Race Committee Intro and Group Run Reminder for Saturday

In order to keep things running smoothly on race day, it is important to keep many people “in the know” about the logistics of the race. A committee has been formed to facilitate a smoother race on May 11th and 12th. Members have been selected for either their involvement in managing events, their knowledge and love of running the trails in southern Utah, their past participation in other races, or just their dependability and willingness to help out.  Each member of the committee will be very familiar with the route as well as the “Plan B” if the weather is bad. They will each have run (or in some cases driven/biked/hiked) the entire course before race day. They each have a specific area of responsibility, have a section of the course to mark, attend pre-race meetings, and provide input before we make important decisions about the race. About half of the committee members will be running on race day and half will be helping out with race operations.

Here are the committee members:

Nate Wells- Nate will be one of my right hand men on race day.  He is the manager of Cable Mountain Lodge and has an MBA.  He is a lifelong friend and offers sound advice and fresh perspective when I need it.  He is very knowledgeable about all things Zion.  He loves to run but will not be participating in either event so he will be available to help keep things running smoothly.  He’s already helped a ton with the website, flyers, connections in Springdale, etc.

Danika Gunn- My amazing wife who makes it all possible.  She stays up to date on everything that’s going on, enough to where she went before the county planning commission for me to get the race approved because I couldn’t get work off.  The shirt and belt buckle designs were both her ideas.  She just ran her first marathon and recently told me that she now enjoys running trails to pavement, which of course brought a tear to my eye.

Josh Gunn- My older brother who has always been the go to guy when anyone in the fam needs some sound advice.  We ran a marathon together (he kicked my butt and qualified for Boston), but he hasn’t been interested the ultra scene yet.  He’ll be one of my right hand men, putting out fires where I can’t.  He’s also a chiropractor and will be giving out free adjustments, wrapping ankles, and helping with joint problems, etc. at pre/post race activities (along with two more of my brothers that are also chiropractors.)

Travis Roberts is long time friend and running buddy whose advise I’ve always valued.  He helps coach cross country at a local high school and will be running the 50 miler.

Logan Fielding coaches cross country and track at Desert Hills High School in St. George.  He ran in the 2008 US Olympic Marathon Trials in New York and has a marathon best of 2:21:45. He has run 3 50K’s, the most recent being the Golden Gate 50K in July, which he won.  This will be his first 50 miler, and he will be one to keep an eye on.

Dave Holt- has been running in Southern Utah nearly his whole life.  He was a successful high school and college athlete in the area and now coaches cross country at Pine View High School in St. George.  He has completed 15 marathons with a PR of 2:26.  His only ultra appearance was at the 2009 Squaw Peak 50 in which he took 3rd with a time of 8 hours and 16 minutes.  Dave loves getting out on the desert trails of Southern Utah  and will also be a contender for the 50 mile title.

Phyllip Heaton is a long time friend and the owner of Zion Outfitter.  He’s an avid runner on the trails of southern Utah and will be running his first 100 miler.

Clay Christiensen recently moved down to southern Utah and is enjoying running the trails year round now.  He is the race director of the Skyline Trail Marathon in Ogden Valley.

Carol Manwaring is a local that has run several ultras including three 100 milers.    She also has a couple of Ironmans under her belt.  She lives a few minutes from the start/finish line and loves to hit the trail with fellow race committee members Sunny and Kris.

Sunny Ellsworth is a local trail runner looking forward to her first 100 after pacing her friends in their adventures and completing her first Ironman.  She’s got all kinds of experience to draw from and is getting very familiar with the course on her long runs with Carol and Kris.

Kris Hansen is a local chiropractor, science professor, and ultra runner that we are happy to have contributing to the committee.

Cory Reese (aka Fast Cory) is a local runner that just completed his first 100 miler at Javelina last month.  He’s been spending a lot of time getting familiar with the course, a lot of which he documents on his running blog (which has quite the following).  He also puts on the unofficial “Hostess Half Marathon” each year.

Jared Stanley- Long time friend and founder of the St. George triathlon.  Helped me make the much needed changes to the website and has answered many questions that I’ve had along the way.  Always has valuable input.

Andy Johnson- Another dependable, close friend whose input I value greatly and has been there many times in life.  Will be one of my go to guys on race day.

Curtis Koch- my brother in law who organizes large events for a living, working for Davis county in northern Utah.  He’s held all kinds of leadership positions and will be so helpful to have nearby on race day to keep things running smoothly and give me a breakdown at the end of it all on what we can do to improve things for the following year.

Daisy Scott- Daisy just did Ironman St. George and is excited to do her first ultra.  She’s a long time friend  and has a lot of experience to draw from in event organization.

Glenn Leavitt- Glenn is a neighbor that I see out running around almost any time of the day or night.  This will be his second 50 miler.  He is very familiar with the trails we’ll be running on and he will be working with the local scout troop that will be manning a couple of aid stations.

Other people that are greatly contributing to the success of the race:

Christine Beacham-  Mom.  She has put on some amazing events including directing a half dozen grad nite parties for about 500 graduating seniors, which required about 6 months of planning and coordinating I don’t know how many volunteers.  She pretty much transformed the school gymnasium into a different theme park each year.  It was cool enough that 98% of the seniors would stick around school for an extra night after graduating, when they could have been out partying anywhere they wanted to.  Mom has also put on countless incredible wedding receptions in her yard that she has spent 25 years manicuring.  Basically, the woman can do about anything she puts her mind to.  She raised 8 kids for crying out loud.  Her husband and their weekend 4 wheeler group will play a key role in keeping the aid stations well stocked.

Ken Head- The liaison from the local HAM radio club, which will play an important role in keeping communication lines open between the aid stations.

Rachelle, Ben, Mark, Zack, Adam, and Sarah- My siblings that will be coming to town to help out on race day.  They stay up to date on race developments via email and each will be going out to see a lot of the course (at least what they can on 4 wheelers) when they’re in town visiting.


3 responses to “Race Committee Intro and Group Run Reminder for Saturday

  1. I applaud your leadership! From what I’ve been reading so far you have it together and a race director really needs to have this quality. You will be very successful on your first event if you keep sticking to your game plan but remember always have room to adapt to change, before and during your event. First annual events will always be remembered by the participants. I wish you the greatest success!

    Chris Martinez,RD Moab’s Red Hot 55k/33k

    • That means a lot, Chris. Having a supportive group to bounce things off of calms a lot of my nerves. We’ve got some great ideas that we’ve yet to announce that I think will make it a memorable event.

  2. Seems we will be in very good hands! Thanks for all your efforts.

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