What is a d2e Ambassador Athlete?
A d2e Ambassador Athlete is a voice of change. You are someone who believes in changing the way we communicate with ourselves, our emotions, and others. Whether you're running a 5k, swimming in an Iron Man, or running around the world, run, walk, swim, bike, or hike your next race to raise awareness and funds for d2e. As an Ambassador Athlete, you'll have the opportunity to rock the d2e logo and help end the stigma around depression.
We are currently not accepting Ambassador Applications at this time.
I am a proud mother of two and have been serving in the Navy for the past 17 years. I started running in 2006 to quit smoking and continued thru Iraq and after. I came back with some serious PSTD and have been dealing with it since 2008. Every day is a struggle and a fight, but running and working out helps me deal with all the challenges. I have ran close to 100 races and am psyched to enter a new chapter of my life- ultra running. I am super excited to represent D2E because I know first hand what depression can do to people.
I grew up in Pennsylvania and started running during high school. I fell in love with it almost instantly but couldn't have imagined just how much it would help me over the years. During my junior year of college, my brother unexpectedly passed away. Running has helped immensely while trying to cope with the loss of him. I recently moved from my home in PA to Salt Lake City to pursue a graduate degree in sports nutrition. Over the past year, I ran my first marathon and then decided to make it a mission to qualify for Boston for my second marathon. In November, I went home to PA to run the Harrisburg marathon where I achieved my BQ of 3:29:14!
Throughout most of my adult life, I have battled depression and bouts of anxiety, I'm also a recovering alcoholic. To keep me on a better path from the one I was previously on, I have found physical fitness to be a great way to help me do that. My weapons of choice in the battle are Long Distance Running and Boxing, Iʼm currently training for my first Ultra Marathon, of which I intend to run 5 in 2018 and also the London Marathon. My hope is people can see where I was and where I am now and use that as inspiration to move forward with their own battles. Eventually, we can together break the stigma surrounding Mental Health.
I’ve always enjoyed running but started to do it more serious back in 2014 when I signed up for my first Ultra (50k) after that I’ve increased the volume and the distance. 2015, I signed up for 75k, when I finished that one (2nd place) I told my wife to forbid me to sign up for anything longer than that. Two weeks later I signed up for my first 100 Miles… After that I’ve been running 100 milers, 6hrs, 12hrs and 24 hrs..
The top three races that I want to do are: Spartathlon, Bad Water and keys100. I try run every day but work, travel and other appointments prevent me from going out every day which is kind of frustrating. I love getting out for an evening run, to clear my head after a hectic day. It is my way of winding down. To get perspective and new ideas.
I’m also an ambassador for the “Berlin Mauerweglauf” Mauerweglauf translate to “wall road race”, it’s a race that goes where the Berlin wall stood until November 9th, 1989. This race is honoring and remembering everyone that tried to flee from East Berlin and was killed. I think it’s important that we do not forget that there was a time when people weren’t free to move around in Europe. We should always strive to open borders, not close them!
I discovered running back in high school where I ran track and field and cross country for 4 years. Over the years I have continued running off and on primarily to stay in shape. About five years ago however, I started to let my diet get the best of me and I almost reached 200 lbs. For a short guy (5’5”), that’s a lot of weight. My breaking point was May of 2014 when I was at Disneyworld with my kids. I had developed foot issues and foot pain leading up to the trip because of my excess weight. During the trip, I was pretty much using my daughter’s stroller as a walker. While life was ok materialistically, I didn’t like myself when I looked in the mirror, plus with the foot pain, I wasn’t enjoying my time with my kids the way I should. Upon returning from that vacation, slowly I got back into running. In 2016 I started racing again. Since then not only have I lost over 40 pounds but I have run several races including three half marathons. While I always enjoyed running, I never thought I would complete a half marathon! Further, after trying off and on for about 20 years, I finally qualified for the 2018 New York City Marathon in November. It has always been a dream to run that race and now that I have that chance. In looking back at my weight loss, I have decided to make it my mission also inspire people not only to lose weight thru running but in simply becoming a better version of themselves. Running can do that for just about anyone regardless of their situations in life.
