Getting to Know Our Canadian Impi Ambassadors

Balega seeks to live through the true spirit of the Ubuntu – a shared humanity.  At Balega, we proudly live the Ubuntu spirit by working every day for those less fortunate, and this is partly achieved through the Balega Impi ambassadors.

Impi is a Zulu word roughly translating to mean “warrior.” We are super excited to feature our Canadian ambassadors' team who are our army of Balega warriors or “Impis” representing the brand’s core values. We are proud to say the 2021 Canadian Team consists of ambassadors from across the country!

Colleen Franks

I have always loved being active, healthy, spending time outside in fresh air, nature savoring and regenerating. Trail running is my favorite pastime, but I can also be found road running, cycling, x-country skiing and paddle boarding.
When I’m not outside, I’m a passionate Dental Hygienist and love to help people achieve good oral health. From beautiful smiles to the tips of our toes, I love the idea of overall health, happiness and optimism in life.


Jodi McNeill

I am an ultrarunner, race director and lover of sharks. I love wearing hidden dry’s on hot summer days and blister resist on cold winter runs. Ontario is my home but I love to combine travel and trail racing around the world. 

Ian Loughead 


I'm a runner, triathlete, pacer and coach that loves getting outdoors. I sit on the board of our local running club as Vice President and on the board of the Harness Dog Association (think Canicross / Bikejoring) as President. In my spare time I organize charity running events for people and dogs.  


Mandy Costache

“I am from Edmonton, Alberta and I am excited to share my journey on Balega's team for 2021!
I have over a decade of triathlon under my belt, but these days I can be found doing cycling, hiking, enjoying the city trails and snuggling my cats.”


Tom Ando

I’m a road runner turned trail runners from Fort Erie, ON. After running eight marathons and nearly twenty half marathons, I discovered the joys of trail running in late 2020 and by the end of the year, I’d run two 50Ks.

In January of this year, I ran 51.9 miles, the entire length of the Niagara section of the Bruce Trail to raise money for my brother’s hospital bills.

I discovered Balega socks in 2017 and haven’t looked back. I am thrilled to be part of a team of great runners wearing the most comfortable socks on Earth.

Tina Garstad

I was excited to join the Global Balega Impi team in 2021. I began running in my late 30s as a way to lose weight and along the way found confidence and fun on the trails. I have ran over 65 half marathons and I am an avid hiker. You’ll find my running along the pathways and trails in and around Calgary.

Barbara Huelin

I am a full time Pharmacist/Nutritionist with 21 years of experience working from the east coast to the west coast of Canada. My passion is nutrition and preventive medicine. I have worked along with many patients and athletes to establish baseline values that can be stabilized and maintained throughout medical treatment and endurance sports that helps secure their end goals. My other passion is movement and in particular running and biking. I use both for fun, purposeful commuting and of course at times racing. My moto is Movement is medicine and prevention is key #runhappy.

Lesley Kitsch

I am excited to join the Balega Impi Team 2021. I am a trail runner, road runner and ultra runner from Saskatchewan. I find spending time outdoors absolutely energizes my body, mind and soul. You can often find me out running the trails or hiking with my family! My favourite Balega’s  are the Silvers! 

Adam Sale

I love a good challenge and pushing my limits. You can find me out on trails on a multi day adventure or on the roads running or cycling. Always in my Balegas!

Balega IMPI Jeff Johns

Jeff Jones

I have been a runner for 20 years, focusing on the marathon and half marathon distances. Running provides me with great physical and mental benefits. I love the process of training and racing - there is no better feeling than crossing a finish line after months of focus and dedication. I am happy to be part of a community that is full of amazing and supportive people who all share in each other’s triumphs and disappointments. Next up is the 2021 Boston Marathon.

Rebecca Vienneau

I am thrilled to have been selected to join the Global Balega Impi team in 2021. I have always considered myself a runner, but over the years I have expanded my love for other outdoor sports. I live in Calgary Alberta - so the foothills and rocky mountains are not too far for me to enjoy some of the best road cycling, mountain biking, trail running, hiking.

Polly Moody

Polly is a mom of two, a kindergarten teacher and distance runner. She trains for 10k to marathon distance and when not running you’ll find her on mountain adventures.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published