Frontline Race Team

Frontline RA Logo

Meet your Frontline Race Team! This group of 26 wonderful, engaged and active Canada Army Run ambassadors will:

  • Help promote and encourage people to come to Ottawa for Army Run
  • Test-drive new merchandise and gear
  • Race other events in Army Run race gear
  • Share their journey with you as they train, race and anything in between
  • Help share the message of Support Our Troops and encourage fundraising in the community

Click the images below to see each ambassador’s bio and to follow them on social media.

Keith & Linda Collins

Newcastle, ON

Keith & Linda Collins

Hi! We’re The Collins’; Keith & Linda.

We are the proud parents of three adult children and grandparents to three amazing grandchildren. Keith is retired from the software industry and Linda is an Emergency Room Nurse. We have always led a fairly healthy lifestyle but on July 28, 2004, our world was rocked when Linda was diagnosed with Stage 4 Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, an incurable form of blood cancer. After years of treatment, one day Linda decided she wanted us, with the help of friends call the “Team in Training”, to fundraise and run a marathon. During training Linda soon learned that she was incapable of running due to the effects of long-duration treatments. Giving up was not an option, so we took up power walking and completed our first race, the Ottawa Marathon, on May 28, 2006. Since then we have each completed over 125 races throughout North America, Linda power walking and Keith running.

We have participated in every edition of Canada Army Run since it’s inception in 2008.  It is our small way of thanking the men, women and families of the Canadian Armed Forces who make sacrifices every day so we may have the freedoms we enjoy in this great country called Canada.

Army Run is an incredible weekend!

Rudy Allen

Chambly, QC

Rudy Allen

At 34, I consider myself a running and triathalon enthusiast. Each day, I rise to the challenges that are presented to me. Since I changed my lifestyle nine years ago to get into better shape, I have participated in more than sixty competitions, including three marathons and seven triathlons. In 2018, the culmination of years of effort were rewarded as I crossed the finish line of the Lake Placid half-Ironman in the US. Originally from Beauce, but now residing in Chambly, Quebec, I am a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, working in the Cadet Instructor Cadre, a fulfilling profession for me. It is an honor for me to serve my country while working to develop wonderful Canadian youth! In my spare time, I also train teens and young adults in biathlon and triathlon. From athlete to coach, it is my passion for the sport that ultimately matters. On September 22, 2019, it is with great pride that I will be participating in my ninth Army Run. An extraordinary race not to be missed!

Nicholas Beaudoin-Mercier

Chambly, QC

Nicholas Beaudoin-Mercier

I’m an 20-year-old athlete! I play all kinds of sports – biathlon, triathlon, running, pentathlon, etc.. As an outdoor enthusiast, I like exploring and discovering new cultures.

Ryan Butler

Nepean, ON

Ryan Butler

I’m an avid runner, devoted husband, big brother and human resources manager. I love the smell of new running shoes and the anticipation of race day!

Katrina Byrd

Ottawa, ON

Katrina Byrd

I was first inspired to run by my mother, Catherine, who sets out for a 4.5 km run five days a week. Catherine completed the half-marathon at the Ottawa Race Weekend in 2007, which inspired me to complete my first half-marathon in 2012. Since then, I have completed 19 half-marathons and have a goal to complete 30 before I turn 30. Running has become a stress reliever, and I find myself running most days of the week. Over the past couple years, I have also enjoyed the social aspects involved with running through Ottawa City Run Club, Run Ottawa and the online run community. I am a fifth year Commerce student at Carleton University and work part-at the Department of National Defence.  While not running, studying or working, I can often be found cuddling with my hairless cat, Lola. I am honoured to have been selected as a member for the first year of the Frontline Ambassador team.  I look forward to sharing my running stories and encouraging other runners leading up to Army Run.

Christine Cassey

Acton, ON

Christine Cassey

I’m a mom to two kids (aged 20 and 5), a partner to a full-time Army Reservist, an employee at NavCanada and a cofounder of SoTri.  Life is busy but short so I want to live it to its fullest!  I love running and triathlon, and try to bring new people to these sports each year. Sport has transformed my life by surrounding me with like-minded, positive and confident friends.

