Meet the Milers


The Volunteer Monster Milers: We are a team of over 100 Philadelphia runners who come together for a simple mission: we give shelter dogs something to look forward to each day - a running adventure.  Some of us have run ultra marathons, others are just getting started.  Some of us are speed demons, some of us like to take our time. We come from all walks of life, represent every age group, and reside all over the the City of Brotherly Love.


We love Philly. We love rescue. We love running.



Board of Directors

Carrie Maria (CEO/COO): 

Carrie is the founder of ‘The Milers.  She also owns and manages one of Philly’s largest dog walking services, The Monster Minders.  She has been an active volunteer with local rescue since 2007, and ‘The Milers brings together two of her passions:  running and rescue.  She has traveled the globe and has lived in England and New Zealand.   When she’s not replying to emails or walking (running) dogs, you can find her camping, sewing, or with her nose in a library book.  She shares her life with two rescued “monsters, “Jax and Lola (both PAWS alumni.)


Favorite post run snack: Chocolate milk or tater-tots

Favorite running spot in Philly: The Ben Franklin Bridge

Most inspiring moment as a Miler:  The starting gun of the first annual Rescue Run 5k.  I couldn’t stop thinking, “We actually made it happen.”

Weird or Random Fact: One day I hope to do a triathlon, but sadly, I sink.  I need to take adult swim lessons!

Kathryn Birster - Board President 

By day, Kathryn can be found helping Philadelphians access educational opportunities to help them reach their career and educational goals. By night, she loves volunteering in animal rescue both as a Monster Miler and a volunteer runner at ACCT Philly. She’s run eight marathons and two 50Ks, and usually warms up with her rescue dog Nina and does speed workouts with her other rescue dog, Gus.


Favorite post run snack: Pickle juice. Confession – I drink it even when I’m not running.

Favorite running spot in Philly: The Wissahickon

Most inspiring moment as a Miler:  Can I have two? 1) When we collectively kept Mona, a longer-term PAWS Grays Ferry resident, sane. I’d run with her, return to the shelter, and another Miler would be waiting to take her out again. Milers visited her daily and it was a real team effort keeping our girl happy and loved until she found her new home. 2) When I was observing another Miler evaluating dogs for our lifesaving program and we met Champ. He was so sweet but so sad, and I realized he was going to get a brand new life because of us!

Weird or Random Fact: I consider mac n cheese to be a major food group and eat it 3-5 times a week.

Rebecca Baranowski - Board Member & PAWS Old City Volunteer Liaison

Rebecca is Monster Milers’ liaison at the PAWS Adoption Center (PAC). She works for the American Board of Internal Medicine, which is conveniently located only a few blocks from PAC. Rebecca has run the Philadelphia marathon plus lots of half marathons, including Las Vegas, but mostly does shorter races these days. Hers first running buddy was her Portuguese Water Dog, Myles; he’s 12 now and still active but no longer running. Rebecca was a part of the second Miler orientation and has been running with the dogs ever since.


Favorite post run snack: Chocolate milk (also a cup of really good coffee)

Favorite running spot in Philly: Mostly a city runner, so someplace along the Schuylkill River

Most inspiring moment as a Miler:  It was so great to see almost 500 runners at our 5K this September.

Weird or Random Fact:  I’m on a National Championship Dragon Boat Team, Philadelphia Flying Phoenix!

Favorite post run snack: Chocolate milk (also a cup of really good coffee)

Favorite running spot in Philly: Mostly a city runner, so someplace along the Schuylkill River

Most inspiring moment as a Miler:  It was so great to see almost 500 runners at our 5K this September.

Weird or Random Fact:  I’m on a National Championship Dragon Boat Team, Philadelphia Flying Phoenix!

Linda Riter - CFO & Board Member

Linda Riter (CFO):  Linda is an attorney who has lived in CT, DC, and Italy before moving to Philadelphia. She works in Center City and spends her free time trying every restaurant in town. She has worked with literacy and arts non-profit organizations, and has served as CFO of a safe-rides non-profit, Guard Dogs, which she founded during her time at the University of Connecticut. 


