Crozet Running Ultra Team

We are ULTRA!

We started this ultrarunning team with the following mission in mind:

To inspire everyday runners and non-runners that you can accomplish amazing things, even while balancing work, parenting, and the many challenges of daily life, as long as you put your mind to it.


Michelle Andersen

Michelle lives in Crozet with her husband John and their son.  She is the owner/operator of Crozet Running, which they opened in Nov 2013.  Michelle first got into running as a 30-year old, coerced by new friends made in the Charlottesville running community.

"My first race was the Charlottesville Womens 4-miler in 2004. After the birth of our son, it took a couple of years to get back into running, but as soon as I was able, training for longer distances – 10 miler and half-marathon – was accomplished.  Trail running evolved out of the love of the mountains and great friends in the trail community."

Michelle’s first trail race was the VHTRC Womens Trail half marathon in 2013 and her first ultra was Holiday Lake 50k in 2015.

Besides continuing to train for mountain running races, Michelle is also an accomplished skier and enjoys the winter ski season as a break from distance running as she competes as a masters competitor on the Wintergreen Ski Team.  

Favorite race:  Promise Land 50k++

Favorite training grounds:  Shenandoah National Park

Recent results: click here

John Andersen

John lives in Crozet, VA with his wife Michelle and son Whit.  He is a small animal veterinarian in Charlottesville and also works at the shop when he’s not at the hospital.

Like Michelle, John didn’t get into running until later in life.  “In college, I used to drink and smoke and definitely did not exercise.  Then while at veterinary school at Virginia Tech, a friend took my mountain biking just outside of Blacksburg.  I was so out of shape, but I instantly fell in love with the mountain trails”. After moving to Crozet in 2003 he started with some local road running and eventually ran the Marine Corps Marathon.  "After MCM, I heard about these trail ultras and instantly I knew that was something I wanted to do."

His first ultra was Mountain Masochist 50-Miler in 2013 and since then has raced consistently in Virginia and beyond.

"I just really love training – both alone and with friends – and then laying it all out there on race day.  Racing ultras is a hard, but amazing experience.” His passion is encouraging parents and kids to get outside in the mountains that surround us.

Favorite training grounds:  Jarmans

Favorite race:  Hellgate 100K, with Mountain Masochist 50 a close second

Recent Results: click here

Annie Stanley

Annie lives in Richmond, VA with her husband and keeps very busy balancing life with their three daughters.  Although she spent plenty of time playing and exploring in the woods as a kid, Annie didn’t start distance running until after college.  After moving to Richmond in 2000 she joined a marathon training group and although she struggled, she completed her first marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon in 2001, just a few weeks after 9/11.  Running then took a backseat as her and her husband started a family and had three girls, but in 2011 she returned to distance training and also discovered the James River park system trails. 

"This time around, running did not represent a struggle, but a way to capture a few hours of space and freedom from the demands of toddler-hood."

With increasing fitness and a rekindled love for trails, she ran her first ultra in 2012, Holiday Lake 50k and has since been an impressive ultrarunner while maintaining a tight family presence.

Favorite race:  Mountain Masochist and Catoctin 50k

Favorite training grounds:  The Appalachian Trail – just about any section!

Recent results: click here

Dan Spearin

Dan lives in Crozet with his wife and two kids and is a paramedic and Captain in the Albemarle County Fire Department. 

Dan began running as a high school junior when he joined the cross country team.  Later, while a student at Virginia Tech, he found a love for trail running while exploring the trails in the national forest outside of Blacksburg.  His first ultra was the Eastern Divide 50k in June of 2012.  Since then, Dan has gone on to complete the Lynchburg Ultra Series numerous times including repeat top ten performances at the Mountain Masochist 50 miler and Hellgate 100k.  Dan simply loves running his local trails

"I live in Crozet, which may well be the mecca of east coast trail running.  There are so many different training options – gravel, tons of elevation, and tons of single track in the parks."

Favorite training grounds:  Jarmans and Shenandoah National Park

Favorite race:  Mountain Masochist 50 Miler. 

Recent Results: click here

Amy Albu

Amy currently lives in Purcellville (formerly Charlottesville) and lives with her husband and 2 young girls.  She is a travel nurse, currently working at the University of Maryland.

Amy started running ultras way back in 1999 with her first being Holiday Lake 50k++.  She has currenty run close to 150 ultramarathon finishes and in 2018 will complete her 20th Mountain Masochist 50 Miler.  Despite her long history, Amy is still very competitive, regularly placing in the top ten.  After suffering a fractured lower leg at Holiday Lake in 2014, Amy has worked hard on recovery and getting back to peak performance by racing smart, cross training, and taking care of her body. 