Lindsay Chung

Quesnel, BC

Lindsay Chung

I currently live on a farm in Quesnel, B.C., where I am lucky enough to do farm chores, work with horses and help build up programs to support veterans. I grew up in Comox, B.C., and am the daughter of a veteran who served in Rwanda, so I want to do as much as I can to support our troops – past and present. One of the best things I’ve done in my life is be part of the Communities for Veterans Foundation Ride Across Canada in 2015. I was a member of the support crew for a 211-day horseback ride from Victoria to St. John’s to raise awareness and support for contemporary veterans, and it was life-changing. I met so many wonderful people who are now good friends, and I feel very lucky I had a chance to make a difference in the lives of people I really admire. I am still heavily involved with Communities for Veterans, and I am excited to keep helping veterans through the foundation and through The Forge programs we plan to run on our farm in 2018 for people experiencing the symptoms of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and OSI (operational stress injury) and through events like Canada Army Run, which I plan to participate in until I physically cannot.

Patricia Clooney

Toronto, ON

Patricia Clooney

I’m a super-friendly (but hard-core) year-round runner – all weather, all conditions, all in! I love the simplicity of this sport. I love being able to run anytime, anywhere… taking it easy or pushing it to my limits. In my twenties I ran as a way to clear my head and feel better physically. Then a serious health issue shortly after I married left me hospitalized and bed-ridden. Once I started on the road to recovery I realized how weak I had become; I could barely stand. It took so much, physically and mentally, to get back on my feet, but I was determined to return to health and set myself what seemed an impossible goal: the New York City Marathon sub 3:30. I’d never run a marathon before, and it took dedication, commitment and hard work, but I crossed the finish line in Central Park achieving my goal. Now in my 40’s, I’m stronger and fitter than ever, and along with my husband (an avid cyclist/mountain biker), and our lovable pooch Henry, we live a very active lifestyle. We both work hard in our full-time jobs and love finding time to achieve our fitness goals. I’m so excited to share my love of running with others and am honored to be a Frontline Ambassador for 2018!

Fred Connor

Wawanesa, MB

Fred Connor

I joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) as a Reservist in 1984 with 2 Field Engineer Regiment in Toronto. In 1986 I joined the Regular Force, was posted to Calgary in 1987, did two tours in 1988 to Cyprus, in 1993 to Bosnia and served during the Ice storm. During my time in the CAF, I achieved my black belt in Shotokan Karate. I have been married since 1989, with two sons and a grandson. Throughout my career I had several postings to such places as Borden, Kingston and Shilo MB. During my career in the CAF I sustained several injuries, both physical and non-physical in nature, because of some of those injuries I was medically released from the CAF in April 2008 after serving 23 years.

Brianna Cowman

Ottawa, ON

Brianna Cowman

I am a young professional living in Ottawa, and can often be found running with some of the city’s local run clubs. I have been lucky enough to find some amazing friends through the Ottawa running community, and have really enjoyed meeting new people at local running events.

This past fall I crossed the finish line of my 10th half marathon, and am now gearing up to complete my second full marathon. I completed the 5K plus 10K Vimy Challenge at Canada Army Run 2017, and did the half marathon at the 2018 Army Run. When not running I can be found cycling, spinning, hiking, or taking (too many) photos of my cat.

Scott Cunningham

Syracuse, New York (USA)

Scott Cunningham

Running, family, fitness, health and wellness. These are all words I would use to describe my favorite things in life, but it has not always been that way. For a large portion of my life, I was obese, a smoker and a drinker and an unhealthy and unhappy man. I finally realized in 2011, at an all-time high weight of 360 pounds, that I was slowly killing myself. I made the decision one day to live my life and have not looked back. I quit smoking and cleaned up my diet, but was too embarrassed of my size to run in public. I started a 5K walk/run program, but would only run in a cemetery where no one would see me. That year I lost over 100 pounds and ran my first half marathon. In 2012, I trained for my first full marathon and finished with a time of 4:28. One year later, in 2013, I was able to drop my time to 3:18. Now, as a husband and father of four, working in the natural health industry, 180 pounds lighter and 30 full marathons later, I can honestly say that running gave me back my life. I will forever be grateful for the experiences, people and passion running has brought into my life. My wife (Katy Cunningham, also on the Frontline Race Team) and I work together to make sure we can both reach our goals and set positive examples for our boys. It is not easy, but it is worth it!

