Executive Director - Andrea Larson
Andrea Larson fully encompasses the IRONBULL™ spirit, constantly challenging her inner self mentally and physically. Andrea started running in 6th grade and hasn’t stopped since! She was a three sport athlete in college where she set the school record in the 1500m. She has competed at the highest level nationally in several sports; skiing in the elite wave of the Birkebeiner, podiuming at the Leadville 100 ultramarathon, and teaming up on Rib Mountain Racing to finish nationally with a top three ranking in adventure racing. As a central Wisconsin native, she has won several central Wisconsin events over the past decade including Wausau 24 mountain bike race (when she was only 13 weeks postpartum, while stopping mid race to breastfeed nonetheless!), Badger State Games Nordic Ski race, and Badger State Games Quadrathlon.
Andrea recently stepped away from her career after a decade in research and development as a professionally licensed chemical engineer to become the Executive Director of IRONBULL™. "I am thrilled to join IRONBULL™ to share my passion for the outdoors and make a difference in my hometown which has so many great outdoor offerings minutes from downtown. IRONBULL™ will bring far more to Central Wisconsin than just the races, but fuel the economy, change the community, and promote healthy living.”
In her free time Andrea enjoys spending time with her family and three young children, often outside. She is also an avid gardener who canned over 80 quarts of beans from her garden last year. She fits in training by running, biking, and rollerskiing to work year-round (totaling 191 days in 2017).
Rib Mountain Adventure Challenge Race Directors - Tim Buchholz & Anna Nummelin
Tim Buchholz and Anna Nummelin have been running the Rib Mountain Adventure Challenge since its inception in 2015, growing it into United States Adventure Racing Association’s largest adventure race in the country. Each year, Tim and Anna design a completely new racecourse incorporating challenging terrain, beautiful views, and off-the-beaten path gems in Central Wisconsin.
Both Tim and Anna are IRONBULL™ Board Members and members of team Rib Mountain Racing with IRONBULL’s Executive Director Andrea Larson. Tim and Anna are two of the most experienced adventure racers in the nation, each racing over 100 adventure races throughout the US. Rib Mountain Racing topped the United States Adventure Racing Association ranking in 2016, followed by podium finishes in 2017 and 2018.
Tim started adventure racing in 2004. He first heard of the sport when he saw Eco-Challenge on TV and did his first race a couple years later with his girlfriend (now wife) Anna. He has become one of the elite adventure racing and orienteering navigators in the country.
Outside of adventure racing, Tim is an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Stevens Point at Wausau, where he is the director of choirs and vocal jazz ensembles.
Anna started adventure racing in 2004. Her first race was a 12-hour AR that she did solo and she has since become one of the top female adventure racing athletes in the country. Anna competed on the world stage at the 2017 Adventure Racing World Championships.
Outside of adventure racing, Anna is a Nurse Practitioner working in Urgent Care and Emergency Medicine. She also teaches belly dance at 5 Koshas Yoga in Wausau, WI. Even in her sleep.
Ultra Marathon Race Directors - Ellen humberston & Jake Daul
Ellen Humberston is originally from Pennsylvania and moved here 5 years ago, planning to be here for a year to serve an AmeriCorps term at the Bridge Community Healthcare Center. However, she loved the area, and its amazing forests, lakes, communities, people and winters so much she never left! She is currently finishing her Physician Assistant (PA) degree this summer and will be employed in the Wausau area as a PA.
Ellen has always been active in various sports, but didn’t get into endurance sports until moving to Wisconsin in 2014 when she started swimming with an incredible group of people who inspired her to train to complete a triathlon. Ellen has now completed a number of triathlon races, including Ironman Wisconsin twice! She completed her first ultramarathon at the Dances with Dirt 50-mile race in Baraboo and has gone on to do other distances up to 100 miles, with the aspiration to keep challenging herself.
