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We've put together a crew of runners from all over the country to help us test and represent Ultimate Direction. We are proud to have these talented ambassadors on board and want to wish them a great season of racing and adventuring. Keep an eye out for them on the trails!


joegrey.jpgTrail Runner
Visit Joe's Blog

  • 9-Time USA National Champion
  • 19-Time USA National Team Member (2003, 2008-Present)
  • 6-Time USA Mountain Runner of the Year (2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015)
  • 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier
  • Mt. Washington Road Race American Course Record Holder
  • 2-Time Competitor Magazine Trail Runner of the Year (2014, 2015)
  • Manitou Incline Fastest Known Time (FKT) Record Holder (Set in 2015, Time: 17:45)


Follow Heather's Blog

Heather, known as Anish on trails, completed her “Triple Crown” of Backpacking in 2006 at the age of 25. She completed the 2,100 mi long Appalachian Trail in 2003, the 2,600 mi long Pacific Crest Trail in 2005, and the ~2,600 mi long Continental Divide Trail in 2006. She subsequently took up ultra-marathon running, completing six 100 mile races since August 2011 as well as dozens of 50k and 50 mi events. She is well known for setting the overall self-supported Fastest Known Time (FKT) speed record on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2013 (60 days, 17 hours, 12 min), breaking the previous record by four days. In 2015 she once again made FKT history, setting the overall self-supported FKT on the Appalachian Trail (54 days, 7 hours, 48 minutes) also breaking that record by four days.


josharthur.jpgUltra Runner
Follow Josh's Blog

Last season Josh won the US Skyrunning Ultra series & placed 2nd at the North American Skyrunning championships. In previous years he has had multiple wins & podiums at ultras ranging from 50-100 miles. In 2015 he hopes to defend his US Skyrunning title and broaden his resume by chasing some FKT's. Josh is also an ultra marathon specific running coach.



nikkikimball2.jpgUltra Runner

Nikki Kimball is an American distance runner specializing in the Ultramarathon. She ran her first 100-mile race at the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run in 2004, and was the female winner.

 UD is super excited to be working with Nikki as she has many more adventures up her sleeve and brings an energy to the trail like no other!


jensegger.jpgAdventure Racing/Ultra Runner
Visit Jen's Website

Jen hails from the adventure capital of Canada, Squamish, BC! She has been competing in endurance sports for over 12 years, beginning with adventure racing and then finding her passion in ultra based events and projects. Jen has been using her racing to travel and see remote parts of the world and to challenge herself to push limits and see what she is capable of. As an endurance coach, Jen works with athletes all over the world, guiding people on the journey to challenge, distance and exploration. Jen can be found playing in the mountains on most days of the week or traveling somewhere in North America in the family's Sprinter van.



jonolsen.jpg24 hr US Record

Q. What is your greatest running-related accomplishment?

"My World Championship at the IAU 24 Hour World Championships in 2013."

Q. What was your first pair of running shoes (and year)?

"Nike Pegasus with no insoles :)"

Q. What UD gear do you use?

"Anton Vest, but I use primarily the 10oz fastdraw bottles in my timed races."


jasonbryant.jpgTrail Runner/Obstacle Racer
Follow Jason's Blog

My personal running has been a continually evolution. It has always been an outlet for my competitive side. I've never won a lot, but I've been blessed to hang around the front for a many years. Though I've never won a USA national title, I've been 3rd eleven times ranging in distance from trail 10km to trail 100km. I've represented the USA on a handful of US teams at World Long Distance Mountain and World Trail Ultra events. I've won the Mt. Mitchell Challenge in North Carolina twice. Now I've gotten into OCR, obstacle course racing as well. I was second in the BattleFrog Masters Series for 2015, along with placing in the La Sportiva Mountain Cup once again in 2015, finishing 4th.



Follow Leor's Blog

Q. What is your greatest running-related accomplishment?

"When I asked myself this question in the past, I used to think of a certain win at a race (i.e. Quad Dipsea or Way Too Cool) or a fast time for a route (i.e. High Sierra Trail or Ptarmigan Traverse), but the place or splits seem to fade as time goes on. What stands out to me is the volume of experiences I've had exploring a lot of wild and rugged terrain in the mountains."

Q. What was your first pair of running shoes (and year)?

"A pair of Nike road shoes probably around 1994 or so."

