Top 15 Moments for Anchored Elite 2015

15. Zach gets married

On July 24th, Zachary Barker got married to his high school sweetheart Katie Adametz in his home state of Pennsylvania. The two had been dating since they were 16 years old. Getting married gave Zach great motivation to train! Basically any success that Zach has Katie gets about 95% of the credit! Congrats to two amazing people and we wish you both the most amazing life together!






14. Eden is coming home!

In November Isaac and Libby finally received their travel dates to pick up their daughter! They will be traveling in February, 2016 to Thailand to bring home Eden. We can't wait to have another wonderful Anchored Elite family member! Also Eden's birthday is tomorrow (Christmas!) Happy Birthday Eden!   


13. Educational success! 

The fall of 2015 saw three of our athletes begin incredible journey’s of secondary education. Caleb edmonds began Medical School at Columbia University in New York City! Kirstin Rudd began Nursing School at Yale University in Connecticut! And Colson Williams began Law School at the University of Richmond in Virginia! 

12.  Announcing a full team roster

In the early part of 2015 Anchored Elite announced a full 10 athlete roster and later added two more women in Jacy Christensen and Kirstin Rudd! We have athletes from all over the country: Virginia, Arizona, Oregon, Georgia, Florida, New York, and Connecticut! We are so thankful for all the athletes in our group and the amazing attributes they possess! 


11. Colson runs 2:34:45 at Grandma’s Marathon

On June 20, 2015, in Duluth, Minnesota, Colson Williams ran a 23 minute personal best for the marathon distance. He placed 64th out of 6,077 runners in the famed Grandma's Marathon running a time of 2:34:45 (5:55 per mile). Colson will be aiming for a big race at the 2016 Boston Marathon along with teammates Zach and Jaiden! 



10. Matt wins XTerra 10k Trail Race

After battling injuries and deciding to join Anchored Elite, Matt came thriving back as he discovered trail racing. He won the Xterra 10k Trail Race in Georgia. He ran 37:08 on the challenging trail course and won the race by over a minute and a half. He also spent a busy fall as a high school cross country coach. Matt is also getting married on January 1, 2016! Congrats to you Matt and have an incredible wedding! 



9. “The Michigan” Workout

In preparation for their big outdoor track races, Isaac and Jaiden completed the famed Michigan workout of 1600m-1mile Tempo-1200m-1mile Tempo-800m-1mile Tempo-400m. Isaac rocked the final 400m running a very quick 52.2! The workout was filmed and a few friends came out to support and cheer on the two athletes! Both went on to set significant personal bests on the track


8. Zach’s inspirational video & Richmond Half Marathon

In the fall of 2015 we produced our first video featuring Zach and his inspirational story. We would like to thank Colin Schultz for his great efforts in producing the film! Right around the same time the video was released Zach ran a big half marathon debut of 1:12:00 at the Richmond Half Marathon. In the same race Jaiden set over a 2 minute personal best in 1:07:59 and Jacy Christensen debuted in 1:21:42!


7.  Caleb earns pro triathlete status

Adding to his already impressive resume, Caleb became a pro triathlete after winning the Elite Development 2015 Rev4 Rush Triathlon in Richmond, Virginia during the summer. Caleb is currently focusing on Medical School but hopes to pursue more triathlon competitions in 2016 when he is on break! 




6. Rachel & Jon run big PR’s at Boston Marathon

In April Rachel and Jon ran at the famed Boston Marathon where they excelled in the cold rainy weather. Jon ran to a personal best of 2:40:35 while Rachel ran to a 10 minute personal best of 3:07:56. Both are currently living and training in Eugene, Oregon! 




5. New Logo!

Graphic Designer, Emily Swan of Corning, New York designed an incredible logo for Anchored Elite that has helped build the brand of our group! We couldn't be more thankful for having a great logo for the team. 





4. Jaiden runs 14:43/Isaac runs 1:49 at Duke Twilight

In early May, Jaiden and Isaac competed at Duke University with the goals of running sub 15 minutes for 5k (Jaiden) and sub 1:50 for 800m (Isaac). Both were successful and had incredible races at the Duke Twilight. Both guys were energized and this meet really created a belief in both athletes that they could take their talents to the next level. 



3. Isaac runs 4:06 at Music City Distance Carnival

Traveling down to Nashville, Tennessee, Isaac went for his first ever sub 4 mile attempt. His previous best mile was 4:16 and he ran an incredible race winning the ‘B’ section of the mile in 4:06. This race was a huge confidence booster and Anchored Elite believes that Isaac will be able to accomplish the amazing feat of a sub 4 mile in 2016! 







