Ian Tovell, Ironman Athlete, Founder of I-Tri Performance & Volunteer Director at Propel

A swimmer at age 5 and a runner at age 12. Ian Tovell has completed a full Ironman in under 12 hours, several half Ironmans and hundreds of races over the years including 10 Half Marathons and 6 Marathons. Last year he set the course record at Peaks to Portland, swimming 2.4 miles in under an hour. "Because he's a beast." Meet Ian, our newest Mindbosa brand ambassador.

What keeps you going? What are you the most passionate about today at age 29? 

That is a great question. Sometimes I ask myself the same thing, why do I keep doing these things. I think when it comes down to it what keeps me going is trying to push myself to the limits both physically and mentally every single day. That is why I continue to do races whether it be a 5k, marathon or even Ironman competitions as I believe I can always improve and get faster. Over the past 15 years, I keep finding new things that keep my love for competition strong. Currently, running is what I am most focused on right now and am working to qualify for the Boston Marathon this fall at either the Chicago Marathon or the Dublin Marathon. I am fortunate enough to be raising money for St. Jude's Children Hospital for the Chicago Marathon. My fundraising page can be found below. 

To qualify for Boston, the time I have to run is 3:05. I have some work to do this summer to ensure I am reaching my goal. But overall at this point in my life, I am passionate about being the best I can be whether it be professionally, or personally, and trying to find my place in this world and continue to grow as much as I can.

What opportunities has being an athlete provided you? 

I think being an athlete opens a ton of opportunities no matter what level you are competing at. Personally, some of my closest, lifelong friends are people I have met through sports whether in High School or during my college career as a D1 runner and triathlete. In addition to the people you meet along the way, being an athlete has taught me a lot about discipline and helped me focus more in school and be a better person and a better student. Being an athlete also prepared me for failure and taught me how to be adaptable which I have been able to take into my professional life. The other opportunity being an athlete has provided me is that I have had the chance to travel all over the world including places like Austria, Finland, Germany, Brazil, and other amazing countries. Being an athlete has molded me into the person I am today and is a big part of my personality. I don’t think I would change anything about my experience.

What is I-Tri Performance? 

I-Tri Performance is my personal running coaching site I started about a year ago. I started my business in response for a few friends looking for running help and training plans for specific races they were doing. I wanted to give back to the running community and try to help people who need someone to hold them accountable or just need a little more guidance with their training plan. If you or someone you know needs some guidance or a customized plan, feel free to check out my site and plans.

How has running affected your relationships with family, friends, and community?

Running has had a significant impact on me and everyone that is in my life. Running has shaped me into the person I am today and has given me the opportunity to meet so many awesome people. It has helped me engage with the local Maine community and foster new relationships with those who share my passion for competition. Training takes up a lot of time, and without the support of my friends and family, I wouldn’t have been able to put in as much time as I do. Being part of the running community has been a great privilege, as everyone is so supportive of each other.

A Message from Ashely Robinson Tovell (Ian's wife) 

Ian is not only the most selfless person I know, but with everyday that passes those around him find countless more ways to love him. I am so truly lucky to call him my husband. He is my inspiration.

In one word, Ashley best describes Ian as "Authentic."

What's a hurdle you've overcome? What lessons did you learn and can you share advice for someone experiencing something similar? 

I have been fortunate enough throughout my athletic career as I have never had a serious hurdle I have had to overcome as others have. But I think every athlete no matter what level you are at you go through peaks and valleys when it comes to physical and mental motivation and health.  The real struggle is when you are in a valley how are you going to get through it and make it to the other side to enjoy the peak that we all love. After I completed an Ironman last August, I have been in a constant valley when it comes to both mental and physical strength. I have not had the motivation to get out and train at the level I was, and mentally I felt drained. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me since a huge part of my identity is being an athlete. But it is this time where mental toughness takes over, and you need to remind yourself you are going to get through this and make it to the other side. The way I dealt with the valley was to dial back and fall back in love with training and racing by doing different workouts that were fun. The main thing I focused on was not to put pressure on myself to train or get that workout done, by doing this I was able to enjoy everything I was doing and start to have fun with training again. I think if I had any advice for someone going through something similar is that this time will pass and you will get through the low point. You need to stay strong and find ways to make training fun and new because if you keep pounding the pavement, you will lose yourself and lose the love of the sport.  

I think Ian forgot to mention this hurdle! Ouch! 

