AmbasSador Program

2023 Hospital Hill Run

Our Hospital Hill Run Ambassadors around the state and country are super excited to talk about running, getting active, and participating in the Hospital Hill Run Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K!

They attend fun training runs at stores and breweries, where they give away prizes and talk about the Hospital Hill Run!

The Grandfather of all Kansas City Road Races is a non-profit which has partnered with Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City to raise funds for the “I Love Children’s Mercy Fund.” So many of the Hospital Hill Run Participants have benefitted from our wonderful children’s hospital, which makes an incredible impact on children within our community and stands with us in our focus on health and wellness.

The Hospital Hill Run Ambassador Team promotes the event in a variety of ways:

  • Posting photos & short videos via social media of being active
  • Participating in local run groups
  • Encouraging fundraising efforts
  • Assisting at the Health and Fitness Expo and other expos to keep the Kansas City Running Tradition, Hospital Hill Run, active in the running community.


These positive and enthusiastic runners represent the running community at its finest!


The Hospital Hill Run has many participants who have put their heart and sole into the event year after year and love to be a part of the Kansas City running tradition.

Alex Busche


Hi Yall! I’m Alex and I can’t tell you how excited I am to be back as a Hospital Hill Ambassador again this year. My wife got me into running 4 years ago and I haven’t looked back since. I love to run, I love to meet new people, I love to cheer people on, and I especially love Hospital Hill Run. I ran the 10k in 2019 and fell in love with the race. I did the Half Marathon in 2021 and have been in charge of the Ambassadors since. I can’t wait to share the 50th Anniversary with you!

Alexandra Brojarksi-Stauffer


Alexandra was born and raised in Kansas City and ran Track and Cross Country for St. Teresa’s Academy. She first ran the Hospital Hill 10k in 2004 in order to stay in shape over the summer and road her bike up and down Hospital Hill going to and from her first summer jobs. For her, the race started an ended less than a mile from her childhood home so the race always held special meaning for her. Every year, her father, Grant Stauffer, a former SMU Track Athlete, would stand at the base of both Hospital & Trinity Hills and yell out “Don’t let the hill beat you, BEAT THE HILL!”

After earning a Master’s in Architecture at Tulane, she returned to KC to start her career and ran her first Half-Marathon at Rock the Parkway in 2016. A few months later she was stunned to be the first woman to cross the finish line at the 2016 Hospital Hill Half-Marathon on her childhood turf. She later joined the KC Smoke Elite Running Development Team and now trains with KC Endurance, CK Endurance (Triathlon) and Freedom PT KC. Hospital Hill and the running community surrounding this event holds a special place in her heart because it made her truly believe that with training, perseverance and a bit of luck anything is possible! 

Through volunteering, mentoring and coaching her ultimate goal is to inspire and encourage as many people as possible to strap on a pair of shoes and get outside in order to help create a larger community of happy, healthy, fit, motivated people across Kansas City and the Nation. She especially loves to race and is very excited to help support and grow the running and triathlon community here in Kansas City. Along with running the 50th Hospital Hill Half-Marathon in 2023, Alexandra plans on training for her first marathon and eventually achieving her dream of qualifying for Boston as well as qualify for Team USA in the Triathlon.

James M Johnson


James is a Retired Army service member. After being forced to run almost every day for 20 years, He stopped. Helping his Sister In Law complete a bucket list item of an Obstacle Course Race got him back into running after 5 years. Once he started running again, things really started to take off. James runs everything from 5K to Marathons. He is a member of Half Fanatics and Team RWB Kansas City and was the Team RWB Running Ambassador for 2021. He can often be seen running with his running buddy Simba (AKA Cop Dog). James has completed 40 Half’s so far with 5 more planned this year. He has also completed the Marine Corps Marathon and Boston Marathon (Virtual). He has run the Hospital Hill Race every year since 2017. His goal is to one day complete the Chicago Marathon. HM PR: 2:16:05

Josie Pegg


Hello runners! I’m Josie and I’m a KC transplant who came here almost 7 years ago. Running was my way to get to know the city, and it didn’t take long to fall in love with the views and the challenge that downtown running provided. Hospital Hill was a race that I put off running because I was scared of it, but when I won a free entry a few years back, I found myself wishing I’d run it sooner. I loved it so much that I came back the next year as an ambassador and managed to set a new 10k personal best to boot. It’s an amazing course, a very well put on event, and it benefits a GREAT cause in supporting Children’s Mercy – you just can’t go wrong! Come out and Conquer The Hill with us in 2023, I promise you won’t be sorry! PS; follow my journey to the Chicago Marathon in 2022 on Insta! @not.josiegrossie

Anne Kobbermann


Anne is a Kansas City native who first ran the Hospital Hill Half Marathon in 2009.  While she only dabbled at running growing up, she became an avid marathoner in recent years.  She has completed over thirty states in her quest to run a marathon in all fifty and has run five of the six World Marathon Majors (with only Tokyo left).  Despite all of that, she always returns to the Hospital Hill races to cap off her Spring racing season.  She hopes you will join her for a monumental year for the race.

