Profiles of Participants

Some of the participants in the 2022 Banana Slug Backyard Ultra are featured below. See the complete roster for a complete list of participants.

David Wilson
  • David at Swim-Run National Championship
  • David, muddy on his bike
  • David, running a race

Hi, I’m David Wilson and have been an endurance race lover for a long time. I started with triathlon in 1999 and have completed a few Ironman, many running events from 1/2 marathons to completing the Leadman race series in 2019. Definitely have been looking for a new challenge and participating in a Backyard Ultra should do the trick.

Kyle Runyon
Kyle Runyon

Hello fellow runners and friends!

I’m Kyle. I’m an east coast transplant living in Portland, OR. I’ve got a 5 year old boy who happens to be my motivation for just about everything nowadays. Most days I’m slaving away toward retirement as a union pipefitter, and I love it!

I ran cross country in high school for 2 years. I wasn’t the best, but I was pretty consistently top 5, though never breaking that 18 min mark. Fast forward to 2020 when Covid became mainstream, and that’s when I decided to furlough for a little while to explore the PNW and get in better shape. I started running, although very inconsistently, and found out I may have a knack for ultra distance running. When I’m running, I’m in my own little world. I’m able to tune out anything and everything that happened that day, week, or month.

This is the first live (hopefully) race I will be attending. I ran the virtual Wildwood E2E race last November, and have chased a couple FKT’s but other than that, the furthest I’ve ran at any point was 41 miles on the infamous Timberline Trail on Mt. Hood.

I am very much so looking forward to this event to see what I’m capable with consistent training and healthy habits. This will be a "training" event for a 100 mile race I’m signing up for a few months later.

Graham Felsenthal
Graham in a race

My name is Graham Felsenthal. I am a Paramedic in Northern, CA and have been running for the past few years. Last year I ran multiple ultra marathons that were all self supported including my first 100 miler and a virtual LPS that I finished with the assist at 128 miles. I love this format and I am really looking forward to improving my outcome, making some new friends and getting wildly uncomfortable.

Paul Bourman
Paul at finish of North Face Endurance Challenge 50k

My name is Paul Bourman, I am a church planter from Tigard, OR at Hope Lutheran Church. I love to get to know the people of my city and my community and share my passion with them! I’m a husband to Charis Bourman and a Dad to two little kids- Theo (pictured), and Adeline. I’ve only lived in Oregon for a little over a year, but I’m glad to call it my home.

I’ve only been in the ultra-running world for a couple years- finished a few races in Wisconsin before arriving in Oregon and running “Run the Rock.”

I signed up for my first backyard ultra in 2020, but, of course, it was canceled at that time. Instead, I got to participate in the Quarantine Backyard Ultra, and I finished 16 laps at that time. Looking to see if I can push my limits with all of you!

Excited to take this on. Training is a go! I wonder if we could put together some training runs ahead of the race? I’d be willing to head that up!

Biz Stamm
  • Biz on trail with colorful socks
  • Biz at 2021 Mountain Lakes 100
  • Biz loving a muddy, winter trail

My name is Biz and when the first race I ever won involved a combination of running, beer-drinking, and burrito-eating, I should have known that ultrarunning was the sport for me!

These days I try to avoid beer drinking on race day, but still can be seen barreling down the trail double fisting pierogis! My philosophy is the longer the run, the more time for snacks!

Derik Farlow
  • Derik Farlow in a Spartan race
  • Derik Farlow in mud under barbed wire
  • Derik Farlow in a race

I’ve been running for about 5 years now. Mostly doing obstacle course races, and a few trail races. I haven’t done any truly long-distance running yet. My longest was the Timberline trail around Mt Hood. But I’ve always been drawn to ultra events. I’m looking forward to seeing what I’m capable of next month!

Todd Evans
Todd Evans

Hi, I'm Todd Evans, I have been running for a few years now. I have always enjoyed being outdoors with my family doing a lot of hiking and backpacking. The ultrarunning thing seemed like a good way to see more in a day rather than take a whole weekend to go backpacking. It started slow and has steadily grown over the years. My wife and I volunteer at an aid station for the Bigfoot 200 and have observed the crazy runners that are doing these 200-mile trail races such as Bigfoot 200, Tahoe 200 and Moab 240. The hallucinations are real!

When I first heard of Big's backyard race I was very intrigued, it seems easy enough, right.... run or walk slightly faster than 4 miles an hour and then repeat until you collapse.😀 I think this is an event for me. At least it should be entertaining for spectators. I look forward to meeting a lot of new folks and making some great friendships!

Travis "Big Flan" Flanagan
  • Bigflan in a colorful suit before a run

    The glorious Gorgeous Series Coast Relay

  • Bigflan running in a 30k race

    Running along the Marin Headlands Trail Golden Gate Winter 30k

  • Bigflan with friends

    The fellows in my ship that make it a fellowship

I go by a lot of names but the Big Flan handle is because I’m bigger than most distance runners and I’m like a delicious dessert cause I get you to smile quickly.

I don’t love running but I like it for the most part. What I do love is the feelings I get from it and the places it takes me. I have run in Bryce Canyon, Zion Park, on the border of Idaho and Montana at 10,000’ during a thunderstorm. I’ve run around Mt. St. Helens, up to the top of Mary’s Peak and places I would never have gone if it wasn’t for this wonderful hobby I have called running. And that’s what keeps me coming back. The adventure. And I run with an absolute fantastic group of friends whom I love with all my heart.

As far as the Banana Slug run, my goal is to make it last until Sunday whether it’s a stroke after midnight or 9 am. I’m excited to see good people push their limits and hopefully hear their stories.

