Introducing the Salomon-Backcountry.com Mountain/Trail Running Team
As the captain and manager of Team Salomon US, I’m honored to introduce the members of our team who have joined the Herd and become part of the Backcountry.com squad. The following athletes represent Salomon’s and BC’s shared mountain heritage and zeal for off-road endurance athletics. Their accomplishments are too numerous to list here, so these brief profiles, glimpses into the personalities that make up the team, are mere teasers.
A true Vermonter, Aliza is both rugged and pensive. The vegetarian social worker and featured blogger for Running Times doesn’t say something unless she means it, and she doesn’t mean it unless she’s thought about it. And that’s how she runs; she doesn’t race unless there’s a purpose, and to Aliza, “purpose” is best defined as a combination of challenge, beautiful course, hard effort, and personal success. She would be way too modest to admit it, but “personal success” not only involves taking time off her own personal best, but also often includes winning and even setting course records. Aliza’s top performances have been at the 50- and 100-mile distances. Suffice to say, she’s no stranger to the podium.
Although Cassie lives in Boulder, Colorado, she hails from Wisconsin and, if you have the pleasure to meet her, you’ll recognize her Midwestern wholesomeness right away. She can’t hide it—and that’s a good thing. Cassie’s ability to dig deep while racing on trail or road at the 50-mile and 100k distances is phenomenal, and it’s earned her National Championship titles and even the opportunity to represent the US at the World Championships. As a nurse, she helps people avoid pain, but as a runner, Cassie knows how to cope with and manage it for great success.
As a top off-road professional triathlete who has raced as the top American in both the Xterra Triathlon and Winter Triathlon World Championships (run, mountain bike, and Nordic ski), Emma is a highly accomplished, highly motivated athlete. And for the last two years she’s even trained in most of her sports with her infant son in tow. Emma is a photographer who’s also found her voice, blogging regularly about her multi-sport, multi-faceted lifestyle and inspiring many with her drive and passion for outdoor sporting pursuits. She’s based out of Park City, Utah.
A human exclamation point, Stevie is all about energy output. She spent last year away from her home in Crested Butte, serving as a visiting teacher in Northern Italy and leveraging the venue to systematically knock off mountain marathons on the most grueling of courses. During the winter months Stevie is a top-ranked ski mountaineer, and has represented the US at both the World Mountain Running and Ski Mountaineering Championships. She is devoted to her students, yet finds the time and energy to squeeze in quite an impressive travel schedule in order to dominate the SkyRunning scene.
Fondly known as “Dr. John” or “Tribbs,” John is the mastermind behind the Salomon-Backcountry team. A Boulder boy who now lives in Salt Lake City, Dr. John has a Ph.D. in sociology and running uphill quickly. As a proud papa of his infant son, Tribbs broke course records on snowshoes this winter, all so he could get to the finish before his son’s naptime. When not running up mountains or on snow, Tribbs works for Backcountry.com. Accordingly, he and his co-workers will read this before it gets published so I’ll refrain from saying anything that might embarrass him.
Having graduated from one of the most competitive collegiate running programs in the nation, the University of Colorado cross country team, Lindsay is both a gifted and disciplined athlete. She’s a physical therapist who uses her running training to help others cope with injuries and get back on their feet. She enjoys promoting the sport by blazing many a 10k, snowshoe race, or trail half marathon with a classic Lindsay smile, writ large. With her high-school-sweetheart husband also splitting his time between professional athletics and a full-time job, the couple has a well-honed juggling act raising their school-aged daughter.
As the most decorated off-road triathlete and snowshoe racer in America and winner of many other multi-sport events, Josiah gets it done. Humble and unassuming, Josiah is from Michigan but lives with his wife and three children in Vail, where he works as a coach and beacon for endurance sports, leading the charge in a community that fuels off him and fuels his passion. Josiah is the kind of guy who, after suffering multiple flats on his mountain bike at an Xterra tri he’d been winning, carries his bike on his shoulder into the transition area and blazes the run course, encouraging the field as he passes them back up, showing sportsmanship and motivation all the way to the finish; a finish that would have had tape across it, but for a few unfortunate thorns.
If you were on a cruise ship that assigned tablemates for sharing many days of meals, you would want to break bread with Rickey, a man who has amassed some of the most incredible stories from his worldwide travels, several of which involve running up and down mountains and some of which involve local constables. Rickey grew up in Aspen but now lives in San Francisco or, rather, is “based” there. He has run and won races all over the US, Canada, Europe, Antarctica, and South America, and represented the US at the World Mountain Running Championships many times, sporting a number of different hair styles.
Among this group of accomplished athletes, I feel like the old goat. That’s probably because I AM the old goat. I first came to Salomon in 2001, when I was named captain of our adventure race team. We got to race all over the world and won some big races before that sport saw its decline. Fortunately for me, I was always best on my feet, so when Salomon began its trail running focus I was tapped to head up our Trail Team, which now exceeds 25 members and is both geographically and demographically diverse. Coincidentally, I was best mates in high school with the founders of Backcountry.com. I work as a tax lawyer and writer in addition to my role as Brand Ambassador for Running Times Magazine.