about the GOATz

Community Driven Running. The GOATz are a 501c3 non-profit, volunteer-run organization founded in 2012. We exist to create trail running events that contribute to the Greater Omaha Area – the places and organizations that matter to our communities. We will never charge a membership fee – if you #irunwithgoatz, you are a GOAT!

Announcement: Dizzy GOAT is up next!

Our Mission

Simply put, our mission is Community Driven Running. We exist to promote trails and trail running in the Greater Omaha Area. 

Our Values

1. Support people and trail resources of the Greater Omaha Area. We define the Greater Omaha Area as the following counties in Nebraska: Douglas, Sarpy, Saunders, Dodge, Washington, Cass and the following Iowa counties: Pottawatomie, Mills, and Harrison.

2. All human and financial resources will be reinvested to the
Greater Omaha Area.

3. Encourage people of all abilities to responsibly enjoy and maintain
the trails.

4. If you want to be a GOAT, you’re a GOAT. There is no membership fee. There is no time requirement. There is no distance requirement. We are not exclusively ultra-runners. We are runners, walkers, hikers of all abilities who enjoy the expereince of moving through nature on foot and on dirt. 

Why the GOATz?

Fast or slow, seasoned or newbie, you have a place to be with the Greater Omaha Area Trail-Runnerz.

Join a group run. Sign up for a race. Volunteer. We have room for everyone!

GOATz Board Members

Bruce Barnhart

Trail Maintenance

Bruce Barnhart has been involved with the GOATz board since 2013 and provides legal counsel. He is a winter-loving, adventurous GOAT, who is usually off in the mountains of Colorado. Bruce is an exclusive trail runner, gravel road cyclist, cross country skier, ice skating, chilled out dude. You might know him as the GOAT who first introduced the group to the hidden dirt trails right under our noses at Lake Z. By day he’s an attorney, by night he’s probably climbing a mountain. One thing is for sure: if you get to hang with Bruce, it’s always an adventure.

Kim Bultsma

Communications

Kim decided to be a runner at her 35th birthday kegger. A friend had just finished the Lincoln Half Marathon, and the combo of 13.1 being a bucket list item mixed with a keg was the beginning! Kim has run a handful of 50Ks and is usually toward the back of the pack…and she totally owns it. If you need Fireball, she’s your girl. Her business–A Cup of Content–is a proud sponsor of the GOATz, and she is now the race director of What the Hill?! and the GOATz Trail Runs, as well as an assistant RD for Tails ‘n Trails. On the GOATz board, she represents Communications.

Amy Cherko

President

Amy ran one season of high school XC and promptly forgot about running until 2009. She discovered the GOATz in 2012 and is the race co-director for Feast and Feathers. She’s run a few ultras, including the Lake Sonoma 50 mile in 2014 while pregnant with her daughter, Wilder. Amy dreams of running ultras again someday when life balance allows but loves herself a good road 10k. Her favorite races include the New York City Marathon, the Ralston Optimists Fourth of July fun run, and the No Frills Winter Series 5-mile in La Platte, Nebraska.

Mindy Coolman

Community Partnership

Mindy is one of the race directors of Tails ‘n Trails, with her primary role being designing and marking for race day. Mindy also assists with course marking of other GOATz races, and is the Hitchcock Experience course expert. Mindy is also an ultrarunner herself, completing over 50 ultras with 9 of those (so far) being 100s. Mindy is also a dietitian and takes great pleasure in fielding questions related to nutrition and ultrarunning. Mindy sits on the GOATz board as part of the Community Partnership subcommittee.

Dusten Crichton

Sponsorship Liason

Dusten is the race director for the Skyline Ranches Cross Country Runs. He likes to think he is an ultra runner, but he has never run more than a half-marathon. In the end, he is just a “hang-around” with the GOATz because he really likes the idea of ultra-running and hopes one day to have the time and energy to train for and run the kind of distances that all his friends do! On the GOATz board, he serves as the Sponsorship Liaison.

TJ Ernst

Board Member

TJ is a husband, father and aspiring trail enthusiast. Many years ago, he landed on the GOATz board because he printed a couple hundred hoodies. He is a glorified fundraiser by day and a professional enabler by night. TJ once finished a 50 miler in a blizzard, but now he runs like the winded. His brainchild is the GOATz Gravel Classic, an event recommended by 8 out of 10 people who recommend things.

