About Us
How It All Started: I (the ugly guy with the red beard) founded Upstate Ultra in 2014! As the new guy in town I had a crazy idea of meeting new people (runners specifically) by hosting a running series that is now known today as the Knock on Wood Ultra Festival. The series comprised of several race distances from the kids run to the 24 hour endurance challenge. Over 200 runners showed up that weekend to take part in a very poorly organized event. As a first time RD I bit off a bit more than I could chew and the results were utterly fantastic! It was chaos but overall the party lasted all night and the participants were definitely the life of it! From that weekend on I have dedicated my career to coaching athletes and hosting races of all distances and surfaces. 

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Our Events: We have over 20 Events on our calendar... HOLY SHIT that is a lot! But it is a lot of fun too! We have kids races that are ALWAYS FREE. We have trail races, shorter 5k beer races, some gimmick fun races, and of course our EPIC awesome mountain ultra races! If you are up to the challenge our team will help drag you to the finish line! 

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About Me: The good the bad the ugly! Born in Ohio. Raised in Indiana. Found my long distance running path while competing at Eastern Michigan University. I have my teaching degree although I have never used it. I met my wife, Victoria, at college. She is a bad-ass woman who is Russian but somehow All-American! yeah she made it to nationals in track and cross country. So proud of her. I am a proud father of two little shitheads that have my temperament but my wife's joy. I started running around the age of 14 and I do not think I have stopped since. I competed on some fairly high levels but in recent days just trying to stay motivated with some "me" time on the trail and trying to ward off any holiday pounds that are sneaking under my belt line. I coach about 40+ youth athletes every year and about 40+ adult runners throughout the country. 

Awesome Photo Jay!

Why: I want to offer opportunity and challenge. I enjoy watching overwhelming accomplishments but from adversity i know that most will fail in a spectacular fashion. Its okay really. The best part about ultra/trail running is not the finish line. Its the growth through the struggle. The ability to place one foot in front of the other at times is all you can do and if that is all you can do then it should be good enough for anyone. Our events are cost effective and always have a charity component. We have made some BIG impacts of the years and its a really proud accomplishment of mine. Here are some of our charitable partners: 
  • ROCKY BOTTOM CENTER FOR THE BLIND
  • CAMP SPEARHEAD FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
  • JONES GAP TRAIL MAINTENANCE FUND
  • TABLE ROCK STATE PARK FIRE DAMAGE FUND 
  • SOUTHSIDE HIGH SCHOOL XC TEAM FUND
  • FRIENDS OF PARIS MOUNTAIN TRAIL MAINTENANCE FUND
  • HAMPTON BAPTIST CHURCH & UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST 
  • FELLOW COUNTRYMEN VETERAN SUICIDE & HOMELESS
  • FRIENDS OF SADLERS CREEK TRAIL MAINTENANCE FUND
  • HARVEST HOPE FOOD BANK - HOLIDAY HUSTLE 5K CANNED FOOD DRIVE

 

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