2018 Camp Mentors




Liza Howard
San Antonio, TX

   
I come from a military family. My father, grandfathers, brother in-law, uncles, aunts, cousins were all in the military. Connecting veterans and their families to the wonderful trail running community and sharing the joy that can be found on the trails is one way for me to express my gratitude for our veterans service and thier families' sacrifices. It's a way to make my running useful and to be useful myself.  

Favorite trails and/or races to run?
I train mostly in the Texas Hill Country in and around San Antonio. I've run the Leadville four times, so that might be my favorite race. 
 
What do you prefer to eat during races?
My stomach doesn't like much when I run. I usally rely on Tailwind and soda. 

Trail gear/kit you can’t run without?
Does my phone loaded with running podcasts count?

Most useful running advice you’ve ever received?
Pretend there's a competition for happiest runner coming through an aid station. And try to win it. It'll change your race. 

www.lizahoward.com
@lizahoward1
    

Joe Prusaitis
Austin, TX


I'm an old soul who fell into trail running some 25 odd years ago. Ran some 100+ trail races, directed a few more than that, and now spend my time coaching people for more of the same.

I have never been an elite level runner, known more for my bull-headed persistance. I tend to over-analyze all facets of a race well before hand and then attempt to run the race with the joy of a 10 year old on race day.


My preference is for longer, more technical, rugged, terrain, but still enjoy every other type of race just for the variety of it. In my 60s now, and not as fast as I used to be, which was never that fast to begin with, but the joy is still the same.


Katie Grossman
​Wrightwood, CA

.I’m an avid trail runner with a day job, a husband, a kid and a cabin in the small town of Wrightwood in the San Gabriel Mountains. Considerably more tough than talented, I love to train for and race in high altitude mountain runs with rugged
terrain and terrible weather - the more obstacles the better!

Connecting with nature and the trail running community can be powerful and healing for everyone (it has been for me), and Band of Runners has created an opportunity to share it with a very special group of people. I was inspired to get
involved by my brother’s service in the United States Marine Corps, and over the years, I’ve seen firsthand the incredible ripple effect that single connections made at camp can have. It’s just trail running, but is it really?


Favorite trails and races to run?
My favorite trails are the ones out my door and the ones down the 395 highway in the Eastern Sierra Nevada. My favorite races are the Hardrock 100 and my
hometown Angeles Crest 100.


What do you prefer to eat (or not eat) during races?
I’m a liquid fiend - water, VFuel gels and powder mixes, Odwalla protein drinks + a few weirder things: mint tea and non-alcoholic beer.


Trail gear you can’t run without?
New Balance Summit Unknown + Injinji socks on my feet, Julbo Aerolites over my eyes, Nathan SpeedDraw bottles in my hand or VaporHowe pack on my back, a Buff
on my head, and a song (usually Fleetwood Mac) in my heart.


Most useful running advice you’ve ever received?
Squat, scootch and shoot. It’s a proven method for peeing in the woods as a woman, and it has revolutionized my running. (For curious parties: “scootch” is what you do
to your split shorts, so that you don’t have to bare butt it in the middle of a race with no tree coverage.)


kdgrossman.com
@heykdgrossman on Insta + Twitter
facebook.com/katiedeSplinter

Dominic Grossman​​
​Wrightwood, CA

In fall of 2000, at the age of 13, an energetic and adventurous young Dominic came to terms with the realization that his high school’s pool was broken down and he needed another sport besides water polo and swimming. Eight months later he ran his first marathon at age 14 and went on from there to run NCAA division I cross country and track at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Eventually tiring of races that were shorter than 30 minutes, he moved on to ultra distance trail races notching various wins from 50k to 100 miles and completing the venerable Hardrock 100, Badwater 135, Western States 100, and Angeles Crest 100 endurance runs. In his professional life, he leads a R&D engineering team developing UAV fuel systems. He spends the rest of the time enjoying the company of his wife and daughter while running and skiing in the alpine terrain around their cabin in Wrightwood, CA. 

Pam Smith
​Salem, OR

The Band of Runners mission really resonates with me because I love being able to share my passion for the trail with others and seeing the joy it brings them. Running creates community and I love making connections with others through this activity. Band of Runners gives me an opportunity to meet a lot of wonderful new people, including many Veterans, who I admire for their service to our country.

I run in Salem though I frequent nearby McDonald Forest, Silver Falls State Park and the Cascade Mountains for long trail runs. Pacific Northwest trails are a joy to run because the trails are generally quite runnable and the surrounding forests are lush and green all year round! But my favorite trails are in the Trinity Alps in Northern California for the breathtaking alpine scenery and craggy peaks.

