ZoŽ Romano is a runner and writer. A native of Portland, Maine, ZoŽ now trains and resides in Richmond, Virginia. In 2011 she ran 2,867 miles across the US, alone, becoming the first female to ever complete such a trek without a support vehicle and raising over $15,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. She has spoken at various youth-based events, been a guest of sports podcasts and radio shows, and is eager to hit the road again.
ZoŽ first fell in love with running while a student at the University of Richmond, from where she graduated magna cum laude in 2009 with degrees in Spanish and International Studies. She currently writes an outdoor column for Ditch Magazine and tutors Spanish in Richmond, VA. On March 22nd, 2013 ZoŽ was a featured speaker at TEDxRVA.
Most recently ZoŽ became the only person ever to run the entire Tour de France route while raising over $168K for the World Pediatric Project, an international humanitarian organization that provides access to surgical and diagnostic medical care for children in Central America and the Caribbean.
"I started my running career as a sprinter in high school (Anacortes, Wa.)
and college (Skagit Valley CC and Eastern Washington University.) I taught high school
for 1 year in Dayton, Washington where I continued to run while teaching and coaching.
I truly began my long distance running career up on my return from Vietnam in late 1969,
where I was station at Marine Corps base Camp Lejuene, NC.
I spent 12 years on active duty attaining the rank of Captain before the leaving the
Marine Corps in 1979. I ran my first marathon in January of 1972, at the Duraleigh Marathon
in North Carolina and finished 4th in 2:42. I continued to run various distances from
the mile to the marathon and in 1974 I ran my first ultra marathon, the National AAU 50 km
Championships in Kent, Washington, where I finished 3rd overall in 3hr 2 min. I then ran my
second ultra in September of 1976, the Striders 50 mile on the track in Santa Monica, CA.
I won the race going wire to wire running it in 5 hr 30 min. I ran my second 50-Miler,
this one on the roads at the National AAU Championships in Central Park, New York City,
wining my first of 3 national 50 mile championships in 5 hrs 36 min. Since that time I have
run over 100 marathons and 155 ultra marathons."
Some career highlights include:
Three times National Champion at 50 Miles, 1976, 1979 & 1980.
Two times National Champion at 100 km, 1979 & 1980.
Former American record holder for 100 km
First American to run 100km under 7 hrs with a time of 6 hr 51 min.
Ranked third in the world at 100 km in 1979.
Current and past course record holder in many events from 50 km to 100 miles.
Age group champion at several US national championships.
Published author and featured speaker at many running events.
Featured in running magazines, newspapers and television in both the US and abroad.
100 yards: 10.2 sec
440 yards: 49.5 sec
880 yards: 1 min 58 sec
Mile: 4 min 28 sec
3 miles: 14 min 10 sec
10 Km: 29 min 50 sec
Marathon: 2 hr 25 min 26 sec (1975)
50 Km (road): 3 hr 2 min 24 sec (1974)
50 Km (track): 3 hr 3 min 35 sec (1975 - *American Record)
100 Mile (trail): 15 hrs 17 min 20 sec (1980 - Best trail time)
Resides: Reno, Nevada
Weight: 150 lbs
Occupation: Retired from Law Enforcement
Married for 45 years to Jan, have 3 children and 4 grandchildren.
You can learn more about Frank Bozanich's remarkable running career HERE.
2011 FEATURED ATHLETE
Michael Wardian started running and competing in triathlons in 1996 after successfully
completing 3.5 seasons of Division I lacrosse at Michigan State University. In his
first marathon in 1996 Wardian qualified for the Boston Marathon and has since
completed more than 100+ marathons and Ultra Marathons on three continents, 20
triathlons, including Iron Man Lake Placid, the Marathon Des Sables (250K-self
sufficient race in Sahara Desert) and one adventure race.
Wardian runs approximately four races per month ranging in distance from 1 Mile to
150 Mile Marathons and holds a full time job as an international ship broker.
Wardian live in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife, Jennifer, and their sons
Pierce and Grant.
JOHN L. PARKER, JR.
2011 FEATURED GUEST SPEAKER
John L. Parker, Jr. is the author of Once a Runner, which was published by his own
company in 1977 and reprinted 10 times over the next 30 years. When the hardcover
edition was released by Scribner in April of 2009, it made it to the top 15 of the
New York Times bestseller list. The sequel, Again to Carthage, was released in
hardcover in 2007 and immediately went through multiple printings. Paperback Scribner
editions of both books have now been released. Once a Runner has now been translated
into German, Dutch, Brazilian Portugese, Australian, Taiwan Chinese, Mainland Chinese,
Korean and Turkish. Both books have been released in audio format.
Parker originally attended the University of Florida as
a full-scholarship basketball player and later became captain of the track team,
winning the Southeastern Conference mile champion three times, the USATF
national steeplechase champion and three-mile runner-up. He was all-SEC in cross
country and track and finished in the top 20 at the AAU national cross-country meet.
