Meet The Team

Jennifer Bland

Jennifer Bland

Hello. My name is Jennifer Bland. I am originally from Virginia; however, after attending undergraduate and graduate school in North Carolina I remained in Raleigh. I moved to Kinston in 2005 after I married a Kinston native, Frank Bland. Initially, I was hesitant to embrace Kinston as my new home. Over the years, I have grown to love and call Kinston my home. I started running in 2009 when a group of my high school girl friends decided it was time to get together for a reunion. We found there was no better way to catch up than to run a half marathon together. Every year since, I have run at least one marathon or half marathon and now even dabble in ultra running. Recently, I have wanted to be more involved in my local community and joined the team to host the Mother Earth Brewing Ironclad Half Marathon. It has helped me meet new people and give back to my community. My favorite thing about being a part of this event is seeing everyone cross the finish line accomplishing their running goal. I am grateful to be a part of such an amazing group of people who willingly volunteer their time.

Ashley Hood    Hey!

Ashley Hood


Mike Afarian.jpg

Mike Afarian

Hey! I’m Mike Afarian. I was raised in the Boston area and grew up playing whatever sport was in season – baseball, football, hockey and basketball. As most of those sports got phased out of my life (no pro opportunities for me!) I turned to other endeavors like golf, biking and running to try to stay in shape. In 2013 my wife and I relocated to Kinston from very cold and snowy Central New York. I’m anxious to contribute and give back to my new “home town”. The first half marathon I ran was the initial Ironclad half marathon back in 2015. I enjoyed it so much I volunteered to join the race committee. Welcome to Kinston and to The Mother Earth Brewing Half Marathon and 5k. Enjoy the race and stick around for the fun afterwards.

Amy Albritton.jpg

Amy Albritton

Hi! I am Amy Albritton. I was born and raised in Kinston. My motivation for being involved in this race is to show others what great things Kinston has going on and to share my love of running with fellow runners. I initially started running track in high school just to be able to get a letter. I later started running for the fun of challenging myself, and I now run so my friends, family, and co-workers can tolerate being around me! Welcome to Kinston and to The Mother Earth Brewing Half Marathon and 5k. I hope to be able to chat with you on the day of the race, congratulate you and share a beer with you afterward!