2. Kirstin runs 2:57:52

Deciding to compete in a marathon last minute, Kirstin ran a huge personal best in the marathon dipping under the illustrious 3 hour mark as she placed 3rd overall at the Black Goose Marathon in Seekonk, MA and was the overall female winner. Kirstin is currently focusing on Nursing School at Yale University, but looks to improve upon her great running in 2016! 






1.  Partnership with Janji

Our biggest moment of the year came when we created a partnership with the amazing Boston based company of Janji! A running apparel company that produces high quality products and focuses on helping solve the clean water criss in the world, Janji became the official sponsor of Anchored Elite in June of 2015. We are extremely excited to build our relationship with Janji in 2016 and also create some projects that will help bring clean water to those around the world in need! Thanks Janji for all you do for us! Here is to a great 2016!

Student of Sport and Student of Law

    As my first semester of law school has come to an end, I sit here reminiscing about what the fall was like for me. Not only am I a student of law, but also I am still merely a student of this marvelous sport of running. I am constantly trying to make up for lost time, since I began running a little less than two and half years ago. I wasn’t lucky enough to be coached in high school or college, being shown what it means to be a runner. I was a completely different type of athlete who specialized in a different sport (a sport not known for running). However, now I am lucky to have the knowledge of Jarred Cornfield and Anchored Elite to help in my relentless pursuit of goals. 

Throughout the fall term, I could often be found reading both legal material and case analysis, while supplementing it with the latest running literature. My nights would often conclude by staying up later than planned to catch up on the newest running science studies by coaches such as Steve Magness and Brad Hudson. I found myself constantly deep into the training blogs of the world’s greatest distance runners. All of which paid off when transferring it over to my own training throughout the fall.

My fall racing consisted of working countless hours throughout the week preparing for class in hopes of getting ahead, so I could have at least one day that weekend free to race. I ended up winning a trail half marathon, a road half marathon, and along side a few friends here in Richmond we took home the USATF Virginia Club Championship team victory. However, we were unable to travel to San Francisco for USATF Cross Country Club Nationals due to my end of semester exams.

I was able to balance the hundreds of pages in legal reading every night, along with the hundreds of miles a week. I jokingly would tell classmates and work colleagues, “The only time I smile is when I run.” Every mile came with a smile, but so did every page of scholarly work. I love being a law student and wouldn’t trade in the opportunity that I was given here in Richmond. My classmates would laugh before lectures when I would switch tabs on my computer from Flotrack over to last night’s case briefs, as the professor walked to the front of class. The times in the hall where I would have people approach me and say, “I saw you out running this morning,” outweighed the questions I would receive on a specific assigned reading for class. I would never trade the reputation as the “runner” in law school.

Furthermore, it was always nice to take the few shifts at Fleet Feet Sports Richmond, time permitting. It is nice to be able to go to my Fleet Feet family and talk running. It let me escape the tunnel vision and rigors of class. My time at Fleet Feet Sports allowed me to go in and simply talk to both customers and employees about this incredible sport. I cannot thank them enough for listening to me filibuster about both how much schoolwork I had, and also about the latest shoe updates and world record attempts. I was able to volunteer coach a training team, which Fleet Feet Sports designed, for the Richmond Marathon. While working the company booth at the Richmond Marathon Expo, I was even able to sell socks to one of my professors running in the race the next day. The rewards of my job are always present.

As winter break sets in, my main focus is to enjoy the time I can devote to being a runner, focus on my build-up for the Boston Marathon, and continue to further my running education. My teammates and I have strong goals for Boston. Not only are we looking to compete at a level that rivals the most elite runners in the field, but we are also attempting to bolster the reputation and good nature of Janji in the company’s hometown. I am also looking forward to being a “running nerd” and hopefully bump shoulders with the royalty of competitive distance running athletes that are in attendance every year. The history that surrounds this race is astonishing. Anchored Elite is on the verge of great things in 2016, and I am blessed to be a part of such a great group of athletes.

It is always my goal to, “Do more.” I am lucky enough to say that the wonderful people I surround myself with everyday and every run allow me to do just that, both as a student and a runner!

A Day in Duluth

I am a strong believer in the power of goal setting. It doesn’t matter if a person or athlete shares these goals publicly or keeps them personal, but what matters is having a road map to drive the progress. For instance, I make a daily to-do list and attempt to “check-off” all tasks in a day. However, my goals as an athlete or individual are usually kept quiet and posted on my mirror in hopes of serving a reminder to push myself.

While training for Grandma’s Marathon 2015, my life was changing faster than a stoplight. I had originally planned on racing the Oklahoma City Marathon in late April, and I was in a serious training block in preparation for this race. However, due to my move to Richmond being the first week of May, following my graduation from Oklahoma State University, it would have been extremely difficult to be race ready with this change breathing down my neck.