Grant Polson
Grant Polson

Well, we'll see how long I last. I'm mostly concerned about the sleep deprivation than the actual running. It'll be the need for sleep that will probably do me in. I've done a number of these 24-hour formats, including a Spartan 24 and World's Toughest Mudder. In June I'll be aiming for 100 miles at the SISU 24, so this will be a good test. Thanks!

Rylan Phillips
  • Rylan Phillips
  • Rylan Phillips

I live with my wife and our two girls in Sherwood. We love traveling together and getting outdoors as much as we can. As far as ultra running... it was my wife's idea.

I spent many years playing contact sports like football, rugby and Aussie rules football. After hanging up the boots I got into ultras and I've been going strong for a few years. Running is unique in the way it forces me to change. I love the personal growth that comes from true gritty challenges. Even the training runs help clear my mind and reboot. Lately fastpacking has become my newest obsession.

Backyard Slug Run caught my eye and I figured what the heck?! Looking forward to a new race experience!

Leah Brown
  • Leah Brown
  • Leah and her dog, Pookie
  • Leah in a bike race

I'm Leah, and my favorite places to run are pretty much anywhere that has trees and dirt. I'm easy to please and happiest when I'm outdoors.

I’ve never done a race like this before, so I’m both excited and nervous. I’ve run regular-style ultras before and my favorite distance is probably 50k. I finished my first 100 miler in September and I’m looking for “what’s next?”. I also race bikes, but I’m new to the “last man standing” format. When I’m not running or riding I work as a veterinary nurse and I’m studying illustration and graphic design (what’s free time?!). I also collect shoes and dogs. That’s my buddy Pookie in the second picture, but he’s 13 and retired from running now.

Looking forward to seeing you in April!

Will "Slowfat" Martin
Will (Slowfat) Martin

Hi, I'm Will (slowfat). This is a common look for me—hopelessly lost in a place I have no business being in. This photo was taken in Southern Utah when my wife (not pictured) and my friend Matt were training for the San Francisco marathon—our first! While love for my wife, our dog and our friends center me, I spend most of my life feeling like a confused impostor. "How did I end up on this side of the river?", "Why do they keep on letting me work here?", "Are they really going to sell me a pizza with triple extra cheese? That's gotta be some kind of crime, right?"

There are so many things I want to do in life for which, in order to do them well, you need talent or aptitude. I was delighted to discover in the past few years that running requires neither. I thought to myself, "You mean, I don't have to be good? Or fast? Or know what I'm doing? That all I have to do is keep putting one foot in front of the other and not quit and at the end I'll definitely get a beer and a medal? Ok, this, I'm pretty certain I can do." Running provides me with peace, a sense of accomplishment, and a sense of belonging. Belonging to something much bigger than me—sure, something inconsequential and rarely useful, but also something ancient and primal. And the bar for entry to the group is so blissfully low—just keep doing that one-foot-in-front-of-the-other thing—that's all it takes to belong.

Excited to see how many steps I've got in me.

Bob Irving
  • Bob at Trillium Lake in the snow
  • Bob racing at Silver Falls
  • Bob's bike at a scenic overlook

In the past I have raced just about every type of race:

This will be my first Backyard Ultra so I can add another to the list. My wife says anything to get out of yard or house work. True. I'm coming back from some lingering ankle problems but hope to be ready come race day.

Joshua Niggli
Joshua Niggli

The most important things in this life are God, family, and friends—running, music, and work intertwine them to make them complete.

God has gifted me with a wife and our four children ranging in age from 2-8 years old. When not working 50 hrs a week as a Union Electrician, spending time with my wife and kids, or spinning vinyl records I can be found running in the streets.

Although trails are my preferred terrain, road is right outside my door. So when my many other responsibilities take most of the days hours I run early in the morning or late at night to fit it in. Although I run very few sanctioned events, a “Backyard Ultra” has always been on my bucket list. I’m excited to test the limits of my body and encourage everyone running with me to do the same.

Kim T.
  • Kim on a night run
  • Kim crossing a creek

I’m Kim, and I live in Portland. I started trail running as a youth in the mountains of New Mexico. I met Carl through PNW Search and Rescue. He’s kind and easy-going, as evidenced by laughing with me when I navigated him up a river bank into a big tall patch of devil’s club on a training run. So I decided to support his first attempt to carefully organize this interesting race format by being the first to sign up.

I turned 50 this year and have been doing as many “first ever” activities as possible. When I’m not running, kayaking, sailing, or otherwise playing outdoors, I’m working in our local public health department with fantastic dedicated colleagues and community members.

I may be wearing costumes at this race. Yes, plural, which includes costume changes.

I look forward to meeting you.

Carl Worth (Race Director)
  • Carl and Stacy Worth at the Oregon coast

    Carl and Stacy Worth at the Oregon coast

  • Carl and sons at a cross-country meet

    If only I could be as fast as these two boys...

  • Carl on the Loowit trail in the blast zone of Mt. St. Helens

    I love the unworldly scenery around Mt. St. Helens.

I'm Carl and I've lived in Wilsonville since 2005 where my wife and I have raised our 4 sons together. My sons were an inspiration to me with their enthusiasm for running in their teenage years. I've long enjoyed outdoor activities such as backpacking and rock climbing but only in the past couple years have gotten very interested in trail running.

When I had to postpone the original 2020 Banana Slug Backyard Ultra I participated in the virtual Quarantine Backyard Ultra (running loops in my neighborhood) and completed 13 loops and 54 miles. I also ran/hiked the Loowit Trail in 2020, effectively completing an unsupported 50k run.

I've been a search and rescue volunteer for the past 5 years, currently a member of Clackamas Country Search and Rescue where I'm a member of the trail-running and technical rope rescue specialty teams.

When not outdoors I'm often constructing various word and logic puzzles, and I work as a computer programmer.