The Board

Scot Ursum

Member Since: 2003

Bio: Although I've been involved in sports my whole life, I didn't start running until my early 30's. After my first 5K I was hooked on the competitiveness of the sport. After a miserable 2003 Riverbank Run 25K, I decided to check out a run club that would later be called RunGR, and I found that I was training all wrong. Not all training runs had to be at a tempo pace and I had to run slower in order to get faster, which seemed totally counterproductive. I put faith in our coach's training plan and I got my Boston Marathon qualifying time at the 2003 Chicago Marathon. Since then, I've accomplished things in the sport of running that I never would've imagined I was capable of, and have met some amazing people along the way.

Fun Fact: Once beat Kyle Cutler in an alternating progression workout.

Drew Hendriksen

Member Since: 2021

Bio: I have loved running since joining the middle school cross country team in 7th grade. I continued to be involved in the sport through high school, after which I stopped competitive running. After taking some time away from running with a group through college and the years following, RunGR has been an awesome way to get back into running with a group. I have loved the passion that all the members share for the sport and have been continually impressed by the supportive community at RunGR. Since joining the group, I have had the chance to run a PR in the 5k, and continue to focus my training on running my first marathon.

Fun Fact: One of my majors in college was Spanish – I had the opportunity to study and live for a semester in Spain, and my wife and I continue to travel to as many Spanish speaking countries as we can!

Sonja Perakis

Member Since: 2018

Bio: I started running in middle school as a way to gain a fitness edge on my school and club soccer teams. After taking a break from running during my 20s and early 30s, I completed a couch to 5k program as soon as my son was old enough to bike alongside me and really haven’t looked back. I was originally drawn to RunGR because it offered a weekly strength and mobility session on Wednesday mornings and I figured that any running group that cared that much about this issue, is a group I wanted to participate in :)

Fun Fact: I'm originally from northern California and moved to Michigan the first time to attend graduate school at MSU. My family moved back to Michigan in 2018 after living and working in Washington D.C. for 7 years.

Lisa Barrett
Marketing Director

Member Since: 2013

Bio: After gaining a significant amount of weight in my late 20#39;s, I joined RunGR days after my 30th birthday with big hopes to get healthy and run my first 10K, but in true RunGR fashion, I found myself training for a half-marathon and 25K instead. Before joining this group, I never considered myself a runner, having only run a couple of 5Ks. Now I#39;ve run two full marathons, over 20 half-marathons (or longer), a triathlon and a duathlon. I love the structured workouts, training plans, and coaching that has helped me to continue to accomplish new goals every year. Besides my improved health and the goals that I#39;ve achieved, the friendships I#39;ve gained from RunGR is by far my favorite part of this awesome group.

Fun Fact: I have two hidden talents: creating balloon animals and parallel parking.

Christy Going
Membership Director

Member Since: 2019

Bio: I grew up playing as many sports as I could and was one of those weirdos who loved the "conditioning" preseason work, which was mostly running. Even as a kid I would go on solo runs to explore my neighborhood. Somehow I completely missed out on organized running opportunities until later in life, though I never stopped running. Eventually, I had coworkers who invited me on long runs and I started to run more consistently and completed several half and full marathons. I joined RunGR to meet more running friends and for the structured workouts that are making me stronger. This running community is so important to me now and I can't wait to see what we all accomplish together every season!

Fun Fact: I've run every Gazelle Girl/SheRuns half! Hoping to keep that streak alive for many years to come!

David Billingsley
Social Chair

Member Since: 2010

Bio: I have been running for over thirty years now and a member of RunGR for eight. I started with the group hoping to improve my running. Little did I know that it would also improve my life. I came for the running and I have stayed for all of the amazing people in the group. My training has evolved from running marathons to racing 5k#39;s. The most fun that I have though is in Mike#39;s training; I run those faster than my races.

Fun Fact: I#39;ve had to ask Dave Jorgensen to be quiet on long runs because he was talking too much.

Kyle Cutler
Race Director

Member Since: 2009

Bio: I have been a distance runner ever since I switched from soccer to track in high school. My coach didn#39;t know what to do with me, so he tossed me in a 2 mile event for the first meet and I ended up winning it. I remember thinking how long 8 laps was going to seem, but many decades later here I am! I have run a variety of races, including marathons.

Fun Fact: Half marathons are my favorite distance. When not running, I#39;m a small farm enthusiast.