way for me to take time for myself, breathe in the fresh air, manage stress, and connect with my community. My early morning runs along the dyke and through the village help set me up for a great day."
As a running coach, it brings her great joy to see younger generations love being outside, enjoying fitness, and doing something good for their bodies and minds. She emphasizes fun and lifelong fitness, rather than competition. Since COVID began, her running programs have doubled in size as students and parents are looking for ways to stay active in a safe way. You may see Rachel along the dyke with large groups of children in the early mornings. Rachel looks forward to continue to grow the running community among our youngest members, continue to coach at all levels, and stay healthy and fit through her own running pursuits.
Evan has never strayed too far from Richmond. Born and raised here, Evan joined the Kajaks when he was 9 years old, along with his brother Adam. One year later he gave race walking a try, won his first race and from then on knew that one day he wanted to make it to the Olympic podium. In 2016 Evan found himself coming so close to that podium dream when he finished 4th in the 50km race walk. A last kilometre bump in the battle for the bronze medal initially saw Evan promoted to bronze before an appeal saw him back in 4th. Showing true sportsmanship, Evan decided not to appeal further and his 4th place finish and subsequent actions became one of the top stories of the Rio Games.
Leslie is a long time Richmond resident. She graduated from Steveston High in 1982 and spent her university years in Vancouver before a brief stint in Texas. When it was time to start a family, she and her husband returned to Richmond.
An avid runner since the age of 18, she has run many half marathons and 10 kms, and has run the Vancouver, Portland, Chicago, Boston, and New York Marathons. Qualifying for and running the Boston Marathon in 2007 was definitely a highlight. Her favourite distance is the half marathon, and her best time was 1:38:38 at the First Half in 2009.
Beyond running, Leslie loves road cycling and weight lifting, and is co-owner of the Steveston based gym, Shift and Lift. She loves her community and strongly believes in participating in and giving back to it, understanding that healthy communities help build healthy people.
As a Clinical Social Worker, Leslie is an advocate for the powerful effect of physical activity on mental health, and the importance of strength at every age. For her, running is meditation in motion, and is her favourite activity. She is excited to be an ambassador for the Icebreaker 8K and hopes to continue to share her love of running with others.
Takami serves as a run leader at Steveston Run Crew where his focus is on creating a warm and
supportive community. He treasures the connections that running fosters. To him, it's not just about crossing finish lines, but the shared journey and bonds forged along the way. He often incorporates his love for running into his travels, ensuring that his vacations are centred on events. Japan is a favorite destination, which offers the perfect blend of race energy and
relaxation through the serene onsen experiences.
Professionally, Takami's dedication to promoting health extends beyond the pavement. As a
physiotherapist, he works closely with a diverse clientele at Pure Motion Physiotherapy in
Steveston. Beyond the clinic, he dedicates his time at Richmond Hospital where he helps
individuals overcome injuries and illnesses through functional mobility.
As an ambassador for the Steveston Icebreaker, Takami is excited to be part of a thriving
community and looks forward to making more connections through this role.