Wednesday, 04 June 2014 08:19


Stage 4 Racer Posts! We are through the 52 mile Expedition Stage! The race started at 7am and the last racers reached basecamp at 2am the next day. There are so many things to say about this section of the the Desert

Stage IV Desert RATS Racer Posts 2014
Name: Wendy Drake. A mixed day. Started emotional missing Marcy all the way into Onion Creek Aid where the Boulder Bandito mascots greeted me courtesy Sherry Remick. I left Onion Creek after a 15 min rest and neon green, blister tape juxtaposed to my blue toe nail polish. Then began 16 miles of climbin. I bargained with scenarios that would end the slog: snake bite? Maybe that pain in my shoulder means my back is broken. Magically, mid-drama, I ran into two of the course doctors who massaged my shoulder back to life – they fix broken backs! – and shared cold water. Finally, I reached the last Aid and after a little more massage, coke and a banana, I grabbed a Nut Roll Bar and ran…up again…to reach the 4-mile, paved downhill to the finish. I’d passed three massive cows who seemed terrified and moved to the side of the road. I’m told were still there at midnight marveling at the badasses who were still coming in long after a stunning sunset. Food, company, race organization outstanding! Rest today. Marathon tomorrow to the finish!

Jorge Latre: What a blast! It sounds silly but everything fed me and my soul during this stage: incredible landscapes succeded one after the other. There are so breathtaking I cried six times, overwhelmed by the beauty. When I get into this state, I start talking aloud. I thank everyone that plays a role in my life and thank myself for putting myself there. I was running alone all the time, so I could sing and cry in total comfort. At the same time, I wasn’t alone as I could almost see Ryan running looking at his footprints; feeling Becky’s breath down my neck – a speed goat! – and I knew from the aid stations that Wendy was running a phenomenal race. I got to share the joy at the aid stations where everyone energized and cooled me – first one was all about speed for me as I was putting average speed in the bank before the climbs; the second one was all about taking care of myself to remain fully functional for the final charge; the third one was all about celebrating the by then inevitable ending. Everything this day was joy – down to the cows running with me as I was passing by (note to self: bestseller: ‘Running with the cows’? Hmm) This trail is permanent fun from mile 1 – never a dull moment – lots of enticing variety – like a multi-plate gourmet meal. The climbs, which could have been dreary affairs, are nicely broken down with small flat landings and refreshing little drops. From time to time, a gentle breeze came to cool us down and inviting us to run with it. The temperature became more and more comfortable as we climbed. Soon, we were in alpine forest and aspens showed up! The last six miles are a screaming descent where you can let it all out and celebrate the completion of a one-of-a-kind course. Reid has created a gem of a run that combines every crowd pleaser in one place. The watering spots and aid stations are laid out with a lot of thought and care. And there is still enough marking ambiguity to keep an adventuring component. Desert RATS is a labor of love – a work of art – a trail running masterpiece.
Name: Jim Morrison Dropped on the long day at 9 miles, moving slow, felt okay, but wasn’t up to the 8,000′ of climb left and 41 miles. Hung out at Aid Station 3 at 8,500′ and had a blast. Jeff and John did great coming in at 14:38 for the 52 miles!
Rest day today, time at the beach on the Colorado, then 26 miles tomorrow, 6 mile climb up 2,000′, then 20 miles downhill to the finish at slickrock in Moab. Yahoo!

