XTERRA Trail Run Ambassador Program
XTERRA Trail Run Ambassadors are hand-picked for their commitment to their love of running and the XTERRA Trail Run Series. They not only embrace the "live more" philosophy while racing, they bring the fun of the trail run culture to their local communities. The XTERRA Ambassador family works closely with race directors to help make regional and national events the best they can be. Thank you to all our 2012 XTERRA Ambassadors!
Questions about how to become an XTERRA Ambassador? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a list of the current XTERRA Trail Run Amabassadors:
Richard is the dean of XTERRA Trail Run Ambassadors, and perhaps the most well-traveled XTERRA Trail Run competitor of all-time. He has competed in XTERRA Trail Run events in Hawaii, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Japan. And he doesn’t just run in these races, he runs fast. Richard is a four-time XTERRA Regional Champion, with titles in New England (2009), Northern Ohio (2011) and Pocono (2011 and 2012). He placed fourth in his age group at the 2009 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship in Hawaii. Here is a little more about Richard …
Region: Northeast (Pocono Series)
Age group: Male 30-34
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Occupation: Founder & Chief Marketing Officer of Extremus, LLC, a premier full-service global sports marketing and management company.
What accomplishment are you most proud of: Winning four consecutive XTERRA Trail Running Regional Championships and being one of only two runners in XTERRA Trail Run history to win titles in two different states in the same year.
What’s the craziest experience you’ve ever had with XTERRA: Climbing Mt. Fuji (12,388ft), the day after finishing in the top 25% overall at the extremely grueling XTERRA Japan Championship Trail Run 30km, held in Oku-Nikko Marunuma, within the mountains of the ancient province of Gunma "Samurai Country", that consisted of several steep climbs up to almost 9,000ft, via single track trails!
What’s the best thing about racing: Traveling to interesting and exotic places, the adventure, adrenaline rushes, meeting new people, hanging out with friends, the competition, seeing new things, and post-race partying!
What is the coolest piece of gear you own: Suunto t4 Watch – It’s great for all of my adventures!
Role model/Inspiration/Favorite athlete: Muhammad Ali and my Dad.
What do you do when you aren't training/racing: I enjoy sports entrepreneurship, traveling to exotic places to race, immersing myself in new cultures and ethnic foods, staying abreast of current events, adventure hiking, getting away from it all to grab some time at my camp in the mountains, R&B and Jazz concerts, nightlife, photography, gourmet coffee drinker, and spending quality time with good friends and family.
Favorite XTERRA venue: XTERRA Trail Run World Championship, held in the majestic Kaaawa Valley at Kualoa Ranch. It is a truly exhilarating experience!
Dreaded XTERRA venue: XTERRA STOAKED Trail Run - 16km in Hanover, New Hampshire. The immediate climb is a killer!
What’s your favorite aspect of XTERRA? It captures the extreme sports lifestyle, it provides a super-charged sense of adventure, and I get to meet and face physical challenges with amazing people that the brand embraces. Another favorite aspect is racing alongside some of the most prolific and intriguing adventure sports athletes in the world.
Define / describe XTERRA: An exhilarating adventure!
Rachel is another longtime member of the XTERRA family. She is a past elite competitor in XTERRA off-road triathlons, and more recently has shifted her focus to XTERRA Trail Runs. She is a former winner of the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas Trail Run, and has placed as high as seventh overall at the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship (2010) and XTERRA Trail Run World Championship (2009). Her “Tips for the Trail” advice articles can be viewed each month in the XTERRA Trail Mix e-mail newsletters. Rachel and her son, Canyon, reside in Salt Lake City. Here is a little more about Rachel …
Region: Mountain (Utah)
Age group: Female 30-34
Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah
Occupation: Certified personal trainer and Pilates/yoga instructor
At age 14, Keegan is the youngest member of the XTERRA Trail Run Ambassador Team. He started trail running in 2011, and went on to win his age group at the 2011 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship at Utah. He was the youngest runner at the 2011 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship in Hawaii, and placed fourth in his age group. He is an eighth grade student at Live Oak Classical School in Waco, Texas. Here is a little more about Keegan …
Region: Southwest (Texas)
Age group: Male 15-19
Birthplace: Mobile, Alabama
Occupation: 8th grade student at Live Oak Classical School
What accomplishment are you most proud of: Being asked to be a part of Team XTERRA!
