Runner Profiles by Bob Slowpants


Kelli McGlennen Selman - Michael's Blue Light Special

Kelli was born in La Grange, located in northern Indiana. Not to be confused with the LaGrange in our fair state.  Indiana LaGrange was founded in 1846 and by the 2010 censuses had grown to a population of 2625.  Kelli’s father was the principal at the town middle school while her mother was a homemaker.  Kelli graduated from Prairie Heights High School in LaGrange.  After graduation, Kelli moved to Florida to assist her grandmother who had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s.  While there, Kelli attended Clearwater Junior College while being a care giver for her grandmother.  After graduation, she moved once again, this time to Clarkesville, GA, where she continued her education at Piedmont College.  She graduated from there with a degree majoring in Special Education and Sociology.  After a failed marriage, Kelli found her student activities complicated by the burden of supporting herself and two young children. 

One day, while traveling through Clarkesville, Kelli was involved in a serious motorcycle accident.  She was a passenger at the time of the accident, and the result was a serious head trauma and a broken leg requiring a metal rod to be inserted.  She also sustained several other less serious injuries.  The right side of her brain was so damaged that consulting neurologists felt that she might never be able to care for herself again, much less participate in any athletic events or finish college.  Kelli stayed with her family in Florida for a full year while undergoing rehab for her brain injury.  Rehab consisted of retraining Kelli’s brain right side to execute tasks that the trauma had short-circuited.  After a tedious year, Kelli returned to Clarksville where she gained employment at the near-by Wal Mart in near-by Cornelia.  Although not completely recovered, she felt that most of her co-workers only had half a brain, hence she could be able to function at work.     

Wal Mart came to the rescue as Kelli worked full time there while attending Piedmont College.  After earning her degree, she continued her employment.  Versatile Kelli flourished at Wal Mart, rising to department supervisor of several lines of merchandise. Her favorite department was lingerie.  I presumed that she met her current husband Michael Selman while he was cruising the lingerie section of Wal Mart.  I was wrong!  Kelli did meet a close friend named Nancy Woods at church, who was likewise undergoing a painful divorce.  Nancy and Kelli could be observed running together warming up for Run and See races as well as Black Bag races in the Athens area.  They ran together constantly in Clarkesville during the week.  Kelli continued her career at Wal Mart for several years, and transferred to the location in Suwanee after she met Michael, then relocating to Alpharetta to be with him.  Her sons matured to their current ages-30 and 31 respectively.

Kelli met Michael Selman at a Frog Hop 5K in Athens in 2009.  She travelled there with Nancy and her new husband, Mark Kelley.  After the race, Kelli joined Michael for lunch but forgot to advise Nancy that she was not riding with her. Nancy was so pleased that Kelli had found an attractive male friend that she was not offended.  Michael and Kelli have been together ten years, having met the day after Valentine’s Day.  Kelli resigned from Wal Mart seven years ago.  Michael had found his Blue light Special in Kelli, and they both no longer needed Wal Mart.  Michael’s vocation is in consulting and training on medical software systems, which requires a lot of travel.  Kelli now works at Unique Sports full time, while putting in a few part-time hours at Big Peach Running Company in Alpharetta, where she worked full time for almost 7 years after leaving Wal-Mart.  Occasionally, she is able to travel with Michael.             

Needless to say, Kelli’s favorite race is the Frog Hop 5K, with Lanier Under the Lights in second place.  She has cut back participating in organized racing, having done between twenty to thirty in 2018.

Bob checking out from the back of the pack.  Watch for the profile on Rosie Barber’s main squeeze husband Doug Barber, and the profile of Pace Academy track coach and keeper of Kenny Duncan’s cone collection Jolie Cunningham.


John Hale - Ink Your Message

John was born in Atlanta but like Sherman he did not stay long.  Johns father worked for Addressograph Multigraph (no he did not time races), in a position that required frequent relocation to Florida, Tennessee, and Georgia.  John’s mother was a telephone operator, home maker, credit manager and a teacher’s assistant.  The latter position allowed her hours to conform to those of her children, where she could be home when they were also.