Favorite training grounds:  Jarmans repeats.

Favorite race:  Mountain Masochist 50-miler.

Recent results: click here 

Matt Thompson

Matt lives in Crozet, VA with his wife and three young boys and works in IT for the US government. 

"I guess running really started for me back when I got into mountain biking in college thanks to my brother Jon.  Completing multiple soggy, muddy 24-hour mountain bike races where you did more running then biking didn’t hurt;)"

Matt dabbled with triathlons in college which is where his appreciation for running really began. 

His first ultra was the Odyssey Trail Running Rampage 40-miler in 2010 at Douthat State Park. 

He took a break from running however to complete graduate school at UVA and has since jumped right back in.  “On a whim, after befriending John and Michelle, I decided to try Promise Land 50k and I became hooked on the community of great people and races Virginia trail running has to offer."  Matt has since gone on to race and compete at an elite level and continues to amaze us with his talent and determination.

Favorite training grounds:  Jarmans/Turk loop

Favorite race:  Hellgate 100K

Recent results: click here

Sarah Schubert

Sarah lives in Charlottesville with her Bernese Mountain Dog, Scout.  She is a physician at UVA working on a residency in cardiothoracic surgery.

Sarah first started running in ninth grade when she fell off her bike and broke her wrist.  "I couldn’t swim, bike, or ride my horse, so I ran.”  She started turning to trails during medical school and tried her first ultramarathon while still in school – the Ironmaster’s Challenge 50k outside of Carisle, PA where she finished second.  Sarah has since had an immensely successful ultra career, fitting training and racing in between her busy work schedule. 

"I love the solitude of the challenge of trails and ultras, as well as the incredible community, like this team!"

Favorite training grounds:  The Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park and the Wasatch Mountains in Utah.

Recent results: click here

Michael Dubova

Michael lives in Crozet, VA with his wife and young son and actually was raised right here in Crozet.  He works in the Augusta ICU as an RN and also is makes beautiful instruments as the owner/luthier at Dubova Musical Instruments. 

Michael first got into running “admittedly as an escape”, spending hours exploring the nature and endless logging roads that surrounded his house growing up.  He ran cross country and track at Western Albemarle High School and then got into triathlon and duathlon at JMU.  After graduating from JMU, he pedaled his bike from Oregon to Virginia and then realized how much he missed running and how great the Crozet area is for mountain running and exploring. 

Despite being one of the fastest and most talented ultrarunners on the east coast, you will still find him bushwacking and exploring all the nooks and crannies here in our Crozet mountains. 

Favorite Training grounds:  South District of Shenandoah National Park

Favorite race:  Whatever is coming up next!

Recent results: click here

Becca Weast

Becca lives in Charlottesville, VA and is a research scientist at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.  She is a relatively recent convert to running of any kind.  Growing up, despite being an athletic kid, “you couldn’t PAY me to run more than I absolutely had to!”  After being a rower in high school, she started running regularly in her last year of college and quickly dove straight in, running a full marathon before she had even ran an organized 5k.  After moving to Charlottesville, she met some “very friendly trail runners and never looked back”! 

Her first ultra was Holiday Lake 50k++ in 2013 and has since run over 20 ultramarathons since. 

"If, when I was in high school, you tried to tell me that I not only would run ultramarathons, but that I would also enjoy them, I would have laughed in your face.  Seriously, if I can run ultras, anyone can."

Favorite training grounds:  Old Rag and the Old Rag fire road

Favorite race:  Whatever I’m training for!

Recent Results: click here

Jeff Lysiak

Jeff lives in Crozet, VA with his wife and two hockey-playing boys.  Jeff is another new convert to running.  In 2011, he decided that he needed to get back into shape and so he decided to take up running with some of his neighbors (Spearin and Andersen).  “Running seemed like a cheap and easy way to get in shape – I was wrong on both – it is neither easy or cheap!” 

Jeff’s first ultra was Eastern Divide 50k outside of Blacksburg, VA in 2012, and since then he has enjoyed years of injury-free consistent running and has completed over 35 ultras.  Jeff is a big proponent of cross training and strength work, and he works part time as an instructor at Clay Fitness. 

"I am totally convinced that cross training has kept me injury free for the past 6 years of running ultras!"

Favorite training grounds:  Mint Springs Valley Park, Crozet

Favorite race:  West Virginia Trilogy – all three races (50k/50m/half-marathon)

Recent results: click here

Martha Wright

Martha lives in Richmond (the RVA!) with her husband and two teenage sons and although you would never guess it, she has a grandson from her older daughter who lives in Texas. 