When you’re not racing, you like to: Play with my dogs, listen to music, play with my little brother, read books, and play piano and guitar
What’s the craziest experience you’ve ever had with XTERRA: Seeing cyclists crash on the trails during the XTERRA triathlons.
What’s the best thing about racing: The experience and having fun on the course; getting to see new places.
What is the coolest piece of gear you own: The Team XTERRA jacket!
Role model/Inspiration/Favorite athlete: Max King
What do you do when you aren't training/racing: Boy Scouts and playing music
Favorite XTERRA venue: XTERRA Trail Run World Championship at Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii
Dreaded XTERRA venue: XTERRA Muleshoe Trail Run in Texas
What’s your favorite aspect of XTERRA: The community and the organization of the trail runs.
Define / describe XTERRA: XTERRA is a life-changing experience filled with meeting with a lot of great people who also enjoy having fun on the trails.
Carl is one of the most consistent and active runners in the East Region. He is a former age-group champion in the XTERRA Tennessee Trail Run Series and the XTERRA South Carolina Trail Run Series. He now resides in North Carolina and is considered one of the top runners in his age group there. He placed fifth in his age group at the 2009 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in Oregon. He also qualified for and ran in the prestigious Boston Marathon in 2011. Carl and his wife, Darlene, reside in Marion, North Carolina. Here is a little more about Carl …
Region: East/Southeast (North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee)
Age group: Male 35-39
Birthplace: Marion, North Carolina
Occupation: Ingles Markets, Internal Audit
What accomplishment are you most proud of: Qualifying for the Boston Marathon in the first marathon I ever ran.
When you’re not racing, you like to: Spend quality time with my family.
What’s the craziest experience you’ve ever had with XTERRA: Traveling back from the 2009 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in Bend, Oregon. My flight out was so close to race time that I had to go straight from the race to the airport and almost missed my flight.
What’s the best thing about racing: It’s a great way to relieve stress and test yourself at the same time.
What is the coolest piece of gear you own: Garmin GPS -- gotta have that in the woods.
Role model/Inspiration/Favorite athlete: Ryan Hall
What do you do when you aren't training/racing: Studying for the CPA exam.
Favorite XTERRA venue: Bend, Oregon
Dreaded XTERRA venue: Columbia, South Carolina, because of the humidity
What’s your favorite aspect of XTERRA: It brings together the best competition.
Define / describe XTERRA: The embodiment of the outdoor active lifestyle.
Clark is the top-ranked runner for his age-group in the XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series. He placed first in the 55-59 age group at the prestigious XTERRA Richmond Trail Run, winning the division by more than 15 minutes. He placed 10th in his age group at the 2011 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship in Hawaii. He is married (wife, Gloria) with two children (Kendra and C.J.). Here is a little more about Clark …
Region: East (North Carolina/Virginia)
Age group: Male 55-59
Birthplace: Charlottesville, Virginia
Occupation: Insurance Agent; securing people’s lives through insurance and financial services.
What accomplishment are you most proud of: The XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series in 2011 and the Richmond Trail Run 2012, along with Charlottesville Favorites, Readers Choice Awards , Best of Business Awards and others accomplishments.
When you’re not racing: Farming. My son and I work on the farm together and it’s great for bonding and expressing the importance of team work.
What’s the craziest experience you’ve ever had with XTERRA: In last year’s final race of the series, I fell and busted my knee open. I was only two miles into a 10-mile race. I think everyone was looking for me to stop but, I continued to run. I didn’t realize how bad I was injured until after I crossed the finish line and discovered I could barely walk from that point on. I still drove myself to the emergency room where I received seven stitches. My friends teased me about a squirrel in North Carolina running around with my DNA.
What’s the best thing about racing: The bond between racers after the race and realizing we just did some amazing stuff. Each of us made a commitment a while back just for this moment and realize that it is special regardless of awards. It is also an accomplishment of what others are scared to attempt.
What is the coolest piece of gear you own: I consider my coolest piece of gear my Fuel Belt. I always call it my utility belt because I try to put everything in it.
Role model/Inspiration/Favorite athlete: My parents. My mother always told me to use my mind to solve problems, and my dad just never quit until the job was done. My favorite athlete would be Earvin Johnson. He was a great team player on the basketball court.
Favorite XTERRA venue: World Championship in Hawaii, nothing comes close to running this event. I would say if you enjoy trail running, it is a must .
Dreaded XTERRA venue: Beech Mountain, North Carolina – it’s a long drive for me from Virginia, and it’s on top of a mountain with bear warning signs.