Been running for only a few years. First ultra was 6 days after my first marathon. Both of which were in fall of 2017. I have a son who is going to be 10 in March and who has autism. I dealt with depression as a teen. I learned to control it through self-talk and changing my mindset.
My fav ultra runner is David Goggins. Former Navy SEAL.
I’m a certified personal trainer, massage therapist/craniosacral therapist and run coach. d2e especially hits home from me because I suffer from bipolar disorder and high social anxiety. Running has been literally a life saver for me. Not only for the mental and physical therapy but for my soul. My preferred distance is the marathon and half marathon. Last May was a PR on the Vermont city marathon in Burlington with a 3:13. This May in Buffalo New York will be my next marathon. I’m still cracking sub 3:00 and have goals on cracking 2:30 in the years to come.
Born and raised in Alaska. I come from an Alaska running dynasty but am definitely the black sheep! Every good team needs an even better hype man right!?! I had a wonderful childhood full of love and opportunity. Into my 20’s things just mentally got tough. Started with losing my grandfather, who was beyond a hero to me. That sadness just compiled with struggles life throws at everyone until 10 years later I was on a path of depression and anxiety that I couldn’t shake. Drank rather heavily and basically treated my body like a trash can. Once my son Jack Danger Foldager was born in May 2017 I just decided it was time to be Dad and I had to do something different. With the help of my amazing Oksana I changed my life around. Went primarily plant based and found the toughest race on earth. Got into the Hurt100 lottery in January 2018 and started running. Along the way I found running opened up my mind and helped me fight my battles head on. For the longest time I felt lost but now, we’ll now I’m running forward! I look forward to every day and can’t wait until I get to climb that next mountain! YAR!!
I’m 36 and a mother of 3 children; 13, 12 and 22 months. Dealing with teenagers and toddlers has driven me to run (literally) out of the house. I started running again in 2016 to combat postpartum depression and managed three 5ks, one five miler, two 10k, one 10 Miler and one half marathon in 2017. A double fracture in my left ankle caused me to miss out on a lot of spring running but 2018 is looking like it will be amazing! I can’t wait to represent depression2extinction in the coming year and to help bring awareness to the masses who live with depression daily.
Caitlin was born and raised in the Tampa Bay Area of Florida. She began running as cross training for her collegiate rowing career and fell in love with the sport upon completion of her first half marathon. At some point, she was tricked into registering for an ultramarathon and has since never looked back.
Depression and anxiety enshrouded Caitlin from ages 16-21 as she battled with finally conquered anorexia. In some ways running saved her life. In many more ways, it was the trails and the beauty of our planet that saved her life. To her, trail running has become simultaneously the means to achieve and the celebration of a strong body, and a sound mind.
Growing up with anxiety was not an easy feat. The classroom was my worst nightmare as I longed to run free outside. Thankfully, my parents had me play soccer from the pee wee years up till 6th grade, at which point I was finally free to find the sport of my choice. Thus, my official introduction into the running world. Over the years, the number of injuries grew and I questioned whether I could continue with my passion for this sport. It wasn't until my senior year of college when I tackled my first long distance race, a 50K ultramarathon, that it really sunk in that chasing endurance, specifically ultras, would be the stepping stone to continually conquering this beast called anxiety.
I am an enthusiastic, social runner living in Pennsylvania. My running career began during my years on the high school cross country team. Swimming was always my first love, and I was a decorated member of my swim team at Lycoming College. When I graduated college and ended my swimming career, I began running again and discovered a love for the half marathon. I ran my first full marathon in June 2016 with the intention of it also being my last. Like so many of us, I was hooked and decided to run the Harrisburg Marathon in 2017 where I qualified for Boston 2019 with a 3.33. I love to run on the trails and farm roads of PA with my dog, Riley. I try to live every day with a positive outlook and running gives me confidence (and natural high) to make this possible.
