Stage Race Sunday! Who’s coming to play in the desert this year?

Paul Scheuring, a Marathon de Sables vet, is trying out his deserts back home this year. Will he keep his toenails? Tune in later to find out!

Marital Status: Married

Number of Children: 2

Occupation: Writer

Years running: 10

Years running ultras: 4

Ultras I have done: Marathon des Sables, Quad-Dipsea, Canyon Meadow 50k

Favorite race and why: MdS…loved being out there all that time, having all my toe nails fall off, connecting with new lands within…and perhaps most of all, the camaraderie.

Best results in races: Think I got 3rd in a trail marathon in Marin a few years back…

Tell us something about yourself, running related or other: It’s better to smile when you’re suffering than bitch. I do both.

What’s your favorite way to train for Desert RATS: Throw on pack. Leave house. Come back big long time later.

What are your goals for Desert RATS: Finish, have a good time, meet and commune with good folk!

Friday, 25 May 2018 10:16

Desert RATS 2018 – Racer Updates

Desert RATS Kokopelli 150 Stage Race – Updates


Live Tracking

Live Tracking – We’re working with Adventure Enablers to offer 2019 racers optional cell tracking for the race. The goal is near-real time tracking for every stage but it is not 100% guaranteed. Please don’t be concerned if there are lags or drops in coverage. The tracking will catch up!



Stage 1 – Salt Creek – 19.8mi, 2040′ Gain

Evening storms at camp delayed our racer posting. Check out day 2 for the recap so far!

Stage 2 – Milt’s – 39.1mi, 2520′ Gain

Racer Posts

Day 1 and 2:

CHRIS WARD- The last two days have been awesome! The weather has been pretty cool, but not as cool as Phil Pinti’s day two shorts. I’m really enjoying the course and hanging with everyone at camp. To Lindsey, thanks for letting me head out into the desert for year of this adventure. You mean the absolute world to me! To Millie, Zoe and Harper, thinking of you will always get me through any low moments I may have out here. Love my Ward girls very much!

RICCARDO ZACCARIA – Sono gia passati 2 giorni e questi grandi spazi mi hanno catturato. L’organizzazione e fantastica, presente ma non invadente.
Il percorso e duro un continuo saliscendi e particolarita assoluta non e segnalato quindi e necessario orientarsi continuamente per non perdersi.
Stasera il campo e a bordo de lColorado e siam oriusciti a fare un bagno rigenerativo. Un bacione a Sabry Matty Mamy e Mia non smetto di pensarvi un minuto.
Oggi ho visto una moltitudine quasi infinita di farfalle di ogni colore possible e ognuna ha corso qualche metro con me.

MORGAN HALL: The fist stage was a great way to start the race. I was able to keep a good pace and finish in a good time. We got luck that the weather wasn’t as hot as it could have been. I loved the single-track parts of the trail and the views were awesome. Stage 2: I set out with a 7 hour goal. I was able to keep a good pace until about mile 20. After that the sun came out and it got a little hot. I was able to keep going at a good pace despite not feeling great. Finally made my goal with some time to spare. After the finish I got in the river and cooled down and took a short nap. Can’t wat for stage 3!

[Editor’s note: people get wacky in the desert. Enjoy.] There’s a Zord On Me: Colonel Mustard, in the dining room, with a knife. Obviously. Colonel Mustard is a gentleman, he’s not about to eat his bratwurst in the drawing room like a moron. How do you think he got to be a Colonel? And of course he uses a knife. He’s not a footsoldier. He’s Colonel. He doesn’t mess around with basic yellow mustard in a squeezy bottle.

PHIL PINTI: Day one was fun, day 2 was too. These folks… (runners, Gemini Adventures Staff, race voluteers) are unparrelled at any race, anywhere.
The comraderie and community at camp is the thing we wake for, and then the thing we run for. Perfect strangers… running for our own reasons… and yet willing to give another the water from our packs or the shirt off our back. This year’s group is smaller and we are fully bonded by day 2. It’s exciting to witness other runner’s achievements and see folks push beyond their comfort zones. If you wanna do hard things… you gotta do hard things… Keep On Keeping On.

