What do 12 people in two vans do for fun around Northern Utah? Why, they take turns running through hot days and cold nights while surrounded by beautiful mountainous terrain, of course!
A few of us at USANA are just crazy enough to think that this sounds like a wonderful way to spend a couple days.
Part of the Ragnar Relay Series, Utah’s Wasatch Back course is one of the most popular races in the Western United States.
In it, teams of 6 to 12 people each run three legs totaling nearly 200 miles between the very scenic Logan and Park City, Utah. Crazy costumes and decorated vans are a common sight along the course of what Ragnar calls a “192-mile party with 12 best friends.”
This year’s race will be held on June 15 and 16, and USANA’s team RevRun has been hard at work training to prepare for some grueling hills and steep descents. The team will snap photos and shoot some video as we go and will share it with you when the madness is over.
First, meet the team, which is comprised of employees from all over USANA and who love running and are looking forward to Ragnar for a myriad of reasons.
Runner 1. Kevin McMurray. Legal Services.
“I’m a lawyer by trade, and I have a great job with a fantastic company. I get to work on a variety of legal matters, including employment law matters, intellectual property issues, legal matters relating to international market expansion, advertising review, incorporations, etc. I’ve been running off-and-on for about 8 years now. I love to run because it gives me free time to do some thinking and enjoy nature without any interruptions. I decided to run Ragnar because I’ve wanted to do it for several years, but have found too many excuses not to do it. I am looking forward to running with some awesome friends and great people who make my life great.”
Runner 2. Camille Fletcher. Marketing.
“I love creating marketing campaigns for our phenomenal Nutritionals product line, and I also love being able to support all the great Associates who are out there making a difference every day with USANA. I’ve been running (slowly, oh so slowly) for about five years now — everything from marathons to 5K’s. It’s a great excuse to spend time outside and clear your head. I rode along in a Ragnar van a few years ago, and have wanted to do one ever since — even better that it will be with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met! Now that it’s almost here… I’m terrified!”
Runner 3. Pete Iccabazzi. Creative Services.
“I work as the Pre-Press Production Supervisor — preparing all of our printed materials from labels to magazines to be printed. I have been running for 3 years, and I like it because it’s my therapy! I chose Ragnar because it’s Ragnar! I enjoy the camaraderie and the challenge.”
Runner 4. Nick Peterson. Creative Services.
“I’m a writer for USANA. Most of my work involves contacting successful USANA Associates to share their stories, either on our Whats Up, USANA? blog or in our award-winning USANA Magazine. I decided to take on running my sophomore year of high school. I was overweight and unhappy with my situation, so I chose running as my form of fat-burning, cardio-heavy exercise. Although I’ve only run one other competitive race, I still consider myself an experienced runner, as I try to hit the treadmill every day on my lunch break; although, distance running could be a different story! I’m from the small town of Morgan, Utah, and every summer I’d grow up watching the relay runners pass my house. Each year, the race has grown bigger and bigger, until recent years when it’s become quite the event. I want to be part of that at least once, especially with my USANA team, who are all awesome. Now this year, I can wave to my parents as I jog by the front yard I sat in for so many years! Plus, I was too scared to try a marathon!”
Runner 5. Preston Bitner. IT.
“I work as a prognosticator and predict the future — otherwise known as being a forecast analyst. I have been running for 3 or 4 years, inconsistently. I love being outside, and running is a good reason to get out. I was forced into Ragnar by peer pressure from the other members of the team and am most looking forward to the finish of my third leg!”
Runner 6. Jenna Templeton. Research & Development.
“I work on the clinical studies team. We run in vivo and in vitro studies to test the effectiveness of new product formulations and promising actives, respectively. Throughout school, I was a competitive swimmer, and we always ran to crosstrain, but I didn’t start taking running more seriously and signing up for races until two years ago. I’m looking forward to the camaraderie of Ragnar! Solo runs are great for reflecting, de-stressing, and getting “me” time, but there’s something special about cheering on your team and feeling that same support during a tough section of the course. But mostly, I’m excited about the excuse to blast “It’s Tricky” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-O5IHVhWj0) for a day and half.” (Note to the readers: our team name, RevRun is not a play on the famous line from The Shining. It is loosely based on the name of a member of Run DMC. We’ve chosen “It’s Tricky” as our theme song.)