I suffer from endometriosis, a disease that leaves me mentally and physically drained frequently every month. This leaves me feeling inadequate and empty, and as a result I struggle with bouts of depression and anxiety from my chronic, severe pain. But when I can push myself to get out the door, no matter if it's for 5 minutes or 5 hours, it gives me a sense of normality and strength. My strong passion for cycling, ultra-running, and triathlon empowers me to be my best self. Training is my release from the everyday stresses of life, and I love the challenge of pushing myself to my limits in training and racing. I want to be a role model to other athletes, women, and people from all walks of life - to show everyone you can be confident and strong in your own skin no matter what obstacle stands in your way.
I grew up in Massachusetts, have been running and racing off and on for nearly 25 years, and I am a US Marine Corps combat veteran. After returning from the Iraq war in 2005, I struggled with reintegration, anxiety, and identity. Running, and the community, structure, and goal setting involved with it, helped me through those hard times. I spent most of my professional life working on catastrophic disaster planning and health security, heavy topics to say the least. I wasn't very happy, under a lot of (mostly self-imposed) pressure, and not as active as I would like to be. Recently, with the help and support of my amazing wife, I stopped working for other organizations and government to start several businesses; one focused on supporting small businesses recovering from disasters (@Naseku_goods) and there other focused on connecting ultra and trail runners with great gear (@ultrarunnerco). I once again have time for running adventures and it is my honor to help d2e raise awareness of and remove the stigma around depression.
I am from Greenville, North Carolina. I have been athletic my entire life, an off and on runner through the years, love the outdoors, and have battled with depression and social anxiety for some time. I feel that running, ultra-running especially, has helped in curbing my depression and social anxiety by allowing me to channel the negative feelings into something positive and overcome some of the dark places and fears that accompany those paralyzing issues. I took up running seriously in 2017, and it has blossomed from there with the help of various friends, mentors, and my family’s support. I competed in the 2017 Blue Ridge Relay on a 6 man ultra-team which finished 36th overall, and 7th in the ultra category. I was then convinced by a few ultra-runner friends to enter Tideland 24 which is a 24 hours race and go for 100 miles. I hesitantly entered the race and surprisingly finished 7th overall with 100.5 miles completed in my first attempt at a solo ultra run. For this year I currently plan to run the Ultra Race of Champions 100k, Bethel Hill Moonlight Boogie 50 Miler, and the 2018 Blue Ridge Relay 6 man ultra category. I am truly honored to be a part of the d2e team, and look forward to what the future holds!
My whole running career has been like that I’m very stubborn. Prior to 9/2013, I ran mostly 5k’s, 10k’s and few half marathons and 1 marathon. However, in September of that year, I had to get knee surgery. My surgeon made the mistake of telling me I’d probably never run more than a 10k ever again. Well, 9/2014 I ran a half marathon but I wanted more. 3/2015 I completed my 1st 50k.
2016 was a year of challenging myself, I completed the Dopey Challenge 1/2016 and my 1st 50 mile the North Face Endurance Challenge Wisconsin. I did the Chicago Marathon 4 weeks later and the Hixon 50k 4 weeks after that.
2017 I finished my first hundred miler! The Hennepin Hundred was one of the hardest accomplishments of my life and in 2018 I’ve set the bar even higher for myself. I run my next 100 miler April 6th in Pekin, IL the Potawatomi 100. In October I’m going back to Hennepin for a new challenge. I will be running the 100 mile again but after I cross the finish line myself and 2 other runners will turn around run back 100 miles back to the starting line for 200 miles the last 100 being supported by friends and family.
My first race was the '07 Detroit Marathon in which I did just about everything wrong. It was a completely miserable experience I was just happy to check off my bucket list. I didn't really get into running until the next summer when I linked up with a local running group. Until then I thought runners were just "type A"/ anal folks that liked to wake up at 5am to be miserable the rest of the day, but it turned out that they're actually some pretty cool people!
My friends in the group and I did lots of races together, and did all the "by the book" training. This led us to the all too frequent story of injuries and plateaued fitness. It wasn't until I changed my training in preparation for a hundred miler that I really began to understand running for myself.
Long story short, running changed from being "training" into an activity. I could use it to meditate, socialise, rock out to tunes, study, plan, reflect, or just be in the moment etc. I actually began to develop my relationship with the sport. I took the time to be mindful of form, heart rate, and exertion. All my training was easy, but my race PRs kept dropping. It's like I finally took the training wheels off.