Name: Matthew Crownover. I’m only now starting to think I can finish this. It has been an amazing event, and totally new for me. I have been really pretty clueless as I try to learn how a stage race works, but I’ve enjoyed that aspect as it moves me out of racing and into a space of just appreciating the land, my thougts, chances to pray. The community aspect each night and morning in camp is a charming and meaningful part of the event. We become friends, help each other, grow to trust one another. However I am running almost entirely by myself. The solitude is lovely, as the landscape is hauntingly lonely and fierce. Day 2 saw an astonishing headwind that blew hot sand right at us all day, literally I do mean until night. It was 30-50mph all day and very hot with sand blasting you in the face..all day. It was the sort of thing that you’d think would be impossible: “I could never do that.” But in that situation, we just stayed calm, worked hard, and had faith. Yesterday we climbed up from the desert floor into the La Sal mountains. It was a very long day of climbing, with plenty of heat befoer we reached the cool of the mountains about 9 hours in. Nevertheless these adversities provide their own sort of beauty. St. Benedict suggests that we need quiet to hear God, and just as I know the point is to cultivate an interior quiet that works amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life, I also know that real, actual quiet like this is like getting a cold drink of waterand only then realizing how thirsty you were. My favorite image was seeing a farmer turn off his tractor when his wife and small girl brough his lunch. I felt so grateful to think of this child growing up in this clean land, with such solitude. But it made me miss my kids terribly as I heard her cry “Papa!” and run towards him. In the end that’s the big value of these things for me: a return to a the deep gratitude I ought to keep closer at hand. Physically, I’m pretty beat up. I have never had blister issues, really. But my feat are painful and messed up with all kinds of bad blisters. Final marathon tomorrow will be a trick but I hope to spend today getting my feet well enough. The body will heal, but the memories and relationships endure: with people, land, and self. Thanks to all who supported my being here.

Name: Heather Loeffelholz I did it!!! This was the big stage. 51 miles. What a day. I pretty much ran the whole day on my own. The course took us on some amazing terrain. We ran down to bowels of the canyons to climbing out up to 9000ft. Being alone in some very remote locations gave me so much time to think and contemplate. I went from loving the majestic beauty to cursing the challenges it was throwing at me. I went from trying to justify dropping out to tears of joy at knowing that I was going to finish. I entered this “race” not to actually race but to challenge myself to see how I handled things when it got rough. I had no expectations of challenging anyone out here other than myself. This stage did exactly that. It pushed me to handle the heat, terrain and the mental challenges when I didn’t think I could go on. Knowing that I was going to be seeing my family was a huge sense of support and encouragement. At about 8 miles to go it got dark which changed the dynamics and put me into another frame of mind. At first I loved not being able to see the hill I was climbing and just focused on moving forward and then I got tired of just bieng in darkness not knowing what was out there. It hurt to walk and it hurt to run but running meant I would get back sooner so I shuffled in. My headlamp would catch the glows of the eyes of the cows that were out roaming. Today is a rest day. We are going to a beach this afternoon and I will enjoy dipping in some water. It is also the day that Hans and the kids are arriving and I can’t wait to see them. All that time out there in complete isolation gives you so much time to reflect on your life. I already know I have a fantastic life but when you are out there struggling and it is the love of your family that pushes you on makes me feel so fortunate. I have an awesome partner who supports my crazy need for these adventures and two beautiful healthy children who inspire me to show them anything is possible. One more stage to go. It is by no means over. Tomorrow is still a full marathon into Moab!
Name: K:Ray: I am going to make it. Only 26.2 to go. Today we have a much needed rest day. Tomorrow we will finish in Moab. I will expand on my adventure soon. Hope everybody is well. I know you all were cheering for me. I appreciate the support. Lots of love, k-ray

