june 21-23, 2024
46K • 23K • 11K • VK • iron face
TRIPLE CROWN • IRON crown • KIDS RACE
We are delighted to announce that the Broken Arrow Skyrace now has an Advisory Council. This diverse group of 10+ athletes will provide their wisdom, counsel, unique perspectives and, ultimately, help us continue to deliver an event that is not only reflective of the community we are but of the community we also want to be. We'd like to thank the following individuals who have joined our inaugural Advisory Council, a group of diverse and amazing humans with different perspectives and life experiences. To say we're excited about the collaborative process would be a vast understatement.
The Broken Arrow Skyrace, presented by Salomon Running, was founded in 2016, with the goal of reinventing the multi-day, multi-distance, trail running “experience” in North America. Our goal was audacious but also realistic. We set out to create a world-class, highly-competitive, strongly branded event that also adhered to the old-school culture, traditions, and values that characterized North American trail running, namely the equal importance of EVERY runner. By celebrating both professionals AND back-of-the-pack runners, we hope we have lived up to that vision.
In seven short years, the Broken Arrow The Broken Arrow Skyrace has not only become one of the largest trail and ultra-running events in the country, it is now mentioned alongside many of the iconic international events it originally sought to emulate. Our entire race organization is humbled and profoundly grateful to everyone who has supported our event over the years. It means the world to us.
Over the last month, we became aware of a segment of our trail and ultra community believed that the Broken Arrow Skyrace was owned by a big and faceless corporate race management company. In reality, that could not be farther from the truth.
The Broken Arrow Skyrace is and always has been, independently owned and operated by three committed and passionate individuals (Brendan Madigan, Ethan Veneklasen, and Geoff Quine) who share a commitment to the collaborative process and an unwavering belief in the transformative power of community. This has been the case since the inception of the race in 2016 and is the bedrock upon which the race exists.
All three partners live in the community where the Broken Arrow takes place and have other full-time jobs. As such, the Broken Arrow Skyrace is a total passion project. Our race team is supported by our families (wives, fathers, mothers, brothers, etc.), dear friends, and an amazing group of volunteers who TOGETHER make it possible for us to bring you a unique, empowering, and, hopefully, unforgettable experience. Team work does indeed make the dream work.
We have always tried to stay faithful to the idea that the people – that is to say, YOU – are the single most important part of our sport and have always said that “whether you finish first or last, at the Broken Arrow Skyrace, YOU are a rockstar.” This isn’t just our motto, it is the central organizing ideal against which we judge every decision we make. YOU, whoever you may be, and your inclusion in our event, is the North Star at the Broken Arrow Skyrace.
However, that doesn’t mean we can’t do more, and we admit that we are not perfect. There is always work to be done and always ways to be better.
It is our belief that we have a responsibility to continue to evolve as a race organization and to share what we have learned with other independent race organizations that embrace similar values. The goal of the Advisory Council is to bring new voices and perspectives to our shared table. This will help us continue to maintain an intentional focus on the things that really matter, challenge us to be better, open our eyes to unknown realities and function as a group that makes the Broken Arrow Skyrace better for ALL runners.
MEET THE COUNCIL MEMBERS
Born in Mexico, Romy fostered a deep love for nature, nurtured by the breathtaking beauty of Cozumel Island. But it was the call of the mountains that eventually led Romy to Snowmass, Colorado, where they discovered a love for ski-touring and trail running. These pursuits became their soul's delight, providing them with both solace and serenity to contrast the exhilarating life as a professional DJ.
Having played many festivals and clubs in the US and Mexico they took their talents to Aspen, Colorado where they continue to provide uplifting fun dance music for locals and visitors alike. Romy's current inclusive party, Drag Queen Bingo Brunch, in partnership with The Collective in Snowmass featuring Aspen Queen Kendra Matic raises money annually for Aspen Out, a non-profit organization to help direct funds to vital local youth organizations that make significant impacts in already marginalized communities.
Beyond mountain adventures and Apres-Ski parties on the mountain, Romy remains deeply connected to their Mexican roots, often returning to the vibrant culture to visit family and friends.
Please follow @RomyAncona and their two dogs Summit and Lego on Instagram for mountain adventures in the Colorado Rockies to see them baggin' peaks and eatin' treats!
My name is Zagdaa Baatar. I was born and raised in Mongolia. I immigrated to the United States 21 years ago. I’m a mother, grandmother, wife and someone who loves to run and encourage others to do the same. Basically, I love to share my mountain love with others. This passion led my husband and I to found the Nomadic Adventure Club in 2013, a group of 200+ individuals that represent all ability levels and body types. Initially, most of our club members were not runners but now they all love it and see the rewarding aspects of the sport and community at large.