My whole life I’ve been told what I couldn’t do and who I couldn’t be. Not anymore! My passion is to Make Positivity Louder and be the catalyst for self-belief in others lives! I’m no longer accepting limitations and am going to push the boundaries of possibility. I've always been a bodybuilder, but after completing a 24hr non-stop hike called the Unbreakable Challenge, I’ve decided to dive head first into Ultra Endurance competition. This year I have signed up for and will complete the Breaks 40 which is a 43-mile Ultra Trail run through the “Grand Canyon of the South”. I can’t wait to compete and complete this challenge and look forward to sharing my story along the way!
I have been a competitive runner for over 18 years, and grew up running with my identical twin (Erin Donaghy - also a d2e ambassador) and father. I enjoy long distance running and in more recent years have run several half marathons, marathons, and a 50k. Last year, I ran 57 miles from Penn State to Bucknell to raise money for Lyme disease awareness. As someone diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease, I understand how difficult it is to struggle day to day with a stigmatized disease. I've also struggled with depression, so d2e's mission is incredibly important to me. This year I plan on running my first 48 hour race and hopefully several other distance events.
From an early age, I was always active- bouncing between soccer, basketball, field hockey and dance. I began struggling with anxiety and depression earlier in life as well, around the age of 12. Staying active was a great outlet to push through my anxiety, but often the anxiety held me back from performing at the level I wanted to. My anxiety progressed to the point of agoraphobia, where I could not leave the house without having severe panic attacks. With some professional support, I went on to run DIII Cross Country, where I found great support in my teammates. They encouraged me to run my first two half marathons. Still, the anxiety and depression continued to challenge me. My running went to the wayside as I turned to alcohol and drugs to deal with my mental illness, and I became very suicidal.
The fog began to lift when I turned back to running, after gaining 45 pounds. I started slowly getting back into running and trained for my third half marathon. I finally hit my bottom in December 2013, when I got sober. It seemed like the perfect time to train for my first marathon! Navigating early recovery and marathon training went hand in hand for me, learning to work through fears and challenges, and asking for help. I firmly believe that running has saved my life.
Today, I have an ultramarathon (Dirty German 50K), five marathons (including the honor of running the 2017 NYC Marathon as “Meb’s Final Marathoner”), eleven half marathons and countless other races under my belt. I’ve expanded into Crossfit to supplement my running. I am a person in long term recovery, in addition to thriving (not just surviving!) with my mental illness. Running and Crossfit continue to be excellent tools to work through my bad days and tougher times.
I am passionate about d2e because of their focus on connection. I have been carried and supported by my friends as well as those I have met in the running community, the Crossfit community and others in recovery. When I becomes we, even illness turns to wellness!
l am a Physician Assistant student and pro OCR (obstacle course racing) and Ultra-Marathon athlete. As a kid I was not an athletic person, I would trip over my own feet and never started in any sports that I participated in, including football, track, and wrestling. It wasn't until I joined the Army that I found out that I was really good at running. Unfortunately, when you're young it's easy to fall into the wrong crowd with the wrong people. Shortly after joining my unit in Texas I started drinking way too much and fell deeply into depression after holding back emotions from a really troubled childhood full of heartbreak and bullying. If it wasn't first, for my sons birth, and secondly for running, I would have never survived my battle with depression. That all being said, I am PROOF that things get better. Today I would have never imagined being a top running athlete, winning races and even becoming the Spartan Race Ultra World Champion this past December in Iceland. I look forward to working with this great organization to run across the globe and spread the word that IT DOES GET BETTER!
Originally from New Hampshire, I fell in love with running and long distance movement when I was stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska with the U.S. Army. While living there I spent most of my weekends running and skiing, and finished my first marathon, 50 miler, and 100 miler. Since then, I’ve completed long distance trips in Scotland, Canada, and much of the lower 48. Running has also fueled my passions for alpine climbing and backcountry skiing, and I love seeing all the wonderful places my feet can take me. I recently moved into a van that I converted into a camper, and I can’t wait to hit the road and run in some beautiful places.