Marcy working with Global Dental Relief
The Boulder, Colorado running community lost a beloved member this March.
Marcy Servita was a well respected ultrarunner with many friends across the country. She battled her pancreatic cancer with the help of these friends and now the Gemini community would like to honor her memory and ultra spirit by dedicating our 2014 Trailrunning Festival to her. Marcy’s friends are also supporting Global Dental Relief in her honor. Her good friend Wendy shares Marcy’s story:
On behalf of the Boulder Banditos, we are honored that the 2014 Desert RATS Trailrunning Festival weekend will be dedicated to our late sister, dear friend, and fellow ultra-runner Marcy Servita. Marcy is a three time finisher of the Festival’s 25M distance. She was a lover of mountain running and completed several long distance adventure runs. In 2013 she trained for longer distance goals completing her first 100M distance in September 2013 at Marin Headlands in 26:24. 
After Headlands, Marcy’s back pain, which had been attributed all summer to intense training, worsened. On January 14th, after a lengthy journey of trying to pinpoint the source, an ultrasound revealed a mass on her pancreas. Stage IV pancreatic cancer had already spread. The prognosis was 2-3 months without chemotherapy, which it turned out she could not tolerate. 
Marcy moved in with me and wanted to die at home. My company, Simple Energy, granted me a leave of absence and created the space for me help fulfill her wishes. Our support by not only her Bandito family but also many friends from other circles, hospice, and her family based in Boston and Florida has been overwhelming. Marcy had dozens of friends and every one wanted to see her in her last 60 days. 
One of Marcy’s most cherished circles was her dental community. Marcy was a dental hygienist for 14 years at the office of Dr. Vince Cleeves in Boulder. One of her greatest passions was giving back through local fundraising for Global Dental Relief. In addition, she gave her time in the mountains of Nepal providing dental services to children there.
For this year’s Desert RATS Trailrunning Festival weekend, we invite you to be part of our family to honor the many memories, running and otherwise, Marcy created with us. By wearing one or more Boulder Bandito tattoos during the weekend you will be creating more memories of Marcy. Wear them with a big smile on your face just like she always seemed to have! All proceeds will go to Global Dental Relief. The Banditos will be at pre-race registration and thrilled to help apply your tattoos pre-race. 
We are deeply grateful to Reid and the Gemini Adventures team for offering this generous tribute to Marcy who was an accomplished athlete and beautiful person.


Wendy Drake
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 08:17

Training – Training in the Heat

If you’re like me your racing calendar is just getting ramped up. And many of your “A” races are going to be hot and humid. Racing in dog days of summer can be fun and exciting but if you’re not prepared properly it can become life threatening. Running in the heat is not a new experience for many of us. Our bodies are well equipped to deal with the dissipation of heat generated by exercise. But what happens when all the planning, prevention, and listening to our bodies still isn’t enough and adjustments need to be made to get back on course quickly?  


Heat related illnesses occur when muscle-generated heat accumulates faster than heat dissipates via exhalation, sweating and skin blood flow. Heat production during intense exercise is 15-20 times greater than at rest, and can raise core body temperature by 1-C (1.8-F) every 5 min if no heat is removed from the body. Depletion of energy stores (glycogen) from muscle tissue occurs faster in hotter conditions, especially when athletes are not acclimatized to exercise in the heat. And fast depleting glycogen levels means a greater chance of bonking and slow down rate.

 There are several variables that affect heat exhaustion in athletes including duration and intensity of exercise, environmental conditions, and acclimatization to exercise-heat stress, level of fitness, hydration status, and personal factors like medications, supplements, sleep, and recent illness. Some lesser know factors that affect heat dissipation are, skin disease, sunburn, alcohol use, drug abuse, antidepressant medications, obesity, and a history of heat illness. Some over-the-counter drugs such as antibiotics and nutritional supplements can also increase the risk of heat related issues. So it’s worth asking your Doctor or Pharmacist about the heat effects of your medicine.

 Most physiological adaptations from training stress takes 3-6 weeks to actualize, but heat acclimation can begin within 10 to 14 days of exercise training in the heat.


Here are a few ways to get a jump on heat acclimation before your big race.

  1. Scheduling a 45-60min mid-day run 3-4 x/week in the heat starting 3-4weeks prior to your race. The run should be easy in the first week. Allowing your body to adjust to the heat. The second week as you begin to feel your body adjusting pick up the pace to race pace gradually over the run. The third week through-in a few 60 sec strides  to rev up the engine generating more heat, followed by race pace allowing the body time to adjust to the increased heat. The fourth week, take the pace back to an easy pace to assure a race taper week.
  2. Turn off your air-conditioning in your house and car. Acclimation doesn’t just happen on the training ground. Staying away from air-conditioned buildings and spaces will greatly increase your heat tolerance.
  3. After your hard training sessions sit in a sauna. Don’t forget to take your recovery drink and plenty of replacement fluids with you. Getting dehydrated is not a heat acclimation tool!


