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.
Here’s a picture of “not me” but it’s how I feel while training
through soccer playing with guys at work. I feel I am way out of
my league with this race but I guess that’s how everyone feels
when they do something new. I’ve trained half of what I should
which is twice what I’ve been motivated to so I guess I’m
ready. I’ve worked hardest on the taper and the carb loading
this week. I’m actually pretty jazzed to do this event and am
pleased the weather looks good. My goal it to run at least a
marathon length anything after that is farther than I’ve ever
run so will count as a plus in my book. I’d be over the moon if
I get 2 marathons in and hit the 50 (my age) plus mile
mark. Should be fun and challenging. I sure do feel good right
now with all the easy running I’ve been doing plus a weekly
cardio workout in soccer. Good luck to all! See you Saturday if
I'm Saulius (Saul if you want), a Lithuanian that lived most of
my life in Washington state. I started pursuing running more
seriously as my used 2003 Ford Escape car broke down and the
expenses were way too much for the constant repairs in 2019 and
couldn't drive to trailheads to go hiking. One day I've decided
to try my own self supported flat marathon as which used to be a
distance I might typically hike with my dad in a day on my
weekends and completed that run in 5h. After that, I got hooked
to the point where I realized I don't want to look into getting
a new car even though it's still always a challenge and would
rather invest my time and effort into something that's been
giving me an unexplainable source of inspiration to explore and
I bike to work as part of my cross training and sometimes run or
bike to the mountains as that is a lot more rewarding than just
hiking in the mountains, gives me extra motivation to keep
learning about running. One time I've biked to Mt. Rainier from
Seattle, ran around it and biked back. Another time I've ran
from Seattle to Canada and accidentally got detained
temporarily. I enjoy routes that get me to different places
rather than just loops but also learned how to deal with loops.
My first paid race, I went to Bigfoot 73 but lucky got funded
for that race and this race will be my first one I'm paying for!
This will be my first official backyard ultra! I'm looking
forward to meeting and chatting with new people and seeing some
of my friends I've seen before too!
Hello, fellow runners, current and future friends! My name is
Julija, I am Lithuanian girl who currently lives in Pacific
Wonderland – Oregon with my boyfriend and several furry
four-legged children. I am a lawyer by education and the trail
snail in disguise. I have registered for the Banana Slug purely
for the fun of it, as I tend to feel much joy when running long
distances (my favorite racing distance is 100 miles, but I
hope/plan to go on much longer adventures in the future when I
grow up a little more). Although I do not have any special
training/preparation for this particular race, I plan to keep on
running until I run out of joy. I’m really looking forward to
the weekend of April 23rd!
[Note: While the Banana Slug Backyard Ultra obviously features
slugs prominently, we're accepting of gastropods of all
kinds. So the trail snail is more than welcome to come spread
Hey everyone! I’m Phil and I’m looking forward to meeting you
all and sharing this exciting/dumb/amazing race with you all!
I enjoy running, biking, rowing, getting lost in the woods and
finding my way out, eating, etc...
I’ve been practicing for slug.run by walk jogging around the
block I live on a bunch of times. I’m up to six miles until I
quit of boredom. I’ve also been playing extended sessions of
8-bit Nintendo games to train my mind to do things that it
doesn’t actually want to do. So this should be fun. See y’all
I have been running road races for over a decade and just
recently switched to trail running and fastpacking. I am a
transplant from the East coast / Midwest and am awe-struck by
the beauty of the PNW. I think it's easier to spend days out on
the trail when the landscape is this beautiful! The backyard
ultra concept really appeals to me because I am not a fast
runner; I prefer cruising at a 9-10 min pace and love having
snacks along the way. My mantra since starting running has been,
"It may not feel good. It may never feel good. But that doesn't
mean you can't do it." and I think I'll really have to put this
to use after running in loops for a while. Looking forward to
meeting all of you other crazy runners!
I’m Keith! There are 3 of my friends participating in this
glorified sufferfest and I’ve decided to join them. My wife,
Becka, and I live in Canby where I own a business and she is a
I’m pretty much an expert at full to mostly full rest races. I
hear it’s not a great plan but still keep sliding in just under
the time limit in each race.
My running career began in 2019 and I’ve loved the adventures
and camaraderie. Although my love for running is basically so I
get to eat anything I want, it’s still a lifestyle and adventure
I would not trade for the world!
