Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

November 25, 2014

Corner Canyon Snow Hike (with my new favorite dog!)

I'm hoping that this won't be the weather that I am competing in next July in the X-Alps!  But my training is ramping up and I've got to get out on the trails even in the snow.  Luckily I had a houseguest join me for the hike up into Corner Canyon, Rok the wonder dog!

Yup, taking care of Becca Bredehoft's dog for a week was really fun (made me want a dog a lot!)   He enjoyed coming out for hikes with me and rolling in the snow.

Corner Canyon is close enough to my house that I can hike from home, linking a few paved trails with some city streets to get to the real trails.  And there are a lot of them around the Point of the Mountain...enough that I can take different trails for many hikes and not get bored.   Or even hike to the top of North Side and fly home.

It was pretty early in the year for this cold and snow stuff, but I picked a nice day to head out and even saw a few deer (luckily Rok didn't).   Let the training begin!

November 23, 2014

I made the US Paragliding Team!

Wow, so cool to be on the USA Paragliding Team!  Check out our page here:  http://www.usparaglidingteam.org/team.html


The 2015 US Team will be traveling to Roldanillo, Colombia in Janruary to compete in the World Championships (a.k.a. "The Worlds"). The Worlds are held every 2 years, and the best pilots from each country battle it out for their spot on the podium. The level of the competition at the Worlds is amazing. The US Team is selected based on the performance of US Pilots in competitions over the last 2 years, and this ranking is called NTSS, or National Team Selection System. You can view the current NTSS rankings by visiting USHPA.aero. The 2015 Team consists of the following four Pilots plus the team leader.

Josh Cohn

Josh Cohn Profile
Josh Cohn is perhaps the most accomplished pilot in the US competition scene. Josh has been at the top of the field for as long as anyone and continues to rule the skies. If you are at a US competition, you will likely see most pilots following Josh before and after the start of the race. As Nate Scales puts it, "People have been following J.C. for two thousand years". Josh has competed at more World Championship events than any other U.S. Pilot. 
Josh ChelanJosh Chelan LaunchJosh Valle Launch
Josh Valle LZJosh Chelan PodiumJosh Chelan Launch
2014 US NTSS Ranking: 1
Current World WPRS Ranking:176
Age: 41
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 70kg
Hometown: El Cerrito, CA
Birthplace: San Francisco, CA
Education: Masters, Geology
Occupation: Buyer, Independent Music Distributor
Local Paragliding Club: BAPA
Favorite US PG Site: Chelan, Washington
Home Paragliding Site: Dunlap?
Favorite World PG Site: Roldanillo
Sponsors: Eagle ParaglidingFlytec USA
Year Started Flying: 1989
Glider at Worlds: Ozone Enzo 2
Harness at Worlds: Woody Valley X-Alps GTO
Instruments: Flytec 6030
2014 US Paragliding National Championships 2nd place
2013 Monarca Open 1st Place
2012 Chelan XC Open 1st Place
2012 Rat Race 2nd Place
2011 Rat Race 2nd Place
2012 PWC Superfinal, Valle de Bravo 5th Place
2011 Paragliding World Championships 4th Place
2010 Chelan Paragliding World Cup 1st Place
2010 Monarca Paragliding Open 2nd Place
2008 Pre-Worlds Mexico 4th place
2007 World Championships 8th place
2004 World Championships Portugal task 5 winner
1999 US Paragliding Champion

Eric Reed

Eric Reed Profile
Pound for pound BADGER is the toughest animal in the paraglidng kingdom. Period. Enough said.
Eric Siera safariEric in Mexicoeric 2009 Worlds
Eric FlyingEric in PrisonEric Podium
2013 US NTSS Ranking: 2
Current World WPRS Ranking: 44
Age: 22 in badger years
Height: 5'6
Weight: 150
Hometown: New Jersey
Birthplace: a deep dark hole
Education:Bachelors degrees in Cognitive Science & Biology
Occupation: Paragliding & Software
Local Paragliding Club:Bay Area Paragliding Association
Favorite US PG Site: Telluride, CO
Home Paragliding Site: Dunlap, CA
Favorite World PG Site:Himalayas
Sponsors: Eagle Paragliding, Niviuk, Sup Air
Year Started Flying: 1997
Glider at Worlds: Ozone Enzo 2
Harness at Worlds: Woody Valley X-Alps GTO
Instruments: Flytec 6030 Garmin 76s, Android
Longest bivy flight in World (2010, 1182 km)
Longest bivy flight in US (2012, 663 km)
2011 US Paragliding Champion
2003 US Paragliding Champion
2011 1st Colombian Open
2010 1st Sun Valley Nationals