Scott Giddings

Papa GOAT

Scott didn’t turn in his bio or headshot, either. Since he’s the father of the GOATz, he is represented by his spirit animal, the Papa GOAT. He now does race timing for all of the GOATz races.

Jody Green

Vice President, Community Partnership

Supporting the running community is very important to Jody, who has been running and volunteering with the GOATz since its inception. She was volunteer coordinator for both Dizzy GOAT and GTR from 2013-2017 and has volunteered in some capacity with the group’s other events throughout the years. You just never know where or when Jody will show up. Her best friends are GOATz and bugs (she’s an entomologist).

John Orr

Trail Maintenance

John was a scholarship track hurdler in college and began running 10K races after college in the 1980s. Having moved to the country in the 1990s, John took up hobby farming, trail riding horses and baling his own hay. He enjoys clearing and mowing trails, donating the use of his tractor and equipment to keep the trail open to enjoy. He likes to volunteer to mark trails for GOATz races and manning aid stations. He is always looking for volunteers to help on trail clearing days.

Rob Owens

Community Partnership

Rob’s first race was the Omaha Half Marathon in 2012. He then discovered GOATz and ran his first trail race at Dizzy Goat 12-hour in 2013. That’s where Rob met “Mighty” Mike Christensen and they quickly became running buddies, putting in a multitude of miles together at Calvin Crest. Since then, Rob has finished a variety of ultras including 5 100-mile trail races without any DNFs on his running resume. His proudest finish is Bear 100, which he completed without a crew or a pacer. Rob is the founder of Tails ‘n Trails and has since retired from ultras and races. These days, he does the occasional tempo run, but will always have respect for the trails and giving back to our community (specifically animal rescues).

Ron Ruhs

Treasurer, Sponsorship Liason

A perennial back of the packer, Ron enjoys spending time on the trails with friends. The highlight of each year  has been race directing the Hitchcock Experience 13.1/50/100 mile races where he and all the volunteers get to help runners accomplish their goals. Whether playing guitar in a punk band or trying to finish another ultra, he’s glad for the friendships made in the trail community. Ron currently serves as treasurer on the GOATz board.

Vanessa Urbach

Secretary. Communications

Vanessa discovered running in the winter of 2011 and hasn’t looked back since. Running has opened many doors for her including: weight loss, stress relief, friend making, sister bonding and has even placed her as a co-race director for Feast and Feathers, secretary of the GOATz, and a board member for the Omaha Running Club and Keep Kids Alive Drive 25. She is also a 2015 MS Run the US Relay runner, a 4x Chicago Marathoner, a 4x 50K-er who hopes to one day balance motherhood/life and ultra-training again to tackle a 50 miler.

Rachel Warne

Community Partnership

Rachel found her love for running in high school, running cross country. She started running again for “fun” in college and then again after her youngest daughter was born in 2008. Rachel completed several half marathons prior to discovering the GOATz group and trail running in 2012. Rachel has completed one 50 miler, one 50k, three ultras over 30 miles and several other trail and road races of various distances. Running is Rachel’s favorite way to tackle stress and form some amazing friendships on the trails. Rachel is a race director for Tails ‘n Trails and she is a crazy dog and cat lady at heart. Rachel’s favorite race is Dizzy Goat 12-hour. Rachel hopes to train for another 50 miler in the near future.

Brady West

Race Director

Brady was born in Nebraska and raised in Florida. He first began his running career in high school and then picked it back up again after college and the birth of his son. One of his first races back into running was the Lucky Bucket 5K. He moved on to the Omaha Half Marathon, and from there it spiraled out of control. He’s always loved running, but realized trail running was his passion after running the Dizzy GOAT 3/6/12 Hour Trail Race in 2015. He then started Dirt Run Co. as a source for trail race clothing. His goal is to be able to run his first 100 miler soon. Brady has always been a GOATz supporter and runner, which makes him the perfect addition to the team. This outdoor-lunatic, environmental-friendly, running-addict will be taking over as the Dizzy GOAT 3/6/12 Hour Race Director in 2020.

Want to get involved?

You know what makes awesome races more awesome? VOLUNTEERS. We can't do it without them, nor would we want to. If you want to be a Taunter with us, we'll put you to work.