Hi, I'm Joe. I'm excited and grateful for the opportunity to put
in some miles with all of you fine runners. As it turns out,
this sport wasn't monotonous enough for me so the idea of
running in a circle an infinite amount of times sounds
magical. If you wouldn't mind though, it'd be great if we could
wrap this whole thing up by 7:30pm because I've gotta work the
next day. Also, Carl? If it rains do we get our money back?
[Joe, if it rains, we'll let you keep as much of that rain as
you can catch. No charge. -Editor]
Scott "Caveman" Martin
me caveman me run far
Hi. I'm Mike Hauser and I live in Portland. I have been
running since 2016, when I decided to participate in the
Portland marathon that year. I purchased a running watch,
researched a training strategy, and started running. That
October I completed my goal, and afterwards just kept at it;
running half marathons, mostly. Ultras are new to me, and the
format of this race is intriguing. I am excited to see how I
do, and look forward to meeting the other participants next
Inspired by watching Mike Wardian and Radek Brunner complete
loop after loop for 60+ hours at the Quarantine Backyard Ultra
in April of 2020, I decided to attempt my first ultra distance
event just a few weeks later by participating in the Twilight 12
hour. Like many events in 2020, this one was virtual. I would
have never imagined my first ultra would be 50 miles running
loops on the streets of my neighborhood at night all alone, but
that's just how it happened. Little did I know at the time, but
this was exactly the sort of mental training and toughness that
would help me succeed later in the backyard.
Later that summer, I participated in the second virtual
Quarantine Backyard Ultra and made it through 15 laps before
tapping out. Even though this was the farthest I'd ever gone, I
left feeling a little disappointed having fallen far short of my
goal to reach 24 laps or more. I sought and found redemption at
my first in-person backyard ultra the following year by going 30
laps to finish in the top 5 at Tartarus in Spokane. Was I
satisfied with that result? For a while I was perhaps since I
had exceeded what I had thought possible for myself, but
eventually I found myself wondering how much farther I really
Banana Slug Backyard will be my next opportunity to
try and find out what my true limit might be. This time I won't
start with a distance goal in my head to hold me back. My only
goal will be to go as far as my legs will take me until I either
fail to complete a loop within the hour or I am the last one
standing. However far that may be this time, I look forward to
sharing this experience with the rest of you participating in
this endeavor of madness and will cheer on each and every one of
you to push yourself to your own personal limit.
Ellie and Matt Webb
Matt: Having done one Backyard Ultra, I wasn't in any rush to do
another one. However, my sister, Ellie, said she wanted to "duke
it out." I really enjoyed the mutual support and competition
with other runners, so I'm looking forward to making some new
friends, testing my limits, and, ultimately, kicking Ellie's
I went to college in Portland, so I know that there are few
places nicer than the PNW to run (and run and run).
Ellie: While Matt has been known to twist my words around, in
this instance, he's actually telling the truth! After his first
Backyard Ultra, I did, in fact, say I wanted to "duke it out"
with him for the sheer fun of seeing how far we can go in a
situation where we can be both mutually supportive and
competitive. Oh the things that sibling rivalries will lead to!
I really hope I won't be eating my words come April, but if
nothing else, it'll make a good story and possibly provide some
I'm Ellie Bon and I am from Northern California. I am a WEMT
currently working in that world and the outdoor education
world. I guess the first thing you should know about me and
running is that every time we had to run the mile in PE, I would
turn in a forged note. We've come a long way since then. Looking
forward to pushing my personal limits. Super excited to meet you
all and to share some laps in April.
My name is Michael and I have been running for over 20 years. On
the weekends you will usually find me putting miles in around
Forest Park or the West Hills. I rarely enter races anymore but
when I do it has to be something special! This will be my first
backyard and I look forward to seeing how far I can take my mind
I've been running for about 10 years with some years more
consistent than others. I signed up for my first ultra right
before the pandemic happened and really jumped in head first
after that the last 2 years. I love the places you can adventure
on 2 feet that are like no other. This will be my 2nd Backyard
format race and I'm super excited to take what I learned from
that one and push my limits even further at this one. Good luck
to everyone on training through the dark and rainy PNW
winter. Spring is gonna rock!
My name is Stephen Schieberl. I heard that if I'm the only one
not to be eliminated from this competition, I won't ever have to
worry about money again.