Katy Cunningham

Syracuse, New York (USA)

Katy Cunningham

I started running because I lost a bet, literally! I made a bet with my best friend who is an Ironman athlete that if she ran an upcoming race faster than her boyfriend, I would join the local charity team and run it the following year. Well, she did it, and I never make a promise I’m not willing to keep. As a mom of four boys, a wife and a full-time pediatric cardiology nurse practitioner, I always felt that “I could NEVER do that” I had become comfortable with being overweight and generally out of shape. Anything more than a yoga class was too much cardio for me! I showed up to the first night of training, terrified, and completed 4.5 miles with my training group and have not stopped since. That was in March of 2012, and seven months later in October 2012, I completed my first full marathon in 4:28. I lost 80 pounds, felt amazing, was happier and healthier and had more joy and energy for my children, my husband and my job. I have made some of the best friends and have had the most memorable experiences in my life. After having my fourth baby, I worked my way back to marathon shape and set a new PR 13 months after he was born. After swearing I would NEVER run, let alone LOVE running marathons, I have now completed 23 full marathons. Is it easy with four kids, a husband (Scott Cunningham, also on the Frontline Race Team) and full time jobs? NO. But with creativity and dedication it is WORTH IT!

Dustin Gavin

Ottawa, ON

Dustin Gavin

I’m an Islander at heart who now lives in Ottawa, the perfect place for running. Running is what I do, but I wasn’t always a runner. Leaving high school and organized sports forced me to make a change, a change I’m glad I made. Running allows me to escape my health professional life and enjoy what nature has to offer. Racing allows me to test myself as I try to beat yesterday. Running, it’s my thing.

Julie Gooch

Orleans, ON

Julie Gooch

I’m a busy mom of a toddler boy that tries to fit in as much running as I can! I work for the government and try to fit in my workouts at lunch or at night. I find that running helped me get over my postpartum depression and makes me a better mom, wife, daughter and person in general. I try to encourage others to run!

Hannah Manning

Ottawa, ON

Hannah Manning

Hannah signed up for her first half marathon in 2012 as a way to commit to taking time for herself and her fitness and has been running ever since. She finds running helps bring balance to her life and embraces getting outdoors, whether on her own or with others. You can find her running bridge loops on her lunch break or meeting up with friends at the Slater Street Running Room for a Sunday long run. After moving from BC to Ottawa for university, Hannah fell in love with the city and is passionate about sharing her adventures on social media @hannahkgm. She’s very excited to be part of the Frontline Race Team and is looking forward to tackling the Commander’s Challenge again this year.

Alexandra Ouzas

Ottawa, ON

Alexandra Ouzas

I grew up in Ottawa and love running through the city. I just finished my Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Ottawa doing research in polymers (I made glue!). I love any excuse to carbo-load and will never turn down post-run recovery beers and nachos. I also like to do crosswords. In my spare time, I like to play with my cat, Noelle.

Noel Paine

Ottawa, ON

Noel Paine

I’m a running dad, writer and blogger from the Ottawa area with a passion for promoting healthy, active living and of course running. I am a former Royal Canadian Air Force Captain and trained with the Canadian Forces Military Running team. My grandfather also served in the Air Force and flew on the Lancaster bombers in the Second World War. I have run everything from the 100m to 100km ultra-marathons and am constantly looking for new adventures. I am also always looking to meet new runners and pass on my love of the sport.