Favorite post run snack: cold IPA.

Favorite running spot in Philly: Schuylkill Banks trail to the Art Museum, then down the Ben Franklin Parkway.

Most inspiring moment as a Miler:  Every time I successfully clip an “Adopt Me” vest around an excited pup.

Weird or Random Fact: I spent a summer excavating a Pompeian villa, where we discovered a fountain, a couch, a cistern, and sunburns for the ages. 

Herbie Bohnet - Board Vice President 

Herbie moved to Philadelphia from Boston in 2016 and was looking for a way to get involved in the community.  The Monster Minders (a company owned by our CEO) started walking his two pups, Ferguson (smart and anxious Aussie mix) and Winston (not too bright, but an excellent sleeper).  He loved the idea of running and dog rescue, so got involved with the Milers. 


Favorite post run snack: A breakfast sandwich (I generally run in the morning).

Favorite running spot in Philly: I love Broad Street for one day a year, otherwise I like to run the Forbidden Drive.

Most inspiring moment as a Miler:  I don't get out with dogs as much as I'd like, but I'll never forget my first run at Grays Ferry.  Our group pulled a small, somewhat mean looking pup.  As soon as we got outside, however, his mood completely changed.  He was so happy, which made me feel great.

Weird or Random Fact:  I have a small farm in Massachusetts that was overrun by beavers two years ago.

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Other Awesome People
Clare Greene - Fun Run and Social Event Coordinator

Clare discovered the Milers at a Young Involved Philadelphia run to PAWS in Old City; finding this likeminded crew was one of the first things that made her really start to feel at home in Philly. She runs from PAWS Grays Ferry, organizes monthly Milers fun runs, and is a member of the Rescue Run 5k race committee. She loves long runs on trails, short runs with shelter dogs, and snuggles with her supermutt Woody.


Favorite post run snack: vegan protein shake: (frozen fruit + almond milk + protein powder)

Favorite running spot in Philly: The Wissahickon (I love trail running)

Most inspiring moment as a Miler:  The fun run at Cherry Hill RoadRunner Sports – Cy meeting and going home with his perfect, love-at-first-sight forever mom, and Champ meeting the family that would eventually adopt him. We ran, we snacked, we drank green beer, we bought (or won!) running swag, and two great dogs found great families.

Weird or Random Fact:  I recently signed up for my first 100 mile race – the Zion 100 in April, 2016! *Update - Clare ran it!* 

Allison Walker - The Rescue Run 5k Race Director

Allison attended Temple University’s School of Health, PhysEd, Recreation and Dance and earned a Master’s in Sports Administration and Leisure Studies. After a season in the front office of the Philadelphia KiXX, Allison worked as the Events Manager at the Philadelphia Zoo and as the Assistant Marketing Director at Franklin Mills Mall and as the Events Director at The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter where she oversaw events such as the Phillies Phestival, 7 Walks, Hot Chocolate and many more. She has run two half marathons, the Broad Street and Sea Isle 10 Mile Runs several times but really prefers a 5K race.


Favorite post run snack: soft pretzels

Favorite running spot in Philly: Forbidden Drive

Most inspiring moment as a Miler:  Last summer I completed a challenge to run  100 miles in seven weeks and I hit my 100th mile with Miler favorite, Megan.  Megan and I celebrated with a Megan flop at the end of the run.  It was a perfect way to meet my goal.  

Weird or Random Fact: I have two miniature horses, two alpacas, one goat, five ducks and two King Charles Cavalier Spaniels.

Allegra Oehmsen - Monster Miler Program Manager

Allegra started working in the Animal Welfare field in 2010 after finally deciding to take a leap of passion and ditch her traditional 9-5. She started out working part time at a small shelter in NJ before spending the past few years in Philadelphia where she felt there was a greater need for her services. Allegra decided to join team Miler because of their mission and positive approach to animal welfare. What she likes most about the Monster Milers is their innovative way of connecting people, pets, and a healthy lifestyle (her three fave things!). In her spare time Allegra enjoys spending time with her three rescue chis, hedgehog, and human family.  For fun she enjoys ANY time outside, especially if it is on or by the water. Her fave outdoor activities are running, cycling or cruising, kayaking, paddle boarding, jet-skiing, sailing, hiking, climbing, or lounging by the water, by a fire, or in a hammock! 