ULLA WESTERMANN: Happy Birthday to my wonderful daughter Sadie! A quarter century! You’re awesome! Love you! Been thinking about you all day while running. I’m always awestruck when I come back here how beautiful it is. Running along the canyon rim enjoying the views while trying not to trip, amazing rock formation, and everytime you turn a corner there is another beautiful view! We’ve been very luck with the weather: not as hot, some clouds, and even a sprinkle of rain.

PAUL SCHEURING: The expectation going into the race was the same expectation this race meets with every year: take the Utah desert, add a healthy and unrelenting dose of summer sun, and one can expect to be running through something akin to a pizza oven for 6 days. But Nature as always is a cagey lady; these first two days have seen rain, wind, lightning, and impossibly, runners complaining at aid stations about being *cold*. The storm cell that hit us last night at camp came so ferociously that I half expected our tents to be borne up in the winds and end up, after a certain amount of hours lost in the clouds and perhaps briefly confused for UFOs by NORAD, in Colorado. Being a Californian, lightning is a rarity at best for me; to see it strobing relentlessly around us last night was a treat…until the medical staff called the racers into a hasty meeting to detail the wide-ranging effects of being struck by lightning. Amongst other things, one’s ear drums get blown out, apparently. So we had that to look forward to. The arcs of lightning got so close that we repaired to the vehicles–rubber tires, etc–and waited it out. Being the same Californian I was earlier in this piece, I confess to being quite thrilled. Could it be, possibly, that we could be struck in the very vehicle I was sitting in? Would that be a cool thing? Or would we just feel a hot buzz in the air, the bolt of lightning more interested in bypassing us than barbecuing us, disappearing into the desert soil beneath our wheels? Would everything flash white around us
with nothing more than our collective hair being blown out porcupine-style? Alas, we were not hit by lightning. Tomorrow the heat returns, so in some sense to race returns to its more recognizable form. I guess the only thing I’m holding out for at this point is the forecast for Thursday, our long day, the icon for which is neither a sun, nor a cloud, nor rain or lightning. But instead what appears to be a wind gust. So will we have high winds, the sort that might bear up our tents as hoped and deposit them in Colorado, thereby forcing us to sleep under the stars and appreciate their infinite beauty? We can only hope. All will be revealed Thursday.

KAYLA HOWELL: Day 1 started a little fast but I was able to hold on to Race Lead after running out of water on the Monster Hill. Such a great crew to run & camp with. Lots of laughs and a little bit of unfortunate puking. Two miles to the finish was extremely tough….mentally. Hearing the entire staff and other runners cheering you on from a distance helped me pick up the pace for a strong finish. Stage 2 I started out feeling surprisingly fantastic. At about mile 14.5 my knee took a turn for the worst. A previous knee injury caused the opposite knee/IT band to compensate. Cory with the medical team wrapped my knee with an Ace Bandage and I was able to run
to the next aid station. Camaraderie and support from other runners pushed me to an even stronger finish. Amazing weather, and light rain included! The food has been over the top. No one eats this well camping, trail running, and especially in the desert! Thank you, Howard!!! Looking forward to tomorrow.

Stage 3 – Sprint – 9.3mi, 761′ Gain


MORGAN HALL: Stage 3 was a lot of fun. Mostly because it was shorter and the trail changed frequently. We started on pavement and then on to dirt road and then hiking trails. The fast day gave a chance to get ready for tomorrow’s big stage. After the race we went swimming in the Colorado River and rested. Things are going well and the experience has been wonderful.

PHIL PINTI: Every day has unforeseen obstacles. . . stuff is gonna happen. It’s not the things that happen to us, that we should concern ourselves with,
it’s what we do with what we’ve be given that counts. Day three was a blast, camp is really starting to mojo-nate, these folks are family.
To Penelope & Nolan, I Love You to the moon and back, and I’ll see ya soon!!