This being said, when I decided not to race Oklahoma City I was very distraught. It was difficult to see other runners and friends from my community competing, and the night after that marathon was run I had the urge pick up a race in the summer. I decided on Grandma’s Marathon, as it is one of the few summer marathons to be USATF course certified, and asked my parents to support my racing addiction as a birthday present.

Once it was official, I was driven to put on a show. I spent hours a day devising my training build up, as I planned to log weekly mileage in surplus of 100. I knew that if I wanted to reach my goals for this marathon, I would have to increase mileage. I was successful in my training tactics, as I logged 100 plus weeks at a sustained level. 

I was now race ready. Grandma’s Marathon is a unique race, as it is on Saturday. I arrived in Duluth on Thursday (after a few scary flight delays). I was lucky enough to have a hotel room in downtown Duluth, along the course, and right next to the canal boardwalk, which made shakeout runs easily accessible. I felt great going into the week leading up to the race. I had springy legs following my last few speed workouts and long runs the week before. I knew my body was primed. I felt healthy, fit, and fast.

The field was stacked with elite racers, so I knew I would be able to find a group to go out with from the start. My race plan was to go out at MGP (Marathon Goal Pace) and play with the courses flat and fast nature to drop my pace faster than MGP in the late miles (taking advantage of the late downhills). Being a point-to-point race, shuttles drive everyone to Two Harbors around 5:45 in the morning and the race doesn’t start until 7:45. The forecast called for a flood of rain, and it was spot on with the prediction. With about an hour before the race, a shower was unleashed on the field of runners in the Minnesota fields as we waited to enter the corral. I was not about to let this setback interfere with my progress and race plan.

As the race began, I settled into a pace group that was centered on the eventual woman’s winner. We sustained a 5:35-5:40 pace for the first 16 miles. Taking turns leading as we cut tangents. A nice factor of the course was the fact that we could use road signs along the highway to anticipate curves to cut these tangents. However, around mile 16 the pack split, and I was left in the “no man’s land.” I could sense no one was behind me, and our group dwindled. I knew that it would be an effort for the last 10 miles to try and maintain all by myself.

I was able to pull within the few clustered runners in front of me. The later part of my training cycle was focused on hills to build stamina and over prepare myself for Grandma’s reputation as a flat course. This tactic paid off, and I was able to gain ground on the pack ahead of me on the few uphill segments with ease and then paced myself on the opposite end.

Grandma’s is a beautiful course, as it parallels the scenic coast of Lake Superior. This being said, the crowds are splotchy, due to difficult course access to the public (along with less than ideal weather conditions). All that is heard for most of the race is the pitter-patter of runners and the occasional grunts of surging race tactics. However, at mile 20 the race enters the city limits of Duluth and runners are met with an outpour of residents cheering for the annual “running of the marathoners.” This spurred me for the last 6.2, and I was able to avoid the onset of a “wall” and roll to the yelling of fans. With my unique facial hair and long locks, I was met with chants of “Pre” and “Mustache!” Gosh, I love Duluth, Minnesota! 

To keep my mind on track while racing, and avoid mental block when hitting the “wall,” I write projected split times that correspond with my anticipated fuel intake mile markers. The reward of a hard race effort was the continued reassurance when I would cross mile markers, look down, and see the positive differences in the time projections compared to what I was actually running. It allowed me to relax and maintain my scheduled pace at this point in the race. 

As the miles dwindled, I knew that I had enough stamina left in my legs for the “final kick.” The race winds down to the Duluth’s Canal Park, through crowds, and the uplifting spirit of the town. I came around the last turn, and could see the official time in the distance and hit my “final kick.” I gave it all I had, and I crossed the line at 2:34:45! This was a substantial PR in my very youthful marathon career (as I ran my previous marathon, in February, on an injured back)!

Every once in a while you set out to accomplish a task or complete a to-do list, and end up exceeding your own expectations. This race and moment was one of those times. I had set out to accomplish a certain time goal for this race, in hopes of setting the table in my young racing background. However, I greatly exceeded this goal and created a hunger for more. This race was an eye-opener for both my coach and myself. Not only was it a display of what I was capable of, but also it allowed me to grow as a smarter marathoner.

In the end, I want to thank my family for the continued support, Coach Jarred Cornfield and Anchored Elite, and Janji Running brand. Without the belief of all those involved, I wouldn’t have been able to run this race. Up next will be a handful of middle distance road races, as I build up for the North Carolina Outer Banks Marathon in November, where I have been invited as an A-Standard Elite Competitor!

Until next time, “Do More!”