Favorite post run snack: A plant based protein smoothie! 

Favorite running spot in Philly: I'm a Jersey Girl, don't hate! I like to run on the long, flat yet scenic marshy roads near my home.

Most inspiring moment as a Miler: I took a break from Philly Animal Welfare before returning to join the Monster Milers. When I met my first running buddies and MM volunteers, I realized I could never live without animal welfare in her life, and am so happy to have found a satisfying and wonderfully positive partnership. It just goes to show you that you should never give up on your passions and that there is a place for everyone. 

Weird or Random Fact: I'm an avid whistler and think that whistling promotes a good mood (someone should seriously do a study on the correlation of happiness and whistling). I catch myself whistling a tune without even being aware of it, and have had multiple nightmares about loosing my ability to whistle! 

Christopher Sutanto- Fun Run Coordinator 

One of Chris's goals was to give back through volunteering and he also wanted to be closer to animals. Due to working and going to school he felt he couldn't dedicate the time to ownership, but volunteering with animals was a good fit! He was always a runner, but thought that gyms and treadmills and sometimes even running alone got a bit boring. Chris found the perfect solution with The Monster Milers! He likes that he can volunteer his time and hang out with dogs when his schedule allows, and gets to spend time with the dogs in and out of their kennel, helps to introduce them to potential adopters, and gets exercise all at the same time. It was the perfect solution for him! 


Favorite post run snack: My appetite goes through the roof post-races. I can basically eat anything presented to me. 

Favorite running spot in Philly: The SRT would be my go to. Ben Franklin bridge is also a good spot, especially during sunrise and sunset. 

Most inspiring moment as a Miler:  See the image. But honestly, being able to take any puppy out, even if it's a walk is a win!! Oh, and running with two pitties. 

Weird or Random Fact: Aside from volunteering, I spend some of my free time bouldering.

Guillermo Torres Basave - Fun Run Coordinator 

Guillermo moved from Mexico to Philadelphia in 2015 and while looking for a running group, he found the Monster Milers and realized it was the perfect way to pay forward all the Love and Happiness his pup, Patas, has brought to his life! The Monster Milers have been a gateway to find an Amazing Rescue and Running community – he has become a regular volunteer with Street Tails Animal Rescue, and runs with local runner groups Fishtown Beer Runners and Achilles International. 


Favorite post run snack: Soft pretzels are a must!

Favorite running spot in Philly: Schuylkill River Trail

Most inspiring moment as a Miler: I’ve been lucky enough to have a connection with many of the pups we’ve run with with The Monster Milers, but with Helen – STAR’s record longest resident –, we developed a super strong and everlasting bond (we still keep in touch!)

Weird or Random Fact: Music and dancing are a big part of my life! I dance by myself at home more than I care to admit (and yes, my dog thinks I’m crazy too)

Our Volunteer Committee
Kristin Facinelli - Street Tails Volunteer Liaison
Rebecca Baranowski - PAWS Old City Volunteer Liaison
Michael Andrews - PAWS GF Volunteer Liaison 


The Rescue Run 5K Committee:

Allsion Walker - Race Director (Logistics)

Carrie Maria - Race Director (Sponsors and Fundraising)

Maria Hooper

Shan Hogan

Jill Bailey

Chris Knauer

Elana Flehinger

Clare Greene

The Lifesaving Committee:

Kathryn Birster

Michael Andrews 


Get More Involved BEHIND the Scenes

Do you have a skill / talent that we could tap into?  Don't hesitate to reach out to us! 


  • We are currently looking for a fundraising chair who would plan annual appeals and other fundraising events.  Are you creative, organized and comfortable asking for donations?  We'd love to speak more!

  • Marketing:  Are newsletters and social media your specialty?  We're looking for volunteers to join our Social Media team!

  • If you would like to volunteer for our annual Rescue Run 5K please contact Allison: race @