Q. What UD gear do you use?

"PB Adventure Vest, Wasp Pack, Fastdraw Plus Hand holders"


Follow Galen's Blog

Q. What is your greatest running-related accomplishment?

"Winning Pikes Peak Marathon"

Q. What was your first pair of running shoes (and year)?

"Adidas Response TR, 2000"

Q. What UD gear do you use?

"Anton Race Vest, Jurek Essential Belt, Jurek Grip"

Q. What are your plans for 2014?

"Stay healthy, US Skyrunning Ultra series, long adventure runs in Yosemite, and the Dipsea if I can get in!"



nickpedatella.jpgUltra Runner

Nick Pedatella started trail running in earnest after moving to Boulder Colorado in 2007. Shortly thereafter he began competing in ultra marathons. He enjoys pointlessly suffering in the mountains for extended periods of time. Among his major running accomplishments are winning the Bear 100, the fastest known time on the 140 mile Kokopelli Trail, twice finishing in the top-five of the Hardrock 100, and finishing the 330 km Tor des Geants. He spends his days working as a scientist for the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.


candiceburt2.jpgUltra Runner
Follow Candice's Blog

Candice Burt is a competitive ultrarunner specializing in the 100 mile and longer distances. Candice holds several unsupported fastest known times (FKT), most notably the unsupported record on the 93 mile Wonderland Trail around Mt. Rainier, which she completed solo. In 2015, Candice won the Ultra Fiord 100 in Patagonia and placed 2nd in the HURT 100 in 2016. Candice may be best known for her work designing and creating the first non-repetitive 200 miler foot races in the USA, the Tahoe 200 ( which circles Lake Tahoe in one single 200 mile loop and the Bigfoot 200 ( the first point to point trail race of this distance.



thomasreiss.jpgUltra Runner
Follow Thomas' Blog

In 2005, I heard about the Tahoe Triple, (three marathons in three days), and decided to try this crazy race. I won the race setting a new course record. I ran the Triple again in 2006 (3Days/3Marathons 8:43:19) and at the end of that year decided to give Ultra races a try. I ran my first Ultra in 2007, the Jed Smith 50k (3:12:32). In 2007 I also got the honor to represent my home country of Germany at the IAU Ultra Trail World Challenge, I was a member of the German National Team again in 2009 at the Trail World Challenge in France.

  • Course Record Tahoe Rimtrail 50 Mile 7:52:09 (Trail, Altitude, 2008)
  • 2011 RRCA National Champion Masters 100 MIle Trail 20:58 (Trail, Altitude, 2011)


Follow Jared's Blog

Q. What is your greatest running-related accomplishment?

"Completing my 2012 "Summer of Slog" Lineup : Barkley, Hardrock, Nolans 14, Wasatch, Millwood 100"

Q. What was your first pair of running shoes (and year)?

"5.10 Guide Tennie. While not technically a trail running shoe, I loved it!
Montrail Vitesse was also a fairly monumental shoe for me (2002) "

Q. What UD gear do you use?

"I'd used all three signature series packs, but my "go-to" is the Jurek, which I logged thousands of miles with in 2013. I also used the Wasp for many years and loved it."



pamsmith.jpgUltra Runner
Follow Pam's Blog

I am a full time physician and mom of two kids, Megan (11) and Liam (9).Race Highlights: 2013 Western States champion, 2014 Angeles Crest 100M champion and CR, 100M track WR, 2014 100km National champion, selected for US 100 km national team five times, 2013 Competitor Magazine Ultra-runner of the year.


jeremyhumphrey.jpgUltra Runner
Follow Jeremy's Blog

In the great times, I have floated all day and night above the clouds and through the canyons. In the terrible times, I have broken bones and slogged along with pain and fatigue that hurts down to my soul. A smart race means nothing to me. A bold and adventurous race means everything. I would gladly trade 364 days of toil for one day of mountain magic. I have made every mistake a runner can make, but I have loved every mile.



