The third Grand to Grand Ultra (G2G) will begin in just two weeks. Colin and Tess Geddes, married for 25 years, co-founded and co-direct Ultra Challenge America LLC, which provides the G2G event. Now in their mid-50s, they look and act young. They have lived in several countries over the years and bring a special international perspective to the area.

Tess directs the operations for G2G. She is revered for her role as “mother hen” to the runners – full of positive energy and motivation. She has organized and managed sports events like ultra-marathons, but she also loves to compete in them. Her ultra runs span the globe: Argentina, Egypt, France, Morocco, Chile, Libya, the Philippines, UAE and the U.S. She is also a committed race volunteer. One of her volunteer highlights was working the alpine events at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, BC, Canada.

Colin is the business director for G2G. His background includes international investment banking. He is very focused on keeping G2G planning on track, and looking at new ways to enhance the event. He is also focused on generating media interest. As a keen sportsman in his own right (he also volunteered at the 2010 Winter Olympics), Colin has been an avid supporter of Tess in her ultramarathon participations over the last 10 years.

Harry Barber, BLM Kanab Field Office Manager, says Colin and Tess are passionate about these types of events, know what they are doing and are good at it. “Colin and Tess came up with a great dream to bring an ultra marathon here. BLM needed to help determine race routes and make sure this event would not negatively impact our environment. Ultimately, it was a win-win,” Barber said.

“G2G has helped awaken and deepen the excitement we have about outdoor adventure in Kane County,” Commissioner Dirk Clayson says. He further states, “The endurance factors of G2G have introduced us to many world-class athletes, and helped many of us to wake up some of the inner athlete that is in us all. We really appreciate that Colin and Tess have offered to sponsor local entries. This gives our local community a special connection to the event.”

Matt Brown is pleased with the exposure Kanab gets in trail-running magazines and websites, “…which exposes a good number of runners to the beauty and hospitality of our area each year.” Brown says G2G “...has brought to my attention the talents of many local folks who have given much of their time and effort to make G2G happen.”

“We look forward to once again welcoming participants from all over the world to the Grand to Grand Ultra, the most spectacular and ambitious endurance event in North America today,” Colin says. “Not only has G2G brought new people to the Kanab area, but friendships and connections have been made within the community.”

Tess and Colin have fallen in love with Kanab and the vast beauty that surrounds it. Earlier this year when they were in Kanab to prepare for G2G (running camp, etc.), they decided to purchase a home here. While their home base is in London, they look forward to spending a good amount of time here each year.

They hope to see many locals at the “cheering station” – a first this year – to applaud the runners as they come through Angel Canyon at Best Friends. Look for more information about that in the coming weeks.