Leah Smith


I’ve been in love with running and spreading the love of running from a very young age. When my dream of being a track and cross country star was dashed due to meets falling on Wednesday evening, and my parents not budging on missing church to be at meets, I took to getting up before school and running on my own for years. I didn’t start racing hard until I was a mom of 2, and joined a running group with Life Time Fitness. I had found my people and they recognized my love for running and quickly got me into coaching and inspiring others. I love to hit a PR as we all do, but nothing lights me up more than seeing someone I coached or run with regularly hitting their PR. My goals are to get a sub 19 minute 5K. Also, to qualify for the Boston Marathon and set a women’s world record in the Beer Mile. But most importantly, to empower my children and everyone around me to strive for a higher level of fitness and push themselves to levels they never thought possible.

William Miller


I’m Will! I run for HOPE! Team Hope! Hospital Hill was my first half marathon and now I’m an ambassador of this great race! Why the hill not! Join me on my journey to my first marathon by signing up today! LETS GO!

Luke Burgett


I was first introduced to road races in 2018 as a challenge with a friend and have enjoyed running ever since. As a CPA by profession, I find that running is a great way to clear my mind and work on mental endurance. While Kansas City is certainly hilly (shout out to the special one by Children’s Mercy), I enjoy going on long runs to explore new places throughout the city.

As Kansas City’s oldest annual road race, Hospital Hill is one of my favorite races for its history, the charity, and the challenge. The fun, friendships, and hills bring me back to this race each year. Come join me!

Kelly Courtney


Kelly has had over 45 years of running experience.  She started running at age 13, after her junior high track coach asked her to run the quarter mile. From that point on, she has been hooked on running, going on to compete in cross country and track at both the high school and college levels.

After a hiatus to raise her children, Kelly began to run competitively again in several “short” road races to start back into the sport.  She has raced several half marathons and full marathons, and has qualified and competed at the Boston marathon.  She has enjoyed running various types of running events, such as the Pikes Peak Ascent, a biathlon, the Warrior Dash and has been part of a 200 mile relay team running over the great divide in Colorado. 

In 2009, Kelly started competing in endurance sports of duathlon and triathlon, after a close friend talked her into competing in a local duathlon event.  With only running experience under her belt and riding a borrowed bike, Kelly competed in her first duathlon.  Since then, she has competed in multiple duathlon and triathlon events, ranging from sprint, olympic, half ironman and full ironman distances.  She has competed at the local, state, regional, national and world event levels.  She has represented the USA Women’s Duathlon Team at the ITU World Championships and has gained All American duathlon and triathlon status.

When Kelly is not training, she works a full time job as a physical therapist and enjoys taking care of horses with her husband at their home.  She also enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Kelly’s philosophy is to start with what you have and build from there.  Enjoy the journey and use your own gifts, talents and determination.  You haven’t come this far, just to get this far!  There is always something waiting for you around the corner.  Just keep building that foundation and pretty soon you will be able to do more than you could have ever imagined!

My goals are to get a sub 19 minute 5K. Also, to qualify for the Boston Marathon and set a women’s world record in the Beer Mile. But most importantly, to empower my children and everyone around me to strive for a higher level of fitness and push themselves to levels they never thought possible.

Sybil Orman


The greatest loves of my life will always be my husband and our three children, but running is a close second. I took up running while I was finishing my education degree at the University of Kansas. I had never run before, but needed a healthy outlet. After my friend convinced me I could run a half marathon, I did in 2008, and I was hooked. I have been training and racing ever since. I have ran countless races of all distances, including the Boston marathon four times, but nothing compares to running at home with my Kansas City Community. I absolutely love my training group, KC Endurance, and the many local races around town. Hospital Hill is the epitome of the Kansas City running community’s heart with the worthy cause it supports, the genuine camaraderie on race day, and the fellowship of volunteers along the course. Other than running on the roads about town, you can find me playing with my young children, creating in my craft room, trying to keep my garden alive, or researching ways to attract a variety of birds to my feeders.

Phillip Alvarado


I have been a runner/walker since January 2011 with my first 5K and have completed many 5K’s, countless 10K’s, over 40 half marathons and 5 full marathons.  I completed my first Hospital Hill half marathon on June 2nd 2012, which just happened to be my daughters 13th birthday.  I have completed Hospital Hill every year since then only skipping one in 2017.  I’ve always endure the hills of the half marathon and when it was available completed the Re-Run. I am not one to run for a time finish, but rather as I carry and run with the American flag on a pole on every run event, I’m usually out there cheering on and encouraging my fellow participants and giving thanks to volunteers as we stride towards the finish line. 