ahleyerba.jpgUltra Runner
Visit Ashley's Blog

I ran my first ultra at the Uber Rock 50k in 2014 with a previous long run of 17miles, one water bottle, and a single gel in my waist belt, but I finished with a karate kick and a "That was FUN!" Luckily I've since had the pleasure of meeting and joining forces with some of the coolest people and brands on the outdoor scene which has greatly enhanced my resources and preparedness for each new endeavor I take on. Some race highlights since I began include six 50k wins, the North American Continental Skyrunning Ultra Championship title (2015), US Skyrunning Ultra title (2015), and a ticket to Western States 100 from finishing 3rd at Lake Sonoma 50M (2015). In 2016, I plan to race Gorge Waterfalls 100k in pursuit of a Golden Ticket to WS100 where - God willing - I will make my 100M debut!


travismacy.jpgUltra Runner/Mountain Biker
Follow Travis' Blog

Finisher of over 120 ultra endurance events in 17 countries, Travis Macy is a speaker, author, coach, and professional endurance athlete. He is the author of The Ultra Mindset: An Endurance Champion's 8 Core Principles for Success in Business, Sports, and Life, and he holds the record for Leadman, an epic endurance event consisting of a trail running marathon, 50-mile mountain bike race, Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race, 10k road run, and Leadville 100 Run, all above 10,200' in the Rocky Mountains. Travis lives with his wife and two young children in the mountains around Evergreen, Colorado.



Follow Gina's Blog

“I started my running career doing laps around the rubber highway as a miler. I've since switched gears to take a much more prolonged amount of time on my feet running in the Colorado Rockies. Ultra mountain and trail running is where where my passion lies, and where I feel most free. My short distance history includes a USATF 10k Trail Championship win, along with two 2nd place finishes at the USATF 15k Trail Champs. As for aboard, I've had to chance to travel to the Canary Islands with fellow teammate Sage Canaday, and took the win at the Transvulcania Media Marathon, along with a 1st at the Laugavegur 55k in Iceland. This past year I raced to a 1st place finish at the Leadville Silver Rush 50 mile, and a 5th place (top American) finish at the CCC 100k event at the UTMB…which was my first 100k. As for 2015, I'm hoping to place top 10 at the Western States 100 (if I get in), and podium top three at the Leadville 100.”


chantalwarriner2.jpgUltra Runner
Follow Chantal's Blog

Chantal has been a competitive athlete for two decades, now specializing in ultra trail running. She loves to run and her dedication and passion for ultra running is demonstrated through her career highlights which include OCAA Hall of Fame, 2015 2nd Place Oilcreek 100k finisher, 2014 Fatdog 70 miler winner, 2013 undefeated trail running season, 2012. 5 Peaks series champion and 2010 Masters Canadian Cross Country Champion, to name a few.



Follow Brandon's Blog

Brandon got his start in ultrarunning in college and he has since been fascinated with the mind-over-matter and primal experience of discovering the limits, or lack thereof, of ultrarunning. Brandon has course records at the Bad Apple 12 hour and the Dizzy Goat 3 hour, 1st place finishes at the North Country Marathon and the Hell 50k, and he completed his first 100M, a distance he is anticipating running many more times, at Superior/Sawtooth. In 2014, Brandon ran 240 miles in 8 days across the Mojave Desert before continuing his journey on to Chicago to raise funds and awareness for curing multiple sclerosis.

Q. What’s your favorite UD gear?

"The SJ vest has a pocket for everything I can ever imagine running with."

Q. What was your first running shoe?

"Before the Nike Pegasus in 2004, I'd do playground laps in some Hot Wheels light-up shoes."

Q. What are your favorite running locations?

"The Rockies, Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan, and Red River Gorge in Kentucky"


sarah-lavender-smith.jpgUltra Runner
Visit Sarah's Blog

Sarah Lavender Smith started running more than two decades ago and began specializing in trail/ultra running in 2005. She has raced some 70 ultramarathons and marathons, with several wins and podium finishes at Northern California trail races. Highlights of her running career include twice finishing as a top female and top 10 overall in the Grand to Grand Ultra, a 170-mile self-supported stage race; finishing first rookie, fourth female and sub-22 hours in her first 100-mile race; and getting a marathon PR of 3:05 at age 39.




justinsimoni2.jpgCyclist/Trail Runner, Climber
Follow Justin's Blog

Justin Simoni bicycles long, lonely rides into the mountains. He has raced the Tour Divide, Colorado Trail, and Arizona Trail bikepacking races - as well as his own monster: The Tour 14er. The Tour 14er reaches the summits of all 58 Colorado 14ers, connected by bikepacking between each trailhead, all self-supported. Justin's three mountain arts are mountain biking, trail running, and rock climbing.