John in 1978John graduated from Boca Raton, Florida high school in 1984.  He recalls school days during the Cuban missile crisis where the students did drills hiding their heads under their desks, and evacuation drills.  After graduation, John worked for four years, realizing that his future was limited without an educational skill.  Tiring of the south, his parents were then residing in New Jersey as reverse carpetbaggers.  John attended community college for two years, then transferred to Rutgers University. Unknown to Bob Slowpants, Rutgers is the state university of New Jersey, this meant cheap tuition for John!  John applied himself resulting in a B.A. in Business Administration.  After graduation he embarked in a Master of Business Administration degree program, but lost interest in completing the program.  John discovered his true calling, acquiring several Microsoft Certifications and embarking on a career in Information Technology. 

John, May and KillerJohn’s next foray into the job market was a four-year stint with CUBY Systems, a computer store his father opened in Athens, Ga.  With the business succeeding in 1995, he finally asked his soulmate May, whom he met through friends at a party at Rutgers in 1991 to marry him.  John migrated to Cap Gemini Ernst Young, a British multinational big four accounting firm (that does not know how to spell Ernest), as a systems enginer.  John left the British firm for the Swiss firm ABB for a four-year contract position at their Athens location.  The name of the firm changed to Power Partners and John was offered a permanent position as Director of Information Systems which he excelled in for twenty-one years.  The firm was, as John described, “flatten” in 2018 resulting in his position being eliminated when purchased by venture capitalists.  John had the market skills to secure a follow-on position as the Manager of Business Applications for Northeast Georgia Health System.

John goes to the DarksideWhen John initially relocated to Georgia, he resided in Winder (People in the north call it Wind-er), later self-migrating to Jefferson.  John and May have two sons, Matthew (age 20), currently an Air Force ROTC student at Valdosta State and dreams of becoming a pilot.  Younger son Mark (age 13) is with his parents in Jefferson and is a member of the Robotics team.  John’s arms are covered with tattoos down to his wrists.  He explained that one arm is of religious symbols and the other devoted to his wife May.  The marriage is strong as John has no room left for additional tattoos unless they are on his back.  John is an accomplished runner, finishing first in his age 50-55 age group in most of his running forays.  John was active in school, playing several sports: baseball, football, MX racing, and swim teams.  John suffered an ACL injury in 2005 playing volleyball and did not begin running until 2008.  He was hampered with foot injury in 2010 and avoided stressing the injury until 2014 when he returned to running with a vengeance.  John completed one hundred and fifty races in 2017.  His retirement vision is to work at Disney World.  John’s favorite race is the Disney Half Marathon which he has competed in for three years.  John has competed the Disney Dopey challenge (48.6 race miles in 4 days), finished four sprint triathlons, and the Disney Marathon four times.  John enjoys spending time with the family when not working or running.  John acknowledges like many runners participates in Run and See Georgia, Black Bag, and Clover Glove race series for the comradery more than the accolades, which he earns.  John says “there is nothing enjoyable about running for me, except the friends that endure the misery with me”.        

Bob checking out from the back of the pack.  Watch for the profile on Kelli Selman and the profile of Doug Barber. 


Elaine Dixon - Her Zip Code is a Decimal

Elaine was born in Jonesboro, GA, best known as the home of “Gone with the Wind”.  Jonesboro is also the largest town where Elaine has lived!  Born the middle child of an older brother and younger sister, Elaine played all sports with her older brother and friends.  Her passion was music, and she started piano lessons at age seven.  Elaine played basketball in junior high and clarinet in the Jonesboro High School marching band.  After graduation in 1979, Elaine worked full time at South Fulton Medical Center in East Point, GA and attended classes at Clayton State University.  Elaine has worked on the financial side of healthcare for thirty-eight years and is currently with Navicent Health Baldwin.  Elaine is a Revenue Cycle Director responsible for pre-services, registration, business office, coding and health information management.  Quite a load if you have ever entered a hospital!