"Always be careful and mindful when biking!"  #nofilter   #fightclub   #bikesafety

"Always be careful and mindful when biking!" #nofilter #fightclub #bikesafety

Is having a daily routine and setting goals vital to you? 

Yeah, I think it is very vital for me to have a routine and a goal I am working towards. By having a daily routine, I can make sure I am giving enough time to my training as well as my personal and professional life. I keep a calendar of everything I have to do that week to make sure I do not over schedule myself or get involved in too many things. By following a written calendar, it holds me accountable and serves as a daily reminder of my goals. I try to make sure I go to bed at the same time as well as get up at the same time to get my body in a routine. As far as goals, I think goals are essential to have not just in athletics but in your life as a whole. I think we always need to be setting goals, so we push ourselves to be better, and if we accomplish one goal, we set another one. For me, goals have helped me become a better overall person and has helped me achieve a lot of my athletic and professional goals.

Many people associate running with not being able to breathe. Would you say running has allowed you to breathe easier in everyday life? 

Running for me is my release, it is my happy place. If I ever have a bad day, I am angry, sad, etc., running helps keep my head clear and think my thoughts out. I can’t tell you how many times I have made major decisions while out running. Running has become part of my daily routine, and if I miss running a few days in a row, I start to get very anxious until I go out for a run, and then all my worries and nerves go away. Running has given me the ability to “breathe” and deal with everyday stresses.

Do you have a mantra you repeat during training or racing? 

It is funny I don’t think I have one go to saying that I go to, but there are many things I think about while I am training or racing. It usually is an upbeat song, something that has a good beat to keep me distracted and to give me a good pattern to run or bike to. When I swim, it tends to be internally singing 'Staying Alive' by the Bee Gees because it gives me a good pace for my arms to be moving. It's important for me when I am working out to try to stay relaxed as possible and let my brain go wherever it needs to. A lot of my thinking comes when I am training, and usually near the end of a tough workout, my mantra usually is something along the lines of, “just get to the next telephone pole,” then repeat that until I am done with the training. 

Aside from being a competitive athlete, you are the Director of Program Management at Propel. How did you get involved with Propel and what does your current role include? Do you have any upcoming events I can share? 

I found out about Propel on accident.  I am active on Linkedin and connect with people all the time, and one of my connections wrote how she was leaving Propel and how it was such a great organization.  So, I started to look into what Propel was, and I connected with the mission and wanted to be involved. I reached out to the President and got involved right away.  My current role for Propel is Director of Program Management, and what I do is help make sure all our programs have the resources they need to be successful and we as a group, are putting on events to engage the community and young professionals.  
We have a great event coming up called Ignition Awards on June 28 at Tiqa. This is our event of the year recognizing great businesses all throughout Maine.  We have various awards we give out based on nominations from the public.  At Propel, we believe Maine is a great state to start a business, and we get to see all the small and large awesome businesses that are helping Maine grow and thrive.  Some of the categories are Hustler of the Year, Growth Stimulation Award, and our newest award Young Entrepreneur of the Year. 

PROPEL’s Mission is to help businesses and young professionals thrive in Maine through member engagement and uniting organizations.

PROPEL’s Mission is to help businesses and young professionals thrive in Maine through member engagement and uniting organizations.

What is the next checkmark on your bucket list? 

At this point, it is hard to know, but I think the next thing I want to accomplish after I qualify for the Boston Marathon would be doing an ultramarathon preferably on the trail. I think I will start with a 50k and work my way up to a 100k.

What is your favorite "can't live without it" app you use and why? 

My favorite app I always need to have is my TrainingPeaks app because without it I would not know what workouts I should be doing and where my fitness is currently.  

What is your favorite motivational/inspirational quote? 

“To Give Anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” ~Steve Prefontaine~


In one word, describe yourself: 



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Cat Runs NYC, Founder of We Run NYC Running Club

I am fortunate to have found The United NYC Half Marathon Facebook group and to connect with Cesar Trelles, its founder. On Sunday, Cesar and I will run the 13.1 miles through 5 boroughs of iconic NYC. From the ground up, Cesar has brought 1000's of runners together over the bond of running. For one I am grateful for his dedication to the sport of running and excited to meet in person. Here's a glimpse of Cesar's life and passion for running.

What inspired you to create Cat Runs NYC, a running club and furthermore, social media groups to connect runners? 

