Emily Noble, President
Emily and her family moved to Athens in 2019 to take a faculty position at UGA. As an avid runner who has moved around as an adult, she understands the importance of a healthy, active, and welcoming running community. She been actively involved as a volunteer team leader in several running non-profit organizations, including Back On My Feet, and the Twin Cities Marathon Association. She was a founding member and served on the board of the non-profit organization Runners For Recovery. She began running marathons in her early 20’s after college. Her favorite races in town are the Milledge Mile and of course the AthHalf!
Sally Kirklewski, Vice President
Sally started running during freshman year of high school when she decided walking her family dog took too long. Shortly after, she joined her high school’s cross country and track team and competed in the 5k and 3200m on the track. After high school she ran for Auburn University for two years before getting sidelined by injury. She enjoys competing in local road races and finding races when she travels. The 10k is her favorite distance to race, and she has goals of running her first full marathon when it’s safe to do so! Sally says, “I enjoy being part of the Athens Road Runners board because I enjoy giving back to the community. After I graduated from my master’s program and my classmates moved away, I continued to feel welcome with the Road Runners.”
Nina Santus, Secretary
Nina has been an ARR member since 2013!! She is a lifelong runner, beginning when she was only 8 years old and accompanying her Dad. In her 20’s she began running Marathons, and in her 30’s Ultra Marathons! Her favorite running events include anything that gets her feet on the trails. Nina’s message to the ARR community is: “ARR is supportive to all! Many folks are down and have stopped running with the stress and challenges of 2020 and now 2021. I want to remind everyone we are out here and we are running. I don’t care about your pace, I’ll run with you, come run with me.”
Ashton Peeples, Treasurer
Ashton Peeples started running in 2018 to run the AthHalf and hasn’t looked back. What started as a path to better overall health has lead to a passion for endurance and distance running. She is running her first ultra in 2021 and always looks forward to runs to supplement her training with ARR. She can’t wait for the return of her favorite, local sporting event of the year–Twilight. When she’s not running, you can find Ashton roller skating, sewing, playing with her pups, or eating.
Kat Cason, Board Member
As a kid, Kat wanted to participate in sports but girls had few opportunities then. Title IX passed her senior year of high school. Still, she enjoyed being active in outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking, and canoeing. She entered AthHalf – her first race ever – as a walker in order to improve her fitness for backpacking. Her daughter, who IS a runner, walked part of the race with her and afterwards encouraged her to try running. So she did. She was 61! This year Kat plans to run a marathon in Canada and continue to help the ARR board ensure that ARR has a solid future.
Tom Cannon, Board Member
Tom has been a runner since 1975 and competed for UGA in cross country and track. He’s grateful to the Road Runners for their part of building such an incredible running community in Athens. He turned his love of sports cars into Vetteco Inc, specializing in vintage Corvette parts and car restoration.
Alex DeLoach, Board Member
Alex started running competitively in highschool cross country and track & field. After taking a break for a little while, Alex came back to the sport later in life for the friendships and camaraderie. Alex’s message to the community is: “Athens Road Runners is not just a running club, it is a family. I have met so many wonderful friends through this club, people that I feel I can call on for anything, and hold me accountable to my goals! My hope is that all our members find that same support network and build genuine life long friendships”.
Blake Hartis, Board Member
Blake moved from Lithonia to Athens as a teenager 25 years ago — he’s practically an Athens native. As a local realtor, he loves helping people find their ideal home to create meaningful memories with loved ones. He joined ARR several years ago to keep fit, motivated and push himself to new levels. Blake joined the ARR Board in 2020. His favorite race is the Peachtree 10K. A few years ago he signed up for an Ironman distance triathlon, but then had to take swimming lessons!
Nate Nibbelink, Board Member
Nate ran competitively in high school, but with other priorities in college, a family by age 23, grad school, and life… he didn’t overcome the inertia to get back into running until age 47. In fall 2016, Nate attended a memorial run for a PhD student he had taught. Her inspiring story combined with a painful, breathless three miles, led him to make a commitment right then and there, to take better care of himself so he could better take care of others. Nate says the best lesson he learned from his ARR friends is that it’s not about speed, it’s about showing up. Just showing up has kept Nate running since then, and he completed his fourth marathon in December 2020.