Eddie Nolen 

Age: 45

Occupation: Education

When/How did you start running : Started running as a form of exercise to shed some excess weight. Length of my runs got longer, learned more about running, and signed up to run the SF marathon 6 months later. I was hooked from the moment I crossed the finish line.

Favorite place to run: San Joaquin River Trail is my favorite but I will take any singletrack trail in the mountains. I enjoy the sensory overload the trail brings. The smells, the sounds, the sights as well as the challenges of the terrain requiring your attention and overall physical workout.

Favorite running quote: "It hurts up to a point. Then it doesn't get any worse." -  Ann Trason

Favorite race: Tahoe Rim Trail 50 Mile


Joe Amendt 

Age: 45

Occupation: UPS Delivery Driver

When/How did you start running: 33-34 years running.  I started running in 6th grade, I won the Pentathlon. 

Favorite place to run: Anywhere really, but I enjoy the trails a lot.

Favorite running quote: From my high school coach "Why do I run?? Because it feels good when you're done."

Favorite Race: 1988 Olympic Gold Medalist in the 400 meter hurdles, Andre Phillips, untied my spike laces after I ran a 4 x 400 once. I felt like a star..

 - Runners are the best kind of people!


Farin Montanez

Age: 28

Occupation: Journalist

When/How did you start running: I ran cross country and as a kid, but was never very competitive. I took almost a decade off and started running again in November 2012 when my son was 6 weeks old. I planned to train for a 5K to lose the “baby weight” but that ended up snowballing into half marathons, marathons and beyond!

My favorite place to run: Anywhere with other people.

Favorite running quote: “Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must move faster than the lion or it will not survive. Every morning a lion wakes up and it knows it must move faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It doesn’t matter if you are the lion or the gazelle, when the sun comes up, you better be moving.” - Maurice Greene     

Favorite race: The Wascally Half Mawothon


Matthew Morales

Age: 26

Occupation: State of Cali...C/O

When/How did you start running: I started running about 4 years ago. The reason why I started running was to get closer to my father. He has always been running from as long as I can remember and wanted to share a common interest that he had. Now we plan our trips around certain races/destinations where we would love to run at. It's awesome!  

Favorite place to run: I don't have a particular favorite place to run, but as long as it's trail. I will sure love it 

Favorite running quote: Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!  All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.  So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing.  I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NLT)

Favorite race: I probably have to say American River 50, since that was my first 50 mile race and the journey I had through that was unreal. Also, it was a beautiful course. 


Trent Sherman

Age: 22

Occupation: Geology major at Fresno State/Engineering Asst. at Department of Water Resources/Part time Dirt Bag

When/How did you start running: I started running 3 years ago, my sophomore year of college, to stay in shape for the cycling team, and fell in love with running. Haven't stopped since.

Favorite place to run: My hometown Tehachapi, Ca. I love the abundance of grueling single tracks in the mountains, but also the simplicity of running in the high desert. 

Favorite running quote: "Just go out fast and when it starts to hurt, go faster." -Jason Wara

Favorite race: I'm a sucker for local races, so hands down McNally's Trail Burger Run in Kernville.


Michele Van Ornum

 Age: 46

Occupation: Owner/Director of Creative Minds Learning Center 

When/How did you start running : I ran in high school but then took a very long break until I was asked by a 10 year old girl that was going through cancer treatment to "run a marathon for her" so after never running more than 3 miles I set my mind to do a marathon and became addicted ever since. Running can change a day, an experience, a moment in time and all of our lives. 

Favorite place to run: The High Sierra's, the back country of Yosemite and Mammoth are the top of my list but I love exploring any new trails. 

Favorite running quote: "Out on the roads there is fitness and self-discovery and the person we were destined to be-" George Sheehan

Favorite race: Boston for the History of the marathon and Shadow of the Giants, its right in our backyard and the magic of the trails and trees are something every runner should experience.


Koda Holeman

Age: 11 

Occupation: Student

When/How did you start running : I was 8 and my mom asked me if I wanted to do a 5k and she beat me. The next time she asked if I wanted to do another 5k and I said yes but I still couldn't beat her. Then when I was 9 she asked me if I wanted to a 10k and I said yes and I smoked her by 5 minutes. After that I wanted to run more and run farther.

Favorite place to run: Shaver Lake

Favorite running quote: "Winners never quit!" -Koda (That's my own quote)

Favorite race: SAR Wild Run, Shaver Lake CA



Age: 33

Occupation: Race Director

When/How did you start running: I started running in the Marine Corps, didn't start enjoying it until I ran on my own. 

Favorite place to run: My favorite place to run is in the Kaiser Wilderness. It's not that far of a drive, offers spectacular views and its always nice and cool. 

Favorite running quote: "Perhaps the genius of ultrarunning is its supreme lack of utility. It makes no sense in a world of space ships and supercomputers to run vast distances on foot. There is no money in it and no fame, frequently not even the approval of peers. But as poets, apostles and philosophers have insisted from the dawn of time, there is more to life than logic and common sense. The ultra runners know this instinctively. And they know something else that is lost on the sedentary. They understand, perhaps better than anyone, that the doors to the spirit will swing open with physical effort. In running such long and taxing distances they answer a call from the deepest realms of their being -- a call that asks who they are ..." - David Blaikie 

Favorite race: Tahoe Rim Trail 100


Brandon mclemore

Age: 35

Occupation: U.S. Forest Service;Captain, Sierra National Forest Emergency Command Center

When/How did you start running: As a Wildland firefighter since 2001, we were required to keep a high level of fitness. When I moved into the office job and more of an admin side of the agency I felt that level declining at a pretty rapid rate (daily donuts and Take out will do that). So i started running again more often in 2012 and found it way more fun when I did it for myself. Signed up for the 2013 2CM 1/2, and ran a 1:43 on 4 weeks training. Then discovered trail running, and remembered  moving fast through the mountains with little weight was right up my alley!

Favorite place to run: I have a passion for the Sierra Nevada High country, doesn't have to be running in it, but if it is, it is just icing on the cake! 

Favorite running quote:  "A mountain runner is someone who is not afraid to run the hills, not afraid of technical terrain, not afraid to go up high. A trail runner can be anybody who's on a cement path down by the beach." - Karl Meltzer

Favorite race: That I have run = SJRT100K ; My dream race = Hardrock 100




Age: 30

Occupation: Law Enforcement Officer

When/How did you start running : I have always ran to stay in shape.  Then in 2009 a fellow officer asked me to run in the Baker 2 Vegas Law Enforcement relay race.  So I started running to train for the race.  I ran my first half marathon in 2009 and got hooked on long distance running.  Back then I would have never, ever, imagined being an Ultra runner!

Favorite place to run: I love to run everywhere, as long as I’m running.

Favorite running quote: “It’s not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes a difference.”  -Paul Bryant

Favorite race: 135 miles to the house.  We have a love-hate relationship.


Juan Mendoza

Age: 31

Occupation: Forensic Toxicology

When/How did you start running: I began running in October 2014 when I participated in the Zoo Zoom 5K Run at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. I was hooked to running from that point on. I have been running many local and out of town races since then. I enjoy making friends wherever running takes me.

Favorite place to run: The trails along the San Joaquin River, Millerton Lake and Fish Camp. I enjoy trail running in the mountains and discovering new trails to run. I am very passionate about being outdoors and seeking new adventures.

Favorite running quote: “Running is about finding your inner peace, and so is a life well lived.” – Dean “Ultramarathon Man” Karnazes

Favorite race: Shadow of the Giants 50k. The course is magical, lots of history and you run past Giant Sequoia trees.