  1. Starting your race well hydrated. To insure you’re topped off to the gills it’s best to assure proper hydrating a week before your race during your race taper week. As your muscles begin to store more glucose due to less running your body will also store more water at a cellular level. Plan to consume your body weight in oz every day the week leading into your race. Your body will use this extra water to cool your core temp throughout the race.
  2. Proper fluid intake during a race. Exercise guidelines recommend consuming 16-20oz of fluid/hr. If you are exercising in temperatures greater then what your body is accustomed to, you’ll need more fluid/hr to offset the stress of a higher ambient temperature. But knowing how much more can often be confusing. A rule of thumb is to make sure your pee is clear to light yellow. If you have not peed in over 3hrs and/or your pee is dark in color it’s time to increase your hydration.
  3. Proper Electrolyte intake during a race. Electrolytes are necessary for you muscular, cardiac, nervous, and digestive systems to function optimally. There are many ways to ingest electrolytes, solid foods such as, watermelon, potato chips, PB&J, gels, as well as, commercial sport drinks and electrolyte tablets are all valid electrolyte replacement choices. If you are eating solid foods and or drinking a sports drink you are ingesting electrolytes. One is not better than another but most runners have a preference. Knowing how much to consume can be a bigger quandary. If you tend to be a salty sweater, noted by salt rings on clothing and face, and/or you frequently get muscle and/or digestive cramps you may need to increase your consumption. There are many debates as to how much is the right amount, the answer is an individual quest. And best answered by listening to your body’s signs and cues.
  4. Proper gear choice. Wear breathable, light color and light weight fabrics. Some high tech tees are great at wicking and drying but you’ll want to avoid these fabrics in a hot race. Instead use materials that will hold moisture and stay wet for extending periods. When air travels across wet material the effects are evaporative cooling. This cooling action will assist your skin in dissipating your core temperature. In our high tech world, cotton is often over looked as a valid gear choice. Check your clothing label and next time the temperatures soar choose a cotton tech blend and run your own experiment.
  5. Skin wetting. Keeping your skin wet will allow your body’s core temperature to dissipate easily. And a cooler core translates to a faster pace with less energy expenditure.

 Try these race day tactics to keep you cool:

  1. Use water crossing to dip a handkerchief, dunk your body, head or hat .
  2. Carry an extra water bottle to dowse your neck and head. Note: you will need to use extra lubrication in areas that are susceptible to friction. I carry a small tube of Vaseline with me for quick reapplication.
  3.  Aid station Ice. Extra ice in your water bottles will not only cool your core with chilled water but holding cold bottles will also assist in lowering your core temperature. Shorts, bras, hats or a tucked shirt are all great away to store ice. As the ice melts you will continue to benefit from skin wetting.
  4. Wear a coolie or neck gaiter. I prefer the Kafka neck gaiters. The night before my race fill a gallon baggie with ice and water and immerse two neck gaiters in the water. By morning they are swollen with icy cold water.  Starting with a cool neck gaiter will assure that you don’t get over heated when the sun rises and the race is heating up. Remember to rotate the gaiter every 30min to get the full cooling effect. If the race is longer than 5hrs. Exchange the gaiter for a fresh one half way through the day in a longer race.


The symptoms and signs of heat related illness are often nonspecific and include disorientation, confusion, dizziness, irrational or unusual behavior, inappropriate comments, irritability, headache, inability to walk a straight line, loss of balance and muscle function resulting in collapse, profound fatigue, hyperventilation, vomiting, diarrhea, delirium, seizures, or coma. Thus, any change of personality or performance should trigger an assessment for heat related illness, especially in hot-humid conditions. The problem with this list of symptoms is that each one can be caused by the act of running an ultra race. The key is these symptoms are related and if you have two or more then assessment is imperative.


