Pacer Maria

Where are you from?

Born in New York (20 years), Boston (20 years),  now Jupiter, FL (for hopefully 20+ years!)

Current P.R.


Typical pace

7:30/mi (Training), 8:00/mi (Half), 8:15/mi (Marathon)

Number of marathons



Director Medical Affairs/Scientist

Favorite marathon

Marine Corps Marathon (ran with my Army team four years in a row)


Anything active outside- from swimming to hiking to surfing

Favorite Running Food

Rx Bars and Chocolate covered Banana Chips

What are you reading now?

A Short History of Nearly Everything (Bill Bryson)

Who do you train with?

Palm Beach Road Runners, or myself

Personal goals

Never stop growing- whether at work, in training, as a person, friend, etc.



A quotation you like…

Fun is one of the most important and underrated ingredients in any successful venture. If you’re not having fun, then it’s probably time to call it quits and try something else – Richard Branson


Why do you run?


It reminds me of paying as a kid. I feel strong, free, and clear-headed. Over the course of my life, running has opened up many opportunities, introduced me to wonderful people, and led to unforgettable experiences.

Describe your best marathon memory.


My first marathon was the NYC marathon when I was 22. I was so nervous about all the “unknowns” and despite training for it, I did not know if I would even finish. My dad (who introduced me to running) drove me to the train that morning before dawn. He and my mom were on the course in several spots. I started to cry with emotion as I entered Central Park and neared the finish line. My grandmother (80 years at the time!) jogged next to me for a few feet as I came through Central Park screaming my name is if I could not see her. I think I ran my fastest mile then- laughing, crying, and already planning my next marathon!

Why do you pace?


It is such a blast! I love running, especially the energy at a race. Everyone is there to push themselves, and there is such an amazing sense of community and camaraderie. I love connecting with my pace groups and keeping everyone focused on the fun part of the race.

Tell us your best pacing experience.


Running with a group that was all in sync. Everyone had their own approach (some said nothing, some sang, some laughed, one played music, some didn’t stop talking the entire time)- but we stuck together and everyone finished meeting (or beating) their goal time.

Why should someone run in your pace group?


If nothing else, they will have fun. I take a disciplined and calm approach to racing, which takes a lot of the nerves and stress away by the end of the first two miles. I love to talk and keep the energy of the group high. Being around a group with high energy is a great way to lift your own spirits on race day. I am also pretty good about customer service (e.g. pointing out obstacles, checking in on everyone, prepping for water stations and bathroom stops, etc.)

Any tips for runners about to join your group?


Trust the process. It’s tough not to get caught up in the excitement of the first few miles and feel like we are running too slow. Settle in, get comfortable in your stride, ask questions, and still run your own race. If you love to talk- talk. If you would rather hang with the group and listen to the chatter, don’t feel pressured to chime in. Pre- race: don’t do anything different, get your best sleep two nights before, start hydrating three days out, and there is no such thing as too much Vaseline in the high-chafe spots!

Anything else you’d like to share?


In addition to my full-time job, I am a speaker/educator for a company called O2X- a human performance company focused on tactical athletes (police, fire, military, government). I was a former Officer in the US Army and their core team are former Navy Seals. I am their nutrition expert and pride myself on only coaching science-backed, evidence-based nutrition practices (fact not fad). I am always happy to discuss nutrition and its impact on performance. (

What philanthropic activities do you have?


I love to volunteer at races, and I also volunteer at the local sea turtle rehabilitation center as an education docent.


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