Southern Utah News Articles
Local G2G competitor Todd Seliga, practices by running with backpack
Why would a guy who, in January 2013 traversed the Grand Canyon’s North Rim on foot for 24 days from Lee’s Ferry to Lake Mead (equaling almost a marathon a day in distance), be interested in what would seem to be a comparatively easy G2G Ultra; a “mere” 7 days and 170 miles?
Seliga’s quick answer: “It is not the same at all. First of all, I had work objectives part of the time when I did that, requiring an enormous coverage area by foot. Second of all, I was hiking with a 35-pound pack on my back, not running. Running with a backpack on will not be easy. Lastly, and most important of all, I was alone for most of the trip. I am really looking forward to experiencing the G2G event in the company of world-class international competitors.”
No wonder the social aspect of G2G Ultra is attractive to Seliga. He is the National Park Service Ranger at Tuweep, one of the most remote places on earth. He is alone most of the time, monitoring the western half of the Grand Canyon; a 500,000-acre area stretching over 140 river miles. He is often on foot, as he finds being on foot is much easier to get where he needs to go. The rugged geology means roads barely exist and most areas are only accessible by scrambling.
Seliga expects his G2G backpack to be a little on the heavy side initially perhaps 20 pounds. He likes real food like dates, nuts and cheese. He won’t be carrying freeze-dried meals. He intends to fit everything into his pack. He can’t stand stuff flopping around attached to his pack. He’ll even put his sleeping bag inside the backpack. What about sunscreen and sunglasses? nope. He covers exposed areas with clothing and a hat. He used to wear sunglasses, but he kept breaking or losing them.
Seliga is in his tenth year in the Kanab. His mother’s side of the family, the Tenney’s, are from this area. He says, “After hearing stories about the area from my grandmother, I knew I wanted to move here! I’ve been a ranger for 15 years, spending time in Yellowstone, Yosemite, Saguaro and other parks before making my home at Grand Canyon. I love working and living on the remote northwestern side of the park. “
Seliga has always been an outdoor enthusiast. In high school, he mountain bike raced nationally. After a debilitating tendinitis injury that left him barely able to walk, he diversified into kayaking and, later, backpacking. Is running a problem?
He says no, and has begun running more to prepare for G2G. Seliga says, “I’m excited to be part of the G2G! I love the opportunity to participate in a self-supported stage race covering the vast and incredible terrain that is my home. It is an honor to represent our area in a race with individuals converging on the Colorado Plateau from all over the world!”
Seliga will be raising funds for Heifer International, an organization whose mission is to reduce hunger and poverty worldwide. He has been donating to Heifer for several years, and admires the organization for several reasons, from their sustainable solutions to the “walk the talk” culture of the organization. He visited their headquarters when he was considering making them the target of his giving.
Heifer donates farm animals to communities in need. The donations continue for generations as the animals reproduce and provide life-sustaining gifts. Last Christmas, Seliga got his nephews in northern Utah together and had them choose their Christmas gifts. They chose to give a flock of ducks to a family through the Heifer foundation.
You can join Todd Seliga in the fundraising aspect of his G2G adventure by visiting HYPERLINK “http://teamheifer.heifer.org/seliga&rdquo" onclick="dpSmartLink(this.href,'blankWin',0,0,'z:z','all');return document.MM_returnValue">http://teamheifer.heifer.org/seliga” “_blank” http://teamheifer.heifer.org/seliga.