He held all or part of seven university track & field records when he graduated.
He has written for Outside magazine, Runner's World, Ultrasport, Running Times,
and numerous other publications.
2010 FEATURED ATHLETE & 2009 FEATURED GUEST SPEAKER
Louie Luchini was an eight time All-American while at
Stanford University and holds the school record for 5,000 meters in 13:25. He was
member of the prestigious Nike Farm team and more recently he is a member of the
Oregon Track Club Elite Program. Among his many running achievements, he has both
competed with and beat his former teammate, Ryan Hall, who won the US Olympic trials
marathon in 2008 and finished 3rd overall at the 2009 Boston Marathon. Luchini
has competed in international level track and field at home and in Europe, including
the 2004 US Olympic track team trials. Luchini had the honor of being invited to
be an official pace setter at the 2008 Prefontaine Classic in Oregon where Ethiopian
legend Kenenisa Bekele attempted a world record for 10,000 meters.
Luchini set the current MDI Marathon course record of 2:31:54 in 2010. His current
marathon PR is 2:26:26, set at the 2009 California Internation Marathon -- his marathon debut.
He lives in Ellsworth, Maine, and is State Representative for District 38.
ROGER & HOGAN MARQUIS
2010 FEATURED CO-GUEST SPEAKERS
Whether you have already had the pleasure of meeting Roger and Hogan Marquis, or not,
one of the first things they'll tell you is that they're just regular runners, doing
what they love to do. However, their story is a bit more compelling than that. They
have a habit of doing something they like to call a 'Wicked Long Run,' where they
cover incredible distances. In 2009 they ran 500 miles, the length of Maine, in 10
days from Ft. Kent to Kittery, to benefit Camp CaPella in Holden, who provides quality
of life experience for young people with disabilities and their families. In 2010
they ran 1,371 miles in 27 days from Maine to Florida to benefit the American Cancer Society.
(Roger started each day with a full 26.2 marathon, many in around 4 hours, sometimes in 100 degree heat.)
What makes their journey more incredible is that they do this unaided by any support vehicles.
On top of all the great things they do and have done Roger is also a fixture at
marathons nationwide where he volunteers regularly as a pace group leader, setting
aside his personal running goals to help others meet theirs. Giving back is a way of
life for the Marquis' and we're proud to name Roger and Hogan our 2010 guest speakers.
2008 FEATURED GUEST SPEAKER
Sheri Piers has quickly distinguished herself as one of the best women's marathon
runners in history from our state. She ran her first sub-3 hour marathon (2:56:40)
in October 2006 and lowered her time to 2:45:36 in 2007 to qualify for the Olympic
Trials, which were held in Boston this past spring. Sheri finished in 16th place
overall in a personal best time of 2:38:46.
Sheri is a full time nurse practionaer, mother of three (and stepmother of two
more), and member of the Dirigo Racing Club. She lives in Falmouth, Maine with her
husband, Wayne, who is also a runner.
JOAN BENOIT SAMUELSON
2007 FEATURED GUEST SPEAKER
Joan Benoit Samuelson's name is synonymous with women's running. She began running
track in high school in the town of Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Samuelson continued on to
Bowdoin College, where her career soared. She received All-American honors in
cross-country and track, and won the Boston Marathon in 1979, setting an American
and course record, all before she graduated. Samuelson won the Boston Marathon again
in 1983, this time breaking the world record. One year later, at the age of 27, she
won the gold medal in the first women's marathon at the Los Angeles Olympics. In
1985, Samuelson won the Chicago Marathon with an American record time of 2:21:21.
In 1998 Samuelson founded the TD Bank 10K as a way to give back to the sport
which has given her so much. The race motto started as "Shine the Light on Kids",
and benefits a different children's charity each year. More than a decade later the
race annually attracts over 6,000 runners, including some of the world's most elite
as well as first time competitors. Over 10,000 spectators attend every year making
it one of hottest summer tickets in New England.
Joan (or "Joanie" as she's known to many) lives with her husband Scott, in
Freeport Maine. They have two children, Abby and Anders.
2006 HONORARY RACE STARTER
Kim Lodrup is the President of 2006 presenting sponsor Red Lobster. He started his
career there in 2003 as the Executive Vice President of Marketing. Lopdrup began his
career in brand management at Procter & Gamble, working on Folgers and High Point coffees
and Citrus Hill orange juice.
Lopdrup serves on the board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida. he
earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the College of William and
Mary and an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.
Kim Lopdrup's first taste of lobster was enjoyed while vactioning in Bar Harbor
as a child. Mount Desert Island has held a special place in his heart since.