I grew up in San Jose, CA and was a competitive boxer, training out of the non-profit boxing gym, Dreamland Boxing since high school. Boxing taught me much more than just how to fight - it reconditioned my mind and my attitude and instilled an ethic of discipline and self-respect into my life. After hanging up my gloves, I've made an effort to give back to my community and now volunteer as the amateur team head coach at Dreamland. I also got interested in obstacle course running and long-distance running. I ran my first 3 marathons within the past year and have a few more on the calendar for 2018.
I believe that we need to get rid of the stigma behind mental illness through empathy and compassion, education and truly understanding its causes and manifestations. Everyone is affected by mental illness - whether it be a personal battle or with someone they know. However, only 50% seek treatment for one reason or another. I believe that we can all take small steps towards ending the stigma behind depression and other mental illnesses and empower others to seek the help they need behind the support group of their friends, family, and resources like d2e. I look forward to representing d2e in the coming year.
Hello my name is Josh! Everyone in Boulder calls me Primal Flow though, or Primal for short. I have a connection with the mountains and running that goes a lot deeper than any race, training program, or general health. I tap into the primal, animal side of myself when I’m deep out in the wilderness during a big day of summits and pounding out some mileage.
I first got into trail running during my recovery from drugs and alcohol. I found complete bliss and happiness during the early stages of my recovery when I needed an outlet to help me through some dark times. From the time I first set foot on a forest trail I was hooked, I couldn’t get enough. Since then, I have moved to Boulder, Colorado to pursue my passion for being with myself in the mountains. My running brand, Scheme, follows this foundation by helping others purge negativity and using running to replace that energy with positivity.
I am an ultra-runner, so I tend to stick to the races others like to call “crazy”. The crazier the better is what I say! I am currently training for Zion 100 where I want to place in the top 5 (maybe even podium at top 3). I also plan on running Never Summer 100k, Dirty 30, and Quad Rock for the remainder of the year. If you’re ever running in Boulder, I’ll be the dude with the crazy, longer hair and brightly colored clothing!
Born in France from a family of alpinists, I grew up in the shadow of the Mont Blanc massif. In my early teens I started running and quickly understood the many benefits of this incredible sport.
My true breakthrough happened while I was living in Sao Paolo, Brazil, where I would escape on the weekends to the countryside discovering the joys of trail running.
My sports life went through several phases which allowed me to discover many passions. I started as a casual jogger and then discovered adventure racing which lead to mountaineering. In recent years, I became a strong triathlete which led me to become a competitive road and trail runner.
My passion for running and adventures brings me around the world to explore and compete. This year will be no exceptions with the planning of some long distance runs in various places of the world.
I am so excited to represent the d2e mission of lessening the stigma around depression and anxiety. Having spent several years working in very high-pressure, high-stress careers, I used to rely on alcohol or food or television to medicate the often debilitating anxiety and worry that I was experiencing. Running has provided me an opportunity to manage this anxiety in a way that does not negatively impact my career, health or quality of life. It has enabled me to be a more productive person and open myself up to life-changing opportunities for personal and professional growth. Moreover, running has fostered a great deal of grace and humility for my abilities, which has improved my patience and empathy for others. Imagine what a little more empathy for each other could do for the world!
After running for exercise since 2008, I began training for marathons in 2016. My first marathon, in Summer 2016, was a life-changing experience, both physically and mentally. Committing yourself to such a scary goal, forced me to become a more disciplined and mindful person, and I developed a sincere gratitude for how capable my body was. It also made me realize how much more I could accomplish in my personal and professional life if I were to apply the same commitment that I did to running.
I am now Certified Personal Trainer, committed to supporting people fulfill their potential in fitness and in life. I continue to run because it makes me a better, happier, less anxious person and I know that my positive attitude can influence others. I believe that the benefits of a running are greater than the individual and a running regimen can positively impact anyone who chooses to apply it. After all, the greatest gift that we can give to the world is to seek to our fulfill our potential and become the best version of ourselves!