When it comes to training, I think the best advice I've gotten is to "Aim for consistent, not perfect" or put another way; "something is better than nothing." Life can get too busy or you can feel too tired to do that ten miler but even getting out for 20-30 minutes is better than nothing!

When it comes to eating during long races, I believe in finding stuff that tastes good to you even after several hours. I do use sports drinks and some gels, but these get old really fast! So my race day fuel includes a lot of "regular" high calorie/high carbohydrate foods like soda, red licorice, Pringles, canned peaches, fruit snacks, and my favorite: pudding!

For clothing, make sure you have a good pair of new socks to prevent blisters. I always wear a cap when I race, too. On cold days it'll keep a little heat in and keep a bit of rain off your face and on hot days it'll keep the sun off your face and you can fill it with ice for extra cooling.

The best place to follow along with my running adventures is https://www.instagram.com/rundoctor74/

Mike Ehredt
Hope, ID

Most of my running is on the trails surrounding me in the Cabinet and Selkirk Mountains.
I have witnessed the compelling, positive effect running and nature has had on our Veterans and families through Band of Runners. Bringing together such a diverse group of individuals and sharing my/our love of running trails and how empowering it can be, is very rewarding.
Having been on the dirt now for 20 plus years and having raced all over the world, I can truly say my favorite event is the Hardrock 100 which I have completed 4 times. My favorite trails have been the ones I am now on that particular day. When you love dirt it is good wherever you are at!
My favorite food when I run?? Hands down, Bacon. When I race I live on  VFuel peach cobbler and actually did 40 of them in a 100 mile race! The one piece of gear I never leave home without is my buff. It’s my cap, my neck gator and my sweat rag.
The best advice I was ever given: If you can shuffle you can make it!!

Instagram: mikerunsidaho
http://www.projectamericarun.com/
https://www.mikerunsidaho.com/


Ellie Greenwood
North Vancouever, BC, Canada

As a trail runner the community aspect of the sport is very important to me.  Although I mostly got into trail running for the physical challenge and the ability to explore the natural world on two feet, I soon found that the people I met along the way became a huge part of why the sport is important to me in my daily life.  There is so much to be gained from trail running - a sense of confidence, a sense of purpose and accomplishment, and the power of forming many solid friendships - I feel this is something that so many other folks can benefit from so I am always happy to share our sport with others.

Favorite trails and races to run:
I love Chuckanut 50k held in Bellingham, WA each March.  It's classic PNW with some fast and smooth trails mixed in with some technical rooty and rocky trails in lush, green forest.  It's a great first time ultra runners event and yet it can also be challenging for more experienced runners who are looking to try run a fast 50k time.  Plus there is a great community atmosphere at Chuckanut so I enjoy seeing friends there each year.

What do you prefer to eat during races?
Generally I like to keep it simple with gels, energy drink and maybe some chips grabbed in passing from aid stations.  Plus there is nothing better than some flat coke towards the end of an ultra and you need that extra kick!  I definitely stay away from anything with cheese at aid stations as that would wreak havoc on my stomach.

Trail gear/kit you can’t run without?    
Again, I like to keep it pretty minimal and have a simple set up that works for most adventures but living in Vancouver we get a lot of rain in the winter so my HOKA waterproof jacket is a life saver - I've yet to find a jacket that is 100% waterproof for hours in torrential rain but this one does a pretty good job and the fit is just perfect.  I also run commute quite a bit so a compact running pack is invaluable - right now I wear the Gregory Navarino pack - it's about 8 years old and still going strong - it's just big enough for a full change of clothes, money, water bottle and a few other essentials, and it's a comfy fit even when stuffed full of gear.

Most useful running advice you’ve ever received?    
Have confidence in your training.  Too many folks run a sub par race because they simple start to loose confidence and talk themselves out of doing well before they have even got to a start line.  It's easy to dwell on what training runs you haven't done and how everyone else has done so much more, but instead it is better to look at what runs you have done and run your own race.  Yes, races are by default setting us up to compare ourselves with others but that is not helpful or realistic in the weeks leading up to a race and on race day itself.  Do the basics in training, remind yourself in race week of all the training that you have done, and then have the confidence on race day to know that you can do well.  If you are confident on race day then you will stay relaxed and make smart decisions and that will set you up for having YOUR best race.

instagram.com/elliejgreenwood/
facebook.com/ultra.ellie/
twitter.com/eLLiejG
http://elliegreenwood.blogspot.ca/
    

Ricky Haro
Phoenix, AZ

I first attended Band of Runners trail running camp a few years ago and discovered firsthand how powerful and supportive this community can be. I’ve leaned on the community several times as life has challenged me. I’ve also been able to support others as well. The nature of how the camp is programmed offers a unique life-changing experience. To continue to share this experience with others is why the mission resonates with me.

