The Podium Project train continues onto Utah Wasatch Back this Friday! This team is captained by none other than Karrie Underwood herself, yes the original Karrie Underwood.

Get to know the team of fasties who aren’t afraid of steep hills and serious elevation gain. 



Emily Jameson: Julie Andrews is her spirit animal, she knows every Broadway tune ever written, and has mad Zumba skills. Most importantly Emily has four kids which taught her all the relay essentials – Can drive a van, go without sleep, put cranky people in time out, and pass out snacks. When asked about her role on the team Emily replied “Just call me Thor, because I love to hammer out those miles”.

Karie Underwood: As the team captain Karie fully acknowledges that not only is she the oldest, she is the bossiest, which is okay because every team needs that. Karie isn’t afraid of any battle wounds Ragnar may bring. She already has a permanent pencil mark on her face, a constant reminder of the race she won as a young fourth grader, beating a boy in a foot race to the bus stop line, in which he retaliated against his loss by throwing a pencil at her face.

Nan Kennard: Who is Nan? One tough woman that’s who. She has dislocated her shoulder over 30 times! Even once while running (although we are all crossing our fingers that doesn’t happen this race). Basically Nan is a certified diver, because she knows how to go DEEP into the well.  

Megan Williams: Megan is probably one of ten people in the world who actually loves running in cold weather. As the proud owner of not one, not two, but THREE reflective vests, Megan is overly prepared to run at any hour of the night which will prove immensely valuable.

Nicole Ginley-Hidinger: Running for a cold beer and excessive amount of brownies, Nicole is an elementary school running coach with an impressive list of cross-training including climbing and backcountry skiing. Clearly she was made for spending time in the outdoors so being on a badass Ragnar team was a perfect fit.

Lauren Udwari: The Jackie-of-all-trades, Lauren loves all the distances, from a 400m dash to a grueling 50k on the trail. Lauren laughs in the face of elevation change. She ran to the top of Mt. Timpanogos, the second-highest mountain in Utah’s Wasatch range when she was unknowingly 2 weeks pregnant.

May Marschner: She’s the slow and steady presence that can do a spot-on British accent (a useful tool for comic relief in the wee hours of the night). May’s leg three motivation will be thinking of Boston 2019, and the possibility of a Saints Super Bowl in the near future.

Christina “Tee” Perry: Introducing reliable Tee. This woman is the running partner everyone needs in their life. Early mornings, rain, snow or unbearable heat, she never skips a meetup. Bringing this consistency to race day, Tee looks forward to being the dependable supporter who can dish out sarcasm to lighten the competitive mood.

Cassidy Moore: Have you ever met a woman who has outrun a fox? No? Well now you do. Cassidy was indeed chased by a fox. Yes it did bite her, but she was able to outrun the second bite with raw primal speed. The speed she unlocked that day has yet to leave her. Her race day inspiration is the women who hands off to her and the woman waiting for her at the end of her leg!

Devra Vierkant: Having run 5 relays, Devra doesn’t know what it’s like to have a sub top 3 finish… And she never will. However, this will be Devra’s first time being on an all-women team. Her strength lies in her ability to tackle any terrain, and she will fearlessly lead a post-race dance party to seal the deal.

Rebecca Bennion: Rebecca is fueled by nachos and the knowledge that a deep sleep is sure to follow finishing the race. Rebeca’s greatest strength is being the go-with-flow kind of woman that keeps team stress levels low. You need someone to bust out 5:50 miles? Sure, why not? She’ll literally do whatever’s asked.

Betsy Bies: Known for her vibrant hair color from pink, to purple, to blue - Betsy's hair is as wild and free as her running. Her Shero alias is any of the following – Vertical Vixen, Mountain Mistress, Gain Goddess – therefore she will be taking on the hilliest leg of the relay with an impressive ascent of 1,900 ft.

Hollie Fuhrmann: The official driver of Van 1, Hollie is a Texan with serious backroading skills. If someone needs an urgent bathroom stop, she can whip the van to a perfect pull-off spot, serious pot holes in the road? She can maneuver them... blindfolded. Van 1 is clearly in good hands.

Anne Martin: Next up in Van 1 is crew member Anne. With a PhD in Neurobiology Anne can craft a masterful race day strategy. Besides her mind-blowing intelligence, Anne can multi-task like a boss. Basically she’s a professional figurative juggler.

Meryl Call: The official driver of Van 2 has lived in Miami. If you’ve ever driven in Miami you'll know why this is an essential highlight on any driving resume. Meryl notes she will *safely* show off her driving skills. We except to see Instagram stories of Meryl doing donuts.

Janae Richardson: Crew member Janae is small yet mighty. Standing at 4 feet 10 inches, she is a supportive force to be reckoned with. Janae will be vicariously living through her teammates as she nurses a foot injury, leaving her with ample energy to cheer her lungs out. 


Real evidence straight from the Ragnar site showing that the Wasatch Back course is no joke. Just like our team. 

To follow along with Birdmachine Wasatch Back and cowbell from afar, follow the Podium Project Twitter and #birdmachineUT - Also keep an eye out for updates on our Instagram Story!


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Racing - Races
May 31, 2018 — Allyson Ely

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