What’s your favorite aspect of XTERRA: The reason I started running XTERRA is the race format and structure is in a manner that makes sense to me. You have a point system , regional Championships , a National Championship and a World Championship . I enjoy being around fellow committed runners with such a positive outlook.
Define / describe XTERRA: When you show up at an XTERRA event, there is a common theme – it’s going to be tough and lots of fun, and sometimes you may lose some skin.
Brandon has been the top-ranked male runner in the XTERRA Alabama Trail Run Series since 2010. He placed fourth overall at the 2010 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship. He is a former member of the University of Alabama-Huntsville track and cross country teams, and was an Academic All-American in 2006. In 2012, he started entering XTERRA off-road triathlons in addition to XTERRA Trail Runs. Here is a little more about Brandon …
Region: Southeast (Alabama Series)
Age group: Male 25-29
Birthplace: Duncannon, Pennsylvania
Occupation: Physicist at Scientific Research Company
What accomplishment are you most proud of: Athletically, being selected as a member of PowerBarTeam Elite
When you’re not racing: Train and sleep
What’s the craziest experience you’ve ever had with XTERRA: Arriving at the East Championships to debut in the triathlon, only to find out it’s the most technical bike leg on the world-wide tour; my shock coming because I learned to mountain-bike only the week before. I fell down, a lot, but managed to come back for second place in my age group.
What’s the best thing about racing: The frantic tug-of-war: your abilities and motivations, versus the pain, course, and competition.
What is the coolest piece of gear you own: A programmable treadmill that can (approximately) simulate any course in the world.
Role model/Inspiration/Favorite athlete: My dad.
Favorite XTERRA venue: Monte Sano State Park in Huntsville, Alabama. It’s brutal, and it’s home.
Dreaded XTERRA venue: Kualoa Ranch on Oahu, Hawaii. It’s the World Championships; high pressure, tricky weather, extreme elevation changes, elite competition, and a widely varying course. I don’t dread the race, but the myriad of challenges in preparing for the race.
What’s your favorite aspect of XTERRA: The personalities and dedication of the organizers.
Define / describe XTERRA: An adventurous, healthy and athletics-driven organization providing people the opportunity to learn important things about themselves.
Steve is proof that age is no age limit to fast trail-running. At 60, he is still going strong. He is an age-group champion in the XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series, and often places in the top 30 overall at the XTERRA Colorado races. He placed second in his age group at the 2011 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in Utah. In 2012, he set a new Colorado state record for the fastest marathon time for runners age 60 and older with a 3:10:47 at the Colorado Marathon. Here is a little more about Steve …
Region: Mountain (Colorado)
Age group: Male 60-64
Hometown: Denver, Colorado
Occupation: Marketing writer
Jimmy is one of the top young trail runners in the state of Florida, and a two-time champion of his age group in the XTERRA Florida Trail Run Series. He proved it on a national stage in 2011, when he won his age group at the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in Utah. He has had numerous impressive showings in the XTERRA Florida Series, including a second-place overall finish at the XTERRA Claw Trail Run in April 2012. Jimmy is currently in his first year of college at Florida Gulf Coast University. Here is a little more about Jimmy …
Region: Southeast (Florida)
Age group: Male 15-19
Birthplace: Houston, Texas
Occupation: Student, Florida Gulf Coast University
What accomplishment are you most proud of: How my running’s improved over the last 4 years & winning my age group in the 2011 XTERRA National Championships
When you’re not racing, you like to: Cross-train. I also like to bike, swim and workout, but running is my favorite and I log extra miles whenever I can. I guess you could say that I’m a fitness fanatic!
What’s the craziest experience you’ve ever had with XTERRA: When traveling to different places and training in different terrains, I sometimes get to run through mountains and snow. Even though I’ve been using ice baths for recovery for a couple years it always amazes me when I get into some of those mountain streams. THAT WATER IS COLD!!!
What’s the best thing about racing: The other runners I get to meet and seeing if I’ve improved running different terrains and elevations.
What is the coolest piece of gear you own: I don’t have anything really cool, but like most runners I’ve definitely got a shoe fetish and rotate between a number of pairs based on the course I’m running. I do love both my road and mountain bikes though!
Role model/Inspiration/Favorite athlete: Scott Jurek. I’ve been reading his book and trying to apply some of his philosophies.
Favorite XTERRA venue: I really enjoy them all. I would have a hard time choosing a favorite one, but I really love a tough course with lots of obstacles and elevation change, which is hard to come by in Florida so I guess I’d say the XTERRA Nationals at Snowbasin in Utah.