What if it just isn’t your day and despite all your heat training and race strategies you find yourself over heating? Cooling should be initiated and, if there are no other life-threatening complications, completed on-site prior to evacuation to the hospital emergency department. Athletes who rapidly become lucid during cooling usually have the best prognosis. The most rapid whole body cooling aid is ice water immersion therapy. Use aggressive combination of rapidly rotating ice water-soaked towels to the head, trunk and extremities and ice packs to the neck, auxiliary and groin area, for the quickest and effect cooling method. 

Cindy Stonesmith ACSM HFS, is a Running Endurance Coach with Ultrarunner Training. You’ll find her most days training in the foothills of Boulder Colorado. 

Empowering Girls and Women to Shape the Kind of Future We Want to See


Women’s Wilderness Institute is thrilled to be Gemini Adventures’ non-profit partner for the 2014 Desert  RATS Trailrunning Festival. We’re looking forward to bringing our crew of staff and volunteers to support all the athletes, offer high fives, and hydration! Come check us out at our aid station on event day or learn more about all our adventures (and ways to get involved!) at:

 Building the confidence and strength to be able to complete an event like Desert RATS is part of what Women’s Wilderness Institute strives to do – we help women and girls develop the ability to measure and take personal risks and to be empowered by their choices. Throw in beautiful scenery, an encouraging environment, and an opportunity to play and you’ve got strong girls and women shaping a better world.

 Since 1998, thousands of girls and women have learned new skills in an encouraging environment with the support of talented female staff and co-participants and celebrate how they learn, laugh, and feel powerful in new, often unexpected, ways.

 Women’s Wilderness’ adventures are inspiring on their own, but providing opportunities to be engaged within the community is also a big part of the organization’s mission. “It was super easy to give an enthusiastic YES to helping support [the Gemini Adventures Trail Running Festival] in April,” says Lori Mathews, Women’s Wilderness’ Marketing Coordinator. “What an incredibly fun and rewarding way to engage our volunteers and community. We have an amazing community of individuals – from our office staff and field instructors, our board members and volunteers, to our girls and their families. It’s the people who make the difference and help make this organization thrive and partnering with Gemini Adventures to provide this kind of opportunity is what we’re all about.”

 Whether you’d like to participate in a program, get involved, support us, or join our next event in Fruita (a Woman’s Mountain Bike Retreat running May 2-4), we’d love to hear from you!

 The Women’s Wilderness Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the courage, confidence and leadership skills of women and girls, through the challenge and support of wilderness- and community-based experiences. Women’s Wilderness celebrates the unique strengths and learning styles of girls and women, and is dedicated to building strong girls and women with the skills to make our world a better place. With the commitment to make girls’ courses accessible to all who would like to attend, full and partial scholarships are available for low- and lower middle- income families. We invite you to join us on a path fueled by inspiration and open to wherever you wish to take yourself. Customized ‘Build- Your- Own’, single- or mixed- gender courses are also available for schools, organizations, work groups, or families and friends.


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Wednesday, 19 March 2014 08:16

Gemini News – Meet the Staff!

Reid Delman – Race Director


Born and raised in Cleveland, Reid moved to Boulder, CO in 1994.  He is the owner of Gemini Events and lives in Boulder with his wife, Michele, and their two daughters. When he and Michele learned they would be having twins, they decided it was a perfect time to leave his job as high school teacher and wrestling coach to be at home with the babies and start the business they’d always wanted. The result is Gemini Events, incidentally named after their twin daughters, which strives to offer challenging races in beautiful places with the best runner support around. Reid has done plenty of challenging events himself.

He wrestled for Ohio State and recently competed in Mixed Martial Arts cagefighting.  He has completed multiple 100 mile running races including Leadville 100 run and bike, lots of 50s and loves to make his own adventures – which is how he finds many of the race courses currently offered.

He has also competed in adventure races, including the Eco Challenge, mountain bike races, and Ironman distance triathlons.