I ran the Broken Arrow 46k in 2021 and then the Triple Crown in 2022. In 2023 I became the captain for the Siberia aid station, along with members from the Nomadic Adventure Club. Every year I make the pilgrimage with my whole family and Nomadic Adventure Club members to Broken Arrow. Almost all of my family members have now run the Broken Arrow Skyrace, except my little granddaughter Amelia, but she's next on the list!
I love the Broken Arrow family. It is not just a race, it is an entire community. This is the reason that I am so excited to serve on the newly minted Advisory Council.
I feel most connected when I’m on the trail. I grew up in El Salvador and moved to California when I was 15. I was a Medic and Military Police in the Army Reserves and just recently retired as a Senior Deputy from the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department. I’ve seen a lot of trauma in my life. When I’m on the trail I feel connected from within and have a lasting universal feeling of love for all beings and Mother Earth. Races like Broken Arrow offer a safe and supportive space for us to connect, explore, and heal. I look forward to being in the Tahoe mountains every June and I’m honored to be a part of the Broken Arrow Skyrace Advisory Council.
Born and raised in Southern California, David's journey led him to the Bay Area after prior years of living abroad in Vietnam. It was here in the Bay Area where his unexpected dive into outdoor sports sparked a dreamlike journey, fueling his passion for trails and mountains.
Within the Bay Area and beyond, he's cultivated a vibrant community, using his running journey to support and uplift diverse runners. His time working at San Francisco Running Company forged invaluable connections that shaped his current path. Based in San Francisco, he navigates a tech job by day, but constantly seeking new adventures. Spot him running the city's streets or trails, engaging anyone in lively discussions about music, movies, or pop culture.
Erin Vancellette (they/she) started trail and ultra running at age 38, a sport they chose to fill in the blank space that a long career of competitive rugby had previously filled. Erin’s competitive accomplishments include a first place finish in the Golden Gate 50 miler in the Marin Headlands and a couple of 50k’s in San Francisco and the Bay, and a bunch of top 3 and top 10’s in the 50k, 50 miler and 100k distances in the Bay Area, San Diego, Malibu and Colorado Springs. She’s a firm believer that the reason for their ultra-running success has as much to do, if not more than, the support from their loved ones, fellow racers, race directors, race volunteers and the course itself, than from the person with the trail shoes on. They stopped wearing a watch during races in 2018, when they earned 2nd place at the Quad Dipsea, which came after several days of being indoors due to smoke from intense Northern California fires. “I ran with joy in my heart. The smiles, the landscape beauty and fresh, clean air were my crew.” This experience opened her up to the power of movement in nature. Erin wants everyone to feel this, too and to feel safe participating in this beautiful sport.
Erin operated a personal training and run coaching business in San Francisco for 10 years prior to her current role as the stay at home parent to Ernestine and baby E (coming January 1, 2024). She continues to find joy on the trails and love for the ultra/trail community despite a decrease in mileage at this stage of life. Don’t worry, though, they’ll be back to their favorite distance, the 50 miler, when they get to sleep again.
They hope to connect the queer, trans and gender expansive communities to the healing and nourishing sport of trail running. The Broken Arrow Skyrace is the perfect platform to make this happen.
I have lived in Boise, Idaho most of my adult life but was born and raised in Montana. I work as a Neurodiagnostic technologist – currently for a private Epileptology office. I am married with one 19 y/o son and 4 crazy dogs.
I started running in college and discovered trail running and mountain biking which both captured my heart. I got into adventure racing and was able to travel the country and even abroad racing in short and multi-day events. After having my son in 2004, I didn’t have the time for adventure racing and focused on trail running, securing a sponsorship with Montrail and raced as an elite trail runner since 2005. I competed in distances from 50K to 100 miles with the 50 mile probably being my favorite distance.
I competed in the inaugural Broken Arrow Skyrace in 2016, finishing in 2nd, losing to first on the final downhill. A little after a week from this race, I completely ruptured my hamstring, it had been injured for a while. I had to have surgery to reattach my hamstring and the difficulty coming back from this injury eventually resulted in me losing my sponsorship and decreasing my racing. I still trail run daily with my dogs and friends but generally only do a few races a year, one of those being Broken Arrow because it is one of my favorites. I was unable to race due to aggravating my hamstring a few times but I was able to race in 2016, 2019, 2022 and 2023. I always race the long course which is now 46K.