As a Navy Veteran and now leader of Team Red White and Blue, I’m honored to be able complete each run event with that flag on my shoulder as we continue to engage our Veterans and community members in physical and social and community service activity throughout the Kansas City area. or Team RWB Kansas City In 2020, I’ll celebrate my 8th half marathon prior to celebrating my marquee 50th birthday 3 days later. Looking forward to cranking out the hills and then celebrating that finish with family and friends.

Gabriel Esteban


The CHALLENGE of running has inspired me to run the Hospital Hill 10K, KC Half Marathon, Chicago Marathon in 2017 & 2018, along with various 5Ks, 10Ks, and Half Marathons in the Kansas City area. I have been a Member of the Kansas City Running Club since 2013.
An active runner in KCR Monday Trolley Trail Group Run, KCR Rock & Runnerz, Fridays on the Lawn – KCR, 816 Run Club, KC Smart Runners Club and Happy Rock Sunday Runday North Group, it seems like I never have a day off from RUNNING! The times I am not with a running group, I am running in my neighborhood in the Northland near Worlds of Fun.

Along with running, I have raised $1000 for the Ronald McDonald House in 2017 & 2018 while training for the Chicago Marathon. Additionally, I have been involved in various other fundraising events for the RMHC.

Running has opened the door for me to meet amazing people. Back in 2019 the Running Community came through for me as I was FIGHTING cancer with a fundraiser – Relay Run on the HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR. In 2020 after my son Alexander suddenly passed away the Running Community came through again with a “GoFundMe” Page that raised over $5000.00, the funds able for Regina and I to provide Alexander a very nice funeral service. During these times in my life, it was nice to know I could turn to a friend.

I am a truly “Gifted Man” from running!

Morgan Bartels


Hi everyone- I’m Morgan and I love to run. I’ve been running since I signed up for track in fourth grade and have completed countless 5ks, a few 10ks, several half marathons and two marathons. I enjoy running with my husband and taking our kids to run laps around their school track. 

The Hospital Hill Run has been an annual tradition for my husband and I since we moved to Kansas City in 2012. The challenging course and crowd support keep us coming back each year. I am thrilled to get to be a part of the 50th Hospital Hill Run celebration and look forward to seeing you there!

Penny Terwelp


Penny started out as a race volunteer turned walk/runner in 2011. Hospital Hill was my 3rd half marathon in 2012 and is one of my favorite local runs.

I have completed over 98 half marathons in 33 states and am a member of KC Express Women’s running, Lawrence Trail Hawks, Marathon Maniacs, Half Fanatics,100 Half marathon club and Fifty States half marathon clubs.

I also like to keep challenging myself, so currently training for a few local ultra-marathons.

I love talking running, running shoes and often you can find me helping other local runners by pacing races with the Smart Pacing team in Kansas City!

Rachel Rhodes


I’m Rachel, a 36 yr old mom/wife/nurse/runner/paratriathlete. I began running in my late 20s. I started my journey with run/walk intervals that eventually became 5k runs and then longer distances. The Hospital Hill Half Marathon was my first half marathon, and it was instantly my favorite distance and event. 

A few years after I fell in love with running, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I now use adaptive equipment to pursue the activities of my dreams. I run wearing bilateral AFOs (ankle foot orthotics), and I also utilize a wheelchair for mobility to conserve energy so that I can engage in self care and quality time and fun activities with my family. 

Since diagnosis I have continued running 5k to half marathon distances, and also have competed sprint distance to 70.3 mile triathlons. Adaptive movement has been medicine for me through my journey with multiple sclerosis, and the Hospital Hill Run is my favorite goal to keep moving towards. I’m honored to be an ambassador for the 50th Hospital Hill Run, and can’t wait to get out and celebrate movement in whatever adaptive manner my body can participate in that day. I might be on the course with my AFOs, or I may be on the course with my wheels. No matter which tool I’m using to move alone the course I will be doing it with a huge smile.

Josh Cauthon


I started because my children were getting older, and I realized that I needed to change my habits and start living a healthier lifestyle. My employer paid for employee and family entries into the Groundhog Run every year, and so on a whim, I signed up for the Groundhog Run and caught the bug. I started with the goal of doing races once a month, and then it became once every couple weeks, then it was almost every weekend. I would never have guessed at this point I would be able to say that I’ve run multiple half and full marathons, but I’m hooked, and running has brought such a great group of friends and family into my life!

I am honored to be a Hospital Hill Ambassador and look forward to seeing everyone out on the course!