I started CAT Runs NYC last November after finally qualifying for the 2018 NYC Marathon. I qualified by completing The New York Road Runners 9+1 Program which means I ran 9 of their races and volunteered for 1. Since I had never run a marathon before, I thought the road to preparing for a marathon is likely an interesting one. I figured why not document it and at the same time, inspire people to pick up running on their own. The Facebook groups I have created are simply an attempt to reach out and connect with other runners. I think the running community, in general, is a very motivational and strong-willed community, hence why I wanted to bring like-minded people together!


We Run NYC Running Club is a running club whose simple purpose is to unite runners from all around the world with one common bond - we all love to run in NYC!" More Here

Would you say running improves your relationship with family, community, and coworkers? 

I think it definitely does improve family and community relationships. Running takes dedication and motivation. If you can be motivated and dedicated to running, people will notice and appreciate your hard work ethic.


What is one thing you think all runners have in common? 

Runners tend to be highly motivated people. Talk to any runner about the first half-mile, and they will tell you they want to stop. But they don’t. Runners know there are miles ahead, so they keep going and going and going till they reach their destination. Not only that, but runners strive to improve their pace and results. Runners sense of community is amazing. They are always looking to help further a runner with knowledge, tips or even physical help when a runner is down during a race. It’s a sense of community you don’t find in any other sport.  

How important is it for you and generally speaking for people to set personal goals? 

I think setting goals is extremely important no matter what your status is in life. It keeps you motivated and from becoming complacent with yourself.  


Proceeds benefit  Depression2Extinction

"On March 2018 as I run the NYC Half Marathon, I want to run on behalf of “  Depression 2 Extinction  ” to help raise awareness to this illness. Today many still suffer from it and the battle is always ongoing. Any donation you can give towards this cause is greatly appreciated!" Donations can be made   HERE  . 

"On March 2018 as I run the NYC Half Marathon, I want to run on behalf of “Depression 2 Extinction” to help raise awareness to this illness. Today many still suffer from it and the battle is always ongoing. Any donation you can give towards this cause is greatly appreciated!" Donations can be made HERE

What motivates you the most? 

Race Days. I am easily motivated to do training runs especially after thinking about where I was 3 years ago with my weight. Race day is something unique. The vibe and energy of the crowds can do amazing things for a runner. My adrenaline goes through the roof, all of the training I have done leading up to a race pours out of me on race day.


What is your favorite running app?

It used to be Under Armour’s, Map My Fitness but now it is Strava. The amount of information Strava provides is amazing. Plus, the community aspect of it lets you interact with your runner friends also on Strava. I think it’s pretty cool! LOL!

Can you share the most helpful piece of advice you've ever received? 

Fear is your worst enemy. Conquer fear and you will conquer life. To this day I haven't conquered all my fears but each fear I face, I know I am becoming a better person! 

"I am a busy person just like most of you are! But I refuse to let that stop me. Get out and make time for yourself. Exercise, run and make that the best part of your day!" -CatRunsNYC

"I am a busy person just like most of you are! But I refuse to let that stop me. Get out and make time for yourself. Exercise, run and make that the best part of your day!" -CatRunsNYC

What is your proudest personal and professional accomplishment? 

Definitely, my proudest personal accomplishment is buying my own home. Growing up my mom couldn’t afford her own house. Professionally, while I have managed to land a successful job for many years, I still think my proudest professional moment is still to come. While I have done well for myself professionally, I can’t say I am passionate about those accomplishments. The best is yet to come from me!  

You are established and have a successful career in finance. What's next for you?

Successful doesn’t necessarily mean gratifying. While my career has allowed me to live comfortably and reach goals I have aspired for, there is a personal satisfaction I still need to be fulfilled. I want to help others in general. I want to share the knowledge I’ve amassed over the years. Running and motivational know-how is what comes to mind when asked what I want to share. I also want to help young folks who may be misguided or not have the solid family structure to guide them. I can’t pinpoint how I will do this. Therein lies a challenge for me and right now, that challenge has been accepted!!

What is your favorite motivational/inspirational quote? 

“In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, ‘I have finished.’ There is a lot of satisfaction in that.”
— - Fred Lebow

I love this quote because it applies to runners in general and obviously you know I love running. It also speaks to the notion of seeing things through to the end. It bothers me when people start something and never finish it. They never see their potential. And if you finish it and it wasn’t the outcome you liked, well at least you know that now and it’s onto the next thing. 

In one word describe yourself: 

Man, one word! I can think of phrases, like always thinking of the next move. But one word? Energetic 

Scroll Down To Connect with Cesar and Facebook Groups! 