Check out my Running Dad podcast, here: https://nopainenogainblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/13/sharing-stories-i-have-stumbled-across/

Marc-André Prégent

Sainte-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier, Quebec

Marc-André Prégent

In my teens, I was very active (in cycling, basketball and volleyball), but all that ended when I left school, and I quickly become hooked on fast food. When I was 27, I had a heart attack because of job burnout and especially bad eating habits. I should have turned my life around then, but I didn’t, since I considered myself to be an active person. In January 2013, I got sick again (with pericarditis). The turning point came during my appointment with a cardiologist. At the age of 34, I was told that if I did not make any changes, my chances of survival were barely 10 years. That message was really driven home on the 27th of June 2013 at my first follow-up appointment. I got on the scale and saw that I weighed over 450 pounds. Running was a revelation for me. Then I developed a taste for losing weight. I also got involved in the triathlon and caught the bug. I have now lost over 160 pounds. It has not always been easy, but when things get hard, I have lots of friends who are there to remind me that I have accomplished something and should not give up now. So, I can actually say running saved my life.

Yves Prévost

Ottawa, Ontario

Yves Prévost

I am a running nerd!  That comes from being a scientist with a physiology background.  I enjoy testing running plans to see the impact on running times.  I also enjoy coaching new runners and seeing them improve. I have the greatest dog, Archer. I enjoy training for dog sport competitions and taking him for long walks and runs.  He outruns me on the short distances, but I outlast him on the long ones! Finally, I enjoy woodworking and building. It really is about solving a problem and being creative.

Suzanne Robertson

Ottawa, ON

Suzanne Robertson

In short, I love to run, cook and drink coffee. I am a Type 1 Diabetic. Originally from Kingston, Ontario, I have now called downtown Ottawa home for the past 15 years. I work as an Assistant Branch Manager at Bank of Montreal.  My husband and I love to travel and have been to Hong Kong, London, Dubai, and all over Mexico and the Caribbean. In 2017, I entered the lottery for the Chicago Marathon and successfully finished my first marathon. I look forward to seeing what I can achieve in 2018!

Chelsie Smith

Ottawa, ON

Chelsie Smith

I am a graduate student at Carleton University, and I am currently completing my MA in organizational psychology. When I’m not studying, I can be found working (as a teaching assistant at the university or as a research assistant at the Department of National Defence), stalking my favourite athletes on social media, obsessively signing up for races, finding new podcasts to fall in love with and running through the downtown core or on the trails in Gatineau with as many friends as I can get to join me.

Josee Taillefer

Ottawa, ON

Josee Taillefer

Being a Starbucks manager downtown keeps me pretty busy! When I’m not running around at work, I spend my free time training at the gym, getting in some runs along the Rideau Canal or spending some dreaded (but needed!) time on the treadmill. I also love volunteering with Camp Quality or using my downtime to visit friends and family. If you ever see me, say hi or toss me a high five!

Ashley Walton

Ottawa, ON

Ashley Walton

I’d consider myself a professional dog petter, amateur chef and an ever-evolving runner. After sustaining a concussion in 2016 that forced me to take a break from screens, I fell back in love with running. With each kilometer behind me, I became an advocate for self-love, learned to say yes more, to relish in the rewards to hard work and to quiet a busy mind of self-doubt. When I’m not running, I’m typically found outside with my dog Murphy who isn’t as fond of running. He prefers long trail walks and sniffing flowers.

Rebecca Wemyss

Ashton, ON

Rebecca Wemyss

I am an avid runner and teacher from Ashton, Ontario. I teach at the high school level and, in my spare time, I love to coach Cross Country/Track, both at my school and with the Ottawa Lions, as well as volunteer at races. I used to be a sprinter, but in 2009 decided to try and run longer than 800m. Eventually in 2014, I ran my first marathon. When I am not running, I enjoy photography, cooking and enjoying living out in rural Ottawa.

Michael Yowell

Omaha, Nebraska

Michael Yowell

I am a retired US Army Officer enjoying a second career. I love trail and road running as well as cycling.  When I’m not running a race I’m volunteering at one!