The original Stray Dogs were Marshall Ulrich, Mark Macy, Dr. Bob Haugh, and Lisa Smith-Batchen, who came together as a team at the very first Eco-Challenge in Utah in 1995. Marsh and Mark raced in seven Eco-Challenge races after that plus an adventure race around Lake Tahoe. Dr. Bob raced or supported the Stray Dogs races in British Columbia, Australia, Tibet and Nepal, and South Africa, and Fiji 2019. Lisa raced as a Stray Dog in British Columbia and South Africa.
Lisa Smith-Batchen, Dr. Bob Haugh, Mark Macy, and Marshall Ulrich Eco Utah 1995.
Read bios of the Stray Dogs that competed in Eco-Challenge Fiji in 2019: Marshall Ulrich, Dr. Bob Haugh, Adrian Crane, and Nancy Bristow. Adrian first raced as Stray Dog in Borneo, followed by New Zealand, Vietnam, Lake Tahoe, and Fiji 2019; and Nancy was thrilled to become a Stray Dog (the cute dog logo on apparel was a minor factor!) at Eco Fiji 2019. Original, and always Stray Dog, Mark Macy also competed in Eco Fiji 2019 . . . and you won't believe his story!
Watch the 10 part series World's Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji on Amazon Prime Video. Produced by Mark Burnett and Lisa Hennessy, with host Bear Grylls, it's epic!
Marshall Ulrich (b. July 4, 1951) is an extreme endurance athlete—ultrarunning icon, Seven Summits mountaineer, and adventure racer— who is considered the “Endurance King” by Outside magazine, and “Superhuman” by Stan Lee. Ulrich’s specialty is competing in extreme conditions. He has ascended the Seven Summits, including Mount Everest, all on first attempts; crossed Death Valley (on foot, in July) a record 30 times; finished more than 131 ultramarathons averaging over 125 miles each; and is one of only two people (along with Adrian) in the world to have competed in all ten Eco-Challenge adventure races. He also competed in three Raid Gauloises races, Expedition BVI, Adrenaline Rush Ireland, and the 2005 Primal Quest race.
At the age of 57, he broke two transcontinental speed records when he ran 3,063.2 miles in 52.5 days from San Francisco to New York, averaging almost 60 miles per day.
Marshall is a certified scuba diver and is experienced in ropes/rock climbing, mountaineering, ice and snow climbing, swimming, kayaking, and canoeing. He defies the ideas of “too far,” “too old,” and “not possible.” Marshall is also an accomplished public speaker and is the author of Running on Empty:An Ultramarathoner’s Story of Love, Loss, and a Record-Setting Run Across America (Penguin Publishing) and Both Feet on the Ground: Reflections from the Outside (DNA Books). He and his wife Heather live in Evergreen, Colorado. He is the proud father of Elaine (Ed), Taylor (Jen), and Ali (Vince); he and Heather adore their two grandsons.
Read Marshall's stories about all of the previous Eco-Challenge races on the "Races" page; and about Both Feet on the Ground and Running on Empty on the Books and Media page.
Dr. Bob Haugh (b. July 2, 1951) started adventure racing in 1995, ultra- running and biking in 1996, and mountaineering in 2005. He has competed in four Eco-Challenge races as a Stray Dog in Australia, British Columbia, Utah, and Fiji, and completed the Natchez Trace 1-day and DINO adventure races. He crewed for one Raid Gauloises adventure race in Tibet and Nepal where Marshall was on the team; and 2002 he crewed Marshall’s Badwater Quad in Death Valley which was 600 miles, four crossing of Badwater the course, and two summits (went to the top both times) of Mount Whitney. Dr. Bob has also crewed several times for Marshall, at the Badwater race, and completed the 146 mile race himself in 2006. Marshall, Dr. Bob, and their friend Jill Andersen completed the 90-mile Badwater Salton Sea race three times, and he’s completed Racing the Planet 150-mile stage races in Iceland, Nepal, and China. His 100-mile finishes include the Arkansas Traveler, Susitna, Vermont, Leadville, Old Dominion, and three Iditasport Ultrabike races. Shorter races include completing dozens of 50K, 50 mile, or longer races all over the country. He was unable to finish the 2013 Boston Marathon due to the bombing, but went back in 2014 to complete the race. He’s also completed the New York City and Memphis marathons as well as three Music City marathons. In 2011 and 2013 he completed one loop of the dreaded Barkley Marathon. Mountaineering accomplishments include numerous summits of Mount Whitney, summiting the Mexican Volcanoes, and climbing on Denali, Kilimanjaro, Rainer, and Mount Baker.