Nick Greece

Nick Greece Profile
Nick Greece, a man with innumerable talents, is tough to define. Poet, world traveler, philosopher, rap impresario, big game hunter, philanthropist, contortionist, ladie's man, man's man, nick is one of the great enigmas of our time. On an average day our USHPA magazine editor might spend his time fishing off his porch, slaying trophy grizzly bears, or saving the children of impoverished countries. Despite his many pursuits Nick still found time last year to set the National foot launch distance record and completed the longest vol biv expedition ever in the USA.
Nick LaunchNick Podium ChelanNick Podium Colombia
Nick FlyingNick GhanaNick Flying
2011 US NTSS Ranking: 3
Current World WPRS Ranking: 453
Age: 37
Height: 6'
Weight: 185
Hometown: Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Birthplace: Ohio
Education: Beloit College, Wisconsin
Occupation: Editor for the USHPA Magazine
Local Paragliding Club: Jackson Hole Free Flight Club
Favorite US PG Site: Jackson, Chelan, Sun Valley
Home Paragliding Site: Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Favorite World PG Site: Aravis, Piedrahita, Colombia
Sponsors: KAVUKEENOzoneFlytecGoal ZeroSharkies
Year Started Flying: 2001
Glider at Worlds: Ozone Enzo
Harness at Worlds: Woody Valley XAlps GTO
Instruments: Flytec 6030
2014 US National Champion
2014 Longest paraglider flight by an American, 419km 2012 3rd Place Rat Race/US Nationals
2012 2nd Place Chelan
2011 1st Place Rat Race
2011 Paragliding World Cup Americas Champion
2011 Paragliding World Cup Colombia 7th place
2010 Paragliding World Cup Chelan 2nd place
2010 Paragliding World Cup Americas Title 2nd place
2010 US Nationals Series 2nd place
2009 US Nationals Series 3rd place

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson Profile
Jared Anderson is a self-confessed paragliding addict, he even sold his dental clinic to chase his flying dreams. As a relative rookie in the competition scene, He placed an impressive 3rd overall at his first PWC in Argentina. Having flown in the Pre-worlds in Colombia last year, Jared is ready for battle. 
Jared AndersonJared AndersonJared Anderson
Jared AndersonJared AndersonJared Anderson
2014 US NTSS Ranking: 4
Current World WPRS Ranking: 112
Age: 44
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 198 lbs
Hometown: Medford, OR
Birthplace: Bend, OR
Education: Doctorate
Occupation: Dentist
Local Paragliding Club: Rogue Valley Hang/Paraglider Assoc.
Favorite US PG Site: Chelan, Woodrat
Home Paragliding Site: Woodrat, OR
Favorite World PG Site: Valle de Bravo, Roldanillo
Sponsors: Eagle Paragliding, Thermaltracker Paragliding
Year Started Flying: 2007
Glider at Worlds: Ozone Enzo 2
Harness at Worlds: Woody Valley X-Rated 6
Instruments: Flytec 6030
2014 PWC Argentina:  3rd place


Matt Beechinor

Matt Beechinor Profile
Matt was a member of the 2009 US Paragliding Team and will use his years of competition experience to help the team achieve their best results in Colombia.

Matt Says: "As President of the U.S. Paragliding Team I hope to help raise funds so the team pilots can enjoy this experience they have worked so hard to earn. I will make sure the team is ready for battle, and support them so they can focus on the flying."

Hometown: Sun Valley, ID
Birthplace: Wenatchee, WA
Education: B.A.
Occupation: Paragliding Guide, Tandem Pilot, Carpenter
Local Paragliding Club: Sun Valley Paragliding Club

2015 Red Bull X-Alps

The Red Bull X-Alps is the world's toughest adventure race, a bold claim, but one it surely deserves. The concept is a simple one. Athletes must race from Salzburg to Monaco, by foot or paraglider, a straight-line distance of approximately 1,000km. Its simplicity is something that has attracted and tested to the limit some of the world's top adventurers over the last 12 years. Among adventurers, it's known as the ultimate race. It's an incredible challenge, demanding not only expert paragliding skill but extreme endurance. Some athletes will hike over 100km in a day and will have covered over 900km on foot by the time the race is over! Each team consists of one athlete and up to two supporters. No technical or outside assistance is allowed. The support team is just there to help with logistics, food and mental help. For the fans following the action live, the seventh Red Bull X-Alps promises to be an unforgettable spectacle of action. The USA will represented this year by three teams. USA-1, althlete Honza Rejmanek with supporter Jesse Williams. USA-2, Athlete Gavin McClurg with supporter to be announced. USA-2, Athlete Dawn Westrum with supporter to be announced. 