[Stephen, maybe you misheard the name of this event? It's Banana
Slug Backyard Ultra,
not Banana Squid
Backyard Ultra. -Editor]
Rain or Shine I love being outside. I'm a sucker for anything to
do with trails or any sort of slow grinding endurance events. I
enjoy the awesome company of fellow ultra-runners and their
stories. I'm so grateful for the race crew that puts out these
amazing events, choreographing so many little details in such
awesome places. Looking back over the years, I think I
accidentally turned into a multi-disciplinary runner tackling 24
hours, last person standing, and a few 100s and 200s events in
amazing places. I'm looking forward to getting out and clocking
some miles with you all. Happy training!
I love the idea of these races. I almost signed up in March of
2020, but then it was cancelled. So really excited to try it in
2022! I’ve found myself doing a lot of loops during races and
also on my own. I find them to be fun and very relaxing. I’m not
a fast runner, but I can keep going for hours. I just finished
the Autumn Leaves 50 miler at Champoeg Park (8 loops of 6.25
miles) and it was beautiful there! Looking forward to meeting
everyone and chatting while running in circles! Here’s a photo
of me on my last loop at the Elijah Bristow 24 hour this year.
See you in April!
Van "Pigtails" Phan
My friends know me as Pigtails, at least until I chopped all of
my hair off. I can still tie little stumps to get pigtails. I’ve
been running for over 20 years. I’ve done it all it seems
(except for obstacle races) from 5Ks to 1000K. I’ve been a race
director, volunteer, pacer, crew, you name it. I’ve done over
560 marathon/ultras and just hit 400 ultras recently.
My goal for 2022 is to avoid cramping—my Achilles’ tendon if you
will. My competitive years are over, so now the focus is to slow
down and enjoy the journey.
I’ve done two virtual Backyard Ultras and man, are they hard. I
used to be resistant to fatigue and could run/walk/move for
almost 40 hours before I felt I needed sleep. Not anymore at the
age of 50! We’ll see how long I last.
My boyfriend Mikey and I enjoyed exploring
new trails during the pandemic and new races when they started
up again. Really excited to give this race format another
try. We’ll see you all next April!
Hey friends I'm Cory. I live with my wife and 3 young boys in
between San Jose and Santa Cruz in California (no, I'm not in
Growing up I hated running. On a whim I tried out for cross
country in high school. I made it 1 lap of the track and walked
away telling the coach it was definitely not for me! I grew up
loving the outdoors, hiking, and rock climbing instead.
It wasn't until 2015 that Spartan racing came into my life which
introduced me to the world of trail running. To cut a long story
slightly shorter I found myself running a 50K and most recently
the 3 days/60 miles version of the Transrockies Run (which I
loved so much I'll be back for all 6 days/120 miles next
year). After watching the quarantine backyard ultra a few years
ago and the world championship this year which introduced me to
this crazy event I was inspired to see how far I can go!
I'm here because I like the idea of a backyard ultra—I'm really
curious how far I can go with unlimited snacks.
Then again, this will be maybe the third or fourth organized
race that I've ever run. Mostly I run for myself, and not
incredibly far or all that fast. I'm a part of the Clackamas
Trail Running Search and Rescue team, so most of my running is
geared toward being able to run 10-ish miles with a pack at any
I also usually have trouble committing to a long term training
plan without surfing and mountain biking getting in the way, so
we'll see how this goes. Mostly my body does what I ask of it,
but I've never asked it to do something like this before.
This race will be my first in person backyard after doing 3
virtual ones around my block for 20, 24 and 26 yards. I like
slow multiday runs so I’ve been involved with the 200’s since
the first Bigfoot and have done a couple of runs that topped out
close to 300 miles. Once I ran 76 miles on zero calories. Most
weekends I race since my girlfriend is Van
Phan and that is how she rolls. When I’m not outside playing
I’m inside designing hardware. I like to create circuit boards,
3D print, CNC mill and now laser cut stuff. My day job is
working for Adafruit.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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
The glorious Gorgeous Series Coast Relay
Running along the Marin Headlands Trail Golden Gate Winter 30k
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
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!
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!
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’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
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.
In the past I have raced just about every type of race:
Snowshoe racing including the Leadville Turquoise Lake 20
Triathlons from sprints to Ironman Lake Placid
Many offroad triathlons (XTERRA)
6-time finisher of the Pikes Peak Ascent
Numerous trail running races in the Northeast and Colorado,
also Timberline 12k and Mt. St. Helens 20 miler
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.
The most important things in this life are God, family, and
friends—running, music, and work intertwine them to make them
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.
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
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
If only I could be as fast as these two boys...
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
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
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
and I work as a computer programmer.