Mentorship Program

Deb Ernst Memorial Mentorship Program





Demonstrating D.E.B.: Are you a Mentivator?

Women motivate and inspire each other in so many ways — sometimes without even realizing the impact their words and actions can have on a friend, family member, coworker or training partner.

These awesome individuals are part mentor, part motivator — we like to call them mentivators. And we want to celebrate them throughout our community and beyond.

In 2016, the Bellin Women’s Half Marathon introduced a mentivator program, named for the late Deb Ernst, that paired women in our community with running mentivators as they trained for our event. It was a great program, but we soon realized it failed to capture the less-formal mentivator relationships that were happening, day in and day out, all around us.

Enter mentivator 2.0. We’ve gone grassroots to celebrate all the mentivators — even those who may not realize they fit the bill — who are helping to inspire and motivate their fellow participants as they train for the Bellin Women’s Half Marathon. Deb, the founder of InCompetition Sports and a friend to so many in the running community, remains our program’s inspiration and namesake. And we think she’d love where we’re taking it.

Here’s how it works. Bearing the word "mentivator" on the front and the words "Ask me about D.E.B." (with the spelled-out acronym "Determination, Empowerment, Bravery") on the back, t shirts will be given to anyone who either acts as a mentivator or would like to present a shirt to someone who does.

We want to see our community flooded with orange as these phenomenal women work together to train for our event, both honoring Deb and spreading the mentivator movement she inspired. We’re not talking anything fancy or formal — offering tips to a newbie, organizing a weekend run, encouraging a friend on social media and sharing running apparel tips are just a few examples of how mentivators work to inform and inspire one another in ways big and small.

Do you want be a part of the movement? Simply email with the subject line "Mentivator Program" and we’ll set you up with a shirt and offer some terrific ideas and tips on being a mentivator. You can also click here to access our Mentivator Toolkit, which will help you get started or up your mentivator game.

There’s so much to celebrate when we work to motivate and inspire one another. Here’s to the mentivators, and here’s to Deb. Happy running.


Mentivator Shirt

Mentivator program sponsored by