Honza Rejmanek USA-1

Eric Reed Profile
Honza has been specifically designed to compete in the Red Bull X-Alps, one part mad scientist, one part pure animal. His birdlike flying abilities combined with his master’s degree in atmospheric science that he obtained from UC Davis gives him a unique ability to maximizing the flying days in this brutal race. On those race days that require athletes to cover massive amounts of distance on foot Honza excels, he eats pain and suffering for breakfast, he thrives on it. After a podium finish in 2009 and multiple top 10 finishes he is more motivated than ever to land on that raft in Monaco. 
Honza RejmanekHonza RejmanekHonza Rejmanek
Honza RejmanekHonza RejmanekHonza Rejmanek
Age: 39
Weight: 175 lb before the X-Alps, 165 after
Hometown: Davis, CA
Birthplace: Prague, Czech Republic
Education: Masters in Atmospheric Science
Occupation: Atmospheric Scientist
Local Paragliding Club: BAPA
Favorite US PG Site: Sun Valley, Idaho
Home Paragliding Site: Berryessa
Favorite World PG Site: The Alps
Sponsors: US Pilots and Enthusiasts who support the U.S. Paragliding Team, TAKA UP Paragliders, Sup-Air, Black Diamond, Hammer Nutrition, Foundation for Free Flight, GoFly Project, Atlanta Paragliding, Eagle Paragliding, Super Fly Paragliding, Seattle Paragliding, Orthovox, XC-Skies, Brave Soldier 
Year Started Flying: 1993
Glider: UP Trango X-light 2
Harness: Sup Air XA13
Instruments: Flytec 6030
Top ten last three X-Alps with a podium finish in 2009 

USA-1 / Honza Rejmanek Supporter 

Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams Profile
Jesse Williams, 35, first took and introductory paragliding course in New Zealand in 2000. Since this first flight, Jesse embraced carrying the heavy gear up mountains. He attributes hiking heavier gear up the mountain frequently with pushing his fitness to top level in spring 2011 when he placed first in the Sun Mountain 50k trail race (4h 28m). Jesse is thrilled to be part of the X-Alps as a supporter this year and is hoping to bring flying knowledge as well his trail racing background to this great competition. Jesse is expecting to put in a lot of tough miles doing foot support and is eagerly awaiting the ultimate competition of strength, strategy, endurance, and flying skill."

Hometown: Bellingham WA
Birthplace: Mount Vernon WA
Education: Associate degree in nursing
Occupation: Registered Nurse
Local Paragliding Club: Northwest Paragliding Club

Gavin McClurg USA-2

Gavin McClurg Profile
World-class adventurer Gavin McClurg spent over a decade sailing around the world – and may be the only person ever to learn to paraglide while living on a boat. With some of the longest vol-bivvy flights in the world under his belt – and the North American foot launch record of 387km in one day – he's ready for the Red Bull X-Alps. To learn more about Gavin, check out his blog www.cloudbasemayhem.com
Gavin McClurgGavin McClurgGavin McClurg
Gavin McClurgGavin McClurgGavin McClurg
Age: 42
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 155 
Hometown: Sun Valley, ID
Birthplace: Vista, CA
Education: Bachelors, Business
Occupation: Owner, Entrepreneur, dreamer
Local Paragliding Club: Sun Valley
Favorite US PG Site: Sun Valley!
Home Paragliding Site: Sun Valley dammit!
Favorite World PG Site: Sun Valley for crying out loud!
Sponsors: Patagonia, Niviuk, GoPro, Sup’Air, Smith Optics, NocoXGrid, Klymit, Pocketfuel Naturals, Patagonia Provisions, SteriPen, BlackDiamond Equipment, Flytec 
Year Started Flying: 2006
Glider: Niviuk IcePeak 7
Harness: Sup’Air 
Instruments: Flytec 6030
2014 Longest connected flight log (vol biv) in the world? (Mackenzie to US border)
2014 2nd Place, Pre Worlds (Colombia)
2013 North American Foot Launch Distance Record (387 km)
2012 Longest North American Vol-Biv (Sierras)

Dawn Westrum USA-3

Dawn Westrum Profile
Dawn can't seem to figure out which sport to pursue, so she tries them all. Triathlete turned adventure racer, she has completed hundreds of races including marathons, ultra marathons, Ironman triathlons, expedition races and even a hundred mile run. Add paragliding to the mix and it's a recipe for a female comeback in the 2015 Red Bull X-Alps. Dawn has been paragliding for 6 years and loves the challenge of XC, as well as having fun doing lots of top and side hill landings on South Side of the Point of the Mountain! Combining her love of running with paragliding is the ultimate challenge. 
Dawn WestrumDawn WestrumDawn Westrum
Dawn WestrumDawn WestrumDawn Westrum
Age: 36
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 135 
Hometown: Draper, UTAH
Birthplace: Boone, Iowa 
Education: Bachelors, Humanities
Occupation:Nutritionist and House Flipper
Local Paragliding Club: UHGPGA
Favorite US PG Site: Inspo, Utah
Home Paragliding Site: Point of the Mountain, Utah
Favorite World PG Site:Iquique, Chile
Sponsors: ?????????????
Year Started Flying: 2009
Glider: Ozone Delta 2
Harness: Woody Valley X-Alps GTO
Instruments: Flymaster Nav
2015 Red Bull X-Alps Participant
2014 Point Rat Series 1st Place Overall
2013 Open Distance Nationals Utah, 3rd Woman
2013 Rat Race Sprint, 3rd Woman

My training for the Red Bull X-Alps is officially started, and now I'm starting to think about all the details for the race. LOTS of them. Including funding. If you would like to make a donation to the US Paragliding Team (no pressure!), then follow links on the website, or write to: 

US Paragliding Team
9680 W Tropicana
Las Vegas NV 89147