Ellen cannot WAIT for the IRONBULL™ Ultra in October 2019. “Since moving to Wausau, Rib Mountain has been one of my favorite places to train, relax, explore…it is challenging, beautiful, and just the right amount of infuriating!” She looks forward to sharing the beauty and challenge it has to offer with other runners.
Ellen is looking forward to being involved with IRONBULL™ and is excited to see it expand on local gems like Rib Mountain and connect people with similar passions. “I can’t wait to see people from around the states (and maybe world!) come to our community and realize how much it has to offer in terms of extreme sports! IRONBULL™ events provide an amazing way for people to challenge their preconceptions about what they are capable of, and to do so in locally minded and conscious way.”
Jake Daul has called Wausau home for all of his 38 years. He is deeply rooted in the area through family and loves it here. Jake never participated in sports in high school, his passion for running gradually developed over time, for at first, it was an activity he would just find myself doing. His time spent running on the gravel roads and trails provided him with peace similar to what he found in forests as a child. Furthermore, the desire to dig and go deeper to discover his limits was an enticing motivator.
Jake is so excited for the IRONBULL™ ULTRA! Co-RD Ellen and Jake know the Granite Peak area inside and out, and they picked the best parts for all who are involved. “It will not be your typical 50k race. The layout of the course is specifically designed to keep a fun interaction between yourself and other participants ahead and behind you.” They promise you a very well-marked adventure: the terrain will keep you alert, and you will be using your hands. “Every type of runner will have the opportunity to excel in certain parts and the opportunity to feel challenged in others. The fastest runner will not necessarily equate to the fastest finish time. A burning desire for forward progression and steel-clad determination however, will.”
We at IRONBULL™ are proud and excited to share this landscape and community to all that participate. This ultra-event will be a great taste of amazing races to come in the near future. Set a big goal today and bring the best YOU October 5th 2019!
RED GRANITE GRINDER Race Director - SHANE HITZ & ASSISTANT DIRECTOR SHANE STUARD
Shane Hitz grew up in rural Eastern Marathon County right on the Mountain-Bay Trail before it was a bike trail. Growing up in the 80’s there wasn’t designated areas to ride other than the rural roads. Shane always had the urge to explore and used his bike as a means to do so whether
winter or summer. The opening of the Mountain-Bay Trail was really exciting to Shane and he decided to buy his first real decent bike and set out a goal to ride the entire length. Doing that really fueled his true passion today, which is bike packing. He loves the process of making a route with route planning tools and aps and then going out with only the things a person needs to survive for a few days and riding it.
Shane has ridden in a few gravel races in the past with his favorite being the Bear 100. Shane’s appetite for adventure and love of route planning has helped him put together three challenging routes. “I am stoked to have the Red Granite Grinder route going over Rib Mountain and through the Wausau School Forest, areas that I never thought anyone would race a bike through,” says Shane. His favorite section is on the long route. It is the transition from the farm fields of rural Marathon County that we all know to the northwestern section that has the Northwoods feel to it.
Shane’s advice to anyone doing this for the first time would be to make sure you have enough water and food with you to complete the route you choose because there is a lot miles between services. Advice to top racers would be to make sure you leave enough gas in the tank to complete the end of the race.
Shane Stuard does gravel bike rides more for fun than he races them, but he is excited for the Red Granite Grinder and is looking forward to helping IRONBULL and CWOCC promote cycling as a hobby to get kids, adults, and families outside, healthy, and with an appreciation for the natural world around us. He thinks Central Wisconsin is an amazing location because of the availability of outdoor recreation of many varieties within such a short distance from town in any direction. Shane has been biking since he was a kid, but has been taking it more seriously the last 7-8 years and recently has been getting into gravel racing, including his favorite gravel race the Bear 100.
Stuard is looking forward to assisting Hitz with the Red Granite Grinder and finding difficult and interesting things in Marathon County for the racers to ride over. His favorite part of the course is the hike-a-bike on the Red Trail at Rib Mountain. For beginners his advice is to understand the mental component of the race. “At some point, it's going to feel harder than it is. Fight through it and you'll get back to the fun part,” points out Shane. For those more advanced riders, Shane encourages you to keep the race and ride fun!
board of directors
Jamie polley - director of parks, recreation & forestry for wausau & Marathon County
Jamie is excited to work with IRONBULL™ to enhance the outdoor recreation opportunities in the County and looks forward to having IRONBULL™ use the city and county park facilities to showcase what Marathon County has for residents and visitors.