Follow Britt's Blog

“I ran my first ultramarathon, the Ultimate Direction Dirty 30, on a last-minute whim in June, 2013. I had just been coming off of a few relatively successful triathlon seasons, but I still didn't feel like it was the "perfect fit" for me and my lifestyle. Although I had never raced farther than a half marathon (solely running), my competitive running background and endurance base from triathlon got me through it and into a top-10 finish. I was immediately enamored with the sport.

For the past two seasons, I have been trying to practice patience and to gradually get better over time. Ultra running is something I want to be able to do for many years to come, so I've been learning to work it into my life in a balanced, sustainable way. In addition to racing, I've already taken on a few ambitious endeavors, and I look forward to capitalizing on them in the seasons to come. This summer, for example, I plan to carry out my second Nolan's 14 attempt -- but with support this time around! The ultimate goal is to keep ultra running a healthy, fulfilling part of my life.”




Jessie Young was born and raised in Aspen, Colorado. She grew up with the Elk Mountains as her playground and developed a love and respect for the mountains that have drawn her back to her hometown. She snowboarded until her interest in exploring beyond the ski areas drew her towards ski touring. Since she put her snowboard aside, she has progressed from ‘I just want to finish,’ to winning the 2015 US Ski Mountaineering Championships in both the individual and teams races. Although Jessie has found success in racing, her real passion is for exploring new mountain ranges, both near and far. She enjoys exploring these mountains on skis, bike, and foot.


Follow Justin's Blog

Q. What is your greatest running-related accomplishment?

"After running all of my life, I decided to give running up all together, so I could focus on my career and family. Seven years later, I weighed over 240 pounds and was having a hard time keeping up with my kids. That's when I decided to get back into shape. Since losing the weight, I was able to win the 2011 Eugene Marathon and finish on the podium at the USATF Trail Championships for the past three years (2012-2014)."

Q. What was your first pair of running shoes (and year)?

"I ran my first 5k in 1985 when I was 5 years old. I'm not sure what shoe I wore, but my father was a huge Saucony fan, so I would guess I had a pair of those."

Q. What UD gear do you use?

"The Jurek Grip and the AK Race Vest."



jeremy-wolf.jpgUltra Runner
Follow Jeremy's Blog

Growing up in Montana, Jeremy was surrounded by Big Sky Country’s tall peaks and wide open vistas. After a successful collegiate cross country and track and field career he took eight years off of competitive running. Upon returning to Montana in 2010, Jeremy re-discovered trail running and the world of ultras. He has since traveled the globe running and racing on some of the most beautiful trails he can find. Jeremy is co-founder of Schlarb-Wolf Productions which makes trail running adventure films worldwide.



Growing up in the mountains in Montana, family vacations were week-long backpacking trips, not trips to Disneyland or Cancun. A love of long treks and adventures in the mountains was instilled in Mike from an early age. Mike began competing seriously in mountain ultra-running in 2006 when he ran his second 50-mile race ever, at the US Track and Field Association 50-mile trail national championship. Mike has since been racing competitively as a professional mountain ultra-runner for over a decade. As a Global Athlete for The North Face, Mike has competed in over 75 ultra-distance mountain races around the world. Among the many races he has competed in, he holds numerous course records, and has won or place top-3 at the world’s most competitive and prestigious mountain races: the Western States 100, the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc, and the North Face 50-mile Championship, among others.



hillaryallen.jpgUltra Runner
Visit Hillary's Blog

I’m originally from Colorado (Fort Collins), but I wasn't always a runner. I played collegiate tennis and came back to Colorado to go to grad school. During grad school I started road running, but never really loved it. It wasn't until I started trail running in 2013 that everything clicked and I began to explore ultras and mountain running. 2014: Big Horn 50 winner, flagstaff sky race CR, US sky running ultra series champion. 2015: Mont Blanc 80k 3rd place, Speedgoat 50k win and CR, Run the Rut 50k second.