Elaine played softball on various teams for the next fifteen years or so after college in and around Clayton and Fulton Counties until the much younger teammates started bringing out the oxygen tanks when Elaine would run the bases.  Elaine and husband Jeff attend the Voice of Truth church in nearby Irwinton, GA (2010 census population 650).  Elaine has played piano at several churches over the years, she teaches Sunday School for seven-year age group and currently sings and plays with the Praise Team at the Voice of Trust in Irwinton, GA. 

She met her husband Jeff in 2002 riding bicycles across Georgia and began to spend time together other than over the handle bars!  They reside in McIntyre, Ga (2010 census 650) on land that has been in the Dixon family for over fifty-five years.  Elaine and Jeff now have three children and sixteen grandchildren. Like most old people, they stay busy watching the grandchildren participate in their favorite hobbies. When not running or playing with grandchildren, Elaine enjoys group singing, playing the piano, and gardening.

A late bloomer, Elaine started running at age fifty-three with her first race being the Banana Pudding Festival in Irwinton, GA.  She later ran Madison in May on the advice of friends and begin to follow her exploits in the Run and See Georgia Grand Prix, Black Bag Race Series, and Clover Glove Series.  Her favorite races are the Ocmulgee Indian Mounds Scare 5K and any event at Rock Eagle.  Elaine just completed her second Half Marathon in Athens this October.  Elaine reflects that she has “met the greatest people and loves running through Georgia with this group”.  She “hopes to run until she is 93.” Her mother has recently made a quilt of Elaine’s running t-shirts that Elaine considers a keepsake.  At age 93, that will be a lot more quilts forthcoming!

 Bob checking out from the back of the pack. Look for the profile of John Hale and the profile of Kelli Selman.


Randy Booth - Started His Engine

Randy was born in Nicholson, GA to who he describes as “the greatest parents in the world”.  The third offspring after an older brother and sister, Randy was raised on a chicken farm and was active in sports, hunting, and feeding chickens!  Randy admits he “hates running” when queried about his favorite races. However, at Jackson County High he ran track for three straight years in the high hurdles, triple jump, and long jump events.  Randy claims to be a sprinter but not a long-distance runner.  Bob Slowpants doubts this since Randy caught his wife Veronica Doster.

Randy attended the University of Georgia for three quarters and dropped out.  The next year he again attended for three quarters before entering the work force.  Randy met Veronica at the Athens plant of Swedish/Swiss multinational ABB Group (now Powerpartners) where she trained Randy on coil winding. Randy initially attempted to wind Veronica up with his brother, but she was more partial to Randy. Randy dabbled in softball in High School and afterwards for a total of ten years before suffering a severely broken ankle in a game that sidelined him from work for eight months.  After six operations Randy returned to ABB and was promptly laid off.  Randy found work striping parking lots with a friend and kept in touch with Veronica.  Like most young men, Randy was into cars!  He knew Veronica was a straight shift and not an automatic so he keep his goal in sight.

In 1993 carefree Randy started work at the Southeast Toyota distribution Center in Commerce, GA waxing cars to earn spending money for a fishing trip to Arkansas.  Twenty-five years later Randy is the Operations Manager for the two hundred employee facility.  The facility is owned by the JM Family, which owns three vehicle Toyota distribution facilities in the southeast and has associates working across the nation.  Randy speaks glowingly of his employer, who was recently named among the one hundred best companies to work for by Fortune magazine.  The Commerce location services the southeast.  Previously unknown to me, JM Family is the twentieth largest privately held US company and servicing  178 Toyota dealers in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina by providing their inventory of new Toyotas and nationwide with financing and inventory control services.