Favorite trails and races to run?
Anything rugged, rocky, and sharp.
I love run challenges like Badwater 146 or the Nolan’s Line.

What do you prefer to eat during races?
Good healthy and lite breakfast a few hours before the race; mainly liquid nutrition for the first half and then I switched to whole foods.
When all that fails...Quesadillas, Oreos, Coca-cola, Watermelon, and Gummy Worm.

Trail gear/kit you can’t run without?
My running buff

Most useful running advice you’ve ever received?
Keep your mind focused and on task, be persistent and consistent...

    

Chris Russell
​San Antonio, TX

 I primarily run at Friedrich Park, Helotes Powerlines, Government Canyon State Natural Area in San Antonio and Hill Country State Natural Area in Bandera, TX.

How/why the mission of Band of Runners resonates/connects with you?
I’m an Air Force vet who was deployed twice and observed first-hand the effects deployments can have. Additionally, I first got into trail running in 2004 to help my mental health. It has been very therapeutic and has allowed me to see some incredible places and make some great friends.

Favorite trails and races to run?
I love the South Kaibab trail in the Grand Canyon and Panorama trail in Yosemite. Locally, I enjoy running the trails at Hill Country State Natural Area. Two races I have enjoyed the most are Canyon De Chelley 55K in Arizona, Cactus to Cloud 50K in New Mexico,  and Never Summer 100K in Colorado. Locally my favorite race is Cactus Rose at Hill Country State Natrual Area.

What do you prefer to eat during races?

I mainly rely on gels and will augment it with solid food I can get at aid stations. Typically, I like PBJs or Quesadillas. Pickles are great when it is hot.

Trail gear you can’t run without?
My 100oz hydration pack. It gets hot here in Texas!

Most useful running advice you’ve ever received?
Start off slow. You hear this a lot when first starting but it is so true. If I start off slow and keep heart rate down then the rest of the race (especially for an ultramarathon) generally goes well. If my heart rate climbs too fast too early….things don’t end well.
    

Roy Pirrung
Plymouth, WI

As an army veteran, I know how important it is to give back to a community I still belong. This year I will reunite again, with the guys I served with 50 years ago. They are like brothers and every serviceman should feel they are part of this family.

Favorite trails and races to run?
My favorite trail to run is in a game preserve. It is about 800 acres that wraps around two 18-hole world class golf courses and the meandering Sheboygan River. I enjoy races from 5k to 6 days and especially those designated as national or world championships. I also am pursuing running a marathon or longer in every state and D.C. Memorable races include, 48-hours of Surgeres, France, Spartathlon in Greece, Torino-Roma non stop in Italy, Ultra Gobi in Mongolia, Western States 100 and Tejas Trail races, along with my "home" course, the Ice Age Trail 50.

What do you prefer to eat during races?
A variety of foods, mostly carbs, but simple sugars too. I use SUCCEED sports drinks and S-caps for electrolyte replacement. During cold nights I like warm broth or ramen noodles and also mashed potatoes. 

Trail gear/kit you can’t run without?
​I wear clothing by CW-X and HOKA One One shoes. 

Most useful running advice you’ve ever received?
​"Listen to your body". It took awhile before those words clicked, but once I understood the phrase things improved. I believe the strongest part of the body is the mind. It has enabled me to break over 50 American Records and earn 86 national championship titles and also world ranked performances.

www.roypirung.com

Brian Ricketts
San Antonio, TX


Joe Uhan
Eugene, OR

Community and Empowerment are at the foundation of both Band of Runners and what I consider The Meaning of Life.

Favorite trails and races to run?
North: Superior Hiking Trail (MN); my hometown trails (River Falls, WI)
South: They run there? I enjoy running along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
West: Western States 100 course; anything/anywhere in Oregon (coastal trails; PCT)

What do you prefer to eat during races?
My favorite: nothing. I’ve gone as long as 50 miles in the mountains without a single calorie.

Trail gear you can’t run without?
Shoes. Rest in Peace to the Pearl Izumi E:Motion line, but I’m looking forward to trying Topo.