Dr. Bob is a certified scuba diver and is experienced in many disciplines including ropes/rock climbing, mountaineering, ice and snow climbing, swimming, kayaking, and canoeing. He lives with his wife Dabney in Paducah, Kentucky. They are the proud parents of Mary Marshall (Taylor) and Leland, and are proud grandparents to Benjamin.
Adrian Crane (b. July 27, 1955) has a multitude of adventure sport accomplishments, including being one of two (along with Marshall) people in the world to have competed in all ten Eco-Challenges. He has competed in four Raid Gauloises adventure races, the 2003 Subaru Primal Quest, the Hi-Tech adventure race series, the Dragon's Back 220, and the Western Isles Challenge. In 1997 Adrian was the US National Long Distance Orienteering Champion, and he is an experienced navigator for expedition length adventure races. His mountaineering accomplishments include reaching the summits of Denali and Aconcagua, as well as setting the record for the Colorado 14ers and the Hi-Tec 50 Peaks Expedition. He holds the record (almost 23,000 feet) for manpowered descent from the summit of Aconcagua to the sea in 23 hours, and held the Guinness Book of World Records high altitude bicycling record (20,300 feet) on Mt Chimborazo in Ecuador. He has completed a winter ascent of Mount Shasta, the Alaska Mountain and Wilderness Classic, and the Anchorage Dog Sled Race. Other 100-mile or over events include Iditafoot, Hard Rock, Gibson Ranch Race, Western States, Angeles Crest, and Badwater 146. In 1983 Adrian ran 2,040 miles through the Himalayas in 101 days, raising $100,000 for charity.
Adrian is a certified scuba diver and is experienced in ropes/rock climbing, mountaineering, ice and snow climbing, swimming, kayaking, and canoeing. Adrian is a software engineer. He and his wife Karen live in Modesto, California and have two grown sons, Johnathan and Christopher.
Nancy Bristow (b. January 22, 1957) began adventure racing in 1996 completing the Eco-Challenge race in British Columbia and the X-Games in Rhode Island. In 1997 she completed the Southern Traverse in New Zealand and competed in Eco-Challenge Australia. She’s competed in three Raid Gauloises adventure races, in Ecuador, Nepal/Tibet, and Vietnam; and three additional Eco-Challenge races in Borneo, New Zealand, and Fiji in 2002. In 2019 she joined the Stray Dogs to compete in the return of The World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji. Additional races over three days include the Marathon des Sables in Morocco, Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica, Tor Des Geants in Italy, and Racing the Planet, Namibia. She’s also competed in Cal Eco short-course races in Gilroy and Mount Shasta, CA. Nancy has competed in over 100 triathlons of various distances; dozens of marathons, duathlons, single, double and triple centuries; and Category 3 USCF and Norba bike races. She’s summited, Mt Rainier, Kilimanjaro, Cotopaxi, and Aconcagua; and has extensive ski mountaineering experience. She is a certified EMT, is certified in SCUBA and swiftwater rescue, and is experienced in ropes/rock climbing, mountaineering, ice and snow climbing, swimming, kayaking, and canoeing. Nancy lives in Mammoth Lakes, CA when she not out training, exploring, or adventuring.
Heather Ulrich, Team Assistant Crew (TAC)
Heather Ulrich (b. Feb 5, 1966) is Marshall’s wife and serves as the Team Assistant Crew (TAC) for the Stray Dogs. Although not an athlete herself – although she did run the Umstead 50 and Big Desert Ultra 25 – she has felt very welcomed by the Stray Dogs and the adventure racing community, including other athletes, TACs, race and production staff, and volunteers. She was the solo TAC for the Stray Dogs for The World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji 2019, and was part of three-person crew for the Stray Dogs at Primal Quest, Lake Tahoe in 2003. She was a volunteer for Racing the Planet Sarah Race, Egypt in 2005, working a different checkpoint each of the five days of the race. Her most exhausting job – seriously, the sleep deprivation was intense – was crewing Marshall during his entire 52 day, 3,023-mile, record-setting run across America in 2008. Heather has also crewed Marshall eleven times at the Badwater 146 mile race in Death Valley, joining him at the top of Mount Whitney in 2002; solo-crewed an independent crossing of the Valley in 2017; and crewed with Dr. Bob for Marshall's Death Valley 30/30 in August 2020. Twice she crewed the three-person Stray Dogs team at BW Salton Sea race, and volunteered at the race another year. She and dear friend were the sweep crew – driving thousands of miles around and in the park, picking up all trash to ensure “no trace” – for the 425-mile, self-contained Death Valley National Park Circumnavigation completed by Marshall and Dave Heckman in 2012.