Jamie Wiley


I began running 10 years ago, it was something I chose to begin later in life. I have run Hospital Hill since 2015. It was my first half marathon and one I will run every year as long as my legs will let me. I have had good years running this race and challenging ones, but it will always be one of my favorites. I have enjoyed running many races during my running career ranging from 5k to marathon distances. The half marathon is my favorite race.

I am the leader of the Percheron Run Club here in Kansas City, we meet on Tuesday nights every week. I have done this for almost 3 years. I am so happy that I can contribute to our running community regularly.

Katie Applegate


Hello! I’m Katie, or KatieRunsKC if you are on Instagram, and I love to run! I started truly running the summer of 2019 and really just took off with it (kind of literally)! I have done more 5k’s than I can count, all the way up to a 50k, and everything in-between! I love the running community and finally have a place where I feel like I belong. Being a single mom to a 5 year old, I know the challenge of running with a small kid and you will often find me pushing my mini me in a stroller. Whether you are a first time racer or a seasoned runner, I think we can learn something from everyone. I not only enjoy the physical benefits from running but the mental and emotional benefits as well. I hope you will join me for the 50th Anniversary of The Hospital Hill Run, whatever distance you might choose!

Hien Fran Tran


I am excited to be selected as one of this year’s Hospital Hill Half Marathon ambassadors.  Hien Fran starts running late more like in her adulthood, to be honest.  I never thought about running in my lifetime, was not able to run a mile without huff and puff and always thought it was crazy to run in the rain and snow and now she is one of them. 

I have been running regularly for the past 7 years and mostly logs miles because of the mental health benefit it provides, also loves setting goals and then working hard to accomplish them. I love the 5k distance because it’s short, get done quicker and also started running other distances, including the 10k (my favorite is Plaza 10K) and a few half marathons (of course The Hospital Hill – been running since it 45thanniversary and few others in KC metro area – Liberty Hospital Half, Rock the Parkway, Gramin KC half marathon). The best part of both is seeing all my running friends at all the races and converse about how good the run is and set the goal for the next one. This year, I will run Chicago Marathon as part of RMHC group- where families were kept close to to their sick children while they get the care and supportive services they need.

As a nurse I know a healthy lifestyle and regular physical exercise is very important is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Being physically active can improve your brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do everyday activities.

I am very appreciated any advice and support from others who have conquered the marathon distance. I will be logging most of my training miles in Kansas City area and would love to have you join me at Hospital Hill for any distance. Let continue to build the running tradition in Kansas City and celebrate our healthy and active lifestyle for generation. See you on race day.

Kim Jackman


I got into running later into my 40’s. A friend had seen my facebook posts about “views on the run” and asked me to run a relay race with a team. I did that and was hooked on running but I mostly do it for the shirts and medals. I was intimidated about running HHR at first but had seen an “I conquered the hill” shirt at another race and I wanted one too! Everything about the race is just incredible. I love the venue and the course, the best swag and the best afterparty. The inspiration comes from the hundreds of different types of people that run for the common goal of just finishing. Not worried about the time or beating anyone other than themselves and the person they were before.

Jen Loza


Jen Loza has been running marathons and half marathons since 2009.  Over the years, she has  completed 43 marathons and many other race distances, ran the  Boston Marathon 5 times, and placed 1st female in 9 of the marathons she participated in.  I run with my husband, Pedro, and we race and pace local races.  We are from Nebraska, live in Florida, and have a son, Keith, and two dogs Luna and Chilli! She is happy to promote Hospital Hill Half marathon.  It is one of her favorite races.

Pedro Loza


I started running as a way to lose weight and have been running for 10 yrs. I like to pace races and help people reach their goals. I love to run with my wife and husky. My goal is qualify for Boston and also run New York. I have run 14 marathons, 41 Spartan races, ultra races and 1 100 mile race.

Jen Smith


Jen Smith has lived in Wichita for most of her life (aside from about 10 years in Lawrence and three in Central Florida), and she has been running since 2012. She finished her 35th half marathon in May in Toronto and eighth full marathon in October, the Kansas City Marathon. Someday she hopes to qualify for Boston — just needs to cut 2 hours off her time to qualify! Other dumb insane fun running things she has done are the Dopey Challenge in 2018, the Pikes Peak Ascent in 2019 (beat the time cutoff by less than four minutes), and the 2019 Quad Keyah — four half marathons in four days in the four states that meet on the Navajo lands (Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah). 2023 will be the the third time she has run Hospital Hill in person.

Outside of running, she is an avid traveler (she’s late getting her ambassador bio up because she was in Italy!), knitter, reader, and pop-culture nerd. She loves hockey, has a tweet enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, and has done the bucket-list item of driven a Zamboni. She is honored to care for our nation’s heroes as a radiologic technologist at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center, and she volunteers with Kansas Honor Flight, which gives Veterans a trip to Washington, D.C., to see the memorials that honor their service.

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