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Instagram: @catrunsnyc_2018 & @werunnycrc

Twitter: @catrunsnyc 

I also have FB groups for upcoming races folks are enjoying. They are as follows:

We Run NYC Running Club:

United NYC Half Marathon:

Brooklyn Half Marathon:

NYC Marathon:

Jennifer Spangler - Mom, Runner, Nurse & Brand Ambassador 

What is INKnBURN? 

INKnBURN is a small family owned business operated in Southern California.  INKnBURN designs and hand-crafts athletic apparel in the USA.  INKnBURN produces unique and high-quality athletic wear that can be worn for running, yoga, cycling, to the gym, or even casually.  I purchased my first piece in August of 2015 and wore the capris for the Chicago Marathon in 2015.  I was SOLD!  Since then, I have run a total of 6 marathons, all wearing INKnBURN.  No chafing, comfortable fit, and stays in place and each piece/design is very unique.   

"INKnBURN produces unique and high-quality athletic wear that can be worn for running, yoga, cycling, to the gym, or even casually."

"INKnBURN produces unique and high-quality athletic wear that can be worn for running, yoga, cycling, to the gym, or even casually."

What inspired you to begin running? 

In May of 2013 I decided to start walking and wanted to lose weight.  By July, I was walking at a fairly fast pace, 13-14 minute miles.  I was fortunate to have a large private place and just decided I would try to run.  I didn't want to run in front of anyone because of my weight and also because I was still smoking at the time and would get winded in a very short amount of time.  The run/walk intervals continued through July and in August, I ran 5 miles straight!  I can remember the day like it was yesterday.  I came home and cried, so proud of my accomplishment.  My husband came home from work that day and I told him I decided I wanted to run a half marathon, that surely if I could run 5 miles I could run 13 but I would have to quit smoking.  I set my mind to it and I quit smoking in October 2013.  After I quit, I rewarded myself by signing up for my first half marathon. I ran my first half in April 2014.  I have since run 18 half marathons.  Between October 2015 through January 2017, I ran 6 marathons.  2017 has NOT been my year.  I was running everyday, at least one mile outside.  In February my streak came to a halt after 959 days.  I was having terrible foot pain and doc thought I had a stress fracture.  It ended up being plantar fasciitis.  He told me no running for 3 weeks so I took up swimming and biking.  I was able to resume my running in March and ran a half in May. 


I was signed up to run the Chicago Marathon for the 3rd year in a row.  On May 26th, I was with my family and missed the step up on the curb, down I went.  A total of 3 breaks and dislocation in the left ankle. I had surgery on May 27th.  I was in a cast for 7 weeks, and in a boot for 5.  Non-weight bearing for 12 weeks.  I saw the doc on July 14th and he released me to swim so I have tried my hand at aqua-jogging and some swimming and so far so good.   I see the doc again on August 18th and hope he releases me to bear weight.  I will have to go through Physical Therapy.  I had to defer my entry in the Chicago Marathon this year but I am hoping for a come back at Ragnar SouthBeach in November and the Dopey Challenge in January.  I know I have a long road ahead of me but I am always up for a challenge.    

How has running impacted your personal life and career as a nurse?

Running has impacted my personal life in many ways but one of the most important was it gave me the determination I needed to quit smoking.  In regards to my career as a nurse, running has helped me see the true importance of living a healthy lifestyle so it is easier to truly "practice what you preach" with my patients.  

What are one challenge and one lesson you’ve learned from your training? 

One of the biggest challenges with training is dealing with the weather and making sure I have time and safe conditions for the long runs.  I have learned to trust the training, if you put in the work, you can make it to the finish line! 

What are your top two favorite race memories?

I would say the most memorable moments was crossing the finish line at my first half marathon.  As a family, we went to Disney in January and my son ran the 10K with me and I ran the full marathon with my husband.  It is wonderful sharing my running journey with the two people that mean the world to me. And as you will see by my pictures... I love everything about Run Disney!!!

If you could run anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I am truly happy with running just about anywhere but I would love to spend some time out west because there is so much beautiful scenery.  

What is your favorite inspirational/motivational quote? 

A river cuts through a rock not because of its power but because of its persistence. -James N. Watkins

In one word, describe yourself:


If you would like to connect w/ Jennifer you can follow her on:

Facebook @ 26.2lifechangingmiles

and on

Instagram @ jen_spangler_runs