Runner 7. Connie Ramos. Legal Services.
“I work as the Legal Assistant. One of my duties is to aid in protecting USANA so that it will be around for a long time. We advise management on legal and ethical matters, protect USANA’s intellectual property, educate employees and distributors on legal dos and don’ts and represent USANA in any legal disputes. I was 20 when I first started running consistently. It seems like my love for running and fitness has grown each year. I think running keeps you young, and I also want to set an example to my children that fitness is important at any age and that you can always make time to fit in a run. I chose to join the Ragnar team because I love being part of a team, I love to run, and I love adventure!”
Runner 8. Mark Brown. Research & Development.
“As Director of Product Development, I am lucky to have some great people working for me. We cover all aspects of product development from sourcing to manufacturing. I started running at about five years of age to avoid getting beat-up by my big brother. Just kidding! I started running about 25 years ago to compete in a short triathlon. Since then I have become a trail runner. It is a great way to explore the mountains with my wife and our dog. I am looking forward to running Ragnar with all the oddballs that this kind of race brings out. That includes my teammates!”
Runner 9. Gary Wells. Finance.
“As the Corporate Treasurer, I oversee are the payment of commissions, credit, and exchange of returned product orders, USANA’s Insurance, cash investments and foreign exchange transactions. I began running for distance 7 years ago when a co-worker invited me to tag along on a run. Since that invitation came, running has been a part of my training and staying active to maintain a base level of physical fitness. It’s a fun group of friends we’ve gathered over the years running with USANA. We have a good time and challenge each other to become better each time we are out. I find we are all very supportive of one another and do what we can during a run and also at work. I’ve run Ragnar several times and really enjoy the association I have with the group and the other teams we meet. It’s such a different atmosphere when everyone is under the same pressure to just make it to the next pit stop. But there are fans from your van cheering you on and people from other vans shouting encouragement. You’re never really alone on the run and want to keep going for the team. I hope to contribute a good positive attitude for the team and do my best on my assigned legs.”
Runner 10. Shayna Dunford. IT.
“Basically I’m a report developer; however, when you work for Roy and Doug, you’re much more than a report developer; you are a data magician. I have always been the “occasional” runner (more fair weather than anything else). In 2011 I decided to train for my first half-marathon, which I completed in under 2 hours, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Basically, I run because I LOVE to eat and I am incredibly vain… so running burns off those unnecessary calories and helps me stay fit. This will be my third time running Ragnar. Last year I wanted to prove to myself that I could not only run a half-marathon but I could also run Ragnar and enjoy myself. I had such a great experience that my husband and I, along with 10 other friends, participated in the Las Vegas Ragnar and got the coveted “Saints to Sinners” medal — it was such an incredible experience (not to mention they had a beer garden at the finish line which made the 30 hour trek through the hot desert worthwhile).”
Runner 11. David Martinez. Stability.
“I work as a Technical Service Technician at USANA. I really do not enjoy running all that much. I do, however, have a passion for physical development. Weight lifting, Crossfit, mountain biking, cycling, trail running, hiking, snowboarding, and participating in triathlons are a few activities that are a part of life. Although I do not share the same passion for running as others in my Ragnar group, I always challenge my physical abilities. I chose to run Ragnar because it will be a physically and mentally challenging to complete, and I love challenges!”
Runner 12. Ryan Beatse. Regulatory Affairs.
“I am responsible for all new/old products being registered in any given market. I have been running for 10+ years. I enjoy running because it comes easy to me. Getting out and going for a nice long run is relaxing. I chose Ragnar for the challenge. An endurance challenge that will certainly test even the best runners. I want to test myself to see if I am as good as I think I might be.”
Wish USANA Team RevRun luck. We probably need it!