I’m a Minnesota girl and happily planted roots here with my wonderful husband, Bill, and 3 spunky kiddos; Ada, Lydi, & Beau. Our mighty Beau has taught us so much as parents and individuals through his genetic disorder. His challenges are both frustrating and inspiring as we see him grow, constantly facing his own obstacles with an uber-smile.
I was an inactive person most of my life, which worked against me as a teenager when symptoms kicked in and I began years of suffering from depression and an eating disorder. I slowly made my way through the mental mess, and when I met my husband, his unconditional support & love finally gave me the environment for healing my heart needed. However, my mind suffered greatly with each pregnancy, my weight got out of control, and I wasn't taking good care of myself. After baby #3, with a friend’s encouragement, I tried a fitness program and liked it, which lead to trying lots of new things and losing 50 pounds. In the process, I learned what if felt like to be STRONG, and how to harness the power within. Once I built up the courage to try Obstacle Course Racing (OCR), I fell in love immediately. Through the next 2 years I rolled in mud and learned how to run, breaking down barriers of who I was, and what I was capable of. In 2017 I did my first Spartan UltraBeast and the experience was sublime. The sense of accomplishment was one of my proudest athletic days. This building of self has lead me here, to d2e, where I now feel ready to take my "why" of fighting for myself, and begin to be a voice for others who are on their own trail of discovery. I want to take all I've learned, and run with it.
In 2013, I embarked on an obstacle racing and ultra marathon journey which changed my life. I am not a natural runner at all, and before that time I’d probably run races no longer than 20 minutes.
However, each time I went out for an event, I’d just try to do a little better than the previous effort.
This journey has had ups and downs. I’ve not finished as many ultra marathons as I have finished, but I’ve raise some awareness for great causes along the way. I’ve come a long way and the next big challenge is to finish a 100 mile race. The goal is important, but the journey is everything. d2e resonates well with me, as I’ve always been an advocate for exercise, for physical and mental health as it can improve mood, memory and learning.I’m honored to be a d2e ambassador athlete, and spread awareness through my journey to help get rid of the stigma behind mental illness.
It is ok, to be not ok. There are always options and always someone to reach out too.
Annie Powell is the wife to Kevin and mother to Emily and twins Cameron and Jacob. After the birth of her twins in 2010, she experienced Postpartum Depression and was later diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Generalized Anxiety. Over time, she was able to manage her mental illnesses better with effective medications and reducing her stress level by switching to working part-time. She started her own personal training and mental health awareness company called, Own It Daily. Annie found that “owning” her mental illnesses daily provided freedom vs denying something that genetics played a huge part.
Annie has since completed numerous road and trail races as well as triathlons. She is going to try out Adventure Racing in 2019. Annie has found running and fitness in general to be one of her best self-care tools and wants to share that with anyone who will listen! She is thrilled to finally find an organization which combines running with mental health awareness.
Raised in the coastal hills north of San Francisco, Bryan is no stranger to trail running. However, by his late teens Bryan took leave from the joys of running in nature, not to return until his late 40’s. After 10 years clean and sober he looked to ultra trail running as a way of strengthening his sobriety and spiritual connection. Bryan attributes his sobriety and keeping his psychiatric symptoms at-bay to his recovery program and the trail running community. Bryan is 52 years old, and lives in Petaluma, CA, with his wife of 22 years and his 13 year old son. His older son lives in LA.
I was born and raised in Washington state. I am a stay at home dad of 3 (Harley 7, Drew 3, Zoey 6 months). I live on an 8-acre Farm with my wife Stephanie. I got into running about a year ago. I am new to Ultra running, and just completed my first 50k. Running is my therapy and helps me deal with the day to day struggle of mental health. I was diagnosed with depression at the age of 14 years old. I battled deep depression until I was in my early 20's. I always felt like I couldn't talk about my mental health and kept everything inside. This is why d2e calls to me so much. I also have had a family member who committed suicide and know others with mental health problems as well. As a father, I want my children to grow up in a world where they don’t feel shame or guilt for having mental health problems. It’s time to speak out about mental health and have it become a regular part of conversation, just like physical health.