Karen Balog


Karen Balog grew up in the Midwest.  Early on she developed a love of running – winning playground footraces, even against the boys.  Her dream of being a track star was thwarted by her high school’s lack of a viable girls’ athletic program.  Injured knees, college, and an unfolding career led to many years spent working in, on and under the water.  Trained as a marine biologist and finding employment in the shipping industry, Karen pursued work and play around the world – including many years spent in remote Alaska.  Her career at sea allowed her to meet her wonderful husband, Josh Weissman.

Karen was intrigued by the sport of ultra-running after reluctantly (at first) supporting her husband with his bizarre endeavors.  Inspired by the many people she has come to know through the sport, Karen gradually took up endurance trail-running and has stretched her mileage up to and beyond the 50-miler.

Karen has worked with Gemini Adventures since their very first race; helping out with Aid-Station support, Start/Finish work, and offering Massage Therapy at many events.  She has owned a private practice since 2000, specializing in Sports and Orthopedic Massage, and has many endurance athletes as regular clients.  She lives in Fort Collins with her husband Josh and their two cats (who also love to run, but only short distances).


Bear Barnett


James “Bear” Barnett is the operator of Solxplore, LLC providing remote environment medical and rescue support, courses and equipment. He’s an experienced paramedic, guide, and educator. Gemini Adventures has been fortunate to work with him for over 3 years and this year he’ll start an exciting new position leading our small group running and biking tours. When Bear is not working with Gemini Adventures he can be found exploring and/or working canyons, peaks, oceans and rivers of the world.


Kyla Claudell


This will be Kyla’s second year working with Gemini Adventures. After her parents made the fantastic decision to move from Philadelphia to Colorado when she was younger she discovered the joys of spending the majority of your life outdoors. She’s a CU Boulder grad and had a career in software development and project management but decided to trade the desk for more time in the sun. Kyla is an avid trail runner and also loves mountain biking, snowboarding, rafting, and backpacking. She’s looking forward to another year of helping athletes achieve success at some of the most challenging and transforming races on the planet.


Glen Delman


Glen has lived, worked and played in Boulder, CO since 1989. He was a long time member of Rocky Mountain Rescue, having been on the search and rescue team for 19 years.  He serves as the action photographer at the Gemini Events races in addition to helping out in a variety of other capacities. Having traveled to over 70 countries and all 7 continents, he’s very well-traveled and as a result has thousands of photographs from virtually every corner of the world.

He is also an experienced runner and adventurer. He has ridden his bike from Montana to Alaska (and back), ridden from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic, and ridden across Ecuador. He has completed four  100 mile running races (including Leadville), and completed 25 ultra marathons,  as well as the Leadville 100 mile mountain bike race.


Kurt Egli – Racer Liaison for Desert RATS Stage Race


Kurt is a 5 time finisher of the Desert RATS Stage Race on the Kokopelli trail from Grand Junction Colorado to Moab Utah! When he’s not racing he works full time in the Natural Gas Industry in Tulsa Oklahoma and spends his free time chasing his beautiful wife, Shelli, also a 5 time finisher and accomplished ultra-runner.

Kurt says his road to endurance sports has been a long line of trial and error. In his words: “I was a pretty crappy ball sport player as a kid that grew into a mediocre high school swimmer. At some point in high school I thought riding bulls might be a good idea. I spent a few years as the cowboy swimmer. After getting out of high school I joined the Navy where I swam a lot. I was still riding bulls but after a nasty wreck and a broken back I decided that it was time to hang up my spurs before I got my dumb butt killed. I started surfing a little bit since it seemed that those dudes got lots of girls. It was great fun and during a couple of deployments I started to work out with a couple guys in martial arts which I carried over to civilian life. After meeting my awesome wife I started running more and racing. It 1995 my endurance life began. I started riding my bike to rehab a bad knee. After watching the Eco-Challenge on TV I conned my wife into doing our first adventure race and we have been hooked on endurance sports since. I combined my love of swimming, riding, and running to add triathlon to the mix. After racing Ironman for 9 years we were looking for the next adventure when we found Desert RATS. The past 5 years racing RATS has become a yearly event for us. I was so happy when Reid as me to be a part of the staff and I am looking forward to being on the other side of the clipboard this year.