GERARD PEARLBERG "COACH GP"
2006 FEATURED GUEST SPEAKER
The youngest of three very talented children, GP grew up in Brighton, England. At age
eighteen, his brother Neil was given a chance to try out for the Chelsea Football Club.
Later, Neil went on to play tournament level golf with aspirations of making the PGA
tour. GP's sister Nicole was an accomplished swimmer and musician. GP had a lot to
live up to. He managed to do this by outworking his teammates and opponents alike.
Despite the fact that jogging was unheard of in Brighton in the 1970ss, GP spent each
school vacation running laps around his neighborhood, including one very long hill;
he was determined to improve his times.
GP moved to Losa Angelous and completed his first marathon in 1990 at age 27, at a
time of 4.41.05. Over the next eight years GP improved his marathon time to 2.34.43,
and during the same time was able to bring his individual mile time down to 4.21.
In September 1990, GP relocated from Los Angeles to Santa Cruz, California. GP retired
from road racing in 2004 after completing 22 marathons and hundreds of road and track
2005 HONORARY RACE STARTER
Martha Stewart was born in New Jersey where she grew up with four brothers and sisters
in a close-knit Polish-American family. By all accounts, Martha was a hard-working,
serious child. A straight-A student, she won a partial scholarship to Barnard College
in New York City and worked as a model to help pay expenses.
In 1973 Martha moved to Turkey Hill Farm in Westport, Connecticut. In 1976, she
started a catering business, which she ran from the basement of her house.
In only ten years her "small" business became a $1 million enterprise.
In 1982 Martha published her first book, Martha Stewart's Entertaining,which
became the best-selling cookbook since Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French
Cooking, 20 years before.
In 1990, she started her own magazine, Martha Stewart Living, serving as
Editor-in-Chief. The publication was an immediate success. In 1993 she debuted a
weekly half-hour television program, also called Martha Stewart Living.
A long time visitor to Mount Desert Island, Martha purchased her Seal Harbor
home, 'Skylands', 1997. It is formerly the estate of Edsel and Eleanor Ford and was
built for them in 1925. When asked what she loves about Maine in three
words, her answer was "beauty, freshness and clarity... What really appeals to
me about this place is the pure air, the topography, the beautiful ocean. And there's
so much to do, physically for me. I really like climbing and hiking, I like canoeing,
In 2001, Ladies Home Journal named her the third most powerful woman in America.
By 2002, the magazine Martha Stewart Living was selling more than 2 million
copies per issue, and her syndicated television program was seen by millions around
In 2005 she began a new daily television program, The Martha Stewart Show,
as well as a weekly call-in show on the Sirius satellite radio network. In a new book,
The Martha Rules, she shared her strategy for starting and managing a new
business. More new books followed, including The Martha Stewart Baking Handbook
and Homekeeping Handbook. She made regular appearances on The Today Show,
while her own program was nominated for six daytime Emmy Awards.
2005 FEATURED STARTING LINE ANNOUNCER
Steve Zirnkilton is the signature voice of NBC's critically acclaimed Law & Order
brand; which in addition to the "mothership" includes Law & Order: Special Victims
Unit, Law & Order: Los Angeles and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
After completing 20 seasons on NBC, Law & Order joined Gunsmoke as the longest running drama on prime
time television. Among others, Steve's credits include; NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, Discovery
Channel, TLC, TNT, TBS, ESPN and the Cartoon Network. His voice has been heard on
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno as well as the animated series Family Guy.
He was the voice of the reporter in the animated feature film The Rugrats Movie.
And baseball fans know him as the narrator for the documentary Faith Rewarded,
a film about the Boston Red Sox historic World Championship season. Steve has been the
live announcer for the Kennedy Center Honors, and for the past 10 years he has joined
John Walsh as the on-stage announcer for the Top Cops Awards in Washington, D.C.
Zirnkilton has lived with his family in Seal Harbor, Maine for over 20 years.
(Fun fact: Dick Wolfe, creator of the Law & Order series has a summer home
on Cooksey Drive in Seal Harbor -- right on the marathon course!)
2004 & 2005 FEATURED GUEST SPEAKER AND FEATURED ATHLETE
For a brief moment in the early 1980's Dick Beardsley became the most famous runner
in the world - by losing a race. In the 1982 Boston Marathon, Beardsley, foiled by a
motorcycle that cut him off near the end, finished two seconds behind Alberto Salazar
in a contest often called one of the most memorable in marathon history. It was the
closest finish ever at the world`s premier marathon, and both runners broke the course
and the American records.
The story of Dick's running career alone is the stuff of legends, but it is the
story that comes after that draws people in and keeps them listening. After retiring
from running, Dick had a series of near fatal accidents that left him addicted to
pain killers. His story of overcoming extreme obstacles speaks to anyone who loves
competition, who has survived catastrophe, or who has pursued a seemingly impossible