When not running and posting photos of restaurants on Facebook, Randy and Veronica have established a rental and rehab housing side business.  They currently rent seven homes that they have improved, have sold three, and have three that are a work in progress.  Randy and Veronica attempt to complete as much of the renovation of a property themselves as they can, not only to increase the profit and value but because they enjoy doing so.  They title the entity Misty Pawperties.  The name was derived from their mutual love of the Husky breed of dogs and their deceased Husky, Misty.  She was the CDO (chief dog officer) and checked on the progress and approved the purchase of any new pawperties.  At one time they had eight huskies and are now down to two, one of which is blind.  Randy and Veronica have one acre fenced back yard behind their home they call “Husky Hill”.  The back of the home has a doggie entrance that makes the huskies welcome.          

    After limping around Commerce on his bad ankle for years, Veronica persuaded Randy to participate in the 2015 Power Run in Athens that was being held in memory of a friend of Veronica’s.  Randy observed, “Veronica did really good and I finished.”  Together they completed twenty races that year and have increased that number each year after 2015.  Randy likes the fast course of the Athens Spartan 5K, and any race that supports first responders, and of course dogs. 

Bob checking out from the back of the pack.  Watch for the profiles of Elaine Dixson and John Hale.      


Rosie Barber - Running is in Her DNA

Rosie was born at Commerce BJC Hospital in Commerce, GA in 1967.  She was the youngest of three-older brother James and sister Judy.  Her father ran a successful small engine repair and mechanic business, as Rosie remembers he was always busy.  The business proceeds funded his hobby of flying.  He purchased several airplanes while earning his pilot’s single, multi-engine, commercial, instrument, and instructor’s license.  His expertise was recognized by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) who retained his services, and he developed a side enterprise as an instrument instructor. Flying became his fate, as he died in 2018 in an airplane crash due to engine failure.       

Rosie’s education after Jackson County High School progressed to earning a degree in Research Laboratory Technology from Athens College in 1988.  She was employed after graduation and moving to Hull, GA with Noramco (Johnson and Johnson) and later the USDA where she worked for seventeen years.  Five years ago, Rosie married that handsome stud Doug Barber and moved to Nicholson, GA.  Her expertise in molecular biology led to her current position with the University of Georgia as the lab supervisor in the Mycoplasma Diagnostic lab, a division of the UGA Poultry Diagnostic and Research Lab.  In language Colonel Sanders and Bob Slowpants can understand, Rosie preforms DNA testing on chickens for chicken diseases.  Considering the economic significance of the poultry industry in Georgia, Rosie can tell farmers and producers why their chicken is sick, but not who the chicken’s baby Daddy is!    

Rosie recalls a “time …where she weighed two hundred and fifty pounds”.  A gym program and treadmill miles helped Rosie lose one hundred and fifteen pounds. She knew that she had to continue an exercise regimen to maintain and continue to lose weight and included signing up for a 5K race as part of her program in 2012.  Her first race was the Tanger’s Outlet Fit To Run 5K.  Rosie and husband Doug began running a 5K a month.  In July 2017, they began to participate weekly in the Black Bag Series and learned about the Clover Glove Series and the Run and See Georgia Grand Prix.  Rosie is currently first in her age group in the Black Bag Series, second in Clover Glove, and second in Run and See Georgia Grand Prix.  She is currently training for the Atlanta Half marathon in October.

When not running Rosie enjoys crocheting and is learning to sew.  Doug has yet to model any of Rosie’s projects at weekend races.  Religion is an important ingredient in Rosie’s life.  She currently serves on the Altar team at her church and leads a small bible study group at Southside Church.  She describes her early life without elaboration as “a lot of hard times filled with hurt and pain”.  Rosie incorporates running in her spiritual life, and finds that the resulting “self-control, self-discipline, endurance…help her deal with life”.  She says she “looks at hills as battles with hurt and pain, but once we get over them, relief comes”.  When she finishes, she sees victory in her life and the race”. 

Bob checking out from the back of the pack.  Look for the on prolific selfie poster Randy Booth, and the  profile of Elaine Dixon.