Paul Hamilton is a four-season mountain endurance athlete based out of Carbondale, CO. A life-long native of Colorado, he began focusing his time and energy toward exploration of the Rockies in his mid-twenties, taking up fast packing and trail running. Soon, his zeal for the mountain endurance experience blossomed into a lifestyle. He spends his time balancing big-mountain running and bike-packing in the warmer months and ski-mountaineering in the winter. He is sponsored by Smartwool, Altra, VFuel and Cripple Creek Backcountry.




Max’s passion for skimo racing and light & fast ski touring has only grown since he entered his first skimo race 10 years ago. He enjoys helping to grow you racing side of the sport in the US as well as raising the bar as to the distances that can be traveled on a pair of skis in a day. When not traveling light and fast on skis, Max lives in Aspen Colorado where he ski patrols on Aspen Mtn, coaches cycling, and is a listened real estate broker. Max won 2015 US Ski Mountaineering Championships in both the individual and teams races. He has represented the US at the last 4 Ski Mountaineering World Championships.


daniellehamilton.jpgUltra Runner

Growing up at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro started Daniel Hamilton off with a passion for the outdoors. Daniel brought that love for the Outdoors with him from Africa to the mountains of Western North Carolina where he found his true love for ultra distance in the mountains of Western North Carolina. These mountains seem to have done their job since Daniel has won every race in the Ultra Distances he has debuted in. Wins aside Daniel finds sanity in the woods and in the company of other trail runners. With a double masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling Daniel’s goals include bringing a culture of exercise back to the school systems and continue to strive to make trail running more accessible for people of all ages.



kristinap.jpgUltra and Trail Runner
Visit Kristina's Blog

Kristina Pattison is an ultra-distance mountain and trail runner based in Missoula, Montana, USA. Kristina ran her first ultra in 2011 on a whim and peer pressure. During 2013, she tried her hand at the historic 100-mile Western States Endurance Run and the 20-mile Bridger Ridge Run in Montana, preferring the latter. Finding mountain running most enjoyable, she tried her first Skyrunning race in 2014 at The Rut 50 km in Montana. After 2014, Kristina was ranked among the top 50 women ultra runners in the world by the International Skyrunning Federation. During 2015, she finished 4th in the Skyrunning World Series and 2nd in the US Skyrunning Series for the ultra distance. She also qualified for the 2016 USA Long Distance Mountain Running Team for the World Mountain Running Championships in Slovenia


micheleyates.jpgUltra Runner
Visit Michelle's Blog

Michele stepped into the Ultra Running world from a personal training and marathon background – a 2x Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier might we add – which might explain her being a 4x National Champion in the ultra trail events. We are excited that she is on board and her feedback has been tremendous; she is a part of the women’s collective and has been working with Jenny Jurek from the start to help create the Jenny Collection. Most recently she became the North Face 50 Mile Champion at the most competitive ultra race in the country, in San Francisco, CA, on December 7. She was happy to be wearing the most current sample of the Ultra Vesta.



devonyanko.jpgUltra Runner

Devon is a runner in every sense of the word. She runs roads, trails, mountains from distance from 5km to 100 mile. She is a woman that just loves to run. Devon has run more than 30 Marathon and 30 Ultras since 2006, winning and CR a majority. 3 time member of the USATF 100k National Team including 2009 Gold Medal winning team in Belgium. 2007 RRCA Marathon National Champion. 2010 50 mile road National Champion. 2012 Olympic Trials marathoner and has a marathon PR of 2:38:55 2011 100k National Champion. Set Fastest Known Time on the Grand Canyon R2R2R trail with Krissy Moehl in April 2011. 3rd place at the prestigious Two Oceans Marathon (56k) in Cape Town, South Africa and 5th in Comrades Marathon (89k, as well as first novice and first American). When Devon is not running, she is running and baking at her bakery M.H. Bread and Butter, which she co-owns with her husband Nathan in San Anselmo, California. She loves great food, travel, adventures and sharing time with her friends and family in Marin.


ericcarter.jpgSkiMo Athlete

Member of the US National Ski Mountaineering team though Eric lives in BC. When he's not skimo racing, he is usually scrambling or climbing in the Coast Mountains or working on his PhD in exercise physiology at the University of British Columbia. Eric holds the FKT on Mt. Rainier in Washington state, top ranked American in the 2015 World Cup, 1st overall at the 2016 Canadian National Championships, and overall winner of the 2016 Canadian Cup.