Joining Marshall on every continent except Antarctica during his quest for the Seven Summits, Heather summited 19,340-foot Kilimanjaro and 7,310-foot Kosciuszko; climbed to 15,420 feet on Mount Elbrus; served as base camp manager at the 14,000-foot camp on Aconcagua; and visited 17,000-foot Everest base camp in Tibet. She was a US Fish and Wildlife Service Interpretive Volunteer on Adak, AK and worked four seasons, including one winter, in Yellowstone National Park. She has 15 years’ experience as proposal writer for environmental remediation, design engineering, and high tech companies. Currently she works with Marshall through their company Dreams iN Action (DNA), completing numerous tasks including preparing presentations for his public speaking engagements, book editing, marketing and press relations, bookkeeping, and training camp coordination.
Heather is especially proud of the work she, Marshall, and the Stray Dogs have done for others, including – after Eco Fiji – supporting the construction of new library and financing outreach efforts by Animals Fiji to the village of Lutu. In addition, she has supported fundraising efforts for the Religious Teachers Filippini. Read more about these efforts on the “For Others” page.
Mark Macy (b. November 11, 1953) competed in eight Eco-Challenges and a Primal Quest race as a Stray Dog, with Marshall Ulrich. For the return The World's Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji Mark raced on Team Endure with his son Travis, Danelle Ballengee, and Shane Sigle. His participation in Eco 2019 was especially challenging, and inspiring based on the fact that he donated a kidney (to a complete stranger) in May 2018, and he was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's not long before the race. The strength of his spirit, quality of his character, and love of his family allow him to carry on. As he's said, "This is the Eco-Challenge way; either do it or go home." Mark keeps doing. Always. And he is, and will always be, a Stray Dog.
Mark's adventure racing career started at the Eco-Challenge in the desert of Utah after two decades of racing in triathlons, ultramarathons, and snowshoe races. In 1996 he won the Masters Division of the World Snowshoe Championship. He has finished the Leadville Trail 100 run five times, the Leadville Trail 100 bike four times, and the Old Dominion 100. His desert racing experience includes the Marathon des Sables and Badwater 146, running across Death Valley to the top of Mt. Whitney (second place in 1994). Along with Marshall, Mark completed the Pikes Peak Quad, four continuous round trips to the 14,110 foot summit of Pikes Peak with 36,000 feet of elevation gain over 106 miles. Mark’s triathlon experience includes the Ironman, five Mountain Man Winter Triathlons (top age group finisher), and the Evergreen High Country Triathlon (4-time age group winner). Twice he was a top five finisher of the Mr. Taylor Quadrathon. Mark is a three-time winner – and record-holder – of the Iditashoe 100 mile snowshoe race on Alaska’s Iditarod Trail. He is a certified scuba diver and is experienced in many disciplines including ropes/rock climbing, mountaineering, ice and snow climbing, swimming, kayaking, and canoeing. He lives with his wife Pam in Evergreen, Colorado. They are the proud parents of Travis (Amy), Katelyn (Jacob), and Donavahn; and are over the moon in love with their five grandkids.
Stray Dogs Family
Other amazing athletes that have raced as Stray Dogs, or Marshall has raced with, include Jacques Boutet, Sharon (Shaz) Davis, Angelika Drake, Pat Harper, Mike Kloser, Mo Monaghan, Tom Possert, Whit Rambach, Rebecca Rusch, Lisa Smith-Batchen, Dianette Strange, Isaac Wilson, and Jodi Zwicky.
More than being amazing athletes, they are all wonderful people. What an honor to list these individuals as part of the Stray Dog family.