Meet Your Directors
Draper/Sandy Director and Race Cats Founder- Nan Kennard
"As a child, I tried everything from dance, tennis, soccer, gymnastics, ballet, swimming, and basketball. Nothing really stuck. I either never fell in love with the sport, or was cut from team. It wasn't until my junior year in high school when I finally found distance running and fell in love with it.
After a quick learning curve, I ran well enough my Senior year to run collegiality and went on to become a 2-time All-American and run on 3 National Championship cross country teams at BYU.
After college, I raced competitively on and off in between pregnancies and busy life stages. Through all the chaos and challenges in my life, running has always been a constant source of peace and joy. Running has provided me with deep friendships, emotional therapy, personal meditation, confidence, and empowerment more than I ever imagined.
My vision for Race Cats is to facilitate opportunities for youth to discover running at a younger age than I did. I've designed the Race Cats program to be fun and positive so we can ignite a love of exercise in young children. I want them to experience the positive physical and mental benefits, confidence, joy, and life-long friendships that running provides. I hope these kids will fall in love with a sport they can do for the rest of their lives.
I look forward to cheering on your child!"
Daybreak/Herriman - Caisa Brown
"I started running my sophomore year of high school in Honolulu, Hawaii because my friends were doing it. I shocked my parents and myself when I did really well in a few of my first races (we soon upgraded my Keds for some Nikes). I had always been super shy but running gave me a new sense of confidence that carried into all areas of my life. I loved working hard and seeing myself improve. I also loved being a part of and helping my team.
I walked on to the BYU Cross Country and Track teams, but quickly found that my faster teammates helped me improve. While at BYU, I ran faster than I ever dreamed possible, I was an Academic All-American, and was lucky enough to be a part of the 1997 Cross Country National Champion team. While I had some success during my collegiate career, as I look back it was the many heartbreaks and disappointments that actually taught and benefited me most.
Today, I am a mom of 4 little boys and I often say I am now running for sanity. I often run in the early mornings before they wake up but I also love to run while pushing them in my triple or quadruple running strollers.
Running makes my every day better. Running has made me better.
I look forward to sharing my passion and love of running with your children."
Layton/Kaysville/Farmington - Jami Caldwell
"I started running in 8th grade. It started out as a social thing--my friends were doing it. At my first race, I got last place! That didn't sit well with me and I kept at it and was running varsity at the high school by 9th grade. I then went on to run at BYU and was a member of 2 National Champion Cross Country teams. I've run competitively ever since (in between babies and injuries).
I love running because no matter what your ability level is, you can always improve and there is a place for EVERYBODY. Everyone on a team contributes in their own way. Running is a great way to learn the values of hard work, persistence, teamwork, and having fun.
I have been on many teams where there is a lot of positive energy (synergy!) and I'm excited to bring that to Race Cats! I believe that I was blessed with a few of the BEST coaches in the nation. Both in High School (Roger Buhrley) and in college (Patrick Shane). I'm really looking forward to paying it forward with these awesome kids in Davis County."
Ogden - Janae Richardson
"I started running track in junior high and was fortunate enough to have amazing coaches that helped me discover my talent in running. With their help I walked away from high school a state champ in cross country and in the 2 mile event. I ran collegiately at Weber State University and I continue to run competitively in races ranging from the 5k to the marathon. With a master's degree in Exercise Science and as a USATF coach I've enjoyed coaching runners of all levels of ability for the last 11 years. I am so excited to be involved in the Ogden Area Race Cats program as a director! I love providing my own three kids the opportunity to learn so many life lessons through running and I can't wait to expand the impact of running to other youth in my area."
Utah County - Courtney Meldrum
"I have loved running ever since I can remember. I used to have my mom drop me off at the end of our street on the way home and race the car. I thought for sure I was a sprinter. (I was wrong.) I did not realize I was a distance runner until I was a junior in High School and decided I would actually train instead of eating popsicles in the bushes as coach ran by. Hard work does pay off.
Running in college was never on my radar until my senior year, and BYU was not my first choice but ended up being one of my best choices. Someo f my favorite running memories were made at BYU. I had the wonderful chance to be on their first National Champioship team, meet my husband of almost 20 years, and came back to run after having my first child.
I currently coach at Lone Peak HS and love every minute of it. Seeing others reach their goals and find success is extremely rewarding. I am grateful I get to share my passion for running with your children and look forward to helping them reach their goals.