Dreaded XTERRA venue: I’ve only run on four XTERRA venues and don’t dread any of them. But the Trout Creek course does include running on a long black-topped levee that sometimes gets really hot which really drains you towards the end of the race.
What’s your favorite aspect of XTERRA: That the races are all on trails and there are is always a fun atmosphere before during and after the race
Define / describe XTERRA: Extreme terrain. All of the courses are off-road and involve varying degrees of obstacles (tree roots, rocks, water, etc.) that make the course difficult. It’s the opposite of a “road race.”
Despite a hectic schedule of work and family, Laura still finds time for running. She and her husband, Wes, had their first child (son Mason) in 2012. She also recently graduated from veterinary school at the University of Georgia, and will soon return to active duty Army as a veterinarian. Laura took a break from XTERRA Trail Run racing recently, but plans to return soon. She still stays in shape through running, and recently completed a 5K race while pushing her son in a stroller. Laura won her age group in the 2010 XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series, and competed in the 2010 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship. Here is a little more about Laura …
Region: Southeast/East (Georgia/Virginia)
Age group: Female 30-34
Birthplace: Morgantown, West Virginia
Occupation: Army veterinarian
What accomplishment are you most proud of: This year!!! In the past six months, we have had our first child, my husband deployed to Afghanistan, I graduated from veterinary school at the University of Georgia, and I am returning to active duty Army as a veterinarian with my family and I moving to Ft. Belvoir, Virginia.
When you’re not racing, you like to: Spend time with family, hike, read, travel.
What’s the craziest experience you’ve ever had with XTERRA: I did the Thrill in the Hills half-marathon three days after having a stomach virus that required me to get IV fluids at the ER. I had been looking forward to the race and was determined to do it. It certainly wasn’t my best time, but I loved the course and was happy that I did it.
What’s the best thing about racing: I love being around other people who enjoy trail running as much as I do. I always meet great folks whenever I go to a race, whether it’s before, during, or after the race! Going to races also allows me to travel to new places and I train better when I have races and goals to work towards.
What is the coolest piece of gear you own: I don’t know if they’re the coolest, but I feel lost if I don’t run with a water bottle and a hat!
What do you do when you aren't training/racing: Spending time with family, studying (always something new to learn!), running.
Favorite XTERRA venue: I loved running in Bend, Oregon.
Dreaded XTERRA venue: None. I have enjoyed them all
What’s your favorite aspect of XTERRA: I really enjoy getting off the beaten path to get out for a trail run and XTERRA has amazing courses and venues that enable you to do that in an organized and fun environment.
Simply put, Claudia is one of the most active and successful endurance athletes in the state of Texas. And we all know how big Texas is. For three years running, she has been the top overall female in the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series. She is also an elite triathlete and multi-sport coach. She placed 13th in her age group at the 2011 Ironman World Championship triathlon, and has won numerous “masters” championships at various marathons and triathlon races in her career. She is also a USA Triathlon All-American, and is a certified coach for triathlon, cycling and track & field. Here is a little more about Claudia …
Region: Southwest (Texas)
Age group: Female 40-44
Hometown: Cedar Park, Texas
Occupation: Multi-sport/fitness coach
Melissa is the women’s 35-39 age-group champion for the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series, and that title is not an easy one to achieve. More than 100 women in the 35-39 age group alone participate every year in the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series. She is also a past qualifier for the Boston Marathon (2011), and completed two Ironman distance triathlons (Wisconsin in 2009 and Canada in 2011). She is married (husband, Alfredo) with two children (Alfredo A. and Victoria). Here is a little more about Melissa …
Region: West (Southern California)
Age group: Female 35-39
Birthplace: West Covina, California
Occupation: Implementation Manager at Illuminate Ed working with school districts to improve student achievement and change the world.
What accomplishment are you most proud of: Working with my husband to create a healthy, happy balanced family that supports and encourages one another.
When you’re not racing, you like to: Do anything and everything. No experience is too big or too small.
What’s the best thing about racing: Seeing something that you have been planning, training, and working for come together exactly as planned.
What is your favorite quote or words of wisdom: There are so many but these top my list …
“Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly” Unknown
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” Mark Twain
“Begin with the end in mind.” Stephen Covey
Favorite XTERRA venue: Topanga Turkey Trot because it gets me out of cooking.
Dreaded XTERRA venue: Any event where I get lost!
What’s your favorite aspect of XTERRA: The vibe.