KAYLA HOWELL: Stage 3 was a super slow start after some knee pain the day prior. Paul kept me company and we had tons of laughs for the next 11ish miles. They
started ringing the cowbells too early which meant we had to run faster for longer than anticipated. Watermelon with lime & sea salt greated us at the beautiful
campground at Dewey Bridge. Took a “bath” in the CO river, which was very much deserved. Julie came to visit me from Grand Junction. Legs are painful, but I’m
looking foward to the beautiful views tomorrow. After 42ish miles, it will be only a marathon home (of course with a rest day in between). Thank you to the whole Gemini
Adventures staff & the medical team!

RICCARDO ZACCARIA : Ciao ragazzi qui tutto bene il gruppo e affiatato anche se in gara ognuno si esprime al massimo. Oggi il Basecamp e sulle rive del Colorado con un panorama stupendo,
il caldo non manca e al sole ci si cuoce per bene. Un elogio allo Chef Howard che cerca sempre di farmi sentire vicino a casa anche con il cibo. Domani tappone di 70km e 2300m di dislivello.
Sara una lunga calda e grande giornata.

THERESA: I’m looking forward to tomorrow. It should be quite the adventure. It’s fun to know we’re halfway done. Also, burritos. I’m always going to be in it for the food.

ULLA WESTERMANN: Great day today! “Short run” in the morning, then hanging out in camp, taking care of blisters, cooling off by the river. Tomorrow is the long stage!

CHRIS WARD: Day three was my favorite so far. Maybe it was the hours spent laying on a tarp under the cottonwood tree or possibly it was the massive amount of food that we all consumed.
This race is so unbelievably memorable and is the adventure of a lifetime. I have an excited nervousness about the long expedition day tomorrow but I know that at the end of the day
we will all leave with a new view on what we are capable of. Linz, Millie, Harper, and Zoe I love you all very much. Dillon I’ll be running with you tomorrow my love.

Laurie Miller: Three days of unbelievable miles. Beautiful country and an incredible race! Tyler I miss you so much !!! Wendy thank you for all the support!! Tomorrow is the big day! High mileage, heat and elevation. Here’s to adventure!!!!!!

Stage 4 – Expedition – 41.4mi, 7810′ Gain

Stage 5 – Marathon – 26.0mi, 3150′ Gain


Sunday, 13 May 2018 10:15

Desert RATS Bio 2018 – Jay Lund

Stage Race Sunday! Who’s coming to play in the desert this year?

Welcome Jay Lund, a combat veteran, South Florida Fed-Ex Driver, advocate for veteran mental health crises, and Waffle House aficionado!

Marital Status: Widowed

Number of Children: 0 (My dog keeps me plenty busy)

Occupation: Been with Federal Express for 10+ years. [Gotta admit, running around every day in shorts throughout southwest Florida making deliveries up and down the beach is a pretty good gig.] In a previous life I was a combat veteran with tours in Iraq, South Korea, Thailand, Bosnia….blah, blah, blah.

Years running: 10

Years running ultras: 3

Ultras I have done: 8 Hours of Hell Trail Series —> Florida Bryce Canyon 50M —> Utah Lake 2 Ocean 100K —> Florida JW Corbett 50M —> Florida Torreya ‘Draggin Tail’ 50K —> Florida Cottonmouth 100M (med-drop at mile 85) —> Florida Long Play 33.3M —> Florida Skydive Ultra 50K —> Florida Caloosahatchee Ultra 50K —> Florida GORUCK events galore —> Colorado/Florida

Favorite race and why: DANCON 30K Heavy Ruck march while in Bosnia (1998). This particular event, hosted by the DANish military CONtingent, took place in the rugged mountains of Bosnia and required all participants to wear full ‘battle rattle’, carry their individual weapon(s), and a 30lb ruck. At the time, I was deployed to the area in-support-of SFOR-7 (the US military mission to Bosnia). The DANCON provided much needed R&R away from the normal day-to-day operations we were conducting.

