Two Hour Club Pace Leaders

Robert Blaszak

My first run was on a treadmill, and I only made it 30 seconds before I had to walk. Slow, but determined, I stuck with it and lost over 100 pounds. The River Bank Run 25k is the first race I ever signed up for and the one that inspired me to start running fast. I set a goal of getting into the 2 Hour Club and made it on my first try; I haven’t looked back since!

I’ll be running my third Boston Marathon in April 2019, but I’ve loved being a pacer for this race over the past five years - I’m looking forward to coming back as a pacer for the sixth time to help others achieve their running goals!

Andrew Buikema

I got back in to running 6 years ago after a long time of inactivity and gaining an enormous amount of weight. I ran in high school, but then stopped through college and my first several years in my professional life. I led a very unhealthy lifestyle of eating and zero activity. I finally decided to turn my life around and get back into running. My brother paced me at my first half marathon and pushed me harder than I could have imagined. It was then that I realized that I need to keep doing this if I am going to set the example for my two daughters.

I love sharing my passion of running with others. I run for my girls (14 and 11), I run for a mental release, I run for me, the pure enjoyment and the accomplishment of others as a pacer to achieve their goals!

I have had the pleasure and honor of pacing for several races in Michigan, Illinois and South Carolina…I am the Race Director for the Mercy Health Seaway Run (Muskegon) and have been the pace director for the Amway River Bank Run and Rivertown Half (Grand Rapids) for the past several years.

Everyone has a story and it’s awesome getting to know them, who they are and their WHY. Looking forward to helping you on race day! See you at the starting line!

Aaron Velting

I truly love all things active and adventure! From running, biking, swimming, playing with my kiddos, hiking, or hitting the trails.

You’ll find me training year round for marathon, triathlon and trail racing. I am passionate about giving back to my community in ways that use my gifts and talents. You’ll find me actively involved in West Michigan myTeam Triumph, coaching the Grand Rapids Dirt Dawgs kid mountain bikers, Cannonsburg Kids programs, pace leading races, and involved in a local homeless shelter serving on a weekly basis, of course…when not cheering on my kiddos in their activities. I am blessed to spend every day as a personal trainer at a local gym. You'll find me leading group exercise classes and coaching individuals to lead healthier, functional lives every day!

I love encouraging others and watching others find the inner strength to accomplish goals. This is why pacing is truly a gift for me.

My passions are giving back, encouraging others…and endurance athletics. Pacing is just that! I cannot wait to see you at that start line!

Zach Weber

Over my running and triathlon career, I found my favorite way to give back to the endurance community is to pace people to their goals. I have been blessed with the opportunity to pace the 2-hour club four times for the River Bank Run and every single year has been an amazing memory. Nothing beats rounding the last turn with a group of runners, who, 2 hours before, were unsure if they could hit their goal. You really get to know people while out on the course, learn about their lives, and then figure out their motivation for the goal they have. It has just been an amazing way to connect with those around me and push them to achieve something they may not think is possible.

I look forward to pacing whomever wants to hang with me for 25km. We will battle some dark times and cruise during the easy times. But rest assured, I will do everything I can to have you hold on because you achieving your goal is my goal.