John Graham


John is originally from Haverhill, Massachusetts and he has the accent to prove it. He was a 1LT US Army Advisor in Vietnam from 1969-70 and was a 7th grade history teacher in Kinderhook, NY. He also worked 10 years for Governor Mario Cuomo of NY, mainly in economic development until 1993 when he headed west and become a Moab resident. He’s a former river guide and has been the owner/chef of Cook since 1996. He’s an expert at outback adventure catering and not only will he give you a 5 star meal at the end of a long day, he’ll also entertain you with stories of catering for actors like Bill Murray and Ed Harris. He still lives in Moab and spends his free time traveling in his Airstream with his wife and 2 dogs.


Dr. Jeremy Joslin


Jeremy is a board certified physician currently working in emergency medicine in upstate New York. He has worked numerous endurance events and this will be his 7th year working with Desert RATS. He also runs a fellowship program at Syracuse in wilderness expedition medicine. He trains full-fledged doctors to provide medicine in wilderness expedition settings and ultra racing has become one of the most popular parts of the program. He and his crew lead an extremely popular clinic on prevention and care of blisters during the week of Desert RATS.


Alec Muthig


More than a runner, Alec Muthig is an explorer, a mover and shaker, someone who makes things work in challenging situations.  After many personally profound adventures, such as solo multi-day winter treks, a speed crossing over the rugged Wind River Range, the Coastal Challenge and Desert RATS stage races, and the Arrowhead 135, he decided to create Journeyman Adventure Enterprises (Happy Jack Endurance Races, Twin Mountain Trudge, et al).  This organization coordinates experiences with a specific focus on providing an opportunity for individuals to learn and grow.  With close ties to Gemini Adventures (and a close name as well!), Alec brings this personal exploration focus with him in his support of our events.


 John Oliva


Director and founder of Explore Adventure Sports, John started organizing and leading trekking and cycling tours throughout the world 15 years ago. His passion for experiencing Nepal to the fullest extent is what he tries to bring to all who visit this amazing country with him. John grew up in Colorado and started to hike and bike at high altitudes at a very early age. He climbed his first 13,000 ft. mountain at the age of 8, which is also when he started to get involved with bike tours lead by his father. John has traveled extensively throughout the world since he was nine years old and strives to learn about and interact with foreign cultures. Nepal has been in John’s heart since his first trek there in 1995 and has remained dear to him during the 20 treks he has led there over the years. During these years he has learned Nepali, which helps to bridge the gap between the westerners and the local Nepalese. John also currently, directs and coordinates many of Colorado’s premier running races, triathlons and other events. John is an active athlete who has competed in several sports such as speed in-line skating, speed skiing, cycling races, and running races.


Josh Weissman


A native of New York, Josh Weissman had a celebrated career as a wrestler in high school and college.  Sadly, his career was cut short by a tragic lack of training and the onset of old age.  Josh began his entry into the world of ultra-running when his good friend and wrestling partner, Reid Delman, said something like: “A hundred miles? Nah . . . I don’t think you could do it.”    Now a three-time finisher of the Leadville Trail 100 (including one “Double Leadville”), and numerous ultra-distance running and biking events, Josh brings experience as well as charm to the Gemini Adventures team.  A previous career in the U.S. Merchant Marine Service has enabled Josh to travel the world, see amazing sights, and meet lovely, interesting people – such as his wife, Karen.  A wandering vocation has carried them from Alaska, Eastern Canada, & the South Pacific, to a more settled life with two cats and a cozy home in sun-drenched Colorado.  Josh currently enjoys teaching Technology Education at Poudre High School in Fort Collins, where he also helps coach the wrestling team.

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