Jamie is happy to be back in WI after growing up in the Wausau area. “This is a great area to raise a family. I love all the recreational opportunities that the Wausau area has to offer,” says Jamie. Her outdoor recreation venue in the area is Rib Mountain where she can hike or ski, she also enjoys waterskiing and swimming at her family’s cabin in Harrison Hills.
As a marathon runner she’s looking forward to being a part of an organization putting on unique races, bringing new initiatives and new ideas to the community, especially the Xtreme Triathlon and the weekend of events envisioned.
Jamie qualified for and ran the Boston Marathon in 2015! In her free time Jamie enjoys being with her family, boating, running, swimming, skiing, reading and watching her kids play sports. She taught her 10 year old and 7 year olds how to waterski!
brian otten - marketing manager, greater Wausau Chamber of commerce
Brian is glad IRONBULL™ has jumped into the Wausau community and is looking forward to its success to help better position the community to retain people like his son who has a strong passion for cycling. He hopes to use his role with the Chamber as a unique platform to reach a broad swath of our community when sharing IRONBULL™’s vision.
Brian chose to reside in Wausau after growing up in Wittenberg and attending college in Kenosha because he couldn’t imagine wasting precious time community in cities like Chicago and Milwaukee. His favorite places to be outside in the area are Rib Mountain State Park, Dells of the Eau Claire County Park and any baseball or softball field around! Another bonus of the Wausau area is that it has many big city amenities and quality jobs just minutes from unique and varied recreational venues.
A few years ago Brian completed a Warrior Dash and half marathon with his wife and he’s considering doing the IRONBULL™ Ultra Trail 15k this fall. “I just need to stop eating so many donuts and start training!” admits Brian.
In his free time Brian enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, playing basketball and softball, serving on a few boards including his church’s Board of Elders, and ingesting massive quantities of pop culture.
Jenny resch - director, office of economic and community development at uw-stevens point
Jenny is excited to be a part of this visionary idea with so much potential to put Central Wisconsin on the map as a popular destination. She’s hoping to keep UW-Stevens Point students and faculty/staff connected to this new organization and the exciting events IRONBULL™ will be bringing to the area.
Jenny thinks that the Central Wisconsin area has many great outdoor recreation and events. She grew up 20 minutes east of Wausau and have remained in Central Wisconsin because of the great people and communities. Jenny enjoys kayaking the Wisconsin River and biked to Green Bay on the Mountain Bay trail for the first time last year.
In her free time Jenny likes traveling, reading, kayaking, biking, hiking and cooking.
mary coates - senior tax manager at wipfli, llp.
“IRONBULL™ will make a great difference in the Wausau community and I’m looking forward to being a part of the start-up of this new organization,” says IRONBULL™ treasurer Mary Coates. She has enjoyed working both professionally and personally with a number of charities and other non-profits, and she has previously served as a race director for other races. She plans to use that experience to help IRONBULL™.
Mary moved to Wausau because her family thought it was big enough to offer them career opportunities and it would be a great place to raise a family. She says there is always something to do and/or somewhere to go. She loves the many things that make Wausau unique; the people, the location, the natural beauty, the many community events and activities, and the vibrancy of the downtown. Wausau has the best of both worlds – city and country. She enjoys hiking Rib Mountain and camping at Big Eau Pleine park.
Mary is excited to volunteer for the Ultra Marathon in October, since its IRONBULL™’s first event!
Mary one time went on a combination kayak trip/hike through mud to a waterfall! You never know what you can accomplish until you try!
In her free time, Mary enjoys getting outside. She is a hobby photographer and enjoy camping, planning travels and exploring.