Most useful running advice you’ve ever received?
“It never always gets worse” ~ Ann Trason

​facebook.com/joe.uhan
Twitter: @00joeuhan
Instagram: uhan_performance


Monica Morant


Scotty Mills
​Near Carlsbad, CA

Having served 22 years in the Air Force and participated in the
evacuation of South Vietnam, I’ve gained a firsthand appreciation
of our service members’ sacrifices and courage in serving their
country. Band of Runners is such a worthwhile endeavor.

My favorite trails are the east county mountains of San Diego which include the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), Mt Laguna Recreation Areaand Lake Cuyamaca…..all of which are part of the San Diego 100Mile course. My favorite races remain Western States 100,
Hardrock 100 and Lake Sonoma 50.


What do you prefer to eat during races?
Tailwind Nutrition Drink, bananas, and gels. Soup at night.


Trail gear/kit you can’t run without?
Hydration (bladder) pack, sunglasses, and sunscreen.


Most useful running advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t over race, don’t over train, and always try to take time off

each year to rest, relax, and reinvigorate.

Facebook and Twitter: @ScottMillsSD100

Dale Cougot
Garland, TX

Around town, I run Rowlett Creek and Cedar Ridge Park, when I am on the road I love to run the cities before they wake up from 4am to 6am.

I lost two first cousins who were Navy veterans to suicide. If I can reach one person that will run and talk with me in need, I am successful.

Favorite trails and races to run?
Love supporting the local races in North Texas Cross Timbers, Rough Creek and Dinosaur Valley. My all-time favorite race is Badwater Salton Sea 3-person team race (not a relay) that requires all members to stay together for 81 miles.

What do you prefer to eat during races?
I prefer real food, I live and train on it everyday, I want it on race day. I will supplement some Gu-Roctane about every hour to help with some nutrients. Definitely not a fan of depending on only one energy source.  Tortilla wraps are always good.

Trail gear you can’t run without?
My hat with the back visor. More I learn about how the sun stresses our eyes and potential sun cancer on the neck.

Most useful running advice you’ve ever received?
It took many races for the one piece of advice to seek in, “Enjoy the Journey and embrace your WHY!” 

FaceBook - Texas YETI Runner

Rachel Ballard
Chicago, IL

I run on the lakefront during the week, and in the forest preserves on the weekends.

Band of Runners gives us the privilege and opportunity to share what we love about trail running: challenge and comfort, community and solitude, beauty and misery with veterans who are often trying to figure out how to find those things in civilian life. 

Favorite trails to run? 

My running heart is still in the heart of Texas, so Bandera trails are still my favorites.

What do you prefer to eat during races? 

Eating and racing are not things I do well together.  I’ve tried everything and struggle with my stomach every time.

Trail gear you can’t run without? 

My Tejas Trails buff wrapped around my wrist, for wiping sweat in the summer and nose in the winter. 

Most useful running advice you’ve ever received? 

1. Slow down 
2.  You can cry when you’re finished. 
3. Work on your form.

    

Rob VanHouten
​North Carolina

I never knew my dad. My father went into the Marine Corps as an all American. It was something that every male in our family did. He did several tours of Vietnam and somewhere along the way he got lost. He came back and fought any authority, he was an addict, he was abusive, and ultimately was never a part of my life. I could show pictures of before and after, and no one would believe it was the same person. He never found his way out of the fog that he was lost in. He self-medicated and died fighting memories, he could not let go of.

As a child, I prayed he would pick me (and my brother) over the drugs. That he would "wake up" and realize I was important to him. At 6 years old, it was naive, but it seemed like a simple choice. It never happened. I only wish there was a group, or program or something he could have found to help him.  So I decided that if there was ever anything I could do, to help, I would.  Even in his struggles he helped shape me to be passionate to make a difference.

I understand what we do helps Vets and Active personal, but I also personally know that help goes beyond the single individual and reconnects families

Favorite trails and races to run?
Mount Juneau to Granite Basin Races- Bandera, Squamish and Pinhoti

What do you prefer to eat during races?
GU espresso love, and GU Energy Stoopwafel Wild Berry

Trail gear/kit you can’t run without?
Altra Superior shoes, Dry Max socks, Squirrel nut butter

Most useful running advice you’ve ever received?
 “Be patient, there are no quick fixes. It’s about believing in the plan and executing.”

facebook.com/rob.vanhouten.1
www.just-life.rocks/
    

Paul Terranova
Austin, TX

As an Army veteran and trail runner, Band of Runners is a way of “paying it forward” for the mentorship and advice I’ve received from both the military and trail running communities.

