About Us

  • Just Run Website
    Welcome to the JUST RUN Program

    Wherever you're located, we're looking forward to partnering with you to promote fitness and healthy lifestyles in our children and youth. The name JUST RUN® epitomizes our guiding principles: ACTIVITY and SIMPLICITY. Our goal is to get as many children as possible RUNNING or WALKING or MOVING on a regular basis. JUST RUN® provides all of the tools necessary to make this possible!

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  • Just Run

    From left to right, Susan Love, JUST RUN Program Director; Buzz Josepf, Program Facilitator; Dr. Nancy Kotowski, Monterey County Superintendent of Schools; Sharron Douglas, Program Facilitator; Mike Dove, Program Developer

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The award-winning youth fitness program JUST RUN is a key element of the health and fitness outreach of the Big Sur Marathon Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The program is committed to the health and well-being of children, to promoting physical activity and to addressing the epidemic of childhood obesity.

The program began in 2004 and focused on a small number of schools within Monterey County. However, because it is website based, turn-key, free, and easy to implement, it expanded each year locally and throughout the country. Since its inception over 128 thousand children from more 41 states have cumulatively logged 3.7 million miles. JUST RUN has received numerous awards from organizations such as Running USA, the California Governor’s Council and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, and the Monterey County School Boards Association award “for excellence in education.” JUST RUN is recognized as a significant youth program by the national “Let’s Move” campaign initiated by First Lady Michelle Obama and the Alliance for a Heathier Generation.

The program is led by program director Susan Love and a volunteer team which includes the developer, Mike Dove, and former teachers and administrators (see biographies). The program is supported by Big Sur Marathon staff members who assist with administrative and marketing functions. On site, volunteer leaders are primarily teachers and youth leaders or parents conducting the program within the school day or in after-school programs.

In its mission statement, the Big Sur Marathon states that its purpose is “to create beautiful events that promote health and benefit our community.” A newly adopted strategic plan will help further the organization’s efforts to promote health and wellness via the JUST RUN program as well as additional event outreach throughout Monterey County.

Meet the Team

Susan
Love
JUST RUN Program Director / BSIM Staff
Susan Love, Just Run

Susan Love has an extensive background in education, public speaking, fitness and running. She is employed full-time by the Big Sur Marathon and is devoted to directing and expanding its national youth fitness program, JUST RUN. She had previously served as a long-time member on its Board of Directors. Love is a trained motivational speaker whose engagements have included training clinics and pre-race seminars at various marathons. Additionally, she has spoken to numerous groups of children to encourage them to make fitness, running, and healthy eating a vital part of their lives. Love has worked with children of all ages. Her degree in biology, general science, and education led to teaching positions locally and in Geneva, Switzerland. Love is the founder and race director of Carmel-by-the-Sea’s 5K and 2K event, Run in the Name of Love. She is a 42-year veteran of the sport and has completed 37 marathons. The sport of running and promoting youth fitness are Love’s passions!

Michael
Dove
JUST RUN Program Developer / BSIM Volunteer
Michael Dove, Just Run

Michael Dove retired as Chief of the Management Information Division of the Defense Manpower Data Center in Seaside, CA. He received the Distinguished Career Award, the department’s highest civilian career Award. He has an MBA in finance and BA in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. He is on the Board of Directors for both the Big Sur Marathon and Half Marathon, and is the Vice-President of the Salinas Valley Half Marathon. Dove is the author of the successful book, “The Running Life.” He has been ranked in the top five Senior runners in the U.S. every year since turning 50. Dove once held the age 49 world record for the 5K, and holds age group course records in several marathons, including Big Sur. He was awarded the prestigious National Jefferson Award for his volunteer contributions and activities.

Sharron
Douglas
JUST RUN Program Facilitator / BSIM Volunteer
Sharron Douglas, Just Run

Sharon Douglas retired as principal of Carmel River School where she served as principal for 17 years and teacher prior to that. She has also taught teacher education courses for the Monterey Institute of International Studies and for the University of California at Santa Cruz. Ms. Douglas has devoted volunteer time since retirement among several groups. She served on the Board of Freedom Fields, USA, a local landmine action group. As educational advisor, she developed the Land Mine Awareness Education Program, a curriculum to be implemented for grades 2-12. She is currently on the Board of FOCUS (Friends of Carmel Unified Schools), a fund-raising group which supports the schools in Carmel. She has a BA degree from San Jose State University in Education and a Masters degree in Administration and Supervision from SJSU as well. Ms. Douglas is a runner and has been a long time fitness and health advocate.

Buzz
Joseph
JUST RUN Program Facilitator / BSIM Volunteer
Buzz Joseph, Just Run

Buzz Joseph retired from his position as Region V Coordinator for Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), a program designed to motivate and support students to achieve their academic potential. A graduate of Stanford University, he has taught first grade through college in the Los Angeles, Monterey Peninsula, and Salinas Union High School Districts and the University of Connecticut. He received the Allen Griffin Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Community Foundation of the Monterey Peninsula in 1995. In 1999, to commemorate his 60th birthday, Joseph and his son rode their bicycles across the United States. In 2002, he carried the Olympic Relay Torch in Carmel on behalf of the Monterey County Office of Education. Joseph is currently an education consultant and devotes his timeto volunteering in the local community. He is coordinator for the Big Sur Marathon Foundation’s JUST RUN school events.

Julie
Armstrong
Big Sur International Marketing & Communications Director
Julie Armstrong, Big Sur International Marathon

Julie Armstrong handles marketing and publicity for the Big Sur Marathon events as well as the JUST RUN youth fitness program. A graduate of Stanford University with a BA in Communications, Armstrong has an extensive background in both sports and tourism promotion. She began her career working for Billie Jean King in tennis promotions and also was employed at Nike, Inc. Other positions have included Public Relations Director of Marine World/Africa USA, Executive Director of the Monterey County Film Commission, Marketing Communications Director of the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau and a part-time substitute elementary school teacher. Armstrong is a fitness enthusiast who has participated in soccer, swimming, 5Ks, 10Ks and short distance triathlons.