Best results in races: Never been the type to run for a podium spot or the big money that I’m told trail races pay out. Trail running is therapy for me, so as long as I finish an event without breaking a bone or tearing something I’m good.

Tell us something about yourself, running related or other: I spent an important part of my life involved with the United States Army Special Operations chest-thumpers. Had a great time with my teams deployed all over the world, but the residual hypervigiliance/PTS can be a b*tch. Over the last couple years running trails has become my medicine. It appears, tho, that every year the ‘dose’ seems to increase….which is why I now find myself tackling longer events like Desert RATS. Given that psychological wounds are still somewhat obscure, I have teamed up with the organization, BIGGER THAN THE TRAIL, to bring awareness to the mental health crisis as it impacts people from all realms of life.

What’s your favorite way to train for Desert RATS: Desert RATS will be my first stage race, but I’m thinking that all these long, slow, soul-sucking, back-to-back runs on the weekends must have a purpose. Also, Waffle House and an occasional glass of bourbon. Two recovery aids that seem to have found a place on my training plan.

What are your goals for Desert RATS: CRUSH IT! Meh, who am I kidding. Just finishing this thing and making some new friends will give me reason enough to eat ALL THE FOOD!

Sunday, 22 April 2018 10:15

Desert RATS Bio 2018 – Samantha Pruitt

Stage Race Sunday! Who’s coming to play in the desert this year?

A Desert RATS veteran with copious experience with epic adventures, Samantha Pruitt is using the California heat to ready herself for our desert adventure!

Marital Status: Married to Davey Boy Pruitt

Number of Children: 4

Occupation: Entrepreneur and Race Director

Years running: 18

Years running ultras: 7

Ultras I have done: Oh lord I really can’t recall them all but my big boys are Desert Rats 150, Rio Del Lago 100, Rocky Raccoon 100, Javelina 100, 100k Sean O Brien, 100k Canyons, North Face 50, Red Rock 50, American River 50, Dick Collins 50, Ironman, Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim Grand Canyon…..

Favorite race and why: Well obviously Desert Rats and that’s why I’m coming back! Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim Grand Canyon was also an EPIC BADASS adventure:)

Best results in races: A few age group wins but mostly mid pack happiness results

Tell us something about yourself, running related or other: I am a lover of Human Connection and badass adventure. As an ex-couch potato, I use my career and life as a tool to inspire others into endurance sports- where they too can discover their best selves.

What’s your favorite way to train for Desert RATS: 2 a days and back to back long runs in the heat of the day in California. DO NOT OVERTRAIN! Train smart and cross train. If this is your first time at Rats feel free to email me to chat more!

What are your goals for Desert RATS: CRUSH IT! Kidding, I want to use the miles and the desert to explore my inner self while connecting to the earth and teammates.

Sunday, 15 April 2018 10:14

Desert RATS Bio 2018 – Tara Tulley

Stage Race Sunday! Who’s coming to play in the desert this year?

Bringing the triple skill threat of yard spinning, tire pulling and trauma therapy, RATS veteran Tara Tulley returns to tackle the desert again.

Marital Status: Married

Number of Children: 3

Occupation: Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Professional Midwife, EMDR practitioner

Years running: 39.5

Years running ultras: 11

Ultras I have done: I forgot

Favorite race and why: Desert RATS because it sucks

Best results in races: 10 hour 50 miler 29 hour 100 miler

Tell us something about yourself, running related or other: I spin my own yarn out of all kinds of fiber, wool, llama, camel, huskies, silk, etc. I am a trauma therapist, I can help desensitize you from the distress of desert rats after it is over so you forget how much is sucks and you want to come back again.

What’s your favorite way to train for Desert RATS: Pulling a tire with a 35 lb pack, dressed for Siberian winter when it is 70-90 degrees outside

What are your goals for Desert RATS: Finish like I did in 2015, instead of DNFing at mile 20 on stage 5 like I did in 2017

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