Favorite trails to run? 
My favorite trails and places to run are STILL the ones without any cell service!

What do you prefer to eat during races? 

Mostly liquid nutrition with some gels and solid food from time to time.

Trail gear you can’t run without? 

Chamois butter for the win!

Most useful running advice you’ve ever received? 

Run until your problems become solutions.

Blog/social media addresses to follow you? 

Facebook
My wife Meredith’s Instagram (sunshinemer23)
Some legacy postings: 
https://grandkonaslam2012.wordpress.com/
    

Ryan Yedlinsky
Lansing, KS

A retired Army Lieutenant Colonel with five combat tours, Ryan and his family have
settled about 25 minutes outside Kansas City. As a trail and ultra-
runner, he supported Team RWB trail running camps for four years. Moved by the
tremendously positive effects those camps had on veterans and civilians alike, Ryan
jumped on the chance to join the Band of Runners team as their military advisor in
2018.
Living in a variety of places around the country, Ryan had the opportunity to race in
several areas, but his favorites are in Washington State and Virginia. They provide
very different styles of trails (mountains versus wicked rolling hills), but both are
challenging and beautiful. Just make sure you provide potato soup and/or pierogi to
keep him happy!
Experience has taught him that, as a heavy sweater, he always needs some form of
head wear (hat, buff, etc), to keep the sweat out of his eyes regardless of the
temperature. But what is truly important to him are pieces of advice he receive
years ago and still lives by today. First, race day is not the time to try out new food
or gear. Second (specifically for ultras), don’t try to run a race as a whole; approach
it as a series of aid stations – just get to the next aid station and take it from there.

Doise Miers 
Austin, TX

I enjoy making connections one-on-one with others and being part of building a supportive community
build around physical activity and nature. I hope that someday Band of Runners will be an international community of runners that mentor, support, and encourage
one another in both daily struggles of life and also in physical activities such as trail running. 
I have personally benefited in so many ways from the trail running community and want to be part
of giving back to and encouraging others, even though I feel it's just a tiny portion of the benefits I've received.

Favorite trails and races to run. 
My favorite trail in Austin is Forest Ridge.  It’s closed to many people for half the year because it’s an endangered bird habitat so I enjoy the quiet, unique environment out there.  It’s a beautiful place, especially when it rains and small streams are flowing. It’s also quite hilly and rocky so provides good training.
I’ve not traveled outside of Texas to do many races and there's great races close to home so why leave?  My favorite race is Cactus Rose 50M. 50 miles is a good distance for me and I love the self-supported aspect of Cactus.  It’s a lower key race and part of what draws me to trail running is the quiet and comradery and Cactus has not outgrown that.  I also like Rocky Raccoon. That course was my first ultra and I’ve had good days and bad there and am happy when I get to run there on a softer, flatter course with the pine trees and lake.

What do you prefer to eat during races? 
Pretty much anything.  I’ve taken tacos, avocados, apples, and candy bars into the Grand Canyon and have eaten pizza and hamburger during races.  When I'm more serious about race nutrition I'll use gels and Carbo Pro with some real food mixed in later in the day/race.  I get sick of sweet stuff all the time so need something salty, with substance later on. A few salty potatoes usually hit the spot.

Trail gear you can’t run without? 
Lip balm, I seriously can't even run a short loop in my neighborhood without it. Drymax socks, La Sportiva shoes (Bushidos right now) and a good sports bra are all essentials for me. Gear can be hard to find and can be an experiment because it's so different for everyone. I use a handheld water bottle for shorter runs and a hydration pack for longer stuff or when it's hot. Which is like 8 months of the year in Texas. 

Most useful running advice you’ve ever received? 
I’ve received so much advice I don’t even know where to begin!  I was so fortunate to have people like Joe and Joyce Prusaitis, who basically started trail running and races in Texas and other ultra vets around when I first started running trails and ultras. I received so much wonderful advice when I started so I pass on all I can. I think it’s important to keep in mind that not everything will work the same for everyone – you have to experiment what works for you as far as shoes, gear, nutrition, hydration.  Also, remember to stop a minute and take in the view. We’re so fortunate to be able to enjoy the outdoors, trails, and one another’s company so be sure to take this in. Also, wet wipes, not toilet paper : )​​

MeredithTerranova Austin, TX


Band of Runners
Mentor Family

Scott Kummer


Dave Mackey


Jamil Coury


Meghan Arbogast Laws


Nicole Terranova Yedlinsky