Martha has been running since the mid-80s but didn’t find distance running until 1995 when she ran her first marathon.  She discovered she had a talent for putting one foot in front of the other, for hours, and ran her first ultra in 1997 – the JFK 50-miler. 

Since then, she has run over 80 ultras and 25 marathons.  She has endured a few DNFs, but says “that’s part of ultrarunning”.  Martha continues to win her age group in trail ultras and continues to race and train regularly both in Richmond and out here in Crozet. 

Favorite training grounds:  RVA trails around the James River.  Jarmans for hills. 

Favorite race:  Mountain Masochist 50-Miler

Recent results: click here

Marc Griffin

Marc lives in Stuarts Draft, VA with his wife and two girls.  He is an IT system support tech with Union Bank and Trust.

Marc is a former member of the Canadian national inline skating team and competed nationwide in inline speed skating.  In 2003, Marc was out in Arizona and there happened to be a marathon that weekend, “so I just signed up and went for it”.  He was hooked and ran his first ultra in 2004 – the Mountain Masochist 50-miler.  “I finished 10 minutes under the cutoff and couldn’t walk for a week”.  Since that humbling day, Marc has been the mark of consistency, running well over 100 ultras and in 2017 being the only person ever to complete all 10 of “The Beast” series ultra trail race series here in Virginia. 

"I’m quite passionate about my running streaks.  I have a few races and series that I have done since they started.  I am the only person to have finished all Terrapin Mountain 50ks, Grindstone 100 milers, and the Beast series.  I am also known for finding the strange and unusual races that no one else wants to do."

Favorite training grounds:  Blue Ridge Mountains, specifically the top of Jarmans

Favorite race:  Grindstone 100 miler

Recent results: click here

Justin Watson

Justin lives in Crozet, VA with his wife and two young boys and twin girls.  He practices family law in Charlottesville. 

Justin’s running started back in grade school with track and cross country and continued, culminating in four years of running for UVA as an 800M specialist.  After a decade or so away from serious running, his family relocated to Crozet where his neighbors – 4 members of our ultrarunning team – recruited him to join in logging miles in the mountains of Crozet and beyond. 

Justin’s first ultra was the 2015 Holiday Lake 50k++ and he has since completed the LUS and other Virginia races, as well as continuing to train with his neighbors at 5am through the mountains.

Favorite training grounds: Mint Springs Valley Park in Crozet

Favorite race:  The Jarmans Invitational Marathon

Recent results: click here

Jason Farr

Jason lives in Charlottesville, VA with his wife and teenage daughter and is a teacher and the cross country coach at Tandem Friends School, Charlottesville. 

Jason comes from a running family.  “Growing up, my dad was a fast roadie, so we always ran, but it was never my primary sport until after college.”  He had an outdoor background in the Asheville, NC area and spent a lot of time kayaking and mountain biking, but when he started teaching  and coaching XC in Asheville, running trails became his outlet for adventure. 

Jason ran his first marathon in 2003, went on to run a few triathlons (including an Ironman) and then moved to Charlottesville for graduate school and discovered ultras.  He ran Holiday Lake 50k++ in 2008 and has been hooked ever since!

He loves coaching young runners and exposing them to trails –

"Passing along the gift of running is one of my greatest joys, an honor, and a privilege."

Favorite training grounds:  Carters Mountain and Jarmans

Favorite race: Tahoe Rim Trail 100 and the Mount Mitchell Challenge

Recent results: click here

Sophie Speidel

Sophie lives in Ivy, VA with her husband Rusty  - all three of her children have graduated and left the house – and is the school counselor at STAB as well as the JV Girls Lacrosse coach. 

Sophie played lacrosse at UVA and was drawn to running marathons and triathlons after her competitive sports days were over.  She ran her first ultra – Holiday Lake 50k++ - in 2002 and has since run over 80 ultras.  She cherishes most her 10 finishes at David Horton’s Hellgate 100k but some of her other fond memories include her rim-to-rim-to-rim crossing of the Grand Canyon in 2005, running the length of SNP on the AT in 2011, and pacing Keith Knipling at Hardrock 100 in 2017. 

At 55 (as of 2017), she is still competing at a high level, having won the West Virginia Trilogy 50 miler this past October. 

"Now that I’m 55, I find myself drawn to adventure runs with friends instead of races, and mentoring younger trail runners and trail stewardship as a way to give back to the sport that has given me so much."

Favorite training grounds:  Shenandoah National Park and the Wild Oak Trail.

Favorite race:  Hellgate 100k

Recent results: click here

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