Ask the Goat: Meet the RAUSA runners

The biographical write-ups provided below are from the RAUSA website, and were either authored by the runners themselves, or were pieced together by Run-Walk events.

Newton Baker -Vermont

I have two adult children: Jeremy and Jessica and two teens, Silas who we just dropped off at college, and Devin, a high school sophomore. I have three grandchildren: Sawyer, Wyatt, and Peyton. In 2007 I had successful prostate surgery, broke an ankle ice skating in March 2008, and am a stage zero Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia patient the past 12 years. I have an interesting inherited voice condition called Spasmodic Dysphonia, causing halting speech.


Ask the Goat by Chris Knodel

Ask the Goat
by Chris Knodel

Converting from baseball pitcher to runner, I have run 175 marathons, 45 or so ultras, finished The Vermont 100 Trail Run 5 times and have won my age group 14 of the past 20 years in the USA 24 Hour Run National Championship. I have run across Vermont in two days and the length of Vermont in four.


I taught elementary school, grades three to five, for 35 years. I created the block walk/run with my class: a half mile course around the school, kids were challenged to do a half or a mile. They took their pulse before and after, recorded it with their cumulative mileage and some ran in a kids race at the end of the year, sponsored by the Vermont City Marathon. I developed many health-related programs around this activity.


Trained by the National Writing Project, I enjoyed writing with my students. We produced a Leaf Peeper Poetry Booklet handed out to tourists arriving by bus at our capitol, a Hubcap Poetry Booklet based on hubcaps we painted, a Pumpkin Company selling stock to raise money to sell 100 pumpkins and performed Shadow theater and Blacklight Theater, including a circus with gigantic cardboard animals. Now eight years retired, I continue to volunteer in local schools helping with writing and I participate in local poetry slams for fun.


Nothing is a bigger challenge or more important to me than doing something to inspire children to play and become fit, positive, caring people! Race Across USA is a call to do just that. And the race starts on my 73rd birthday. Join me and celebrate kids!

Nancy Bennett – Texas 

I live with my devoted and supportive husband Ted and our Black Lab – Cowgirl. We have three awesome granddaughters, a lovely daughter-in-law, and an extraordinary son.

After completing a cross country bicycle ride in 1998, which was a fundraiser for the American Lung Assn., I was looking for a new challenge. Eventually a flyer from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society came in the mail informing me about Team in Training and running a marathon! I ran my first marathon in 2001, at the age of 50, with Team in Training. By 2012 I had run 60+ marathons, with at least one marathon in each state and the marathon where it all began… in Athens, Greece. With the 50 states completed, what challenge next? Ultra running, of course! I’ve run a few 50Ks, a 55K, three 50 milers, and one 100 miler. And what next? The Race Across USA benefiting the 100 Mile Club is the perfect answer!


I am a retired educator with over 30 years in varying aspects of education: special ed./regular ed. teacher, educational diagnostician, supervisor, and administrator. I spent my entire career helping children, mostly children with special needs, so being an ambassador for the 100 Mile Club is a perfect fit for me! It allows me to continue to dedicate my efforts in support of children.


I love the 100 Mile Club mantra: Accept a challenge, Set a goal, and See it through bit by bit. That’s exactly what I’m going to do on the Race Across USA. I can hardly wait to interact with all the students!


Jup Brown – New Zealand

Hi my name is Jup and I’m from New Zealand. Have only been a ultra runner for three years but have been having a great time traveling the world meeting people and running in some really cool places. I never think too much about running but instead about having fun and enjoying where I am at that time.


My running started slow with a 42km marathon to then nothing for 5 yrs. I then saw a 100 km run and thought I’d try.


From there I combined it with my love of travel and people to plan and then run the length of New Zealand 2937 kms over 67 days in 2011 for the NZ Stroke Foundation and then 5 months later the length of Japan 4259 kms over 97 days for the Tsunami Affect areas of Tohoku, Japan.


It was something that has changed my life, Going to schools and getting the kids moving and smiling, meeting people along the roads I run and having everyone come together to help others was a great feeling to be a part of.


I hope that you will get behind RAUSA and join us on the road if you can as we run across the US. More people means more fun and you won’t want to miss all the fun we will be having with the kids and the 100 Mile Club®.


Drop us a mail if you have any questions, Would love to hear from you.
Smiles -Jup


Bryce Carlson – Indiana

Bryce is an assistant professor of anthropology at Purdue University, where his work examines the dietary environment of wild chimpanzees and gorillas to better understand human dietary evolution.

In sport, Bryce rowed in college at the University of Michigan before coaching at the collegiate and high school levels for eight years while he finished up with graduate school at Emory University. Throughout that period he took up running and has raced competitively on roads and trails from 5K to 100 miles. Most recently he completed the 2013 Midwest Grand Slam of Ultrarunning, finishing four of the oldest 100-mile trail races across the Midwest in one summer.

The rest of the team members will be introduced on Thursday, Feb. 12.

Chris Knodel is a Mangum Track Club member and Sandhills Region native. He is the author of “More, Better Quicker – The Irish Goat: A Fat-Boy & His Path to Ultra-Distance.” His column will appear each Thursday on


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