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Landon Saldana receives 2024 Grand to Grand scholarship

When asked about his running career prior to receiving the scholarship for the Grand to Grand ultramarathon, Kanab resident Landon Saldana replied with a good humored “What running career?”


Photo courtesy of Landon Saldana.

“I mostly just get out and run the trails with Dug,” Saldana continued, referring to his affable Golden Retriever companion, “I spend more of my time climbing.” Saldana, who runs The Cut Scene barbershop on Kanab’s Center Street, applied for the Grand to Grand Kane County local scholarship with the stated goal of “doing something hard and challenging myself.” As with fellow scholarship winner Mike Espinoza, Saldana cited the Grand to Grand as a chance for self-mastery, stating “It’s a beautiful area, it’s an in- teresting experience … it’s just a really good chance to test myself.” He went on to draw a comparison between the sort of control necessary to complete a task like the Grand to Grand, and smaller, personal scale practices like yoga, climbing and breath control practices.



Saldana states his interest in fitness and running in particular came in part from his study of meditative practices like yoga and breathing exercise, and in part from his time in competitive wrestling. Says Saldana, “when you’re cutting weight for wrestling, sometimes you just have to get out and just run … that’s how I ended up taking the time getting on trails and staying fit.” That tradition continues to today as Saldana coaches local youth wrestling; he offered his compliments to the other coaches, mentioning how well the team works together with the youth.


Saldana has been a resident of Kanab for almost two years, and the story of how he ended up opening the Cut Scene in the community is an example of generosity and camaraderie; he tells it best, but it can be summed up with an encounter with some neighborly aid after hitting a small bump in the metaphorical road. As for the barbershop, Saldana states, “I come from a family of barbers, it’s a family tradition. My mother owned a barbershop, my grandfather owned a barbershop … my father and I went through barber’s school at the same time.” Keeping that tradition strong, Saldana offered the interviewer a quick trim, as a proper barber is at their most comfortable chatting about current events with someone in the barber chair.


When asked for advice for anyone looking to follow in his footsteps and try for an event like the Grand to Grand, Saldana replied “Well the first step is to find out whether or not you enjoy doing hard things. If you’re the kind of person who likes a challenge, who wants to do something difficult … then even if you don’t like running it can be a good experience.” Saldana is well versed in travel and running across difficult terrain, having trained in the sand before during his athletics conditioning, as well as exploring local trails with his canine running partner.


More information on the race can be found at g2gultra.com, and locals can check in with Landon Saldana and the Cut Scene - and Dug - at cutscenekanab.com.

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