Friday Luncheon Speaker -Golden Harper
Golden Harper started running as soon as he left crawling and has never looked back. Between the ages of 10 and 14, Golden ran 5 marathons, debuting with a State Record 3:08 performance. He followed that up with a 2:57 performance that was good for a National Best for age 11. At age 12, he ran the St. George Marathon in 2:45:34, setting a world best. He went on to win 2 Cross Country State Championships. He ran the Foot Locker Cross Country National Championships & broke the previous National Record for the 5k in Cross Country that day, as did the likes of Dathan Ritzenhein, Matt Tegenkamp, Ian Dobson, Josh Rohatinsky, and Alan Webb. His Senior year of college, Golden nearly went undefeated at collegiate distance Cross Country races.
Golden was raised in his family's running store, where he was always trying to improve the running experience. He studied Exercise Science at two Universities, where he was particularly focused on biomechanics, kinematics, and coaching. During this time, he wrote several research articles on running-related injuries and running technique. After college, while managing Runner’s Corner, his research led him to create the world’s first Foot-shaped running shoes with Zero Drop™ technology in 2009—by heating existing shoe models in a toaster oven, cutting out the midsoles, and leveling the cushioning platform.
Following years of tinkering, testing prototypes, and consulting with expert doctors & scientists, Golden and his business partners were ready to share their innovations and present a new option to the running world. Altra's unique core technologies—FootShape, ZeroDrop, and Fit4Her—made their debut in 2011. What began with a few stores in the US, Altra is a now household name with runners, experiencing global expansion to more than 55 countries. Building a global brand for passionate runners, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts wasn't easy, but it was worth it. Altra's success is built on community, adventure, and steady progress. Staying true to the company's roots, Altra employees live a #ZeroLimits mantra.
Saturday Luncheon Speaker - Michael Wardian
Michael Wardian is an American marathoner and ultra-marathoner. Wardian has participated in the 2004, 2008, and 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Men's Marathon, recording a personal best of 2:17:49. In addition to a lengthy list of podium finishes at marathons, half-marathons, 50k /100k and 100 Mile races, Michael has set world records for: Fastest time for 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days; fastest marathon and 50K on an indoor 200-meter track, fastest Marathon as Spider-Man & Elvis, fastest Leadville 100 mile and Pike's Peak marathon double, fastest ever time for all the Abbott World Marathon Majors consisting of the Tokyo Marathon, Boston Marathon, London Marathon, Berlin Marathon, Chicago Marathon, New York Marathon in an average time of 2:31:09, fastest 50K on a treadmill, and more.
Wardian has also completed some of the most difficult races in the world including: The Badwater Ultra marathon-135 Miles in Death Valley, CA in July, the Marathon des Sables-appx 150 miles in the Sahara desert in Morocco, the Ultra Trail du Mount Blanc-appx. 100 miles with 28,000 feet of vertical assent travelling through 3 countries, France, Italy and Switzerland, the UVU North Pole Marathon with temperatures dipping below negative 40 Celsius, the Barkley Marathons, and more.
He is a graduate of Michigan State University, where he played Division 1 lacrosse, only beginning to run competitively after graduating.
Michael resides in Arlington, Va with his wife, Jennifer and their two sons, and their vizsla, Rosie.