I am active on Strava under Joelle Vaught and add lots of pictures of my pups running with me. I am able to release some of my competitive energies trying to get crowns on local trails! I always run with my GoPro trying to capture fun photos of the dogs, this started when I was coming back from injury and was going slow and took time to take photos, it became a favorite part of my runs. Now with a GoPro I can still get pictures but don’t have to go slow!
Broken Arrow quickly became one of my favorite races due to the enthusiasm of race directors and team that put the race on. I love the difficulty and beauty of the course and how it changes from year to year depending on the snow and weather. The highlight of the race has always been the joy that you can feel throughout the whole event. The race staff makes every athlete feel like a winner no matter where they finish. It draws the best in trail running with prize money and notoriety but also makes the back of the pack feel celebrated.
No matter your gender, size, color or anything else that differentiates the runners, each person feels like they belong at this event and that is one of the main reasons I am so excited to be involved on the advisory committee. Running is one of the most accessible sports and the opportunity to help more people become involved and find the joy it can bring is definitely a highlight of my long involvement in the sport. I put on a local trail race here in Boise, Idaho and seeing people cross the finish line and accomplish something out of their comfort zone brings me a lot of happiness.
Michael Li is no stranger to the ultrarunning scene. As a running coach, he has coached athletes from couch to marathon and more advanced distances like 100k, 100-mile and beyond. As a race director, he was instrumental in ultra-events like San Francisco Ultramarathon, Golden Gate Trail Classic, and most recently UTMB Canyons Endurance Run. As a runner, he has completed over 165 career races ranging from 5k to 200-mile (specifically 68 ultras - 9 hundos and two 200 miles). When not busy with the above, you will either find Michael crew/pacing others in reaching their ultra goals or volunteering at races.
Michael is best known for his recent FKT (Fastest Known Time) exploit on Mount Tamalpais dubbed FKTam300, where he covered 40 summits in 12 consecutive days and racked up a staggering total of 320 miles and 102,880' vertical gains, https://bit.ly/FKTam300.
Michael is semi-retired from a former life in software development, consulting and public speaking. He now works with Bay Area biotechs, specializing in regulatory compliance. He can be reached at email@example.com.
PATRICK "PADDY" O'LEARY
I'm Paddy O'Leary, first and foremost a proud Irishman, but also cancer researcher, professional mountain runner, community organiser, and passionate storyteller (the gift of the gab is in my blood). I did my first Broken Arrow VK way back in 2016, and have been fortunate to toe the line in Olympic Valley five more years in 2017, 2019, 2021, 2022 and 2023. Over the years, I've raced 10 different times across the VK, 26(ish)k and 50(ish)K distances. As someone who found his way into the sport by virtue of its enthusiastic community, I've always appreciated how Broken Arrow fosters the community and elevates every single runner from the winners to the final finishers. I'm excited to contribute to the Advisory Council helping guide the Broken Arrow team in continuing to elevate all participants but also keep bringing new faces into our community.
My name is Priscilla Rojas, I’m a Chicana Mexican-American based in San Diego, CA. I’m the Co-Founder and Leader of Santa Mujeres Running Club, a safe space for BIWOC. SMRC is an inclusive run club led by Mujeres. I have found purpose and passion serving the San Diego running community. I run to push the limits of what I thought was possible for me and to inspire and empower other women to dream big and wild, and to take up space in places we don’t think we belong. I became enamored with the idea of running Broken Arrow in 2022 and participated in the 23K in 2023. I can’t wait to come back again stronger and along with powerful strong Mujeres. You can follow my journey taking on the 23K again in 2024 and other running adventures on IG: akagingersnap (www.instagram.com/akagingersnap) and find out more about what the SMRC crew is up to on our IG: santamujeresrc (www.instagram.com/santamujeresrc).
Mirna Valerio is a native of Brooklyn, NY, a former educator and XC coach, ultramarathoner, cyclist and skier, DEI facilitator, and author of the bestselling memoir, A Beautiful Work in Progress. She began running in high school, recommitted to the sport after a health scare in 2008 and started her blog Fatgirlrunning—about her experiences as a plus-sized woman in a world of thinner endurance athletes— while training for her first marathon. Mirna's athletic story has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Runner’s World, on NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in the viral documentary short, REI Presents The Mirnavator. Her writing has been featured in Women’s Running, Women’s Health, Self, Outside, and Runner's World. Mirna is a 2018 National Geographic Adventurer of the year, and in 2019 was featured on GMA. Since then, she has appeared on the Kelly Clarkson Show, Access Daily, and The Today Show. Her partners include LLBean, Ford Bronco, lululemon, Salsa Cycles, Darn Tough Vermont, Hydro Flask, and Garmin. She currently lives and trains in Vermont and is wholeheartedly enamored and obsessed with downhill skiing.